(Front row L to R: Gabby, Ashley, Alcenia, Shelby, Mikiah, Josh, Jack, K’Von, Mr. Pearson, Mr. Morton; Back row L to R: Jimmy, Detavion, Chris, Randall, Mr. Sanders; Not Pictured: Jahee and Colby)
Not being the outdoorsy type I didn’t know what to expect when I was invited to Troop 567’s meeting last week. What I discovered is a group of kids, boys and girls, who are some of the most welcoming and funny people I have ever met. The leaders, Mr. Pearson, Mr. Morton and Mr. Sanders are dedicated Scout Masters and its apparent from the moment that you walk into the door just how much the troop respects them.
After saying the Pledge of Allegiance and taking the Scout Oath, they gathered in a circle to tell me about their adventures. The conversation began with tales of canoeing, hiking, mountain climbing, sleeping in the snow, racing burros and encounters with wild animals. Once, while the troop was camping in Philmont, New Mexico, they saw the only preserved T-Rex footprint still in existence. Say what?!
While this all sounds cool, the thing that excites me the most is the fact that Troop 567 is co-ed and it is called Venture Crew. The girls, Ashley, Gabby, Alcenia, Shelby and Mikiah appear to be girly girls; but things aren’t always as they appear. While they take great pride in their appearances, and they are all beautiful girls by the way, they don’t hesitate to get down and dirt. They camp and hike and canoe all while wearing pearls, and I’m willing to bet they make it look easy.
Troop 567 usually camps one weekend a month and their next trip is coming up in May when they will go up to Shiloh and camp on a 360 acre farm. They will also canoe on Big Hope Pond and everyone is hoping that Chris doesn’t flip the boat this time. Throughout the year they go to Kia Kima, Chickasaw State Park, Climb Nashville (indoor rock climbing on steroids) and the local Scout Base in Tunica, MS.
The boys, Jimmy, Josh, Chris, Jahee, Randall, Jack, K’Von and Detavion, love to tell stories about their 2 week long camping trips. They eat Army rations, shoot shotguns and make their own shells, skip showers for days on end, complete difficult ropes courses and are awoken every morning by Scout Master Mr. Pearson and his bugle horn. Chris, who has an easy smile and has been in the troop since 2008, will be the first Eagle Scout. Jimmy, who plans to attend UT Knoxville for Engineering, will be the second. Jahee and Josh are both Life Scouts whic means they are well on their way to Eagle Scout status. Also, the night I visited the Troop welcomed a new member and his name is Colby.
By the time the meeting was over I felt like I had made a dozen new friends and I was even invited to their next campout. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – The Heights has the best kids in Memphis!