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Local Boy Scouts Survive 'Camporee'
February 27, 2008 - Boy scouts of Knightstown’s Troop 333 survived the cold at the Sakima District Winter Camporee held at Camp Kikthawenund, January 25-27. They earned bragging rights, along with the Polar Bear patch, after camping two nights with the outdoor temperature as low as 15 degrees, and the wind chill well below zero. They slept three to a tent, using the proper cold weather gear, and practicing the survival techniques learned in troop meetings.
Isaiah Shepherd, who was on his first campout with scouts, wasn’t too sure if he could make it through the night in such cold weather. When morning came, he told his Scoutmaster, Mike McDonald, that he stayed warm enough. He commented that now he could do just about anything.
Each of the ten troops present at the camporee competed in skills contests. The most challenging were the orienteering courses. Two separate courses were completed, one in the daytime, and the other at night. Each course required the scouts to use a compass to follow the grid of coordinates on a map. Upon successfully arriving at the designated spot, they received a new set of coordinates to navigate. When the series of maneuvers was completed, they found themselves back at the starting point.
All scouts learned how to safely perform an ice rescue for a drowning victim. This was done by laying a human chain across a simulated icy surface, and extending a long stick with a rope attached. The end of the rope was tied in a bowline, commonly known as the ‘lifesaver’s knot’. The bowline was thrown around the victim, who could then be towed to safety.
The scouts’ favorite activity was the snow snake competition. A snow snake is a creature shaped from a six-foot wooden staff. It is then hurled across a snow covered surface to vie for the most distance. In the first round, troop 333 threw their snow snake farther than any other troop did.
The scouts built a campfire to keep themselves warm in the adverse weather. They prepared a meal of hot chicken soup, which they devoured heartily. Most importantly, the scouts learned how to survive, and had fun doing it.
Troop 333 scouts attending this camporee were, Jacob Blower, Sam Blower, Will McDonald, Dustin Osborn, Isaiah Shepherd and Ross Schmeisser.
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