Tuesday, May 8, 2012

The Last Den Meeting

by HouseBoy

Evan and I had our last Den meeting with New Delhi Pack 3060 on Saturday morning. We decided to end the year with a special event and arranged for a "safari" ride with Champa the elephant along the Yamuna River. We used the ride as a way for the boys to earn their "Naturalist" badge. The boys were asked to spot and identify 12 local bird species (the badge requirement is six so they easily made their goal!). The floodplain along the edge of the river is a good spot for "birding."
The morning ride took the boys through a local nursery and a green belt and finally under one of the huge metro-train skyways that connect Noida with Delhi. As parents and scout leaders, we trailed behind the boys in the dust doing our best to avoid Champa's giant bombs of elephant poo.
At the end of the ride the boys returned back down the road to the rally point, and a few of us explored along the edge of the river to see what we might find. We uncovered two rather unique sights... The first, according to the sign, was a 40 year old temple to Ganesha, that had been built as a way to honor the buried remains of an elephant.
The second discovery was a little more interactive... a local "ferry" used to take farmers across the water to an island situated in the middle of the Yamuna. Of course we had to give the ferry a try. The raft was made from the ultimate in recycled materials: Plastic feed sacks sown together and then filled with Thermocal (Styrofoam) waste. Very buoyant
It was a great morning, and a unique way to celebrate the boys' scouting experiences together in India.

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