The Curry Coastal Pilot

Members of Brookings Boy Scout Troop 32 earned merit badges and patches during a recent week-long summer camp at Camp Meriwether just north of Tillamook.

In addition to doing projects to earn badges and patches, the Scouts also took part in campfire activities, waterfront programs and beach parties.

Those earning badges included Morgan Loring, who had to observe nature and write reports in order to earn his merit badge in environmental science. He also enjoyed Chamberlain Lake and the snorkeling class. Diving down into the lake and visiting a sunken sailboat was part of the adventure, Loring said.

Geoffrey Howard kept himself busy at the waterfront to earn merit badges in lifesaving, canoeing, and a patch in snorkeling.

Sasha Kay, who earned a merit badge in carpentry, said, "I got to use woodworking tools."

Five Scouts left the troop's campsite for a night to participate in a wilderness survival trip. Shelters had to be built and slept in, using nothing but what could be scavenged from the forested area.

Joseph Hernandez earned his archery merit badge. He also got to shoot a rifle for the first time. Hernandez added that he liked the staff of Camp Meriwether.

"They were really funny," Hernandez said.

The staff entertained the nearly 600 Scouts and Scout leaders with two campfires, a waterfront program and various songs and skits throughout the week.

Not for the faint of heart, a 6 a.m. polar swim was braved by Scouts Trevor Davis and Matt Magnuson, along with Scoutmaster Lee Karlquist (known to the Scouts simply as Mr. K.) and Assistant Scoutmaster Mark Haglund. The early morning event took place at the beach, in the cold, Northern Oregon Pacific Ocean.

"Yes, those Scout patches were well earned," Haglund said.

Two beach parties occurred during the week. The second one included a sand sculpture contest, which had an entry by Patrick Fulton and Karlquist.

Most of the troop that attended the camp are working their way up to becoming a first class Scout. Troop leaders and camp staff provided opportunities for the Scouts to practice the skills needed, Haglund said. In time, some may even strive to become an Eagle Scout, Boy Scouting's highest award.

The troop meets at 7 p.m. Mondays at Scout Hall, 414 Azalea Park Road, Brookings. For information, call Karlquist at 541-412-8975.

Plans are now under way for weekend camping events this upcoming fall, winter, and spring, as well as next year's summer camp.