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Boy Scouts and Venture Crew teach leadership

Photos submitted/The 31-member Boy Scout Troop 119 earned 138 individual merit badges throughout last year. They celebrated their accomplishments at a Court of Honor ceremony recently.

Photos submitted/The 31-member Boy Scout Troop 119 earned 138 individual merit badges throughout last year. They celebrated their accomplishments at a Court of Honor ceremony recently.

The great outdoors is full of adventure and learning, or at least that’s what the youth in Boy Scout Troop 119 and Venture Crew 119 believe.

Boy Scout Troop 119 and Venture Crew 119 are two separate groups with similar purposes — to educate youth on the outdoors, how to be a leader and follower and to have fun, Boy Scout Troop 119 Scoutmaster Rollin Roberts said.

“It goes back to just having fun,” Roberts said. “By being a part of these groups, they also pick up skills along the way.”

The two groups recently participated in a Court of Honor, a ceremony where the scouts are presented with their merit badges and rank advancements, at the First United Methodist Church of Brookhaven, Roberts said.

The 31-member Boy Scout Troop 119 earned 138 individual merit badges throughout last year and handed out eight rank advancements at the Court of Honor.

Venture Crew 119 was founded this year. It is a co-ed group for youth ages 14 to 21 who are interested in the great outdoors.

Venture Crew 119 was founded this year. It is a co-ed group for youth ages 14 to 21 who are interested in the great outdoors.

“That’s pretty high,” Roberts said of the number of merit badges awarded. “Most troops do not earn that many in a year.”

Troop 119 was also recognized for its achievements at the June Boy Scout Troop summer camp held at Camp Warren E. Hood.

“The troop earned the best campsite award, crate stacking award and Scoutmaster shooting skills award at camp this year,” Robert said.

Despite being founded earlier this year by adult leaders John Riggs and Theresa Watts, Venture Crew 119’s members attended the Court of Honor as well, Roberts said.

“They are so new, the Boy Scouts haven’t been able to do anything with them, other than the Court of Honor,” Roberts said. “We do look forward to being involved in activities together, like our winter camp.”

Venture Crew is a co-ed group for youth ages 14 to 21, where Boy Scouts is for boys ages 11 to 18 only, Roberts said.

“The crew started out with six member and has already grown to 11 in less than a year,” Roberts said. “Venture Crew’s more in tune with high adventure things, like canoeing, water rafting and horseback riding. Their primary focus is outdoor fun and skills.”

Roberts said several of the Venture Crew members are former Boy Scouts who received their Eagle Scout rank, but aged out of the program. “Those boys wanted to continue scouting,” Roberts said. “Some of the other members were ladies who wanted to get involved in the outdoors.”

Boy Scout Troop 119 and Venture Crew 119 will participate in a winter camp during the winter holiday at Camp Warren E. Hood, Roberts said. The troop will then take a separate eight-day trip next summer.

“The troop will canoe the Lewis and Clark expedition down the Missouri River,” Roberts said. “The scouts choose their programs and build a plan to make the trips happen.”

Roberts said joining the Boy Scouts or Venture Crew provides students with fundamental skills to function in the real world.

“They pick up some outdoor skills, skills on how to interact, citizenship,” Roberts said. “How to be an active member of a community and contribute. They learn about volunteerism and how to put others before themselves. They learn respect. They learn leadership and followership, and to solve problems. But above all, they give glory to God.”

Anyone interested in joining the Boy Scout Troop 119 or Venture Crew 119 can contact Roberts at 601-344-8884.