Venture scouts continue success in Arkansas
Published 1:18 pm Friday, August 16, 2019
By Col. Bobby Miller
For the Daily News
Intensive practice, which began in early spring and continued into June and July on the local waterways, paid off for venture scouts of Bogalusa Crew 313 and Bush Crew 213, Boy Scouts of America, participating in the 53rd Explorer/Venturer 120-mile National White River Marathon Canoe Race.
The event took place July 25-28.
Both crews won all of their respective racing divisions in the annual event held in the Ozark Mountains of northern Arkansas, for a very impressive performance in the three-day, eight-leg race.
The local canoers are members of the Bogue Tuchena District, Boy Scouts of America, which encompasses all of Washington Parish and neighboring western St. Tammany Parish.
A grueling 120-mile event, the race is considered the foremost water event for explorer and venture scouts. It begins at Bull Shoals, Ark., located just south of the Missouri state line and ends downriver at the Batesville, Ark., taking participants down some of the most scenic country in the heart of the Ozark Mountains of North America.
It includes two portages around dams with water temperature averaging a very cool 43 degrees.
Participating in the race is unrivaled as one of the most memorable experiences of a venture scout’s life, necessitating each participant’s utmost in canoemanship, conditioning, discipline, attitude and stamina.
The challenge is formidable, but the rewards are genuine and lasting.
Bogalusa Venture Crew 313, sponsored by the Daily News, won their 19th national championship and the coveted Doug Sumner Memorial National Championship Rotating Trophy by having the shortest accumulated elapsed time in the 120-mile race, regardless of division with a time of 13 hours, 48 minutes and 13 seconds. Russellville, Ark. Crew 513 was second with a time of 15:13.12.
Paddling for Crew 313 were Rory Breland, Chris Weintritt, Josh Gulczynski, Rex Perrette and Zachary Kirkland.
Crew 313 won its second national championship in the Boys Advanced Aluminum Racing Division an the Ron Edding Memorial Traveling Trophy with the shortest accumulated time for the race in this racing division with a time of 15:10.17. It was the crew’s 28th title.
Canoeing for this team were Carter Wascom, Isaac Wascom, Kayden Lewis and Micah Wascom.
Crew 313’s third national championship was in the Boys Novice Aluminum Racing Division with a time of 16:57.40. Two teams of Crew 546 of Whitaker, Calif., were second and third.
This was Crew 313’s 27th national title in this racing division.
Paddling for Crew 313 were Ethan Boyet, Payton Lewis, Isaiah Brown, Nathan Keen and Tyler Breland.
Bush Venture Crew 213, sponsored by the Sun United Methodist Church, repeated as the Coed Cruising National Champions with a time of 15:46.41.
It was the paddlers’ fourth national title.
Paddling for the group were Kirsten Barber, Lauren Haik, Avery Workman and Daniel Miley.
Crew 213 won its second national championship and the Henry Wilkens Rookie Award for the fastest canoe in the Beginning Aluminum Racing Division with a time of 4:35.28.
Paddling for the group were Ella King and Tori Palmer.
Beginners race only one leg each day and this is the only year they can participate in this division, having to move up to at least novice the following year.
Bush Venture Crew 213 was also selected for the Race Sportsmanship Traveling Trophy for the second consecutive year.
In addition to the competing scouts from the area, a very large 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 once again brought national attention to Bogalusa and surrounding communities reflecting positively on the area explorer and venture scouting program, its youth and adult leadership. Well done!