BELGRADE — Every year, Boy Scouts have fun while learning new skills at Boy Scout Camp. They learn things such as knots and lashes, wilderness survival, map and compass and journalism. Scouts from Oakland and Farmingdale earned their Journalism Merit Badge in July while taking part in the innovative Public Service Week program at Camp Bomazeen in Belgrade, according to a news release from Chuck Mahaleris.

The program, which fosters an understanding of public service in young men, instructs them on six merit badges: Citizenship in the Nation, Citizenship in the World, Communications, Sustainability, Public Speaking and Journalism.

As part of the Journalism Merit Badge, the Scouts had to tour a newspaper, learn the different kinds of reporting, and interview someone and then write a short news story. Ben Pentilla and Harrison Quimby, both Scouts in Oakland Troop 454, interviewed Farmington eye doctor Kathryn Dingley Gurney, who also is a leader in the Scouting programs. Here is a portion of their interview of Gurney: Kate started a new program, called Nechemis four years ago at Camp Bomazeen. Nechemis is designed to help new Scouts get a head start on Scouting by teaching them for one week many of the basic skills they will use throughout their life. She got into Scouting because of her husband, Kevin Gurney, and her two sons, Mick and Xander, plus their Troop needed help. Throughout the years, Kate has been in Pack 585 where she served as den leader and assistant cubmaster. Now she is involved in Troop 546. Both of her sons and her husband are Eagle Scouts. She has been an optometrist for 19 and a half years and when she has days off she works at Bomazeen helping Kevin, who is the camp’s medical officer.

Ben Lamontagne and Braden Mayo, also of Oakland Troop 454, interviewed Ken Flagg, of Strong. Flagg has been involved with Scouting for more than four decades and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. His favorite memory that he had associated with Scouts was when it was his first time doing the Moose River boat trip. “I will do Scouting forever,” Flagg said. He had done it as a youth when all of his friends were in it too. Now he has been to Scout camp six times as a Scout and 23 times as an adult. “I really enjoy helping kids work towards Eagle Scout,” he said.

Tom Robinson, of Freeport, interviewed Camp Bomazeen Director Butch Dawbin. Here is his interview of the Gardiner-area Scout leader: Butch Dawbin, the camp director of Camp Bomazeen, has been going to camp since 1978 and as staff since 1984. One of Butch’s big reasons for working at camp is because he wants to institute the values he was taught onto other Scouts, which correlates to one of his dreams of having his own camp with free programming to all youth. In regards to working at Camp Bomazeen, he has worked in many different positions. Butch’s favorite one was when he worked as the archery director. With that position, Butch taught them not just how to shoot, but how to improve. At the beginning of the week some kids couldn’t even hit the target. By the end of the week, they were shooting the middle of the target. As to Butch’s future for his camp, he wants to grow the already in-depth program, but also to involve more Scouts in the programs: doubling its current size. There seems to be no end for Butch as he insures the fundamental values into the Boy Scouts of America.

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