October 9, 2014 --
Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany’s Boyett Park was the campsite for more than 385 troops, scoutmasters and parents from around the South Georgia region, who participated in the Annual Summer Boy Scouts Camporee, here, recently.
The early morning dawn revealed hundreds of youth scurrying around the campsite, which was littered with a colorful array of dome-shaped canvas tents, rope-anchored awnings, as well as banners and signs bearing the units’ numbers and cities of their home-based headquarters.
Voices of scoutmasters and troops echoed throughout the park as they went about the business of pitching additional tents, gathering wood to hone their fire-starting skills and practicing first-aid techniques on simulated injured comrades.
Bill Waller, Scoutmaster, Troop 1, Albany, Georgia, who assisted in coordinating the summer camporee hosted at the installation, commented on the activities.
“This is the council camporee, it is put on by the three districts in the council, and of course, we’re being welcomed by MCLB Albany,” Waller said. “Typically, troops will camp out monthly. We have something like this once per year in the fall. The various troops will go different places (to camp out).
“There are 35 troops in my unit,” Waller added. “I’ve tallied up the numbers and there are a total of 386 out here today – scouts and parents combined, including 25 or 26 different troops.”
Others attending the camporee shared their views on the importance and the impact of the three-day activities.
Dave Patterson, Alapaha District commissioner, Valdosta, Georgia, travels the district collaborating with the units’ administrative professionals, who provide support to the area’s volunteers.
“I have unit commissioners, who go out to the units, making sure the units have all the training and the items they need for the boys to have a quality program,” Patterson said. “I work directly with the professional staff and make sure that what’s coming from the professional side is meet down to the volunteer side and that all the boys and the adults have what they need. I’m basically just a big volunteer.”
Patterson discussed his ideas and thoughts about the camporee’s purpose and benefits for the scouts in attendance.
“There’s an old saying, ‘You can’t have scouting without an outing,’” Patterson said. “You know, there’s ‘outing’ in scouting.
“(Today’s event), basically, is a competition where everybody gets together and competes against each other and they build a lot of camaraderie,” he stressed. “And, even though they’re in different units, they’re still going to be one team and it gives them bragging rights. At the end of the day, the kids should have a good time — just have fun.”
Boy Scout Porter Hill, Troop 1, Albany, Georgia, discussed his reasons for attending the camporee.
“I’m attending to compete (in) all of the obstacles and running the course,” Hill admitted. “The dog show was really cool too. I haven’t done putting on the gear yet, but I enjoyed all the training.”
Marines aboard the installation engaged youth from various units in a two-team competition of high intensity tactical training activities.
Troops cheered on their teammates through a timed High Intensity Tactical Training routine, which included low-crawling, high-crawling, zig-zagging around a number of orange cones, throwing a grenade through a simulated window, a series of push-ups and concluding with a sprint back to the starting line, where other teammates awaited their turn at the challenge.
In additional to their usual scheduled training activities, the troops, scoutmasters and parents broke away for a demonstration by Marine Corps Police Department officers and working dog handlers, Cpl. Toni Gezzi, Cpl. Christopher M. Gurr, Cpl. Erin Zupko and military working dog, Obama.