Boy Scout summer adventures

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Peyton Gaskill

"The Comfort Zone II" anchored off the shore of Islamorada.

These three West High scouts travelled the country and the world to experience what Boy Scouts had to offer over the break. Life Scout freshman Ryan Mound began his summer with a trip to the sunshine state while participating in the High Adventure Sea Base.

“Sea Base is a high adventure camp,” Mound said. “It’s located in the Florida Keys in Islamorada. You basically go there for a week and live on a boat and have a bunch of fun with friends.”

Mound’s most memorable experience was his close encounter with a deadly fish.

“During one of our snorkeling experiences, one of my buddies shouted out, ‘Lionfish!’ and he pointed to it. So I took out my disposable camera, which was waterproof, and I swam up right next to it. I got like two to four feet away from it and it was flaring its fins trying to ward me off before it attacked. I took a picture of it and swam away.”

While Mound was exploring shipwrecks and escaping lionfish, junior Alex Hoffman was staffing a Cub Scout camp.

“I worked at Beaumont, which is a Cub Scout camp. I worked there for nine weeks,” Hoffman said.

While the Cub Scouts were having fun camping, Hoffman spent his time working.

“My job was to help fix tents that were broken on campsites. So if someone said there was a broken tent, we would go out, take it down, fix it and replace it and put it back up. I mean it was work. We kind of had to run it. It was staff, you know? They did all the fun, we ran the fun,” Hoffman said.

Sophomore Ryan McElvein experienced the largest scouting activity in the world, World Jamboree, a place for scouts from all over the world to come together and learn about each other.

“World Jamboree is held by a different country every three years, and this year it was held in Japan. When you go to a World Jamboree, you go there, you camp out for two weeks, tour the surrounding cities and the best part is there are scouts from all over the world. This means Japan, Nepal, Jamaica, one from Cuba, a whole troop from Russia, ten from Lichtenstein and they’re just from all over the world,” McElvein said.

In Japan, he met many different kinds of people, and experience their diverse cultures.

They were chatting for like three hours while the Italians yelled at us for making pasta wrong. So they cooked pasta, which was our dinner for the night. Then they disappeared and we never saw them again,”

— Ryan McElvein, 10

“There were a lot of fun things. We had a dance party with Brazilians. We dined with the Swiss and ate fondue with the Swiss. Met some Russians, they were cool.Yeah, there were a lot of people. We had our neighbors to the North, Canada, camping nearby us, that was pretty cool,” McElvein said.

McElvein’s oddest experience at World Jamboree was when a few strangers turned up in camp.

“One night we had three Italians show up in our camp and none of them spoke English. So they were all speaking fluent Italian and then one of them started speaking Spanish. We had one guy in our troop who could speak Spanish fluently,”McElvein said. “So they were chatting for like three hours while the Italians yelled at us for making pasta wrong. So they cooked pasta, which was our dinner for the night. Then they disappeared and we never saw them again.”

Although these three scouts had adventures of their own, there are dozens of other scouting opportunities available year round. Curious or looking to get involved? Check out the BSA website here for a list of events.