There was a different attitude in the air on the shore of Lake Ontario at Camp Hollis in Oswego County. With temperaqtures near 20-degrees, it was clear that those attending the Base Camp Oswego 2016 Winter Expo were here, not to keep cozy indoors, but to explore the outdoors.
The expo began with vendors and volunteers setting up around the meeting hall of Camp Hollis. The Boy Scouts of America troop #888 began a camp cooking demonstration, providing the sweet smoky smell of campsite cuisine. Inside the meeting hall, supporters and volunteers from the American Red Cross, Oswego County Tourism, Oswego County Search and Rescue, Oswego Expeditions, and the Adirondack Mountain Club all spent the day giving presentations about the winter recreation opportunities in Oswego County. A second common theme was to ensure all in attendance understood how to enjoy winter safely.
Outside, the volunteers from Oswego County Search and Rescue led a group of fifteen hikers down the trails at Camp Hollis to the Base Camp that those choosing to stay overnight had set up. Near to the circle of winterized tents, the knowledgeable volunteers of the Search and Rescue crews instructed attendees on winter survival skills like the construction of fires and shelters using only the materials to be found on hand.
As the hikers returned from their educational trip, it was evident that more participants had arrived, fat bike riders peddled along the snow covered wooded trails, groups set out on geocaching adventures, and dogs bounded with excitement as they were leashed to equipment for the dog sledding and skijoring demonstrations. As the day tapered down, it was apparent that the winter here in CNY had been freakishly warm some days and the snowfall had been lighter but there were still valuable lessons learned, good times and good hospitality to be had, and it was still plenty cold.
We look forward to next year's Base Camp Oswego Winter Expo for yet another opportunity to enjoy the winter in Oswego County.
View an image gallery of the Base Camp Oswego 2016 Winter Expo.