Boy Scouts from all over the area recently linked up at Forest Pond Lodge in Long County to take part in the Altamaha District Camporee.
Troops 450 and 476 from Jesup were joined by Troop 500 from Hinesville to compete and fellowship over the weekend.
Altamaha District Executive Thomas Thrift said the three-day camporee, which began April 17, was the first gathering since the merger of the Coastal Empire and Okefenokee councils created the Coastal Georgia Council. He said 42 campers took part in the event.
The troops competed at the patrol level in fire building, knot tying, lashing, orienteering, cooking and first aid. In addition to the competition, the boys also had the opportunity to take part in a tug-of-war, throwing horse shoes, playing Ultimate Frisbee, tossing footballs and fishing.
Thrift said that one of the most-popular activities was wall climbing. As the boys scale the rock wall, it gave them confidence and a sense of high adventure, he said.
Andrew Hedley, Troop 450 quartermaster and acting senior patrol leader, said the best part of the trip was catching two largemouth bass and a bream in the pond. But even though fishing was a big part of the trip for Hedley, he said that getting to know other Scouts was important, too.
“It’s been fun, each of the three troops out here got to know each other and everybody won their share of events, it was good because there wasn’t a dominating troop,” Hedley said.
Troop 500 Senior Patrol Leader Michael Jones said he also enjoyed getting to know the other Scouts, but he wished that more had come out for the trip.
“Camporees help us get to know each other. By talking with other Scouts, we can tell them of some good spots to go camping, and they can share spots with us,” Jones said. “I really like this weekend; a lot of fish were caught.”
Danny Peller, Troop 500 scoutmaster and district camporee chairman, said that despite the wet weather, things went well.
“We got to meet two more troops, and all of the boys got along really good,” Peller said. “They played Ultimate Frisbee, and you could tell from the two teams that everyone was really having fun.”
Troop 450 Scoutmaster Bob Nash agreed that the camporee was a success.
“During the camporee, the boys got to reinforce the skills that they learn during their meetings,” Nash said. “Everyone came together to have a good time, and it showed that even the rain couldn’t dampen the Scouting spirit.”
Thrift said all of the boys seem to have a good time and that the weekend was another example of how Boy Scouts always come together. He encourages boys to join a Scout troop and former Scouts to get back into Scouting.
“There are a lot of former Scouts out there who need to find a troop and get plugged in,” Thrift said. “The Boy Scouts is a great organization, and we always need new blood with fresh ideas.”