A Worcester Boy Scout Troop earned the top award at a recent camporee.
Troop 168 had applied to attend the West Point Scoutmasters Council Camporee several times unsuccessfully, troop co-founder Becky Sears said.
After the troop found a West Point cadet sponsor, Spenser Copp, and decided to participate as a mechanized unit, it was invited to attend the event held May 2 to 4 at Lake Frederick. Members competed against thousands of Scouts from more than 200 troops from around the country.
Sears and Scoutmaster Jon Thompson and about a dozen troop members, ages 12 to 18, were in attendance. At the closing ceremony, troop members received the top award for their efforts in the competitions, including knot tying and first aid. For the members’ accomplishments, they troop received an engraved sword from the U.S. Military Academy. The troop was invited to next year’s event.
The Academy’s Scoutmasters’ Council was established in 1961 as an official club that enabled cadets to continue their participation in and association with scouting while at the academy.
“We were shocked to the point of tears,” Sears said, about the award. In training, “we told them it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It’s awesome we will be able to go back.”
“The group really pulled together,” losing only six points in the 15 events they competed in, Thomson said. That was helped by some good practicing including a “shakedown campout.” Even so, “we were speechless,” he said, when the award was announced.
“We’re so proud of how the troop pulled together, cooperated and trained to be their best,” Sears said.
One the Scouts, Slade Brigham, a Cherry Valley-Springfield sophomore, said the preparation for the camporee was “somewhat intense.”
He called the camporee “one of the best scouting events I have ever been to,” in his 11 years as a member.
Also attending were Cody Sears of Middlefield; Ezra Brigham of Roseboom; John May III, Robert May, Patrick Salisbury of Schenevus; Dylan Thomson, Max German, Zachary Hogan, Caleb Massaroni, RJ Martin and Chase Francis of Worcester. The group is sponsored by the Knight’s of Columbus from St. Joseph’s Church in Worcester.