Local Scouts win honors at camporee

LOCK HAVEN – Venture Crew 007, chartered by the Lock Haven Elks, attended the 51st Annual West Point Military Academy Camporee April 26 to 28 and received several honors.

The camporee is invitation only and includes Boy Scout Troops, Venture Crews and Girl Scouts from many areas in the country.

This year’s camporee was dedicated to the memory of 2nd LT. David E. Rylander, a graduate of West Point who was killed in action in Afghanistan. To prepare for this massive event, they conducted three training weekends at Camp Karoondinha, located in western Union County, near Glen Iron.

The crew left for the event on April 26 at 8 a.m., and arrived at West Point around 12:30 p.m. Once they registered, the scouts prepared to hike a short three miles over what the academy calls Bull Hill. Once the scouts completed the hike, they began setting up their campsite and building a gateway at the entrance.

On Saturday morning, the camporee began at 6 a.m. with physical training led by West Point Cadet Tom Curran. Tom took a lot of time teaching the scouts military exercises and formats for physical training. He definitely made quite a lasting impression on the attendees.

After PT scouts ate breakfast and then the cadets from the academy put on an opening ceremony which included the raising of the flag, and the West Point Small Tactics Team putting on a simulated attack.

Then the competition began. The Scouts participated in all events which included fire-building, knots, swiss seat, wilderness survival, first-aid, land navigation, Commanders Challenge, application of camouflage paint, ranger challenge, physical fitness, use of an RB-15 military raft, TAC challenge, Leadership Reaction Course, firearms and drill.

At the competition sites, scouts were scored on their knowledge and abilities, and how well they worked as a team. The cadets also set up stations that were just for fun, such as a fly-fishing seminar, a scouting museum and a tent that promotes West Point.

The scouts had a closing campfire Saturday night, where all current and former military members were recognized and thanked for their service.

On Sunday morning the camporee staff announced the winners of each individual site, and then announced the top three overall winners.

After the awards were given out, the scouts passed in review in front of Brigadier General Richard D. Clarke, the Commandant of the Corp of Cadets at West Point.

Venture Crew 007 won first place in the Swiss Seat site and campsite, second place in the Fire Building site, and third place in the Leadership Reaction Course and the First-Aid site. The crew placed second overall out of the 5,800 Scouts that attended.