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Boy Scouts has always been a popular activity for boys here in the Swannanoa Valley. Many local troops even date back more than 50 years. In today’s modern, fast-passed life of technology, digital gadgets and virtual experiences, it’s nice to know there is still an organization that stands by and supports going outdoors, getting dirty and learning citizenship, leadership and lifelong skills.

Troop 50, chartered by Christ Community Church in Montreat, is one of the local troops working diligently to ensure its Scouts are having fun while moving towards their Eagle Scout awards.

This summer, Troop 50 participated in Camp Daniel Boone’s weeklong Boy Scout camp. Collectively , it attained 225 hours of training and education and completed 39 merit badges. The troop placed second in the overall camp “Mountain Man” competition, among more than 25 participating troops. Additionally, the troop gained the recognition of “The Long Rifle,” the camp’s version of an honor troop. To earn the recognition, the troop met high-caliber goals, including an overall camp inspection score of 90 percent.

The leadership team of Heath Peek, Gerald Runkles, Skip Dietrich, Ray Nightingale, Carter Blaisdell and Mike Sills saw the boys grow substantially in the matter of a week’s time. Special recognition goes out to the troop’s senior patrol leader, Austin Wells, for his servant leadership and guidance displayed throughout the week.

“This was one of the best weeks of my life, “ said Wells. “It’s what Scouting is all about.”

Troop 50 is for boys ages 11 to 17 and meets at 6:30 p.m. Mondays at Gaither Fellowship Hall on the campus of Montreat College. The troop follows the patrol method of organization and is led by the boys.

It welcomes boys to visit. For more, contact Scoutmaster Heath Peek at Bsamontreattroop50@gmail.com or 779-1759.

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