It has been quite a while since Troop 23 has gone to a Boy Scout camporee — so long, in fact, that all of its current Scouts were years away from even being born.
The Funkstown troop had been defunct from 1985 until a few weeks ago, Scoutmaster Rich Gaver said Friday.
Now, its members were joining about 300 other Scouts from 22 other troops at the Founder’s Day Camp-o-ree in Hagerstown City Park, said Tade Sullivan, the Mason-Dixon Council of Boy Scouts district executive for Washington County.
“Now we’re making a comeback,” said Gaver, explaining that Funkstown has a large Cub Scout pack, and the new troop gives them a place to advance in Scouting.
Under an old numbering system, it had been Troop 123 back in the 1980s, Gaver said. The number is new, but much of the old equipment was still available, including old canvas tents in surprisingly good condition.
“It was in storage because my mindset was to bring the troop back,” Gaver said.
The oldest Scout in the troop and its senior patrol leader is 13-year-old Will Hildebrand, who said the camporee was the second camping excursion for the troop since it got back in business three weeks ago.
“This is all about experience,” said Fred Nugent, the camporee committee chairman. “Kids sit in darkened rooms and exercise their thumbs. Scouts are a little different.”
There are plenty of experiences scheduled for the Founder’s Day Camp-o-ree, which Nugent noted is happening during the year in which Hagerstown marks its 250th birthday.
Blacksmithing and 18th century games will be demonstrated in the Hager House area Saturday, along with emergency services demonstrations in the upper level parking lots and tours of the Discovery Station, Miller House, Washington County Museum of Fine Arts and other attractions.
“Swingin’ in the Park” performances at the park bandshell by school jazz bands will provide entertainment Saturday night.
The scouts will also be doing service projects in the park, including mulching, a stream cleanup, scraping and painting bleachers and wrought iron fences, and cleaning pavilions, Nugent said.