While some kids lounged during pandemic, Boy Scouts enjoyed outdoor adventures

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What have you done these past summers? 

Well, chances are if you were part of the Boy Scouts of America, Troop 993 in Maricopa, you did a lot.

The pandemic affected and stalled us. In particular, our youth suffered from the absence of outings, outdoors and social interaction. As we exit the pandemic, many of our youth are still impacted, not getting out and doing things that kids should do. 

Enter Troop 993. Established in 2007, the troop continued to operate throughout the pandemic, and over the past three summers enjoyed many adventures. From California to the mountains of New Mexico, and areas in between, our youth participated in incredible adventures. 

Boy Scout Troop 993, for boys ages 11 to 17, engaged in two summertime activities each of the past three summers that kept them active, learning and having fun, while getting out of the southern Arizona heat.

Typically attending camp north of Payson, at Camp Geronimo on the Mogollon Rim, for eight days and seven nights (talk about a break for the parents as well), the boys learned some great outdoors and life skills, such as lifesaving, swimming, astronomy, space exploration, leatherwork and metalworking. 

Sledding on “White Sands” at White Sands National Monument, NM

This past summer was even more adventurous, attending Camp Wehinahpay in the mountains of southern New Mexico, where base camp was at 9,000 feet. Along the way, the troop stopped at White Sands National Monument, where they spent the night at the national park and got to sled down the white sand dunes.  The older boys during the summers of 2021 and 2022 attended one of the Scouts’ most revered locations for high adventure, Philmont Scout Ranch, in the mountains of northeastern New Mexico. Over a period of 12 days in the back country, the groups backpacked all of their own gear, food and water for more than 80 miles and nearly 20,000 feet of climb. That adventure also included muzzle loading, rock climbing and rappelling, 3D archery and blacksmithing.

In the coming summers, the troop has plans to return to the mountains of New Mexico, Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles and attending another high adventure location, either in Minnesota (Northern Tier, canoeing in the Boundary Waters) or Florida (Sea Base, crewing a sailboat in the Florida Keys and Bahamas for one week). 

Come check out how the Boy Scouts can help get our youth back outside and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors, while learning valuable life skills and lessons.  Boy Scout Troop 993 meets on Mondays, from 7 p.m.-8:30 p.m. at Butterfield Elementary School. 

For more information, stop by a troop meeting, or email us at [email protected].