Winter Camping Trip at Pompanuck

We pulled out of St. John's about 1 PM Thursday, on the 17th of January. Despite a minor slow up on the Van Wyck Expressway, we met little traffic and arrived at our destination, Pompanuck Farm in Cambridge, New York, at 5:30 PM.

There was a remnant of snow on the ground, but we were hoping for more so that the sledding areas would be ready for some action. At the evening meal, as we enjoyed Lisa Carrino's meat loaf, tofu, salad (with a dressing some would die for), we spoke of how the weather forecast promised additional snowfall scheduled to come down as we slept. We were not disappointed. A fresh coat of snow greeted our eyes on Friday morning, so we knew the hills would be ready to accommodate us for some winter fun.

Following one of Scott Carrino's very tasty (and plentiful) breakfasts, featuring pancakes, bacon, eggs (however you like 'em), Lisa's special apple sauce concoction, and sliced oranges, we took to the hills. The sledding was great, but it required some steering skills and a desire and enthusiasm to climb back up the hill for another run down.

Some of the boys turned their eyes toward the pond and began to clear off the snow to ready the surface for skating. Mission accomplished. The surface was ready and skaters were doing their thing in short order. It was soon time for lunch of hot dogs, grilled cheese, cole slaw and baked beans. Some of the boys had their appetites tempered because they had a pre-lunch party of devouring their own homemade version of a snow cone brewed up using clean, fresh snow, maple syrup, cream and other flavoring.

The afternoon was a sunny one, and some of the boys succumbed to the lure of the slopes, but a couple wanted to compete at the ping pong table. As the sun set, one could hear the beat of the bongo drum and the ever popular piano chop sticks filling the top floor of the Round House.

After a nice dinner and team clean up effort, the group settled in around the fireplace for an installment of the film Planet Earth. This particular segment featured caves, their beauty and animal life. At the end of the film the weary campers were obviously ready for bed and in very little time, the crew was in the arms of Morpheus; god of dreams.

French toast from homemade challah bread, sausages, eggs and applesauce offered a great morning table fare, and then they were on the hills again.

When the boys were tired and the cold was finally getting to them, it was back to the Roundhouse for some ping-pong, marathon Uno games, and unsolicited drum and piano practices.

The main attraction on the evening menu was homemade pizza. Scott mentored one of the St. John's boys in pizza preparation from the beginning to the end. The young man has graduated with flying colors from Scott's Pizza Training Class. The pizzas got rave reviews and successfully sated the hearty appetites generated from the day's rigorous activities in the snow.

Dishes done, all got comfortable on the second floor of the Roundhouse to view another segment of Planet Earth. This show highlighted deserts and the animals and plants that manage to live in areas with severe weather extremes. When the movie ended, the boys were very happy to hit the sack. There were a chorus of snores and heavy breathing in no time.

Sunday morning, after a hearty breakfast of French toast (from homemade babka), bacon, eggs (from Pompanuck's hens), and orange juice, the crew worked on cleaning up the common areas, packing their gear, and getting ready for the traditional group photo.

After a visit to the coop and some final words with the crowing rooster (who lived in St. John's garden before his relocation to Pompanuck), our campers and staff bid farewell to Lisa and Scott, and were on their way to St. John's where the boys needed no encouragement to tell any available listener about their adventures at Pompanuck Farm.

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