Troop 7 since 1922 George Merrick Troop 7 of Coral Gables Kiwanis Club of Coral Gables

The Troop 7 Paddle Newsletter

Collier Seminole - May Camp Out 2000
by Jason S.

On Memorial Day weekend, Troop 7 went on a camping trip to Collier Seminole State Park. We were originally going to go canoeing on the Peace River, but the river was too low.

Collier Seminole was selected as an alternative camping and canoeing trip. We packed and load the trailers on Saturday morning. We drove to the state park, which was about 90 miles west of Miami and on the western part of the everglades. When we arrived we unpacked and set up camp.

It was very hot and humid, but worst of all everyone was getting bitten by deer flies and mosquitoes. After setting up our campsite and organizing all our gear, which took about three hours, we decided to go canoeing. We put the canoes in the water and set out. We paddled on for about a couple of miles until we reached a sandbar where we explored and played for an hour then we left. On Sunday we woke early to go canoeing to a place called Mud Bay. When we finally reached our destination we had lunch and played in the water. After we went back. We worked on Nature merit badge with Brother. On Sunday we ate breakfast, packed up, and left.

June 2000 - Lone Oak a success!
Over 100 merit badges earned in a single week.

In June, Martha, Robin, Darlene and David Silgee took 20 Scouts on the week long journey to norther Florida to our Council's camp to enjoy the wildlife and the wonderful summer program. Our 20 Scouts earned the Super Troop Award for Troop 7 as well as 105 merit badges and rank advancements for the new crossovers.

Lone Oak
by Giuseppe P.

At Camp Lone Oak we did lots of fun things. Camp Lone Oak is an all Boy Scout camp near Wildwood, Florida. We earned lots of merit badges and rank advancements. We were able to go in the pool and we had a swim one night. Nick and T.J. did the mile swim, waking up early to go to the pool everyday to practice. We went on Rainbow River, which was really fun. We got to shoot rifles and shot guns at the range, while we worked on those merit badges. One night we had home-made ice cream at our camp site. We even won the Super Troop Award - for the best camp site at Lone Oak during our week.

Loxahatchee - July 2000
by T.J. K.

On the night of July 21, 2000, Troop 7 began their canoeing adventure. When we arrived at Jonathan Dickenson State Park, it was dark out and some had already set up camp. Fred set up a lantern, about twenty feet in the air between two trees.

The next morning we got up early and set out for the mighty Loxahatchee. We put in at a canoe basin and brushed up on some of our strokes while some explored their inner fishermen. We set out and enjoyed the beautiful view of the state park.

Soon we had arrived at the first of many obstacles. A man made dam, with a sort of a waterfall, everyone passed with ease except for Robert and a few others. The greatest antagonist on the river were fallen trees, a few where we had to get out of the canoes and lift them up and push. There was a low-lying branch where we stopped to rest and jumped off into the river. Later on we reached a second drop, we stayed there for a while, everyone tried it at least twice and in every sort of way. Some crashed on purpose. All of a sudden the weather worsened, the clouds grew darker, the mist became heavier, and it began to rain. We were wet and the canoe began to flood and our arms grew weaker. We turned a corner and came to a humongous fallen tree, there was no way around it. It was cold and we began to shake, we had to get out and straddle the tree, with the last ounces of strength we heaved and shoved. As soon as we got it over the first branch we looked back to see an 8 foot alligator. My body stood still, just as we had gotten over the first branch there was a second and the gator was closing in. We finally got the canoe over the branches and we started paddling as hard as we could. I looked to my right and the mangrove trees turned a bright xenon bluish white. I reached forward and grabbed the bowman; I told him that if he didn't paddle as hard as he could, I would throw him overboard. We soon arrived at Trapper Nelson's where the rest of the troop was awaiting our tardy arrival.

We waited until the weather died down and left as a troop, the worst of it was over. Everyone left there a little different that day, a little more mature, a little more aware. We rewarded ourselves with a trip to the beach. In the end a good time was had by all.

Camp Sawyer - September 2000
by Leo F., ASPL

On the weekend of September 22-24, Troop 7 paid a visit to Camp Sawyer, down in the Keys near Big Pine. There was a total of 21 people, with 14 kids and 7 adults. We drove down on Friday in two groups. Saturday morning, we woke up early and had a quick breakfast of cereal. Then we hopped in the cars and drove to the dive boat, where we went scuba diving or snorkeling for an exhausting, yet fun, three hours. We went to Looe Key Reef. Even though the visibility wasn't all that great, and there were jellyfish tormenting the snorkelers, we still saw a lot of cool fish and reef formations. It was a little rough because of the wind. Luckily, only two people got seasick (take the Dramamine next time, Giuseppe).

After we got back to camp and realized how sunburned some of us were, we all showered. Then we drove into Key West, where we went to the Key West Aquarium. At the Aquarium, we saw all kinds of fish, ranging from stingrays to sawfish. It was pretty impressive. There was even a holding tank full of horseshoe crabs, starfish, and other sea animals. Since it was a touch tank, you could touch the animals. Afterwards, we walked to dinner. We were supposed to eat at the Turtle Krawls, but most of the kids don't like seafood so we went to Burger King. Then we walked around, saw the sunset, and bought tourist merchandise.

On the way back to Miami, we stopped at a bird sanctuary in Tavernier and looked at birds that have been injured and are now recuperating. Some will never be able to leave, and will live out there lives there. I would say that it was a pretty good campout, and I bet that most of us are looking forward to doing it again.

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since 1922

George Merrick Troop 7 of Coral Gables
1107 South Greenway Drive, Coral Gables, FL 33134 USA
phone: 305-529-0150 " e-mail:

meeting every Wednesday evening at 7:15pm

sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Coral Gables and the George Merrick Foundation

Kiwanis Club of Coral Gables

Click on the above logo in order to learn more about the historic brick program
and how you can help support the Troop 7 building fund.

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