FINDLAY — The campsite at Wolf Creek State Park was a hub of activity Saturday afternoon during the Boy Scouts of America Lincoln Trails Council’s Spring Rendezvous as event Chairman Mike Hammond toured the grounds.
Hammond saw Scouts learning how to make bows, preparing to cook with Dutch ovens, throwing tomahawks, firing air rifles and taking part in many other activities, none of which involved sitting indoors in front of a computer or television.
“The main goal is to get the kids outdoors,” Hammond said of the annual Spring Rendezvous.
Hammond estimated that more than 600 Boy and Cub Scouts from within the Lincoln Trails Council and from other areas, as far as St. Louis, took part in this three-day event. He said some of the Scout groups camped out and others just stopped in for the day.
Charleston Boy Scouts Finn O’Neal and Matt Mueller said their troop visited the rendezvous before going back home to help clean up Eastern Illinois University’s O’Brien Field after the IHSA girls state track and field meets. The two boys said they enjoyed practicing their marksmanship with air rifles and bows at the rendezvous.
O’Neal said the rendezvous also provides a good opportunity for hanging out and trading patches with other Boy Scouts.
“Scouting is fun. You get to go around with your friends. It teaches you a lot about leadership and loyalty. I have learned a lot I never knew before,” Mueller said, citing knot tying as an example of his new skills.
Rendezvous Chairman Charles Jarvis said the Lincoln Trails Council adds to the activities each year at the event, and some of the additions this year included self-reliance seminars from Great Lakes Bush Craft of Wyondotte, Mich. He said these seminars included lessons on primitive fire building, bow making, knife safety and more.
“The kids seemed to be interested in it. I have sat in on some of the seminars, and I have learned some things,” Jarvis said.
At a fully stocked fishing pond next to the campsite, Todd Verdeyen of Altamont and other parents helped their Scouts hone their angling skills.
Verdeyen’s sons, Cub Scouts Quinn, 8, and Pierce, 6, said they enjoyed fishing, firing air rifles and bows, watching a blacksmith at work, and staying up late during the campout Friday night at the rendezvous.
Having been a Scout in his youth, Verdeyen said he is glad to get his sons involved in such outdoor activities. Verdeyen said he thinks it is important for them to make time in their busy lives to camp as a family.
“When you are out here, it’s a slower pace of life, Verdeyen said.