Grayling Boy Scout Troop earns Grand Slam Award
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
Boy Scout Troop #979 of Grayling was recently recognized for being camper champs for obtaining a well-rounded offering of experiences made available to them throughout the state.
The troop received the Grand Slam Award from Michigan Crossroads Council of the Boy Scouts on Oct. 1 for attending four Boy Scout summer camps located in the State of Michigan.
Michigan Crossroads Council of the Boy Scouts established the award five years ago, and Boy Scout Troops #979 of Grayling is only the fifth troop to receive the recognition.
The Michigan Crossroads Council of the Boy Scouts covers all troops located in the Lower Peninsula.
The troop attended Camp Rotary in Clare and Camp Gerber in Fremont, which feature more rounded nature programs. They also attended Cole Canoe Base in Alger, which is located on the Rifle River and features canoeing, boating, and water activities. This past summer, the troop attended the D-bar-A Scout Ranch, a working horse ranch in Metamora.
Loren Goodale III, a scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop #979, said troops often form connections with a particular camp.
“A lot of troops seem to get stuck in a camp and that’s the camp they always go to,” Goodale said.
The troop attended the Cole Canoe Base camp twice before learning about the Grand Slam Award.
The troop members were driven to earn the award.
“We heard about it, we took upon ourselves, and we went and we got it,” said Dylan Messenheimer, who obtained the rank of Eagle Scout and is attending Kirtland Community College. “With stuff like that, you’ve got to really go for it.”
Jordan Wakeley, a ninth grader at Grayling High School, said the troop appreciates experiencing the activities which each camp has to offer.
“We love to go all over the place and it’s all around just a lot of fun,” Wakeley said.
Jacob Carnes, an eighth grader at Grayling Middle School, has attended three of the summer camps.
“I thought it was great that we committed to something that wasn’t in a huge cycle already,” Carnes said. “It’s just an enjoyable experience that is pretty fun.”
Goodale said the award inspires the troops to plan and raise funds for their trips.
“By moving around and going to variety of camps, the kids are always looking forward to going to camp,” Goodale said.
Goodale said it is distinction for a troop from a small community since there are so many more Boy Scout troops based downstate.
“It’s not something a lot of troops are doing,” Goodale said.
Next summer, Boy Scout Troop #979 plans to travel to Washington D.C. so that the scouts can earn their citizenship badge. They will take tours around the nation’s capitol. They also plan to tour the Gettysburg National Military Park, a battlefield which served as a turning point during the Civil War, in Pennsylvania.
Currently, Boy Scout Troop #979 has 12 scouts.
“We’re down a little bit from where we have been, but it runs in cycles,” Goodale said. “We just had three kids who got their Eagle Scout and turned 18 and are off to college this year.”
Boy Scout Troop #979 is sponsored by the Michelson Memorial United Methodist Church. The troop’s den, where they hold their meetings, is located in back of Goodale’s Bakery.
“We’re always looking to bring some more kids in, so come on down and see us,” Goodale said.