For the first time in 10 years, Scouts in the Osage District will have the opportunity to ride in a plane at a spring camporee event, which is set for April 26-28, at the Washington Airport.
The camporee sponsor is Boy Scout Troop 462, which is chartered with the Washington VFW. Some 350 Scouts have already turned in permission slips to take the plane ride.
“I think it’s great, any time you can educate children on aviation,” said Kevin Hellmann, airport manager. “It’s a total learning experience.”
A camporee is held in the spring and fall each year, explained Dave Bezold, Scoutmaster emeritus.
The Experimental Aircraft Association has an organization called the Young Eagles, which is a group of pilots who donate their planes, time and fuel to give the youth rides and get them interested in aviation.
Scouts will spend Friday and Saturday night on land adjacent to the airport, Bezold said.
During the event, Scouts also will see displays from the Civil Air Patrol and Air Evac Lifeteam helicopter. The U.S. Army will be present with a climbing wall.
Troops will compete against each other in a flying disc competition, paper airplane competition, air bottle rocket competition, egg drop, badminton, ultimate Frisbee and other events.
“The camporee is a fellowship of Scouts,” Bezold said. “It’s their chance to be exposed to aviation and develop an interest in it and possibly go on from there and learn to fly.”
Those interested in Scouting are welcome to visit, Bezold said. Visitors should stop at the Scout headquarters, which will be marked.
“This (event) gives these young men and women (the venturing part of Scouts allows girls) a chance to work with other Scouts and compete with neighboring troops,” Bezold said.
The Osage District includes all of Franklin County, as well as portions of St. Louis, Warren and Crawford counties.