Kids enjoy outdoor activities at camp

Published 7:56 am Friday, June 17, 2016

Despite the lure of video games, online fun or television, there are still plenty of kids who prefer a dip in a lake, paddling a canoe or building a picnic table.

And this week, hundreds of those kids descended on Five Lakes, a privately-owned Cub Scout camp, for days of active outdoor play and learning. About 150 kids per week attend the camp, nestled within piney woods halfway between Bogalusa and Covington.

“It’s all outdoor activities, which is great for the kids,” said Dorothy Garcia, the executive director of the local Cub Scout chapter.

The Cub Scout dens are from the Bogue Tuchenna District, which includes Bogalusa and also some St. Tammany dens. At the day camp, which lasts a week, the kids play, but they also learn valuable skills.

“The kids have so many achievements to get for each year, and during this week they can get a lot of those done,” said Tammy Durst, the camp director.

Those achievements include learning traditional Scouting skills like tying knots, camping skills and water safety and they also include some light forensic training, courtesy of an FBI instructor. Durst said the theme of the camp this year is Cub Scout Investigators (CSI), and the kids learn how to investigate the outdoors as much as they learn how to decipher crime scenes.

Each of their skills learned count toward advancing in the Cub Scout ranks, from Bobcat, Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos and finally Trail of Light. This is the final stop before Boy Scouts.

Zachary Miller, a fourth grader from Bogalusa and a member of Den 9, said he particularly enjoys canoeing.

“I like it ‘cause you have to paddle in the water to see if you can make it fun,” he said.