Dozens of Cub Scouts from the Big Hatchie District, which includes the counties of Tipton, Lauderdale, Haywood and Fayette, meet at Brighton City Park this week for their annual Cub Scout Summer Adventure Camp.
The Cub Scout campers, included boys and for the second year, girls, who are entering first through fifth grade for the 2019-2020 school year. Campers attended each day from 8am to 3pm and breakfast and lunch were included with the camp fee thanks to Tipton County Schools participation in the USDA’s Summer Food Service Program.
In addition to learning and reinforcing Boy Scouts principles, citizenship and positive character development, this year’s theme “Beneath the Sea!” was packed with lots of activities to introduce and help teach the young campers about the earth’s oceans, sea life and the importance of leaving no trace upon our waterways. Campers also had the opportunity to earn Cub Scout badges while participating in a variety of activities, including outdoor games, field sports, range safety, archery and BB shooting, crafts and STEM activities.
Summer Camp Director Mike Tapley, has been involved with Scouting programs for 44 years and has run the summer camp for the past four years. When asked why he holds a summer camp, he said the answer is really two-fold.
“Summer camp gives the kids something to do during the summer and helps keep them out of trouble. It helps teach them responsibility and it reinforces Scouting principles they learn throughout the year.”
His wife Kay Tapley, has been involved in Scouting for 30 years, and echoes her husband’s sentiments.
“Scouting is important and it teaches children valuable skills,” she said. “First thing this morning, they had a safety course for BBs and archery, which will be reinforced each day before shooting.”
Tapley added, “We have qualified leaders who have been through the proper safety courses. We want to make sure all of our campers are safe and everything we do, we do with safety in mind.”
Tapley said last years camp was the first to allow girls and she fit right in.
“We had one girl attend and she outshot the entire Wolf Den,” he said smiling. “We called her Annie Oakley,” he added, laughing as he revealed this year’s camp had six young ladies attending.
All adults participating in the summer camp are volunteers and volunteering, because they love to work with children and want to see them succeed.
Volunteers Andre Richmond and Christy Wilson are this year’s range masters, and they take their job very seriously.
“We’re teaching gun safety so everyone’s not afraid of guns,” said Wilson, mentioning she’s been through the NRA training course.
Richmond has been volunteering for several years but is actually a cub and scout master for the Wolf River Boy Scout District.
“I come each year to help when Mike [Tapley] calls me,” he said. “I love working with kids and I enjoy helping out Mike every year.”
Seven-year-old Cub Scout camper Rhett Solang said the shooting range was his favorite activity so far.
“It’s pretty cool,” he said when asked about shooting BB guns. And his response as to why is it cool? “It’s a gun!”
For more information on how your child can join the Boy Scouts of America, call the West Tennessee Area Council at 731-668-3787.