Troop 114 scouts earn 130 merit badges

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  • Scouts from Troop 114 earned 130 merit badges at Camp Turrell.



Boy Scout Troop 114 of West Milford spent the week of July 20 to 26 at Camp Turrell in Cuddebackville, N.Y. The weather was perfect for the 39 scouts and 10 leaders. The troop earned a total of 130 merit badges.

Seven scouts completed the mile swim and six scouts became Brotherhood members of the Order of the Arrow. Brotherhood is the second level in scouting's "Honor Society." Four scouts advanced in rank. The troop was also led by the newly elected senior patrol leaders, assistant senior patrol leaders, and patrol leaders. All of these scouts excelled at their new positions. The troop's nine first-year scouts all completed the Pathfinder program, which included a night of sleeping under the stars, earning three merit badges, and completing many rank requirements. Six scouts earned the Polar Bear Swim Award by going for a swim at 6:30 in the morning on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. All week the scouts cooked their own food in their patrols and cleaned up afterwards. They held nightly campfires that were started using a flint and steel. "Going to Boy Scout camp taught me important survival skills," said first-year scout Kevin Bramley.

Tuesday and Thursday night they worked hard on the gateway to their campsite, first building a rock wall out of bluestone and then a pioneering tower built by lashing large branches together. The week was capped off on Friday by the water carnival where the troop finished in second place overall. They won three events - the kayak tug o' war, the tug o' war, and a swamped canoe race.

That evening the trooped marched to the evening flag ceremony as one of the troop's scouts played "Highland Laddie" on his bagpipes. Later at the closing campfire, two other scouts played their bagpipes and two more played ukuleles in the troop's skit.

“I had a great time at camp," said Second Class Scout Ben Macarell. "Everyone was having fun, and every day was a diem to carpe. Sure it had its ups and downs, but overall, a great experience. We experimented with some new things this year, and they all worked out great. Can’t wait until next year!”

The week of Aug. 3-9, four Troop 114 scouts returned to Camp Turrell for the Soaring Eagle Program where they each earned six Eagle required merit badges, plus a Scouting Heritage merit badge. The troop is currently involved in working on six Eagle Scout projects throughout the town, most of which should be completed by Labor Day. The Troop is looking forward to the start of a new scouting year in September where they will plan their monthly campouts.

Troop 114 is chartered by St. Joseph's Church. They meet on Wednesday nights. Anyone interested in joining the troop should visit their website, www.wmtroop114.com.

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