This year was the first time local cub scouts didn't have to travel far to attend summer camp. The Upper River Day Camp was held last week at McDuffie Place with approximately 15 Cub Scouts from Lincolnton, Washington, Warrenton, Thomson and Dearing.
Cub scout activities promote the aim of scouting - citizenship training, character development and personal fitness for 7-10 year olds, and the camp was no exception. The theme of camp was "defending the planet, one scout at a time," and the boys learned about solar, water and wind recycling power.
"It's kind of good for all of us to come out here and have fun learning how to do stuff," said 10-year-old Jaquez Hart. "It's fantastic. I hope I come back next year."
Camp Committee Chairwoman Jaymie Boyum said the boys heard speakers from the Ranger Corp of Engineers, who walked them through a burned forest; the Department of Natural Resources, who taught them about fishing; the McDuffie County Extension Office, who taught soil erosion and the McDuffie County Recycling Center.
"It was very fun to get to learn new things," Joshua Brooks said. "And we got to go boating. And we saw the burnt forest. The whole ground was blackened, and all the trees are dead. So that's bad."
The boys also completed a conservation project by cleaning up along the shore line of Clarks Hill Lake at McDuffie Place.
"We got wheelbarrows full of stuff," Ms. Boyum said.
The campers took advantage of the summer sun to solar cook cheese nachos and s'mores. To cool down each afternoon, they enjoyed water balloons, squirt guns, bottle rockets and water slides. In-between activities included badminton, boating, ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, ladder golf, archery and shooting BB guns. Ultimate Frisbee was taught by Max Williams, the district executive of the Georgia-Carolina Council of Boy Scouts. Mr. Williams also coaches a college ultimate Frisbee team. The BB gun class was taught by Nick Martin, a den leader who trained at the Knox Boy Scout Camp.
Gavin Findley said he had shot BB's before with his step-father's help.
"But it was harder here because I had to do it by myself," the 7-year-old said. "But the teacher said I wasn't bad. He said I just need to practice more."
Ms. Boyum said she would like to thank McDuffie Feed and Seed, Bi-Lo, Wal-Mart, IGA and Pizza Hut for providing supplies for the camp. She also thanked the McDuffie County Board of Education, who manages the property.
"I really want to thank them 500 percent," she said. "It's the perfect facility for this type of function."