Last updated: January 07. 2014 2:50PM - 1715 Views
By Bryan Melliand and Jonathan Ross

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Tyler Van Gorder has decided to stop writing “The Scouting Scene” article. Tyler has been writing this article since he was in sixth grade. He has achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and is now graduating from high school. We are all extremely proud of him for all he has done in Troop 160, in the community, and in school.

Tyler has been an extremely active member and has contributed many hours of volunteer services and has participated in many camping adventures over the years, plenty of which ended up being discussed in this column. Everyone in the troop and at The Abington Journal would like to thank him for all the years he wrote this column and wish him well in college and in the future.

Local scouts Jonathan Ross and Bryan Melliand, both of Troop 160, are going to carry on “The Scouting Scene” with continued monthly articles. Jonathan and Bryan are both Life Scouts and plan to earn the rank of Eagle Scout soon. They are both very active in Troop 160 and attend many Scouting activities in addition to being mentors to younger scouts. Whenever there is a scouting event they are there to help.

Here they are with their first edition of troop updates and the local scouting scene:

One of the recent troop activities was our annual holiday party. On Dec. 19, each scout came to the meeting with a tray of treats and a white-elephant or gag gift. Then, after everyone has opened their gift, with lots of laughter of course, the scouts lined up to get plenty of cookies and cups of hot chocolate.

One important aspect of scouting is earning merit badges. This month, scouts from all over Northeastern Pennsylvania will be attending Merit Badge College. Merit Badge College involves Boy Scouts spending the day at King’s College in Wilkes-Barre working on merit badge requirements. Prior to the event, the scouts must complete several prerequisites at home that have been established by the council that they cannot complete while they are at King’s. When the scouts arrive, they sign in and attend their first merit badge class. Merit Badge College is a long day starting at 8 in the morning and the scouts have the option to work on attaining several badges up until the event ends at 6.

Some of the badges being offered this year include chemistry, electronics, inventing, law, personal management, and even welding. King’s College provides its facilities, classrooms and even some instructors for the event, though other community leaders also lend their expertise to the event.

At the beginning of February, Troop 160, along with other troops from the area, will be attending the Klondike Derby. The Klondike Derby is being held at Goose Pond Scout Reservation near Hamlin in Wayne County. During the event the scouts pull enormous sleds that are packed with tons of gear across the frozen landscape to different stations that concentrate on a different scouting skill. These skills include orienteering, fire building, sled racing, first-aid, knot-tying and lashing. The Boys Scouts must complete each activity as quickly as possible. Halfway through the day the scouts take out their cooking equipment and take a lunch break. By the end of the day everyone is exhausted, but has had much fun and a great day of camaraderie and competition.

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