The Boy Scouts of America was founded in 1910, and Vicksburg’s very own Boy Scout “Troop 251” was founded just a few short years later, in 1917. Fast forward almost one hundred years, to 2014, and you’ll find boy scouting in Vicksburg continues to flourish.
Currently there are over 40 boys in the troop, sponsored by the Vicksburg United Methodist Church. Troop Leaders oversee and guide the program; which is totally ran, planned and managed by the boys, ensuring that Troop 251 remains an integral part of Vicksburg community.
Scoutmaster Kevin Borden encourages the scouts to stay busy throughout the year with troop meetings, various activities & events, and campouts occurring literally every month.
It is not uncommon to see the Scouts out-n-about in Vicksburg; working at the Historic Village, participating in the communities various parades, helping Generous Hands stuff backpacks, or stocking the food pantry at South County Community Services…and of course serving up Spaghetti Dinners at this year’s 61st annual Rotary Showboat on Friday, February 28 and Saturday, March 1 from 4:30 to 7:30 in the high school cafeteria. Combo tickets may be purchased at Hill’s Pharmacy on South Main Street in Vicksburg.
In 2013, the scouts and leaders contributed well over 1,000 hours of dedicated community service to Vicksburg and our surrounding areas.
The Boy Scouts also include camping, the out-of-doors, and high-adventure within their program. Last year, Troop 251 participated in over 40 events and went on no less than 14 major trips; venturing to Ontario/Canada, Niagara Falls, Ohio, West Virginia, Mackinac Island, and other various points right here in Michigan. Scouting has also kept pace with new and exciting “Extreme” scout activities, which many of our older scouts participate in. How does Rappelling 14 stories down the outside of McCamly Tower, in Battle Creek sound? Other activities include; ATV and jet skiing, skeet and trap shooting, or how about Zip-Lining down one of North America’s longest Zip Lines along 3,200’ of cable reaching speeds of 65mph? Adding to a century of scouting values and history, the scouts have remained very relevant in the 21st century. New Merit Badges like; robotics, graphic arts, composites, welding, game design, geocaching, digital technology, and sustainability (just to name a few) have been added to those more traditional Merit Badges of camping, orienteering, and cooking. If you’re a boy between the ages of 10 ½ and 18, this stuff is right up your alley.
Eagle Scout is the highest rank that can be earned by a boy scout, with less than 4 percent of all boy scouts ever achieving this top honor. Troop 251 has produced 39 Eagles Scouts in their near 100 year old history. Eagle Scout Deric Blanchet is the latest recipient of this award, having earned his Eagle in 2013. Deric planned, managed and oversaw the building of several “Flag Retirement Drop Boxes”, which was sponsored in part, by the Vicksburg VFW. Deric then distributed them to various government buildings and local business.
Any boy (age 7-18) or an adult who can spare a couple hours a month…who might be interested in the Vicksburg Cub and Boy Scouts, please visit the website: www.vicksburg-scouting.org . Anyone outside of the immediate Vicksburg area can visit: www.beascout.org.