Boy Scouts of Ballard Vale Troop 76 will be holding their annual open house at the Andover Conservation Commission’s Pole Hill Reservation on Saturday, May 18 from 1 to 5 p.m.
The Troop, sponsored by the Ballard Vale United Church, was recognized as stewards of the Reservation by the ACC as part of its efforts to get local Scouts to help spread the word about Andover’s green spaces. Part of the agreement is that each year they host an event open to the public.
The Scouts will be working on service projects in the morning. During the Open House, visitors can learn from the Scouts about camping, fire safety, orienteering, and geocaching. The Troop will also have a scavenger hunt that visitors are welcome to try. There will also be some life-long residents to talk about the history of Pole Hill, New Stream, and the historic stone-arch bridge and its recent renovation.
Access to the area can be gained by land or water. Trailheads are located at the end of Marland Street and Pole Hill Drive. The latter is along an access road that is a fairly smooth walk.
Those wishing to paddle can put a canoe or kayak in the Shawsheen River at the Ballard Vale millpond and head upstream. For a much shorter paddle, put in at the ACC’s canoe launch, across from Pfizer Corp. on Lowell Junction Road and head downstream. The Reservation is on the West side of the bridge.
Troop 76 is part of West Wind District, Spirit of Adventure Council, Boy Scouts of America. They are actively inviting all youth of Scouting age to join them. They meet Friday nights, at 7, at the Ballard Vale United Church, 23 Clark Road, in Andover.