Beale hosts Boy Scout expo

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class George Cloutier
  • 9th Reconnaissance Wing Public Affairs
Thousands of Boy Scouts from across the northern California region came to Beale Air Force Base Sept. 28 to 30 to celebrate 100 years of scouting.

The event was a cooperative effort to bring more than 6,500 scouts and leaders to the base for a weekend of camping and activities.

"We're very appreciative ... that we are able to do this and have been allowed on base," said James Martin, the scout executive for the Boy Scouts of America's Golden Empire Council. "It's been phenomenal. We couldn't have asked for anything more."

Scouts attending the expo participated in a number of activities put on by other scout troops and venture crews in the council. Events and activities included rock wall climbing, BMX bike racing, archery, tomahawk throwing, fly fishing instruction and more. 

In addition to these activities, scouts visited the flightline area to view static displays of the U-2, T-38 Talon, Global Hawk and KC-135 Stratotanker, as well as participate in interactive demonstrations put on by Airmen at Beale AFB.

Events such as the expo play a big part in the scouting program by providing opportunities for scouts to demonstrate their leadership skills, learn from older scouts and solidify the traditional values the scouting program teaches, something many kids don't get anywhere else, said Thom Gilbert, the Golden Empire Council president.

"Part of the strength of this program is the traditional values we try to instill in young people," said Dave Ishikawa, the scout expo event coordinator. "In today's world, a lot of kids just don't have those opportunities to belong to an organization that teaches them about character and being a good citizen."

"I think scouts are probably more important today than ever because there are so many other options for kids that don't get them away from the TV and out into the wilderness," Mr. Gilbert said.

These skills of leadership as well as the morals the scouting program teaches are a great asset to youth in their lives outside of scouting, Mr. Ishikawa said.

"Everything I learned in scouting, I use in the Air Force today," said Col. John Borland, the 9th Mission Support Group commander. Colonel Borland is also a leader at the Beale AFB Cub Scout Pack 64.

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