Venturer crews successful in Arkansas

Published 1:11 pm Thursday, August 23, 2018

By Col. Bobby Miller
Special to the Daily News

It was another outstanding performance by the local canoers of Bogalusa Venturer Crew 313 and Bush Venturer Crew in the 52nd annual National Explorer/Venturer Scout White River 120-mile Marathon Canoe Race.
The competition took place in Arkansas with the two venturer crews taking four racing championships to sweep the major racing divisions in the national event.
The crews also took second in three of the beginners racing divisions.
The local canoers are members of the Bogue Tuchenna District, Boy Scouts of America, which encompasses all of Washington and western St. Tammany Parish.
Bogalusa Venturer Crew 313, sponsored by The Daily News, led the contingent of area paddlers with three national championships in the Boys Open Cruising, Boys Advance Aluminum and Boys Novice Racing Divisions and second place in the Boys Beginners Aluminum Racing Division.
Bush Venturer Crew 213, sponsored by the Sun Methodist Church, won the national championship in the Coed Open Cruising Racing Division for that area’s fourth national title in the race and second place in the Girls Beginner Coed Aluminum and second place in the Beginners Aluminum Racing Divisions.
In the race, Bogalusa Venturer Crew 313 won their 18th national championship in the Boys Open Cruising Race and the coveted Doug Sumner Rotating Trophy for having the shortest cumulative time in the 120-mile race regardless of racing divisions.
Paddling for Crew 313 were Rory Breland, Chris Weintritt, Josh Gulczynski, Rex Perrette and Zachary Kirkland in the time of 15 hours, 41 minutes and 27 seconds.
Crew 313 won its second national championship in the Boys Advanced Aluminum Division and the Ron Eddings Memorial Traveling Trophy for the shortest accumulative time in the race for the aluminum canoes, the crew’s 27th title in this division.
Canoeing for this team with a time of 17:05:42 over second place Russellville, Ark. Crew 510 were James Stillwell III, Jacob Stillwell, Julian Hennesy and Matthew Dennis.
Crew 313’s third annual national championship was in the Boys Novice Aluminum Division in a time of 17:20:27 over second place Longview, Texas Crew 621. It was the crew’s 26th title in this division. Paddling for Crew 313 were Isaac Wascom, Carter Wascom, Hunter Fussell and Kayden Lewis.
In the Boys Beginner Aluminum Race, Matthew Kirkland and Gage Duncan were second behind first place Crew 510 and ahead of Batesville, Ark. Crew 220 and Crew 621.
Bush Venterer Crew 213 repeated as Coed Open Cruising Race national champions and the Traveling Trophy for the area venturing scouts fourth national trophy with a time of 16:27:50.
Paddling for Crew 213 were Kirsten Barber, Lauren Kaik, Tyler Seals and Roo Breland.
Crew 213 also had a pair of second-place finishes in the Beginners Aluminum Racing Divisions with the coed team of Ella King and Peyton Coleman behind first-place Batesville, Ark. Crew 370 and Crew 213’s Beginners Aluminum team of Avery Workman and Tori Palmer being first-place crew 510.
Beginners race one leg each day and this is the only year they can participate in this division, having to move up to at least novice class the following year.
Bush Venturer Crew 213 was also selected for the Race Sportsmanship Trophy, which is awarded to the racing crew best representing the commonly accepted attributes of good sportsmanship such as fair play, respect for others, including teammates, competitors and officials, helpfulness, positive attitude, fellowship, encouragement and effort.
The winner of this award is selected by all of the team captains representing their crews entered in the race.
A grueling 120-mile event, the race is considered the foremost water event for scouts in one of the most unique, challenging and fun scouting events in the nation.
The race takes participants down some of the most scenic country in America in the heart of the Ozark Mountains of North America. It begins at Bull Shoals, Ark., located just south of the Missouri State Line and ends at Batesville, Ark in a three-day, eight-leg canoe race covering 120 miles.
The race includes two portages around dams with the water temperature averaging a very cool 43-45 degrees at the beginning, warming to 72 degrees as it concludes in Batesville.
Participation in the race is unrivaled as one of the most memorable experiences of a scout’s life, necessitation each participant’s utmost in canoemanship, conditioning, stamina and attitude.
The challenge is formidable, but the rewards are genuine and everlasting.
In addition to the competing scouts from the area, a very large group of parents, relatives, former paddlers and friends of the scouts were on hand to witness the race and provide logistical and moral support to the paddlers.
The overall performance in the national canoe marathon race by the local youth again brought national attention to Bogalusa and surrounding communities and reflected positively on the area’s explorer and venturer scouting program, its youth and adult leadership. Well done.

Pictured are members of Bush Venturer Area 213 receiving the Sportsmanship Trophy from Miss White River. In no particular order are Ella King, Avery Workman, Lauren Haik, Tori Palmer, Kirsten Barber and Tyler Seals.

Pictured from left is Bogalusa Venturer Crew 313 Boys Advanced Aluminum National Champions Jacob Stillwell, James Stillwell III, Matthew Dennis and Julian Hennesy.

Pictured is Bogalusa Venturer Crew 313 Open Cruising National Champions. Shown in the first row are Rex Perrette and Zachary Kirkland; second row: Rory Breland, Chris Weintritt and Josh Gulczynski.