That’s the term canoeists use for a rock-strewn part of the river. As a scoutmaster, I wanted to give my boys the best in outdoor excitement, and the Delaware River, from our departure point at Ten Mile River Scout Camp (NYC Scout Council) to Port Jervis, was good whitewater in the spring. That was the key word, “spring” — plenty of water in the spring.

So I made arrangements for us to use the NY City scout camp the night before our departure, and for the canoe rental and the truck to carry the canoes. What completely escaped me was the temperature of the water in April. Sure, almost all the canoes overturned at some point in the trip, but the boys had to make it ashore in 40 to 50 degree water, Fahrenheit!

There must be a God who guides errant scoutmasters and teachers! The State Park Rangers were patrolling the river in jet boats (no propellers) that morning (I never saw them again) and they picked up my boys. I found about half a dozen of them, and my youngest son, in a Ranger SUV with the heater going. My two assistant scoutmasters and I thought it was a great outing. Little did we realize.

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