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NJ State Trooper/NJ National Guard Camporee in Sea Girt - 05/16/14 - 05/18/14

posted May 22, 2014, 9:12 AM by Peter Pitarresi   [ updated May 22, 2014, 5:38 PM by Troop 150 Announce ]

Wow, where do I start… This state wide event had approximately 10,000 scouts and leaders from all over the state (Over 1000 tents were set up too).  For most of us it was our first time at a BSA Camporee.  It was a sea of tan shirt boys climbing rock walls, tanks and boats.  Friday night was hard to deal with.  We set up our site in the pouring rain.  It rained from the time we got there until about 1 in the morning.  Everything and everyone was soaked.  The entire camp filed had puddles that went right over and into our boots.  The adult leaders kept telling us to ride it out and it will be a great day tomorrow.  They were right! 


The next morning the sun was up and the field, scouts and clothes lines began to dry everything out.  A quick cereal bowl for breakfast (Lucky Charms, yes!)  and we joined the largest group of boys I’d ever seen and began exploring what the State Police and National Guard  had.  The State Police had patrol cars and boats that we were able to get in.  We drove golf carts through a cone course with goggles on to see how hard it was to drive impaired.  They had fingerprinting, horses, armored vehicles, scuba gear and bomb robots.  The best part was the helicopter that the SWAT team repelled from.  The police dogs were great too as they brought down the bad guy. 


The National Guard side was my favorite.  There were tanks, howitzers, rocket launchers, machine guns and hummers. A black Hawk helicopter  landed at the field.  We were able to get inside.  We even sat in the pilot’s seat and put on the helmet with visor.   There were physical fitness challenges for scouts to do sit-ups, pushups and chin-ups. Some scouts were even able to sit in the driver’s seat of a hummer or large troop carrier and start the engine. To put it simple, there was green and tan heavy steel everywhere!


The Trading Post where we bought candy and patches always had a really long line but who can resist a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup, right?  The closing ceremony at the parade field was OK Saturday night.  The speaker for the State Police said that all the scouts that were there Friday night automatically earn their swimming merit badge for surviving the rain.  There was a band (OK), some singer (Ah), cheerleaders (Really) and the Troopers got a standing ovation as they marched through (I was glad the scouts did that). Lunch (Sandwiches) and dinner (Tacos) were quick, easy meals with little or no cleanup.  That made it easy for breakdown on Sunday when the same 10,000 scouts packed up to leave. All in all  our things will dry out, we can recover with some much needed sleep but most of all great memories were made.


Yours in Scouting,


Tommy Pitarresi


Peter Pitarresi,
May 22, 2014, 9:12 AM