by Campmaster Chris G. and Senior Patrol Leader Teddy G.
Troop 996 from Aldersgate United Methodist Church took an educational, exciting and fun-filled trip to New York City over Memorial Day Weekend. This trip was planned by Life Scout Chris G. and adult mentor Mr. Gayton. The educational aspect of this trip involved each Scout giving a short overview of each of the planned historical or iconic stops that they were assigned, this enabled each scout to improve their writing and public speaking skills.
The trip started with a drive to Liberty State Park on the morning of May 25th, in the afternoon the troop visited the beautiful Ellis Island (the cradle of immigration for the United States) and the Statue of Liberty (a gift from France). That night the troop had a dinner with two games of bowling at the Fort Hamilton bowling alley. The Scouts slept at the Fort Hamilton fitness center (courtesy of the Fort Hamilton Command team support).
The next morning, the troop had a wonderful breakfast provided by First Class Scout Thomas M. which included bagels, meat, cheese, apples, and homemade muffins provided by Mrs. Mulhern. The troop boarded the 8:00am Staten Island ferry and were fortunate to receive an impromptu magic show by an amazing magician, “Brucelee”, who baffled us with his sleight of hand for the 20-minute ferry ride. In Downtown Manhattan, the troop’s stops included the bull on Wall Street, the 9/11 World Trade Center Memorial, the Federal Reserve, and ended with a photo overlooking the Brooklyn Bridge. Lunch was at the Little Italy pizza joint on the outskirts of Chinatown.
After lunch, the troop visited the Titanic Memorial, walked through Chinatown, and took the subway (we talked our way on for free) to the Empire State building. The Scouts loved the view from 1,250 feet up. After returning to ground level, the troop walked up 5th Avenue and got to visit the New York Public Library, the main hall of Grand Central Station, Trump Tower, and Central Park. On the way down 6th Avenue the troop saw Radio City music hall and cut over to the iconic Times Square as the rain started coming down on us in buckets. The boys enjoyed a wonderful dinner in the heart of Times Square at Bubba Gump’s. After dinner, the Scouts took the subway back to Battery Park and boarded the 8:30 ferry headed for Staten Island. The troop slept at the same fitness center Sunday night and then departed by 0700 the next morning for home with breakfast en route.
Overall this trip was educational and had a lasting effect on the Scouts because it showed them that any trip is possible if a Scout puts in the work and time to plan and execute it. For many of the Scouts, this weekend trip to New York city was a once-in-a-lifetime event that Troop 996 was able to provide. Additionally, with some detailed planning and good negotiating skills, the cost per attendee for transportation, entrance tickets, entertainment, lodging, and food was an extraordinarily low $145. This trip is a testament to the success a Scout-led troop can have when youth are willing to put in the work and time to prepare with quality adult mentorship.