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Washington scouts help wildlife festival run smoothly

By By KEVIN SCOTT CUTLER, Staff Writer
Where can I purchase a ticket? Can you direct me to the restrooms? What time does the duck calling competition begin?
These questions — and others — were among those fielded by local Boy Scouts during the 12th annual East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival &The North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships held over the weekend in Washington.
The scouts and their leaders, from Troop 99, were on hand to assist visitors and to help the event run smoothly, according to Scoutmaster Dal Newbold.
The project calls for all hands on deck, he said.
The scouts didn’t appear to mind giving up the freedom of their weekend off from school.
Experiencing first hand the good manners exhibited by others goes along with what the scout leaders are hoping to instill in the boys.
Along with serving as doormen of sorts during the festival, the scouts helped visitors find the appropriate locations of different activities since the event had several venues this year. They were also handy at helping people take their purchases to their car.
As part of working their way up through the scouting ranks the boys are required to devote between two and six hours of community service and the festival project helped them fulfill that requirement, Newbold added.
Meeting new people was something Shabazz Fennell, 11, said he was looking forward to as he assumed “door duty” during the changing of the guard around lunchtime Saturday. Some of those new people included former scouts and leaders.
Once the festival concluded Sunday afternoon, the troop pitched in to assist exhibitors take down their booths and help clean up the civic center. That can make for a long weekend for the young fellows but their scoutmaster said it’s worth the effort.
Scout Trey Main, 12, particularly enjoyed the festival, given his interest in camping and wildlife.
After a pause, Main admitted that something else caught his eye.