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Aztec BSA Attends Gorham.Top.L-R.Dylan Livingston.Jeffrey McCormack.Angus Sledzinski.Dusty Livingston.Andy Erickson.Front.L-R. Zachary Shaw.Sean Hawkins.Barrett Smith.Colby Smith.Gus Guikema.Logan Hastings.Kayden Lee.Ethan Keeling..

Story and Photos by Patricia Lynn Stuart, TALON

Sixteen Boy Scouts from Aztec Troop 325 attended Gorham Scout Ranch from June 10th-16th. According to the GSWCBSA website, the "ranch was established in 1972 as a center for outdoor skills training, high adventure, and FUN! Youth from around the Southwest take advantage of our camping and skills programs including climbing, swimming, archery, rifle and shotgun shooting." During their week at the cool pine forest camp near Espanola, NM, boys from Troop 325 were offered the opportunity to earn Merit Badges in Archery, Shotgun, Rifle, Swimming, Climbing, Art, Basketry, Indian Lore, Pottery, Leatherwork, Wilderness Survival, Pioneering, Search and Rescue, First Aid, Cooking, Cycling, Emergency Preparedness and more.

Many of our boys were new to camp this year and were anxious to complete as many Merit Badges as possible. Each badge takes about 5 hours to complete at camp, therefore about 5 are earned at this week long camp. There are a total of 135 badges which can be earned through Boy Scouts of America. The highest goal is to reach Eagle Scout which can open up many opportunities and advantages as they become adults. Three of our Aztec Troop members are preparing to start their Eagle journey this year. This prestigious Eagle Scout Badge, signed by the President of the United States upon completion, is the highest ranking in Boy Scouting giving the Scout a well-rounded introduction to Citizenship, many lifeskills, and individual interests such as astronomy, farm mechanic, business and hobbies. Above all, scouts are taught to have good character as uttered in the Scout Law, "A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful,thrifty, brave, clean, and reverent."

Scouts can earn money to attend camp, attend National Jamborees and support their troops by selling popcorn and holding other fundraisers. BSA Popcorn, a cut above your everyday popcorn, will be sold by scouts beginning in August. Sponsorship by companies and individuals contributes greatly to the boy's opportunities and necessary expenses in scouting. "Friend's of Scouting" usually represents the council's largest source of income. If you would like to support our local scouts, please contact: Paul Marken at 505-860-5794. For more information on joining Scouts, go to http://www.scouting.org.


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