ITHACA, N.Y. – For a second year, twelve teams of Boy Scouts from Tompkins and Cortland counties competed in a snow-less Winter Camporee this weekend on the theme of The Oregon Trail. The scouts demonstrated a wide variety of skills: everything from rescuing a person with legs broken from a wagon, speed in building a fire, tying knots around a tree from 10 feet away, crossing their entire patrol across a river, making a map of their route and how to budget to equip a full wagon for a 6 month trip.
This year’s competition was judged in part by Cornell student volunteers from Alpha Phi Omega, an international service fraternity along with various scout leaders.
The annual Winter Camporee is a high point of the scouting year for the two-county District, which includes all of Tompkins and Cortland counties. The Camporee experience gives Scouts a chance to meet other scouts and test their skills against many other troops. This competition focused particularly on teamwork and cooperation among the nearly 100 scouts competing.
The Scouting program is focused on helping boys develop leadership, a sense of team-work and value for the skills that each boy brings to his patrol. Scouting builds good citizens by helping the Scout realize and develop valuable skills which help not only his patrol but his troop and his community. Many Scouts go on to use these skills in activities as varied as captaining sports teams, leading robotics teams and heading up academic research projects.
The Scouts competed for the right to host the Taughannock District’s highly-prized “Taughann-Duck” pole for the year in recognition of having the best scouting skills in the two-county area.
This year’s competition was won by the Moonlight Wolves Patrol of Troop 55 in Ellis Hollow, near Ithaca. Troop 4’s Cobra Patrol from Patrol took second place with Homer’s Troop 85 and its Adventurous Trojan’s patrol coming in third.
Special recognitions were awarded for particular skills. Troop 55’s Soaring Eagle patrol had the best catapult, launching a tennis ball over a 10-foot obstacle for over 60 feet. Homer’s Troop 85 made and presented the best potato based dish. The Squirrel patrol of Trumansburg’s Troop 13 made the best map of their route over the entire day. The fastest fire to burn through a twine was won by Troop 4’s Cobras. Troop 55’s Eagles won the nearly mile-long race with equipment in a time of 5:50. The scouting adults and Cornell volunteers gave the best Scout spirit award to the Apple Patrol of Homer’s Troop 79.
Boy Scouting welcomes all boys who are 11 years old (or 10½ and completed fifth grade), up to the age of 18. We prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law. We are “boy-led, adult-guided” meaning the Scouts plan the program with adults guiding them to create a safe space for boys to be their best selves – no
one gets “cut” from Scouts.
The Taughannock District also has Cub Scout Packs for boys from first through fifth grades, as well as a Venture Crews, Explorer Posts and a Sea Scout Ship, all for boys and girls from 14 to 20 years old. If you want to find out more about Scouting, visit our district website at TCScouts.org or call the Baden Powell
Council office at 877-674- 8876.
Images provided by the Boy Scouts of America.