Written by Dave Smith –
NORTH FORK – Scouts of Troop 357, North Fork, spent Friday night and Saturday, Mar. 23 and 24, at the Sequoia Council San Joaquin District Camporee held at the Fresno Regional Sports Complex near Fresno.
In attendance were 185 Scouts and Webelos Scouts plus 80 adults from a number of troops and packs.
The Camporee was based on an engineering theme. During Saturday’s events, various aspects of the Engineering Merit Badge were emphasized.
Events included creating and launching water bottle rockets, launching solid fuel rockets, paper airplane making and competition, paper tower construction, bridge construction, construction of entry gates using pulleys and levers, launching a padded raw egg, talking with an engineering professional, Dutch Oven cooking and several others.
Patrols competed against each other to see which patrol was best at each event. First, second and third place ribbons were awarded at each event.
Except for the gateway construction, water bottle rockets, and Dutch oven cooking, all materials were provided by the Camporee staff. Troops had to provide two-liter soda bottles, cardboard for fins and nose cone and duct tape for the water bottle rockets then build the rocket on site in a specified time. Height reached determined the winner.
Dutch oven cooking involved creating and cooking a food item in a Dutch oven which had to include both Jalapeno peppers and fresh strawberries. The Scouts could add other ingredients of their choice but had to present their cooked item to the judges at a specified time with a list of ingredients and recipe.
Bridge construction involved picking a design from those presented then constructing a bridge using straws and tape within a specified time. Five pounds of weights were then placed on top of the structure to see if the bridge would support them.
For the egg launch Scouts had a small amount of material provided that they used to design padding for a raw egg. The egg was then launched using a large sling shot. Distance travelled was measured for those eggs that did not crack upon impact.
The troop took first place in the water bottle rocket launch event, second for the paper airplane and a third for their gateway. Over the next month or so the troop will spend some additional time at meetings completing the remaining requirements for the merit badge.
Upcoming events for the troop in the near future include participating in a mud run at Hobbs Grove, an afternoon tree planting service project at Bass Lake, and later in the month a camping trip to Morro Bay.
At the troop’s weekly meetings, Scouts learn numerous skills. During portions of upcoming meetings Scouts will be participating in a first aid refresher as well as learning more about GPS usage.
Boys age 10 ½ and in the 6th Grade or 11 through 17 are eligible to become a Boy Scout.
For more information contact Dave Smith, Scoutmaster, at 559-877-2186.