Troop 79 looks back on an exciting year

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Scouts from Troops 683 from North Carolina work together with Troop 79 from Seaville to finish packing the U-Haul truck that transported storm relief supplies to South Jersey.
Scouts from Troops 683 from North Carolina work together with Troop 79 from Seaville to finish packing the U-Haul truck that transported storm relief supplies to South Jersey.  

UPPER TOWNSHIP – Boy Scout Troop 79 had an eventful year and is planning for an exciting 2013.

In July, three boy scouts from the troop, David Laverty, Sean O'Connor and Nick Zedonick, attended the Boy Scout of America's National Youth Leadership Training at Pine Hill Scout Camp in Camden County. During that week, the boys attended workshops and participated in various activities to promote leaderships skills and received training in organizing and running a unit. The boys were selected by the troop's scoutmasters to attend.

In August, six members of Troop 79 prepared themselves to complete induction into the Boy Scout of America's National Honor Society called "Order of the Arrow.” For more than 90 years, the Order of the Arrow (OA) has recognized scouts who best exemplify the Scout Oath and Law. The six scouts, who had already completed the camping and leadership requirements, were nominated by their fellow troop members.

In order to complete their challenge, called an ordeal, Andrew O'Connor, Jacob Williams, Jack Hanley, Kevin Smith, Matt Stanton and Nate Holloway were required to sleep under the stars with only a sleeping bag and without shelter for two nights, complete a service project, and attend orientation training. During the two-and-a-half day venture, the candidates are not permitted to speak. All of the scouts are now members of the Te'Kening Lodge #37.

As the summer came to a close, the troop enjoyed a full moon kayak tour in Cape May. The boys and leaders left the Nature Center of Cape May on their tidal marsh paddling trek just before sundown. While the group enjoyed the sunset and wildlife, they continued on their way until after dark and returned back to the Nature Center.

Service projects are a big part of the scout experience. As September rolled in, so did many opportunities for service. One scout, Andrew Giordano, moved ahead with his Eagle Scout project which entails building and repairing osprey nests in the local bay area. Twenty-one scouts under the supervision of four leaders constructed three new nests and repaired two others.

One of the troop's favorite trips was to Central Sod Farm near Centerville, Md., where they participated in an organized rocket launch. During the two-day launch, the scouts built and launched rockets that ranged in complexity and engine size.

Troop 79 joined with Girl Scout Troop 44474 to enjoy a day of standup paddle boarding in the back bays of Sea Isle City. Harbor Outfitters provided the group with equipment and pointers. Then, the group ventured out in the calmer waters off Sea Isle for a leisurely experience.

In October, a group of leaders and scouts made their way to Nelson Rocks Outdoor Center (NROC) in the North Fork Valley of Pendleton County, WV. During the four-day trip, the group traversed Via Ferratta, a mountain route equipped with fixed ladders, cables, and bridges in order to be accessible to climbers and walkers.

The troop once again set off for the Lehigh Valley Oct. 20-21. They traveled to the Blue Rocks campground where they set up camp before hiking the area. The following day, the group spent the day enjoying Dorney Park in Allentown, Pa.

A yearly tradition, the scout troop participated in an Upper Township road cleanup on Tyler Road. The boys set to cleaning up debris and trash. Although the items found each year can be interesting, the prize this year was a purse that had been stolen from a nearby car. The highlight of the day was being able to return it to the rightful owner.

Superstorm Sandy did not dampen Troop 79's Halloween spirit. The usual Halloween party location was moved from Cape Cavanaro at Bellplain State Forest to Seaville United Methodist Church, the troop's usual meeting place. Costumes, pumpkin carving, games and food rounded out the fun. Although the location was not quite as spooky, the boys still had the usual fun.

In the wake of the storm, Troop 79 partnered with BSA Troop 683 from Minnesott Beach, NC to provide relief supplies for storm victims. Many of the members in Troop 683 were in need of supplies after last year's Hurricane Irene. Troop 683 reached out to Troopmaster Andy O'Connor and he volunteered Troop 79 to help.

After organizing a successful supply drive, Troop 683 packed the donations into a U-Haul truck and began the drive to Lewes, Del. in the early morning hours of Nov. 17. Scouts and leaders from Troop 79 met the U-Haul where they transported the supplies back to New Jersey via the Cape May-Lewes Ferry.

The boys then delivered the supplies to three southern New Jersey food banks, including one in Whitesboro, Seaville United Methodist Church and the WMGM 103.7 radio station's supply drive at Chickie's and Pete's in Egg Harbor Township.

 Boy Scout Troop 79 has over 60 active scouts from both Upper Township and Ocean City. They meet each Thursday evening from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at Seaville Methodist Church. For more information about the troop or to join, contact Scoutmaster Andy O'Connor at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , or just stop by one of our meetings.

Boy Scouts from Troop 79 recently completed a week-long leadership training. Pictured from left are David Laverty, Sean O'Connor and Nick Zedonick.
Boy Scouts from Troop 79 recently completed a week-long leadership training. Pictured from left are David Laverty, Sean O'Connor and Nick Zedonick.

Scouts who recently completed induction into the Order of the Arrow (OA) (l-r) Andrew O'Connor, Jacob Williams, Jack Hanley, Kevin Smith, Matt Stanton and Nate Holloway.
Scouts who recently completed induction into the Order of the Arrow (OA) (l-r) Andrew O'Connor, Jacob Williams, Jack Hanley, Kevin Smith, Matt Stanton and Nate Holloway.

Scouts from Troop 79 work together to build osprey nests. Scouts from Troop 79 work together to build osprey nests.

Larry Cook and Bryce Cox show off a rocket they launched at the MDRA launch in Centerville, Md.
Larry Cook and Bryce Cox show off a rocket they launched at the MDRA launch in Centerville, Md.

Girl Scouts from Troop 44474 enjoy a day of standup paddle boarding with Troop 79. From left are Jessica Mruz, Meghan Laverty, Carly Taylor, Shannon Greene and Hannah Annarelli.
Girl Scouts from Troop 44474 enjoy a day of standup paddle boarding with Troop 79. From left are Jessica Mruz, Meghan Laverty, Carly Taylor, Shannon Greene and Hannah Annarelli.

Scouts from Troop 79 take a break at Seneca Rocks: (l-r) Travis Longstaff, Kevin Smith, Jacob Williams, Sean Stanton, Nick Zedonick Jack Hanley, Nate Halloway, Patrick Martin and Rick Martin.
Scouts from Troop 79 take a break at Seneca Rocks: (l-r) Travis Longstaff, Kevin Smith, Jacob Williams, Sean Stanton, Nick Zedonick Jack Hanley, Nate Halloway, Patrick Martin and Rick Martin.

 


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