Later today, 10,000 Boy Scouts will converge in New Jersey for what organizers are calling the year’s largest Scouting event (though organizers of the Scouting 500 event this weekend in Kansas City expect 12,000).
This weekend’s New Jersey State Police and New Jersey National Guard Camporee will gather 300 troops from all over New Jersey and from parts of Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York and Connecticut at the National Guard Training Center in Sea Girt, N.J.
Looks like they’re in for a “you-won’t-believe-what-I-did-last-weekend” weekend.
They’ll watch jaw-dropping police and National Guard demonstrations, participate in interactive displays and work on merit badges.
It’s a highlight for the Scouts in attendance and for the members of the New Jersey State Police and New Jersey National Guard who get to meet with Scouts and share some of their cool toys.
The state police will have a number of vehicles on display, including an underwater operations truck, helicopter and Arson Unit truck with robots. The National Guard will bring two helicopters, a Humvee and a security vehicle. Scouts can also check out a Howitzer, MK19 grenade launcher and sniper rifle (but no live fire, of course).
- The New Jersey State Police School and Traffic Safety Unit will bring its fatal-vision driving course set up for driving-age Scouts to experience the effects of drunken driving.
- The state police static displays include: Cyber Crimes, Crime Scene Investigation, Composite Artist Unit, Major Crime Unit and Polygraph Unit.
- Merit badge work on Fingerprinting, Wilderness Survival, Crime Prevention and Personal Fitness merit badges.
- New Jersey State Police Training Bureau instructors will teach Scouts physical fitness. Scouts can compete to earn fitness awards for sit-ups, pull-ups and push-ups with the Top Physical Challenge.
- Rock climbing walls with National Guardsmen assisting Scouts
- Emergency-shelter-building with National Guardsmen
- Instruction on how to start fires through friction-fire methods
The camporee theme
The theme for this year’s camporee, the fourth edition of the event, is “Messengers of Peace.” That’s the global Scouting initiative involving more than 220 countries and territories in which Scouts carry out community service projects that promote peace.
Organizers say it’ll be one of the largest events — if not the largest — ever held in the name of Messengers of Peace.
Scouts who completed Messengers of Peace projects prior to the Camporee can submit a poster explaining their project to the Messengers of Peace Committee. The committee will select the top five projects and award prizes at the 8:30 p.m. Saturday Evening Show.
Dignitaries in attendance
- Adjutant General of New Jersey Brig. Gen. Michael L. Cunniff
- New Jersey State Police Superintendent Col. Rick Fuentes
- Boy Scouts of America Chief Scout Executive Wayne Brock
- Representatives from the international World Scouting Committee
Photos from 2011 camporee