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Boy Scouts Troop 270 participates in Council Camporee

Staff Reports

Cordele Dispatch

CUTHBERT — Eight youth members of Cordele Boy Scout Troop 270, along with five of their adult advisors, participated in the South Georgia Council Camporee September 22-24, 2017.  The Camporee was held at Camp Okitayakani, a former Girl Scout camp in Randolph County.  Approximately 180 youth and 60 adults representing 23 Troops from throughout the 28-county footprint of the Council attended the event.  The theme for the Camporee was Mountain Man.

Troop 270 left the Cordele Boy Scout Hut about 6:00 on Friday evening, the guys stopping for supper at the Dairy Queen on 16th Avenue, then taking to the open highway for the trip to Randolph County.  They arrived at Camp Okit about 8:45 and set about erecting their campsite.  Friday night was great camping weather, clear with overnight temperatures in the high 60s.

Saturday morning broke with the boys preparing bacon and omelets-in-a-bag, then heading to the parade ground for morning colors.  Following the presentation of the colors, the pledge of allegiance and the morning’s announcements, the guys began to make the rounds to see and participate in several activities that were commonplace in the 19th century.  There were also several activities used by early American Indians hundreds, if not thousands, of years ago.  Among the activities were:

·  Black powder rifle shooting and cartridge-making

·  Fire-making with flint and steel

·  Tomahawk throwing

·  Rope making

·  Chuckwagon cooking

·  Primitive glue making

·  Atlatl throwing

·  Blow-gun making and use

At the black powder station, the Scouts learned how to roll and charge paper cartridges.  After the cartridges were made, they were taught to load and fire muzzle-loading muskets.

They were taught how to use flint and steel along with char-cloth to make a fire.  They were also shown how to use a bow to create the friction needed to produce a spark and make fire.

Over at the tomahawk station, the boys were taught the history of the tomahawk, then had the opportunity to throw the “hawks” at log targets.  On the other side of the field, Albany Troop 1 had set up a rope-making machine.  Each boy made his own four-foot length of rope.

An old cowboy taught the boys the ins and outs of cooking with cast iron cookware over an open fire.  At the glue-making station, the Scouts learned to make glue using pine sap.

An atlatl was a weapon used by American Indians that was the transition between the spear and the bow and arrow.  The atlatl is a spear with fletching (like a giant arrow), about four feet long, that attaches to the end of a stick.  The stick allows the atlatl to be thrown far greater distances than the warrior could throw using just his arm.  The Scouts attempted to throw the atlatl at targets about 50 feet away.

Blow guns, which were used by natives thousands of years ago, were made from hollowed-out bamboo stalks.

The boys fixed cold-cut sandwiches for lunch and hamburgers and fresh-cut fries for supper.  After supper, they hiked over to the campfire ring where streamers were awarded for the day’s competitions and several Troops performed skits.  Following the awards ceremony in which the Troop received second-place ribbons for Campsite Inspection and Best Primitive Camp Gate, the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s National Honor Society, held a callout ceremony.  Following the ceremony, the boys returned to camp for some much-needed rest.

The group attended a Scouts’ Own religious service Sunday morning at the campfire ring near the lake.

Before returning to Cordele, Troop 270 performed service for the camp by cleaning up the Fire-making and Rope-making areas.  Packing their gear into the Troop trailer and policing their campsite, the Cordele Crew then loaded up for the trip back to the Scout Hut.  The Troop trailer suffered a catastrophic tire blowout just outside of Leslie.  When the tire blew, it ripped the fender off of the trailer.  The group still made it back to the hut about 1 pm.

Members of Troop 270 who participated in the Camporee were Andrew Bedore, Reid Brinson, Wesley Fletcher Michael Frost, Eli Lapeza, Benjamin Nipper, Laieton Sharp, and Korey Watts.  The Scouts were supported on the trip by Scoutmaster John Frost and assistant Scoutmasters Britt Brinson, Jody Fletcher, Chester Lapeza, and Gerry Nipper