Thousands of boy scouts converged on the Bert Adams Scout Reservation this weekend to take part in the Campout of the Century, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of scouting and the 50th of the camp and to be part of the largest gathering in the council’s history.
Scouts began their adventure Friday afternoon with check-in at 3 p.m. and a concert by The Loose Cannons from 8-10 p.m. Saturday was all about activities with things like human foosball, a tomahawk throw and shooting range.
Scouts were able to enjoy what the camp 1,250-acre camp has had to offer for 100 years, as well as get a sneak preview of the new things happening to the camp, including a new dining hall, pool, campsites with permanent tents, a cub neighborhood for the younger scouts and a nature center.
The nature center was named for Judge Jack Langford, a former scout leader and a supporter of the program, as well as the chairman for the campout, who said he brought campers to Bert Adams beginning in 1962 as a scout master.
"Why do I love scouting?" said Langford. "Because I’m the oldest boy in the world" he said with a laugh. "And scouting helps teach boys to grow right. I hope that I have, in my history with scouting, gotten every boy addicted to success. Whether it’s being successful in tying a knot or in earning a badge, every one of them needs to have a little taste of success."
As for having a nature center dedicated in his name, Langford said it flattered him immensely.
"I am very honored that folks decided to name this center after me. It is just beyond my comprehension," he said. "My life has been full of a lot of things that I don’t deserve the credit or the blame for," he said, smiling.
According to Gary Butler, Assistant Chief Scout Executive from Dallas, said the 100-year anniversary of scouting got them thinking about the future.
"We decided to take the opportunity to look at the next 100 years so that we could be relevant to today’s families," said Butler. "What worked 50 years ago might not work today and we have to be forward thinking."
The scouts are scheduled to break up their campsites at 9:30 a.m. today in order to leave Bert Adams and had back home, but one thing they will be able to take with them is an extraordinary experience.
"This has been the coolest thing I have ever done," said 12-year-old Dillan Cage of Atlanta. "My dad camped here when he was a scout and my granddad was a boy scout too. They have tons of stories but even they don’t have memories like the ones I’m making now."