The Jersey Shore Council, Sea Pines District of the Boy Scouts of America held its annual Autumn Adventure Camporee Friday through Sunday, Oct. 3-5 at the Egg Harbor City Lake Campground in Egg Harbor City. More than 500 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts and families from packs and troops in the surrounding area (Egg Harbor City, Galloway, Mays Landing, Hammonton, Folsom, Mullica, Egg Harbor Township, Ocean City, Linwood, Somers Point, Northfield and Atlantic City) camped for the weekend or spent the day Saturday.
The theme of this years camporee was “Wilderness Survival.” Scouts from age 7 to 17 learned what to do if they get lost and age-appropriate survival skills that relate to fitness, first aid, shelter, fire, signaling, water and nature. “The Camporee is a great time because everyone comes together to give boys an opportunity to learn skills and earn achievements at fun activity stations,” said Shirvan Acosta, Camporee chair. This year’s theme taught the Scouts that if they get lost, to STOP: Sit down in the open, think (positive attitude), observe (look around, make yourself visible with what you have, blow your whistle) and plan (keep dry and drink water).
“We emphasized the seven priorities of backcountry or wilderness survival, which are STOP, provide first aid, seek shelter, build a fire, signal for help, drink water and don’t worry about food,” Acosta said.
Saturday’s opening flag ceremony was at 8:40 a.m. and conducted by the Atlantic County Sheriff Explorer’s Post. Activity stations were open until 4 p.m. The Galloway Patriot set up the Magnus Mud Run obstacle course, and Scouts’ athletic skills were tested as they earned fitness Scout rank requirements at a station led by the Explorers Post and a The Staff of the Galloway Patriot. A police officer will provide health and safety information.
Boy Scouts had the opportunity to earn their Wilderness Survival Merit Badge at various activity stations. They built natural shelters, while younger Scouts practiced knots to make a shelter with tarps and proper tent setup. The Coast Guard assisted Scout leaders at a station with water, boating and land rescue scenarios that cover different ways to signal for help, and first aid for various conditions such as hypothermia, frostbite and dehydration. New Jersey Forest Fire, Egg Harbor City Fire Department and Scout emphasized fire safety. The Galloway Ambulance Squad taught first aid skills for all age groups.
New Jersey American Water brought their truck with a model water delivery system display, and Scouts learned about water purification. Atlantic County Mosquito Control and Scout leaders covered topics such as protecting yourself from insects, reptiles and bears. Cape Atlantic Soil Conservation District and NJ Watershed Ambassador program helped lead a Soil and Water Conservation Merit Badge Class and The Southern Counties Amateur (Ham) Radio Association conducted a Radio Merit Badge class. Scouts competed in making camp gadgets and natural shelters. Other activities included archery, bb and an evening campfire program featuring Scouts performing skits. The Camporee highlighted the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Preservation Act with a nature hike, table displays, outdoor ethics activities and a campground cleanup. ACUA’s Supercan made an appearance with the message to recycle.
“One of our mottos is: ‘Leave our campsite better than we found it,’” Acosta said.