Area Venture scouts continue to excel at Dragon Boat Races

Published 5:07 am Saturday, May 21, 2016

Venture Scouts of Bogalusa Venturer Crew 313 and Bush Venturer Crew 213, a division of the Boy Scouts of America, again competed in the Greater New Orleans International Dragon Boat Festival.

It was the local scouts’ sixth consecutive entry in the race, which took place on the Tchefuncte River in Madisonville, and featured 34 teams from the United States and one from Trinidad.

The local Venturer scouts, racing in two divisions of the annual event, made a very impressive appearance by being in the final championship heats of their respective racing divisions.

In the Premier Mixed B Grand Championship Race, the Bogalusa Lions Venturer Scout Dragon Chasers, defending their championship they won last year, finished second. They were just two seconds behind the winning team, the Assessinators from Covington, in a photo finish.

Members of the Venturer scout team were Robert Hall, John Glover, Kelton Johnson Jr., Chase Kelehan, Gabe Post, Josh Gulczynski, Charles Kelehan, Russ Haik, Jimbo Stevenson, Dwayne Borett, Sophie Normand, Kelsey Varnado, Bella Normand, Anna Stephen, Jacy Ladner, Savannah Sharp, Callie Hunt, Hanay Hunt, Ainsley Mulina, Bailey Miller, Ashlyn Seal and Arianna Interiano.

In the Premier Mixed A Grand Championship Race, the second team entered by the area scouts, the Bogalusa Lions Venturer Scout Dragons placed fourth behind first-place Forged Steel Crossfit of Slidell in another exciting finish by the four finalists in this division. There was only a five-second difference between the four teams.

Members of this team were Rage Rivers, Landon Arabie, Rupert “Roo” Breland, Rory Breland, Brannon Crosby, Dylan Seals, Tyler Seals, David Jenkins, Christopher Weintritt, Matthew Russell, Kirsten Barber, Lauren Haik, Morgan Thigpen, Laiton Jenkins, Heather Boyette, Shannon Jenkins, Stephanie Seals, Amber Haik, Amanda Terrell and Morgan Sykes.

The event was sponsored by the St. Tammany Tourist Commission and hosted by the Madisonville Chamber of Chamber of Commerce and helps raise money for the Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center at the St. Tammany Parish Hospital.

Dragon Boat Races date back for more than 2,000 years to ancient China. Today, the organization Great White North of Toronto, produces more than 40 dragon boat races a year, producing millions of dollars for cancer research. Each boat features a dragon head and tail packed with 20 paddlers (10 male and 10 female on each side of the boat), a steer person and a drummer who beats a steady rhythm for the paddlers to paddle in unison.

The fun and experience achieved by the young Venturer scouts against their adult competitors will be everlasting, and was made possible through the sponsorship of the Bogalusa Lions Club.

Bogalusa Venturer Crew 313 is sponsored by The Daily News, and Bush Venturer Crew 213 is sponsored by Bateman Diesel of Franklinton.