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Scout Expo showcases skills, honors legacy
On their honor, the Boy Scouts of Yuma County did their best to showcase the skills they have learned in the Scouting program during the annual Scout Expo Saturday.
About 20 different Scouting organizations gathered at the expo, which was held at the Yuma Quartermaster Depot.
The Scouts, who ranged in age from Cub Scouts to high school Venture Crews, spread out on the grassy green hills of the historic park, pitched tents and set up interactive exhibits for the public under sunny blue skies.
"This is our annual event when our troops come together to display Scouting for the community," said Adrian Groggett, committee co-chair for the 2010 Scout Expo.
"As people walk around, they will see the different things the Scouts do and have learned. There are booths where the Scouts have made anything from marshmallow guns to rockets and are cooking over coals. There is a rope bridge and a rope-and-log merry-go-round the boys put together with lashings."
The Boy Scouts of America is turning 100 in February, and the expo was a chance for the local Boy Scouts to celebrate the centennial anniversary.
"On Feb. 8 we turn 100 years old as an organization," said Brett Bybee, district director of the Yuma Scouting program.
"One hundred years is a long time. It is a huge achievement for an organization to be around and to have an impact for so long. It all comes down to our commitment to build leaders with values, morals and character."
The expo this year focused on what Scouting has done for the United States, and the Yuma area, where Scouts donate several thousand hours of volunteer time every year.
Groggett said the weather and location were much more cooperative than in 2009.
"We had a good turnout and participation. It is a really good event and the weather is working with us. Last year it rained the one Saturday we wanted to do something. This has been a great location for us, and we are happy to be here."
Sean Franklin, a Life Scout in Troop 92, said Scouting is a family program.
"My dad has been with me ever since I was a Cub Scout to help me through. I couldn't have gotten to where I am today without him."
Franklin said he was having a great time at the expo.
"Family, friends and Scouting. There are a lot of things to do, plenty of food to eat and it is nice weather. Nothing but fun today."
Gwynn Roach, a female Boy Scout in Venture Crew 8051, said she is glad girls can participate in the program, too.
"It's pretty cool. It is fun because on trips the guys have strengths the girls don't have, but the girls also have strengths the guys don't have, and it balances out."
Roach's crew set up an obstacle course for the event.
"This is a good opportunity for people to come out and see what goes on in different troops, whether it's for the little boys all the way up to 20-year-old females."
Bybee said Scouting will still be around in 2110.
"It will, and it all starts now. Our goal as an organization is to give every kid in the country a chance to be a part of Boy Scouts. In this community we are serving just 6 percent of the total number of kids who could be Scouts. Some of our biggest challenges are reaching out to communities that haven't had as much exposure to Scouting to show them it is for them, too."