By MAGGIE MCMURRAY
Moapa Valley Progress
Bug Hunting was the theme of this year’s Moapa Valley Cub Scout Day Camp which was held Friday and Saturday at the Clark County Fairgrounds. It was a perfect theme for the 8, 9, and 10 year old boys who attended.
The officially sanctioned Cub Scout camp was open to Cubs from everywhere. More than 140 boys attended. And although some attended from as far away as Las Vegas, most of the young attendees were members of local Packs. The camp extended over two days, with four one-hour rotations on Friday evening and 8 rotations plus a lunch on Saturday.
The weather was cooperative for the most part, although gusting winds on Friday night caused the climbing wall to be shut down early for safety reasons. Saturday weather was beautiful with just enough of a breeze to keep it from being too hot. The boys took full advantage of the sunshine to enjoy their outdoor classes to the fullest.
This year’s camp provided a lot of fun and exciting activities. Although the boys were able to fulfill many of their Scouting requirements, the camp was mainly aimed at teaching the boys some new skills while having a great time.
There were eleven rotations, each run by local volunteers. Activities included leatherwork and boondoggle, fishing, slingshots, archery, BB gun shooting, a climbing wall, games, rocketry, woodworking, bug vacuums, and a science activity center.
All Scouts got to experience each event, and although every scout had his own personal favorite activity, there was no clear-cut winner. In fact, Scouts mainly agreed that the whole camp experience was great and they were having a great time.
Cub Scout Levi Walker said he loved doing archery, but added, “I think my favorite activities were slingshots and gagaball at the game booth.”
Cub scout Vinnie Viano, however, disagreed. “I really loved the climbing wall because I made it to the top and rang the bell twice,” he said. “I also loved the fishing booth, but I have to say the climbing wall wins because I didn’t catch a fish.”
The adult leaders also seemed to be having a great time. Cindy Leavitt was running the archery booth with the help of Jory Levy and Dal Nelson. “Most of the equipment comes from the scout office so we just have to show up and teach the kids what to do,” Leavitt said. “The boys seem to be having a great time, but it’s been a lot of fun for us, too.”
Rick Belcher helped out at the climbing wall. “I like this activity because it teaches the boys to not give up when it is hard and to just look inside for that little extra push to get to the top,” Belcher said. “It applies to their lives. Sometimes they just have to look inside and they’ll find that little extra something to push them through their journey to the top of their personal mountain.”
The Bug Hunting theme came into play especially during the indoor activities. “We learned to work with tools like a hammer, a hacksaw, a wrench, and a screwdriver and then we used those skills to make these really neat bug houses,” said Cub Scout Garren Staheli.
Cub scouts Jared Evans and James Garcia continued, “Then we made bug vacuums that you suck up bugs with to put in your bug habitat.”
Scouts were able to even examine their bugs up close and personal at the science center run by cub leader Denise O’Toole. O’Toole set up microscopes for the boys to examine pond water, worms, and several other creatures with.
She also had several science experiments for them to try. The did a sink or float experiment and were shocked to discover that regular Pepsi sinks and Diet Pepsi floats. They also used a variety of recycled items to make pompom shooters and flyers.
President Willie Frehner was the supervising BSA representative. Frehner and his wife, Holly, attended training classes for the camp put on by BSA earlier this year. Frehner delighted the scouts by appearing at times throughout camp in a full bug suit with about ten sets of arms.
Frehner may have thought he would need all those arms to keep track of the boys, but with all the fun activities to keep them engaged, everyone agreed that the boys were very well-behaved and the camp ran smoothly with the boys having a lot of fun.
In fact, Frehner said that the whole purpose of camp was to have fun.
“Cub Scouts is all about having fun,” he said. “That’s the bottom line…come to Scouts and have fun.”
LDS Logandale Stake Primary President LuAnn Mortensen agreed. “This camp has been a lot of fun,” she said. “Everything has gone very smoothly and the weather has been nice, especially on Saturday. We had a really good turnout and we have really enjoyed the boys. All the boys had a great time as well and that’s what it is all about.”