April 15, 2008

Girl Scout Troop 864 (part 3)

Bronze Award: Day 3.

Troop 864 returned to the Dunes again to complete some of the finishing touches on the bridge. Now that we had the appropriate size drill bit, Scout parent Michael Anasagasti was able to increase the size of the hole in the posts that the rope railing would pass through. After that, the girls were quickly (ahhh...more like enthusiastically) pass the rope through the holes and knot it on both sides of each post.

Interesting building fact: The reason for knotting the rope rail on both sides of each post and not just the two end posts is so that the tension on the posts will be equally distributed.

Since the bridge is a little over a foot above ground level, the girls are also building earth ramps up to the bridge. This required using the camp tractor to bring in bucket loads of earth from our compost pile. After the earth was dumped, the girls made use of rakes, shovels, and a wheelbarrow to spread the earth out and build up one ramp. Once that ramp was built up enough, the girls were able to use it to transport earth to the other side of the bridge to develop a ramp there as well.

Since the Peconic Dunes Team was so impressed with the girls' progress on the first bridge, we decided to recruit them to install an additional bridge! The section of the trail where the second bridge is located is much narrower than the first bridge. Consequently, we were unable to carry the bridge in with the tractor and had to carry it in as a team. The bridges are VERY heavy so carrying it required everyone's help. After a bit of instruction on proper lifting technique (use your legs, not your back) and some heaving and ho-ing, the bridge was where it needed to be...over the rain runoff trench the girls had dug the week before.

Next week the girls will be meeting at the Southold Library to finish up their research for the ethnobotany trail signs. I can't wait to see what they look like! Great job again girls!

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