A look back at my Scout adventure

Editor’s note: Stephen Baird, an Eagle Scout from Hancock, was a writing correspondent from the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, which was held July 15 to 24 in West Virginia.

Well the 2013 National Scout Jamboree is over. Even though it is great to be home, it was sad to leave. One of my positive thoughts is that I don’t have to walk or sit in the 90-plus degree weather or heavy rains anymore. All kidding aside nothing could dampen the fun and excitement of being with more than 30,000 Scouts.

Our first lengthy adventure was a trek to Garden Ground Mountain totaling 16 miles. Even though it was a long trek to the top, there were activity stations like buck skin games, black powder rifles and knife throwing. All of these activities were very popular and with that there were long lines to get into them. This trek was fun but when we reached the bottom we were all bushed. Another daylong event was a Day of Service where Scouts were bused to different communities to make trails, renovate schools and playgrounds, among other things. Some scouts were treated to coal mine tours for their efforts. During the 1937 Jamboree there wasn’t any opportunity for mountain hiking or community service.

Now it was time for my first adventure into white water rafting which was in the New River Gorge. My friend Luke said, “I have never done anything this exciting.” My next favorite activity was getting to meet Astronaut Dr. Scott Parazynski. One of the main reasons I was excited to meet him was that he is the only man to both travel in space and reach the summit of Mt. Everest. I also spent time with Col. Michael E. Fossum (retired). He completed two space shuttle missions, space walks and spent time on the International Space Station. Both of these astronauts are Eagle Scouts like my 90 year old friend Mr. Chet Soule, who I wrote about earlier, and myself.

My duties as a Hometown News Reporter have come to a close. This was my last National Jamboree due to age limits but I am hoping to write from the World Jamboree in Kirara-Hama, Yamaguchi City, Japan in July of 2015. I am truly grateful for the many people who have commented on my stories.

Stephen Baird lives in Hancock.

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