Boy Scout trio attends National Jamboree in Virginia

Local Boy Scout Troop 28 is front from left David Craft, Owen Sutherland, Jason Huntley, and Adam Cook. In back are Assistant Tom Sutherland, Hal Lindsay, and Scoutmaster Shawn Stern. Not pictured is Zach Wilson, Randall Frahm, and Collin Brady. KEVIN HEIMBIGNER photo

ILWACO - The traditional Boy Scout handshake is with the left hand because it is closest to the heart. After seeing the dedication and camaraderie of local troop No. 28 it is apparent that the eight members and adult leaders hold scouting near and dear to their hearts as well.

This summer Owen Sutherland, Jason Huntley, and Hal Lindsay all journeyed to the National Jamboree in Virginia with about 100 scouts from the Olympia and Tacoma area. Sutherland said of his experience, "I loved Action Alley where we could go through the obstacle course, use black powder guns, and rappel up mountains."

Sutherland and the others were also aware of the tragedy that struck leaders from Alaska, who were electrocuted while putting up their tent poles. "We donated patches to the kids from Alaska," Sutherland said. There were more than 40,000 scouts at the Jamboree this summer.

There are eight active local Boy Scouts and about a dozen Cub Scouts here on the Peninsula. Most young men begin scouting in the first or second grade and become Boy Scouts around the fifth grade. Shawn Stern has been Scoutmaster the past four years and has worked with local scouts for nine years. Tom Sutherland is the Assistant Scoutmaster and has been active in scouting for several years as well.

The boys recently completed a 50-mile hike from Chehalis to Raymond on the old railroad bed and were at Camp Cooper for a week in Willamina, Ore. They served on garbage detail at the Ocean Park Old-Fashioned Fourth of July, the Garlic Festival, and will do the same at the Heritage Festival.

The scouts are working on their hiking merit badge, which requires five 10-mile hikes and a hike of 20 miles or more in one day. Almost every member is within reach of that badge. The boys are also aiming for their camping merit badge. Twenty nights of camping, including a five-day official Boy Scout campout are required. A climb of at least 2,000 feet, paddling for two hours, and riding a bicycle for 15 miles is also part of the rigorous requirements the local guys are seeking to attain.

The troop attended the dedication of the Don Bonkers Trail on Long Island in August. The scouts meet every Tuesday evening at the high school in Mr. Stern's classroom. Any boy who is interested in scouting is encouraged to drop by on Tuesday night or contact Mr. Stern at the high school.

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