Scouts statewide amassing in Freeport

1256

More than 3,000 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Explorers and their leaders will march in the Grand Parade of Maine Scouts, part of “Scout-O-Rama,” to be hosted by L.L. Bean on Saturday, May 14.

L.L. Bean for the second year is hosting the event that draws in Pine Tree Council Boy Scouts of America troops. Freeport is an ideal location for the all-day event, according to Tucker Adams, director of communications for the Pine Tree Council.

“It’s a central location,” Adams said. “We stretch from Jackman to Camden to York. L.L. Bean is a huge supporter of the Boy Scouts.”

Scout-O-Rama activities for the boys and girls will be conducted at three locations in town: Discovery Park on the L.L. Bean campus, the nearby Morse Street School and at Recompence Shore Campground on the grounds of Wolfe’s Neck Farm. Scouts will camp out at Recompence on both Friday and Saturday nights.

The Grand Parade will begin at 8:30 a.m. Saturday on Main Street.

“It’s a beautiful thing to see the greatest outdoors program in the United States coming together in the state of Maine,” Adams said. “It’s a real spectacle.”

Girls Scouts of Maine is not officially part of Scout-O-Rama, but plenty of Girl Scouts will be in Freeport.

“We are invited,” said Connie Goulatis, chief advancement officer of the Girl Scouts of Maine. “Girl Scouts can attend and participate in any way they want. Some will probably be in the parade.”

The Pinewood Derby Race is among the activities planned.  The race will be held at 12:30 p.m. at Discovery Park. The top three Pinewood Derby racers from each Pine Tree Council district will race the cars, which are made from blocks of wood. Adams said the cars will either race down a 32-foot wooden track or a 40-foot metal track.

An obstacle course will be set up outside Morse Street School, and Scouts will show their skills there throughout the day.

In a meaningful event for Cub Scouts, a Webelos Cross Over ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m.  at Discovery Park. The Webelos will graduate from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts.

“This is a big event for them,” Adams said. “They’ve finished their Cub Scouts career, and they’re ready to move on to the big leagues.”

Camping out, of course, is a large component of the experience, and all the Scouts who stay overnight at Recompence will put their camping skills to the test. Durham Boy Scouts Troop 145 has three new tents for the occasion. Pine Tree Council commissioners will judge the Scouts on the neatness and cleanliness of their campsites, and everyone will enjoy a big campfire on Saturday night.

This will be the first Scout-O-Rama for the Durham troop, which will send 11 members and three adult leaders.

“It sounds like a lot of fun,” said Larry Wagoner, Troop 145 scoutmaster. “There will be a lot of chances to advance in ranks. We’ll do meal preparation in Dutch ovens. It’s not stuff out of a can.”

Wagoner said that the parade will be another highlight.

“We’ve got some skits we’re going to work on and sing some songs,” he said.

“Our troop is really looking forward to it. We will be there with a lot of other Scouts and we’ll get ideas from other Scouts and Scoutmasters,” he said.

L.L. Bean will provide patrol and den awards, and free gift certificates for all participants.

Scouts and their leaders pack Discovery Park on the L.L. Bean campus for the first Scout-O-Rama last year.