Chet and Coy Jenkins

Special to the Progress

Seventeen Boy Scouts, along with their adult leaders, left Claremore early Sunday morning heading to summer camp in Talihina, Okla. One of the scouts plans to achieve high rankings like his father did when he was a youngster.

Thirteen-year old Chet Jenkins is attending “Camp Tom Hale” for the second year. He plans to complete requirements for his First Class rank while attending classes in horsemanship, photography and aviation, merit badge courses. He is the son of a Troop 88 Assistant Scoutmaster, Coy Jenkins, who is also a Major with the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office.

Chet wants to follow in his father’s footsteps by eventually attaining the highest achievement in Boy Scouting, the coveted Eagle Scout Award.

Members of Boy Scouts of America Troop 88, sponsored by Claremore First United Methodist Church, will spend seven days and six nights at Tom Hale Scout Reservation. While there, each will earn various forms of rank advancement, complete a variety of merit badges, and participate in an assortment of wilderness activities.

The entire troop will participate in a number of outdoor adventures including swimming, shooting sports, boating, rock climbing, and wilderness survival skills. Besides all of these activities, Scouts will experience seven fun-filled days, which begin with a bugle playing “Reveille” and end with the same bugle playing “Taps,” signaling the end of another adventurous day.

Taking time to pay allegiance to the flag, participate in the camp’s regularly scheduled Chapel Services, along with a constant reminder of the 12 parts of the Scout Law, are all part of Scouting’s mission to prepare young men to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes.

The Boy Scout slogan, “Do a Good Turn Daily,” resonates throughout the camp as older boys work especially hard to assist younger Scouts in acclimating to the threats of sunburn, chiggers’ bites, curious animal sounds coming from the bushes and the chill of an early morning shower.

But, it’s not a bad thing. The Scouts get three hot meals prepared every day and can choose to swim at the pool or the lake. To their delight, the camp’s small store serves two flavors of soft-serve ice cream and a dozen varieties of snacks, drinks and confections.

Summer adventures have always been a mainstay of the Boy Scouts of America experience. Since its conception in 1910, under the direction of Lord Baden Powell, boys from countries all over the world have had an opportunity to participate in these rewarding, challenging and life-changing programs.

While the scouts are certainly excited about their week-long trek to “Tom Hale,” the Boy Scouts also boast about their National High-Adventure Bases, which provide the older Scouts in Troop 88 a chance to attend rigorous mountain hikes at Philmont Scout Ranch (Cimarron, N.M.), wilderness canoe expeditions in the Northern Tier National High Adventure Program (Minnesota and Canada) and a stimulating aquatics experience at the Florida National High Adventure Sea Base, located in the Florida Keys.

In fact, as the younger members of Troop 88 are off to the traditional summer camp encounter, 10 of the more veteran members of the troop are completing final preparations to attend the Florida Keys’ Sea Base adventure later this month.

At the helm of Troop 88’s adult leadership is Scoutmaster Dale Braden. His experience in summer camps, National High Adventure treks and Adult Leadership training courses has spanned more than a decade. His twin sons, Glenn and Madison, are also members of Troop 88 and are both on course to complete the distinguished Eagle Scout Award within the year.

Scouting is often a family affair, and along with Dale and his two sons, the mother of “The Braden Bunch” is Teresa Braden, who volunteers considerable time by serving as the advancement and membership chairman for Troop 88’s Adult Committee.

“Without the adult leadership, the troop committee and the sponsoring church, or other civic organizations, the scouting program would not exist,” said Coy Jenkins.

Even as Chet Jenkins prepares for summer camp, he realizes the expectations the Boy Scouts of America are instilling in him, he said.

His father said his son aspires to develop the necessary knowledge, skills and values that will assist him as an adult in serving his community, the nation and perhaps the world some day.

In the words of Chet Jenkins, “I just want to be able to help as many old ladies cross the street as I possibly can.”

His father ended by stating, “He has truly taken this Boy Scout slogan thing to heart.”

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