Jamestown area Scouts enjoy Capitol campout
BISMARCK - For Jesse Hawkes, learning how to throw a tomahawk was the highlight of the weekend. The 11-year-old and his Wimbledon troop were among the nearly 3,000 Scouts and chaperones at the Capitol campout Saturday to honor the Boy Scouts'100t...
BISMARCK - For Jesse Hawkes, learning how to throw a tomahawk was the highlight of the weekend.
The 11-year-old and his Wimbledon troop were among the nearly 3,000 Scouts and chaperones at the Capitol campout Saturday to honor the Boy Scouts'100th anniversary.
The event brought together Scouts from North Dakota, Minnesota, South Dakota and Montana, said Tim Tello of Bismarck, the chairman of the event.
"Beings scouting has (as) one of its central themes citizenship and service to the community, what better location than right here in Bismarck, North Dakota, at the state Capitol grounds?" Tello said.
Gary Butler, an assistant chief Scout executive from Dallas, was impressed with the Bismarck event.
"It's very different from what a lot of other councils are doing," he said. "To have it on the Capitol grounds, I think, is incredible. It's a strong example of the state of North Dakota's support of scouting."
Wimbledon Scoutmaster Mary Plumb said the event was a good opportunity for her troop to do things with other Scouts.
"This enables them to go out and do a lot of activities," she said.
There were certainly plenty of those. Activities stretched from one end of the Capitol to the other on Saturday.
Rock climbing, fire safety lessons, archery and candy cannons were just some of the activities available. There was also a merit badge midway, visits to the Heritage Center and pinewood derby races.
Inside, various state officials were available to teach Scouts about state government. Scouts could sit in the governor's chair and take part in a mock legislative debate and Supreme Court case.
Plumb said her troop wasn't sure at first about touring the Capitol, but once they got inside "they got very excited about it."
Scout Chris Beddow, 12, said going to the top of the Capitol was "pretty neat." Shooting BB guns was his favorite activity thus far, however.
John Baumgartner, 15, of Valley City also enjoyed going to the top of the Capitol and looking at all of the activity below.
"I think it's awesome all the Scouts can get together and have a good time," he said.
The campout and all of its activities will end this morning after breakfast and a Sunday service. The event was about more than having fun, Butler said.
"It's about learning about state government, about citizenship and character development," he said. "That's what makes it so different. It's sort of fun with a purpose."
Teri Finneman is a reporter for Forum Communications Co.