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Matinecock District Boy Scouts Winter Camporee  

Matinecock District Boy Scouts Winter Camporee  draws record numbers!

Annual event features a camping weekend full of Competition, Fun and Scouting Skills 

Shot from the top of the climbing tower – Scouts spell out “BSA” Photo: Rosemary Miller Boy Scout Troop 12 (Huntington) hosted the annual Matinecock District’s 2019 Winter Camporee at Baiting Hollow Scout Reservation over a weekend in late January. The Winter Camporee (formerly known as the Klondike and Polar Bear) is a winter event for Boy Scout Troops and Venturing Crews in the district.  The competition covers scout skills and scout spirit. This year’s theme was “Throne of Games” a twist on the name of a popular TV Series. It was the perfect backdrop for a series of medieval events.

Scouting Spirit

Two-Man SawAs you strolled about the sprawling Baiting Hollow Scout Camp you were treated to and greeted by the Host Troop festooned in sweeping black capes trimmed with broad fur collars. Each competition was marked with signs that evoked scenes from days of yore and the HBO show.

With the threat of nasty weather the two day event was truncated into an eight hour Fun Festival. A record eighteen Troops were handed their personalized hand made pouches to store the coins they were about to earn throughout the day. Gold, silver and bronze metal coins were handed out to each session competitors with special red coins awarded to Troops showing true Scout spirit. The Stations were a series of traditional Camporee competitions sprinkled with a few all-new “games” created by Troop 12. In addition to the main event at each station there was a secondary activity to entertain as well as instruct.

The six stations were -

  •  “Knight’s Challenge”- The Classic Obstacle Course and a 2-man saw timed event 
  •  “Take a “Bow” – Archery Target shoot and learning how to” haft an arrow” By the way, everyone attending the “Throne of Games” went home with a stone arrowhead. (
  •  “Storm the Castle” – also known as “Cross the Moat on a Boat” A new event designed to promote Teamwork – Four Scouts (of different rank) were placed on 4x6 sheets of plywood boards as they transferred rollers (pipes) back to front, using poles to move forward (a timed event). Scouts waiting were treated to the ever popular “Walk the Plank/Plank the Walk” event again emphasizing teamwork. 
  •  “En Guarde/On Guard” – Jousting on bouncy-ball horses and passing a ring between swimming pool noodles relay race! A new event introduced by the Scouts of Troop 12.) At this station they also got to shoot a Trebuchet built by Troop 12 just for the Camporee. 
  •  “Cure your ill humor - First Aid”  The competition section was the Scouts had to “build a travois and transport a scout” race. Scouts waiting to race were instruct in basic CPR training by Troop 12’s resident MD’s. 
  •  “Dragon’s Breath - Fire building”  Another BSA classic competition where Scouts have start a fire from scratch (no matches) and get it going enough to burn the string that is 18” above the ground (a timed event). Side table featured a “Winter Survival” challenge
  • Next to mess hall was the “Lava Pit” -  a bunch of coals on metal trays for the troops to prepare their mid-day meal and enter the Lunch Competition.
  • The Great Sled Race around the main circle.

Because of weather concerns the “Great Race” took place during a slightly extended lunch break. Troops pushed their wheel-mounted “Klondike” sleds in hopes of receiving the best time. These “machines” are colorful, Troop-personality vehicles that are outfitted with skis (just in case there is snow) as well as wheels. Top winners were Troop 218 (South Huntington) “Daisies” overall winner as well as the under 14 category, the Over 14 age quickest was Troop 78 (Huntington) with a special tip of the race helmet to Troop 403 (Commack) 

After a dinner break everyone gathered in the Mess Hall for presentation of ribbons to the top six Troops at each station as well as Golden Wheels being bestowed on the Winners of the Great Race. First place winners at each of the events were: Knight’s Challenge (Obstacle Course)  Troop 125 (Commack), Storm the Castle - Troop 539 (Kings Park),  Archery - Troop 474 (East Northport), Dragon’s Breath (Fire Building) - Troop 3 (Hauppauge), Travois Race (First Aid) - Troop 78 (Huntington), and En  Guarde/Jousting - Troop 360 (Greenlawn/Centerport). 

That only left the overall winner to be called up to the front. Their score was based on the total coins earned during the day for placing at a station, scout spirit as well as “honesty” coins turned in. The honor went to Troop 343 (Hauppauge). They surrounded the “Throne of Games” (a large chair fashioned out of Hockey Sticks, LaCrosse Sticks, Tennis Rackets, Baseball Bats and Golf Clubs). Their SPL sat on the Throne as he received the Golden Crown. 

Troop 12, led by SPL Will Barraco, would like to thank John Sandgren, Kurt Josephson, Andy Calev, Tali Powell, Don Ghee, Kurt Rosenhagen, Rody Carrillo and Laura Leary. 

The most coveted award, the Scouting Spirit award, was not announced until the Matinecock District Commissioner’s Staff told everyone that Troop 406 of South Huntington had won the award.