The Boy Scouts of Richmond are now much better equipped for outdoor adventure, thanks to a generous grant from Cabela's in Lexington. When scout leaders realized the extremely outdated state of their camping gear such as20-year-old camp stoves, they knew it was time to procure safer, upgraded equipment.
Fortunately, assistant scoutmaster Scott Meyers learned of an opportunity for a grant through Cabela's. Through Cabela's Outdoor Fund, the company provides grant funding for organizations that are actively seeking to train and teach younger generations about outdoor skills and outdoor adventuring.
"Scouts teaches leadership, self-reliance, life skills and a lot of outdoor adventure skills," said Troop 118's Scoutmaster Michael Hale.
Since these members spend so much of their time pursuing outdoor activities, this fund was a perfect fit. Meyers tailored the grant application very specifically to the Scouts' needs, in particular considering that the brand-new girls' troop had no equipment yet. The Cabela's Outdoor Fund granted his requests for new camp stoves, propane hoses, tents and other camping gear.
A condition of their grant approval was that the kids from the Scout group assist with outdoor education at Cabela's. To that end, several members took a trip to Cabela's in Lexington recently to provide demonstrations: how to make fire starter using only Vaseline and cotton balls. Then a few days later, the group trekked back to Cabela's to pick up their brand-new equipment.
A Plethora of Outdoor Experiences
Unsurprisingly, the Boy Scouts focus a great deal on outdoor learning activities. As Scoutmaster, Hale brings a wealth of outdoor experience and knowledge to the group. Having been involved in Scouting since age 10 (his parents were Scout leaders and his brothers were in Scouts as well), Hale knows firsthand the many benefits that the Boy Scouts organization brings to a child's life.
"What I find most rewarding is seeing young people become self-sufficient and taking an active role as leaders in Scouting and in the community," noted Hale.
The Scouts usually go camping monthly, the third weekend of the month. They also participate in a lot of backpacking and canoeing.
Meyers said, "The boys did a wilderness survival outing with only a backpack to survive."
Additionally, the group has completed 14-mile hikes in the Red River Gorge and a 22-mile canoe trip down the Kentucky River. With so many outdoor adventures planned on a regular basis, the gear from the Cabela's grant will surely be put to good use.
On Nov. 11, there will be a troop-wide community event in honor of Veterans Day. Scouts will assist in retiring 500 American flags at the courthouse.
"It's quite an amazing thing," Meyers said.
They will place the name of a fallen service member from Madison County into each flag. Kids will then read the name of each service member before retiring the flag.
More enriching activities and service projects are planned in addition to their outdoor adventures.
"We're always trying to get the kids more into the community," Meyers said.
Hale added, "Youth and adults in the Scouts are tied to a long tradition that has produced some of the greatest leaders and explorers and stewards of our environment in this country and others as well."