Dannemora has its own boy scout troop again

The new troop's scout master is Jim Pritchard and its members are Nathan Bedell, Tucker Hackett, James Gonyea, Robert Secore, and Tyler Luczak. The troop is sponsored by the Dannemora Methodist Church and has been holding meetings since December. Pritchard became aware of several Dannemora boys who had a desire to be part of a scouting program and he decided to meet their need. Jim's roll as a scout master is to supervise the scouts as they run their own meetings. Currently, only Pritchard 's son, Nathan Bedell, has former scouting experience so Pritchard has some preliminary training to do. He hopes that the leadership skills the scouts develop will be influential in helping them make positive choices throughout their lives. In February the new scouts participated in their first District Scouting event, the Klondike Derby at the Willsboro Fish and Game Club. With the help of scout dad Jamie Luczak and Pritchard, the troop built a wooden sled for use in the competitions. There were eight stations for the scouts to test their skills in: fire building (without matches or a lighter), ice rescue, orienteering, winter camp cooking, belaying (moving packed sled up a steep incline using ropes and trees for leverage - no touching the sled ), building an emergency snow shelter, first aide, and bridge building. The Dannemora scouts clocked the fastest time of the day in the ice rescue. All stations required teamwork and communication skills. "For a new troop, our boys did very well," said Pritchard. The scouts learned some valuable lessons too. One lesson they learned was that their cookstove was not powerful enough for winter cooking. They ate a slightly warm lunch! Bedell, who has six years of scouting under his belt, enjoys scouting because there is a lot of action. He especially enjoys camping trips and attending boy scout summer camps. Scouting is great, he said, because " You get to meet other kids your age and do things you normally don't get to do. It keeps you from getting your brain rotted out from video games." There is plenty of action ahead for the Dannemora boy scouts. They hope to camp at Camp Wakpominee this winter, have a game night, participate in the International Camporee, and go on a several day backpacking trip learning wilderness survival as they go. Scout Master Jim Pritchard would love to hear from any boys aged 8 - 11 who are interested in joining the troop. He can be reached at 314-1213.

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