Mentor Hike to Joe's Pool

By Sandy Schenck

Today I decided to join a group of campers for a mentor hike. Case, our group’s mentor, came up with a unique way of having everyone introduce themselves – say your name and your favorite fruit all while not showing your teeth. Let’s just say there were quite a few giggles as we went around the circle.

Our hike to Joe’s Pool started on the Bear Trail and yes, we all were looking out for bears since it’s a grand slam animal. Case reminded us to look for signs such as scat, scratches on tree, etc. Along the trail we saw plenty of blueberry bushes which the campers enjoyed snacking on. If there were this many bushes, there had to be a bear, right?

Well, we continued walking when Case called everyone’s attention to some scat smack dab in middle of the trail. It was bear scat and it was FRESH! Trust me on this one. Case said the bear must’ve left it there not more than 20 minutes ago. We decided to walk very quietly the rest of the way. I was at the end of the line keeping a keen eye out. Like the campers, I really wanted to see a bear.

Unfortunately we didn’t see one. The campers’ disappointment didn’t last long though. The cool, refreshing water at Joe’s Pool was waiting for us. They explored, swam, played with Case’s dog Moose and just had such a good time being out in nature.

Afterwards, since we had a little extra time, Case told the campers a Cherokee legend. I loved watching them listen so intently with the sound of the water in the background. Now that’s a way to listen to a story! Soon it was time for the bus to pick us up and head back to camp for lunch.