BROCKWAY – Scouting BSA Troops 40 and 271 still managed to find a way to have their week of camping, learning and service.

With COVID-19, Troop 40 had to meet on Zoom, but that caused a little cabin fever. Normally, the Scouts have their annual summer camp, but with Camp Mountain Run closed, they had to rethink their strategy. When restrictions let up, Failte Acres said that they could use the grounds there to meet. They also invited Troop 271 to join them.

The Scouts did much of what they would have done during their normal summer camp. They had merit badges and outdoor activities. Kids earned around 60 merit badges during the week.

It was not all eating contests and team-building games, however. The Scouts needed to do service projects as well, which meant a lot of work. They did some cleaning, cleared out trails and driving areas, and worked with Failte Acres to keep the facilities nice, said Troop 40’s Nathan Knox.

“We probably did a total of 15-20 hours of work here,” he said. “Scrubbing the pavilion took a while and clearing the trails took a decent amount of time. Cleaning up a building takes a lot of work in general. The trails were a trip hazard. I tripped several times, so I came up with the idea.”

Knox said that the Scouts did the cooking and work for themselves. They stayed in tents and some of the camping buildings already on site. They spaced out all tents and spaced people out at tables. Even during classes, they were able to use the space at Failte Acres to keep people distant from one another.

Failte Acres’ Cullen Beatty said that he and his family were happy to keep the kids scouting.

“The Scouts weren’t able to do a lot of their spring fundraisers,” Beatty said. “They started messaging us about doing a big week of camping. That’s obviously something you can very easily do with small groups and social distancing.”

Failte Acres is located at the old Girl Scout Camp. Because of that, the Beattys feel that they need to maintain a relationship with the Scouts.

“Because of this place’s history, we always want to keep that connection,” Beatty said. “It was very important that we worked with them. They came and had a good week here. We were able to judge their eating contest. That was a very interesting week, and we were very happy to have it.”

Troop 40’s April London said that the week went very well.

“The kids were so excited,” London said. “They loved our week at camp and want to do it again. We really appreciate the help and support from Failte Acres.”

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