At Jacksonville Air Show, Boy Scout troop helps others, meets the Blue Angels

A Boy Scout’s commitment “to help other people at all times” doesn’t mean he can’t have some fun along the way.

Just look at Troop 892 of Fleming Island, Fla., as the ideal example.

Every year, Scouts from the North Florida Council troop volunteer at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville Air Show. Their role is to support the event’s medical personnel, including Navy doctors, nurses and paramedics.

At the event last month, they helped with minor first aid needs, communicated with the headquarters team and distributed hearing protection to attendees.

But the Scouts still made time to experience the high-flying thrills that attract visitors from across the region. This year, that included a visit with members of the Blue Angels. After watching the team’s performance, the Scouts learned that two members of the Navy’s elite flying team are Eagle Scouts.

The NAS Jax Air Show is known as the birthplace of the Blue Angels. The flight demonstration squadron had its first performance in Jacksonville in 1946.

For more on this story, we go to Troop 892 Scribe Carlos Balbuena for his report.

But before that, I want to thank Troop 892 Scoutmaster Matt Pottenburgh for sharing this story with us. You might remember Pottenburgh as the Scouter who helped us track down the owner of that Cub Scout uniform shirt that washed ashore after Hurricane Irma. When it comes to blog post ideas, Pottenburgh is batting a thousand.

Troop 892 at the NAX Jax Air Show

By Carlos Balbuena, Troop Scribe

Every year, Scouts from Troop 892 in Fleming Island, Fla., volunteer for the Naval Air Station Jacksonville Air Show. It is not only a chance for these Scouts to put their First Aid and Emergency Preparedness training to the test, but they are also able to experience aerial thrills first hand!

The troop arrived at the emergency first aid headquarters well ahead of the first performance. They received a briefing by the Air Show Emergency Manager and first responders to include Navy doctors, nurses, and paramedics. After the briefing, they were divided into buddy groups and paired with a team of medics for the morning. The Scouts accompanied the medics around the air show, assisted in minor first aid applications, communicated with the headquarters and other teams, and distributed hearing protection and water to attendees.

After volunteering all morning, the Scouts were treated to a front-row performance by the United States Navy’s flight demonstration team: The Blue Angels! The Blue Angels were formed in 1946 in Jacksonville, Fla., making it the second oldest formal flying aerobatic team in the world. After their performance, the troop was invited out to the flight line for this amazing picture in thanks for their service!

Fun fact: Troop 892 learned that there are currently two Eagle Scouts serving on the Blue Angels: Lt. Cmdr. Adam Kerrick (#8, Event Coordinator) and Lt. James Cox (#3, Left Wing).

Speaking of the Blue Angels

  • You can print a congratulatory letter from the Blue Angels for your new Eagle Scout. Go here for instructions.
  • Boys’ Life senior writer Aaron Derr got to fly with the Blue Angels a few years ago for a magazine story. Did he require the use of an air sickness bag? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.