Boy Scout Camporee invades Mineola Preserve

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There will be an invasion coming to the Mineola Nature Preserve April 28-30. Young men and their leaders from various uniformed troops of Boy Scouts of America will be encompassing unique, fun and interesting activities of what the organization is all about and will do it in one weekend. The public is invited to attend the Camporee Saturday April 29 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. A free lunch of hot dogs, chips, drinks and moon pies will be served Saturday to those in attendance.

The Wo-Ha-Li District Camporee will host approximately 250 scouts from 22 area scout troops. Each troop will support a demonstration or activity. Activities in the planning stage are going to be archery, tomahawk throwing, a BB gun (air rifle) range, wrist rocket sling-shot and many more. Any young man from the ages of 6 to 17 interested in scouting is invited to come check out the Camporee with their parents.

My Honor, a Wood County non-profit organization, will be at the Camporee to assist the Boy Scouts at the event. My Honor was formed in Wood County a few months ago to promote personal integrity and one of their initial endeavors is to support Wood County Boy Scouts. My Honor believes Boy Scouts can be a vehicle to get more boys and men involved in scouting.

Wood County resident Jim Buerger is one of the founders of the My Honor organization. “What could be more terrific than being a scout, being outdoors and having hot dogs and moon pies,” Buerger said. “This will be a great event for young men and their families to come out and see what scouting is all about. We are also encouraging Boy Scout alumni to become a part of what is going on with scouting in Wood County. The only way to turn this country around is through positive role models for our youth.”

Locally, a big problem in scouting is having enough adult male leaders who are willing and able to help young men become productive and honorable citizens and teach them the importance of service and leadership. The My Honor group has three purposes in working with local scout troops and they are encouraging more men to get involved in the program, inspire more young men to become scouts and raising funds to help scouting.

According to Neal Duncan, Mineola, just about anyone can join the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) alumni association and they are welcome to drop by the information booth during the Camporee and become involved locally. “Anybody who has been a Boy Scout, even for 10 seconds, is a BSA alumni and welcome to join,” Duncan noted. “We simply have been lacking in leadership in Wood County. We need men who will take the time to become part of something great, scouting.” Duncan is taking over as a cub master in Mineola this year and urges parents and guardians to bring their young sons, grandsons and nephews to the Camporee.

Tommy Brown is Troop 36 assistant scout master and a member of My Honor, is excited about the opportunity the Camporee offers.

“It will be a great time to get to not only current scouts outside and working together, but an opportunity for those who have not ever experienced scouting to bring their parents and find out what we do,” Brown noted. “There will be a lot of things going on at the Camporee. The scouts will be able to display their scouting skills to the public and to potential scouts.”

Troop 36 meets at First United Methodist Church in Quitman.

Wood County Sheriff Tom Castloo is a board member of My Honor and a former scout. “My dad was a scoutmaster back in the 1960s and I was a scout master in the 1980s. What we teach young men today will last for a lifetime,” Castloo acknowledged. “If a man will continue to go by the scout’s oath, duty to God and country, and duty to self, they can’t go wrong. We want to give these boys tools they can draw from so they can have a good moral compass for their future.”

For more information on the Camporee, the My Honor organization, or to get involved go the myhonor.net website.

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