CacheCrazy.Com: WINTERFEST 2012

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Lackawanna State Park Winterfest 2012

By Big Al

Welcome to Thirsty Thursday!!!

Grab a cup of coffee, or tea, sit back and enjoy the Winterfest 2012.

This past Saturday was the annual Winterfest at the Lackawanna State Park (LSP). We were fortunate enough to be able to go and enjoy some fun times and learn a few new tricks. The LSP has been holding these events for several years now. They are usually in February and there are many different activities to do. This is something that is fun for the whole family; kind of like Geocaching.

We started off by heading over to the LSP Learning Center on Route 407 just outside of Waverly, PA. What is really nice is that we only live 2 miles from the park.  We arrived and went into the new park office and picked up our brochures that would tell us the events of the day. We were then led into the resource room where there were many kids already at work making little groundhog puppets. These little kids were having a blast. The lady there explained that my kids could start one if they wanted to, but my kids, ages 14 and 18, really didn't want to try this activity. We instead walked around the room checking out all of the animals that had been preserved through taxidermy. They were really cool looking.

                        Cacheking1998 and a red fox

                 Male and Female Ring neck pheasants

                Osprey and fish

                   Whitetail Fawn

                    Grey Fox

When we were done looking at the animals a gentleman by the name of Tom Bonacci had everyone gather around a table to learn how to filet  fish. This is what I was wanting to see. He was using an electric knife, which made it look so easy. Here's a video of him filleting some of the perch he had caught. The video is about 5 minutes long, but you have to watch to the end to get a good laugh.

                         Filet Man on


Once he was done with the fish we checked out some of the other activities they were doing in the learning center. They were doing animal track identification, cutting out snowflakes, and learning how to make bird feeders from pine cones and peanut butter.

                            Fox print in the snow

Pine cone bird feeder

We then headed over to the main part of the state park for more fun.

We arrived at Pavilion 2 where there was a SAR demonstration. This stands for Search And Rescue. The teams here were from a number of local areas where they have dogs that perform search and rescue operations. There were 4 teams of handlers and dogs. The dogs ranged from 6 months old to several years old. Two of the teams were actually certified, one was waiting for certification, and the other is still to young so he just continues to train with the big boys.

                Ranger Supervisor Rick Bacon and his dog

                       Puppy in training

              This might look like a Geocaching bag, but is not. It's a SARs bag. They purchase this all on their own.

                He who was lost is found.

These dogs are different than tracking dogs. They search by what is known as "Air Scent". They don't have to be given a piece of clothing or anything like that. They just smell the air and look for any potential people in the area. It's hard for me to explain in writing just how they do it so you'll just have to go next year and learn about them.

After watching the SAR dogs we went over to see how to build an emergency shelter. You know for those times you get lost on that FTF. Alan showed us how to set up a lean-to and then put a fire wall right in front of the shelter. This wall will help keep you warm all night long.

After talking to Alan we went back over to the Learning Center to have some really good food that they provided for a small donation. Trust me it was worth it.

Next we headed back over to the main part of the park for a demonstration on Ice Safety/Ice Rescue, which was put on by the Scott Dive and Rescue Company. This was so neat.

                  Dive 28 from Scott Township

                    The Chief talking about ice safety

  • Always check the thickness of the ice before going out
  • When possible take a friend or at least let someone know where you'll be at
  • If the ice is 8 inches thick where your at don't think it's that thick all over the lake; it might not be
  • Check the thickness of the ice
  •  WEAR A PFD (PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE) No questions asked; just do it.
  • Wear an ice pick set (more on that later)
  • Check the thickness of the ice

These guys are not Santa Wanna Bees. They are getting ready to take on a serious task; demonstrating an ice rescue.

This little craft is the coolest. It allows you to walk on the ice or float if necessary. Notice the safety ropes attached to the boat and the rescuer.

                      Through the ice

This guy is showing how to do a self rescue by kicking his feet and using his ice picks to pull himself back up onto the thicker ice.

Back on the ice. The ice picks are in his hands.

These are the ice picks they carry around their necks. If you're going to be out on the ice it's a good idea to have them. Someone made these for all of the team members, but I imagine you can buy them somewhere.

These guys did an outstanding job teaching us and I know that if something ever happened to me out on the ice I'd trust them wholeheartedly.

Now I'll admit that there were some other activities going on like a horse drawn wagon ride, kids winter games, and even camp fires to roast marshmallows on, but we had to leave to take my boys to work. So next year I'll be going once again and I'll stay for the whole day and enjoy every activity they have to offer. Except for making Groundhog puppets. I'll leave that for the younger kids.



Awe man, you didn't make a groundhog puppet? Dude you missed out on all the fun! lol....
Actually BigAl, This is an awesome post and covers all of the very interesting things to do at the event. Some things that just might be needed somewhere down the road too. Thanks for sharing it with us! Great job!

Kim@Snug Harbor said...

That was all really interesting. I enjoyed the shelter building and the ice rescue the most. My husband cleans our fish with an electric knife. I would love to get ahold of those perch. Those were some nice ones!

Heather Cook (Lady-Magpie) said...

Very interesting and informative, don't think I would ever venture out on ice, the only time I get involved with that stuff is in with the whisky and dry ginger. Thanks BigAl enjoyed that.

frmrgeorg said...

This looked like a cool and informative event. I personally use a nonelectric fillet knife when I fillet my fish. You get less bones and you leave less meat on the fish. To each their own though. And where was there a spot with safe ice this winter to icefish?

BigAl said...

Actually they were ice fishing at LSP back in January, but only for a few days. Now the ice is gone. Not sure if it is coming back this year or not.

sarah saad said...

شركة نقل عفش بالدمام
شركة نقل عفش بالمدينة المنورة
شركة نقل عفش بجدة

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