Venturer scouts race the Bogue Chitto

Published 12:34 pm Tuesday, July 16, 2019

By. Col. Bobby Miller
For the Daily News

After many hours of practice, local venturer scouts are ready to compete in the 63rd Explorer/Venturer 110-mile Bogue Chitto River Marathon Race.
The annual event takes place starting Thursday and going through Saturday, with competition being held over a six-leg, 110-mile course on the Bogue Chitto River. It begins at the Mississippi Highway 98 Bridge near McComb, Miss., and ending at Lock No. 3 on the Pearl River Navigational Canal in Sun.
Registration starts at 8 a.m. tomorrow, with the competition getting underway at 9 a.m.
The local Tuchenna Scout District, which encompasses Washington and western St. Tammany parishes, hosts the event.
The competition includes boys and girls in aluminum canoes and a cruising division.
In addition to the advanced canoe racing divisions, there is a novice division and a beginners’ class in the aluminum canoes for first-time canoers.
The opening leg is from the Highway 98 Bridge to the Walker Bridge Waterpark in Tylertown, Miss., with a quick-change for paddlers with new paddlers continuing on the second leg to the Warnerton Bridge.
After lunch, the third leg starts at 1:30 p.m. with the paddlers going to Franklinton where they are expected to arrive at approximately 4:30 p.m. at the Franklinton/Kentwood VFW Post 7195, which will treat the paddlers and followers to a meal.
This will end the first day’s competition.
The fourth leg gets underway at 8 a.m. on Friday morning, proceeding to Enon with canoes arriving at approximately 10:30 a.m. at the Bogue Chitto River Adventures Tubing and Kayak Center near the Enon Bridge.
After lunch, the fifth leg begins at 1:30 p.m. to end at 4:30 p.m. at the 5-Lakes campgrounds, which is located three miles west of the Fifth Ward Elementary School on Louisiana Highway 40.
Scouts and guests will be treated to a dinner, hosted by Washington Parish Sherriff Randy Seal.
The final leg begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday at 5-Lakes, ending at Lock No. 3 at Sun at approximately 11:30 a.m.
On the last leg, the scouts will be joined by a special division of former competitors of the race. The alumni explorer/venturer canoers compete for the coveted Spot Bankston Memorial Trophy, named after the dedicated supporter of the race, who passed away in 1996.
Individual awards will be presented after the race.
The Washington Parish Deputies provide safety patrol boats during the race.
Bogalusa adventurer Crew 313, sponsored by The Daily News, will be defending their titles won last year, as will Sun Venturer Crew 213, sponsored by the Sun Methodist Church, in their respective racing divisions.
Following the race and awards ceremony, the two local venturer crews will depart for the 53rd annual Explorer/Venturer 120-mile National Canoe Race on the White River in northern Arkansas, which begins on July 28. It is a three-day, eight-leg event.

Bogalusa Venturerer Crew 313 paddler Kayden Lewis (stern) teaches novice Nathan Keen (bow) for the upcoming Bogue Chitto 110-mile and National White River 120-mile races.