Scouts congregating in Prineville
Scouts are still Scouts.
That's the message local Boy Scouts want to spread as they prepare for Scout-O-Rama, a district-wide campout that is open for the public to come and learn about Scouting.
"This event is to show that we're united still. We're still trying to move forward and keep Scouting alive," said local Boy Scout Troop 28 Scoutmaster Chris Belz.
His troop of eight Boy Scouts is hosting the event Friday through Sunday, May 17-19 at the Barnes Butte Recreational Area in Prineville. As many as 200 Scouts from a dozen or more troops in the Fremont District of the Crater Lake Council will come for the event. This includes Scouts from Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson counties.
The public is invited to visit the site from 1 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18 and learn what Scouting is all about.
"A Scout-O-Rama is a huge, interactive, hands-on 'Scouting experience' where individual Scouting units — Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops and Venture Crews — create and operate a display 'booth' to give the general public a sense of the excitement and adventure of Scouting," Belz explained.
Units develop the ideas for hands-on activities that will give visitors a chance to actually "do" Scouting — whether it be learning how to make ice cream in coffee cans, climbing over a lashed rope monkey bridge, or finding out more about how to cook a meal using no pots or pans.
"All this and so much more could be the focus of a unit's Scout-O-Rama display booth," Belz said.
The Scouts will set up camp on the Barnes Butte Recreational Area near the parking lot, which is at the end of the gravel road portion of Northeast Combs Flat Road just north of Barnes Butte Elementary School.
They will circle their tents around the flagpole and the activity booths and will camp out Friday and Saturday nights.
This is the first time a Scout-O-Rama has been held in Prineville in recent years. Belz said his troop had originally thought of hosting it at the Crook County Fairgrounds, but it was booked. Someone suggested asking the City of Prineville about using the newly acquired Barnes Butte Recreational Area for the campout, and it worked out.
Belz, who is an Eagle Scout and the father of a Boy Scout, noted that girls have recently been allowed to join Scouts, and a lot of people don't quite understand some of the changes.
He noted that one troop with girl members is planning to attend Scout-O-Rama.
Cub Scouts, which is for first through fifth graders, will also attend the event as well as Venture Scouts, a co-ed program for young men and women ages 14 to 20. Parents of Scouts may also either camp or visit during the day.
Belz and his fellow Scouts hope the community comes out to their camp next Saturday afternoon to see that Scouts are still doing what Scouts have always done.
The public is invited to come to the Boy Scouts campsite on the Barnes Butte Recreational Area from 1-5 p.m. Saturday, May 18. Follow Northeast Combs Flat Road to the parking lot north of Barnes Butte Elementary School.