Local Boy Scout Troop Accepted to West Point Camporee

Published 7:21 pm Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Since 1961 United States Military Academy West Point has hosted the largest annual camporee in the nation. The first camporee had 5 troops attend. Now more then 200 troops from across the country with 6,000 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Venturing Crews gather at Lake Frederick for a weekend of military themed challenges. But the first step is getting an invite.

“This is an invitational only camporee.” states Scoutmaster JJ Roughton. “In mid-October, the application window opens for troops to start applying for the following year.” This year a record 14,000 applications were filed; only 256 troops received invitations for the May 2015 camporee. “I received our invitation packet a couple days before Christmas.” JJ explains. “It was our first time applying. We are only 1 of 5 troops from North Carolina accepted.”

The weekend starts off with a 3 mile hike to the camporee site. Once there, scouts will set up camp for the weekend with Saturday being a day full of activities to challenge scouts both physically and mentally. Some of the stations discussed in the information packet include Army camouflage application were scouts will be taught the proper techniques to apply camo, RB-15 (zodiac) paddle race, land navigation, first aid, wilderness survival and drill. “The drill is a mandatory stop for all troops to learn proper drill/parade methods for the closing ceremony on Sunday.”

“We are really looking forward to this opportunity for our local scouts. Many of the cadets that pass through West Point were once scouts themselves.” states JJ. “Our scouts may one day be inspired to return to West Point and become an officer in the United States Army.”

The troop will be conducting fundraisers throughout the spring to help cover travel expenses for the trip. More details on those events will follow at a later time.