Area Boy Scouts were able to visit different countries last week without having to travel much further than their own backyards.
Boy Scouts Osage Trails District hosted its Passport to Adventure Day Camp Thursday through Saturday on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. Day Camp Director Brian Geary said 88 scouts from Saline, Pettis and Benton counties participated in the three-day camp.
“The week has been going good, these guys have been having a whole lot of fun,” Geary said Saturday. “They have been traveling the world and it only cost them 50 bucks and they don’t need passports.”
Scouts were able to “travel” to Brazil, where they played the game Luta de Gallo; Canada, where they made friendship sticks; Italy, where they created stained glass; United Kingdom, where they learned archery; Tibet, where they made sand mandalas; China, where they participated in a relay; the USA, where they learned BB gun skills; France, where they sampled escargot; and Israel, where they played gaga ball.
Geary added that the benefit for the Scouts is not only learning about different counties but also about experiencing some of the customs associated with each country.
While there, the Scouts received beads for each event completed and at the close of the Day Camp they received a patch.
On Saturday, Mike Gilbert and his wife Erin, of Pack 65 of Sedalia, were busy instructing scouts from Packs 61, 93 and 300 on how to shoot a BB gun. Helping them was Seasoned Scout Aston Shoemaker, 11, of Troop 54. Geary said Seasoned Scouts receive credit hours for helping.
Shoemaker said he enjoyed helping out and that assisting was fun.
While Shoemaker was assisting the Gilberts, Scouts on the opposite end of the camp were playing the Brazilian game of Luta de Gallo.
“It’s like a wrestling-type sport,” Geary said. “They pair up, then they have to try and get their partner’s ribbon, they have to try and snag the ribbon. It’s pretty popular because they can get a little aggressive. That (game) is being run by Tonya Shoemaker, she’s one of my camp staff and she’s being assisted by her daughter Abbie.”
Just west of “Brazil,” and sounding like the cacophony of drilling woodpeckers, Scouts were busy building and hammering wooden travel chests.
“They can put all of their souvenirs in it,” Geary said of the sturdy wood chests.
As the Scouts hammered away on their travel chests, Stacey Beard, committee chair of Pack 150, of Sedalia, said the day camp was well thought out.
“This is the first time I’ve worked with the staff, and come and helped,” she said. “The staff is great, they have done it for so long and they are so organized. I did an activity station … the last couple of nights I did China. So, we did some different Chinese games, Chinese jump rope, and a chop stick relay and paper planes, and catch the dragon.”
Also on hand was Osage Trails District Executive Chris Harper, who was busy assisting a scout with his travel chest.
“This an exciting event,” Harper said. “This one of the best council projects that the boys have ever had.”
To the west of the travel chest station, Heather Laster, den leader with Pack 65, was busy instructing scouts in “Canada” on how to make a friendship stick. Scouts were decorating both ends of the stick with significant colors and emblems.
“We kind of tailored it,” Geary said. “I read the Canadian Cub Scouts do a friendship stick at camp. So, I thought, that would be appropriate for our camp. We read them the colors that are supposed be on it, but we let them decorate however they want to do it. Some of them are quite creative and some of them are happy with one line.”
Geary, who has assisted with the day camp from 2003 to 2012 and has been the director from 2012 to present, said at the close of the camp late Saturday morning Scouts would cool off with a water balloon toss.