June 29th, 30th and July 1st 2023  Temps were brutal!  110 degrees F in the shade!  Almost like Camporama! 

So. MO Network hosted a Backpacking Action Camp for the high school aged boys and a Backpacking Adventure Kamp for the boys and leaders.   Kyles landing just west of Jasper Arkansas on the Old Buffalo River Trail ORT we had 10 river crossings in and out.  What a blessing the Buffalo National River was to us! 

Our group of 21 men and boys had 8 boys completing BAC and 13 enjoying a 10 mile hike over parts of 3 days. 

We filtered 40 two liter bags of river water to satisfy our group for 48 hours.  20 times the boys and men brought the life giving river water up to be filtered. 

More details of the trip at the end of this page.

Click on a picture for a larger view.  Special thanks to Rob Batchman and John Hicks for sharing these pictures with us.  Zip file of all these pictures.

The BAC/BAK started at Ozark AOG on Thursday at 10:00 am.   After some pack shake downs, 100 feet walking and Patrols being setup we enjoyed a lunch of ham or turkey sandwiches with chips and dessert.  Thanks John!   Left the church at 11:10.  Soon we were heading into Arkansas scheduled to meet the rest of the group at the trail head Kyles Landing at 1:00 pm.  We arrived at 1:10 pm with temps at 97 degrees.  Everyone assigned to patrols and some group pictures and we were off heading down the trail in high near record heat. 

It didn't take long for that 110 degree heat in the shade to take affect.  The once hardy walking folk were slowing down looking forward to the first river crossing.  I was surprised if not shocked that we had one father that had a medical condition that the doctor as he told me along the way was not supposed to be outside in any heat over 87 degrees.  The heat at 110 feels like degrees was hard on me.   What normally takes 1.75 hours to walk to base camp took us nearly 4.5 hours as we move only as fast as the slowest person. After 3 hours I sent the rest of the group on to base camp and waited at trail and river crossings for the rest of the group to show.  When your carrying 53 pounds on your back every minute over normal seems so very hot and heavy. 

We arrived at base camp to find the rest of the group tents setup and swimming in the river and cliff jumping.  So we joined them in the cool waters of the Buffalo River.  7:30 pm we held backpacking merit classes and then enjoyed another swim and then supper and council fire devotion by Rob Batchman.  Hagar and Gomer.

Friday morning after picking up after the raiding raccoons we enjoyed a short devotion and breakfast and a day hike to Hemmed in Hallow Falls.  The trip up to the falls is 275 foot of rise over 1 mile.  We enjoyed a rest at the base of the falls and the natural convection was nice and cool.  The 200 foot cliff and falls is a very scenic place and many that float the river walk up to see the falls at this time were just a shower that moved too and fro.  Always have to caution the men and boys not to do any climbing and to be careful.  Always have to remind them that a fall here is 2.7 miles of pain walking back to the vehicles.  It's wild no vehicles here. 

Friday after lunch we cooled off as the men and boys faced their fears jumping off the jumping cliffs into the 12' of  cool water.  Swimming and laughing.  Half the group that brought light duty float tubes  floated the horse shoe bend and returned back in a hour or so.  Enjoying the ice cold springs that feed that section.   It was another hot day and night.  More merit classes and a early supper and swim.   Council fire and a hot nights sleep. 

At 5:30 am I looked at my watch and heard my early to leave team preparing to gather what remained of their gear into the backpacks as we were scheduled to leave at 6:15 about a hour and 45 minutes before the regular group.  The last of my group came up to the trail head at 9:50 were we shared a ice cold can of coke and gave out certificates and BAC patches.  Green Backpacking Merit would be given out by their outposts.

Arrived back at Ozark at 12:00 pm and all were heading home by 12:30 pm.  We were blessed that all made it.  I did modify the check off lists once again for next time and will add a I can walk with my pack on at least 2 miles per hour.  Average pace is 2.75 miles per hour.  We made it but just barely!