Scoutmaster Tracy Heath explained the Frontiersmen, one of four patrol groups who attended the event, competed against other patrols in the scout’s Northwest Georgia Council in 10 different challenges similar to those seen on the National Geographic TV show “Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?”
“This year they put a theme to it and called it ‘Dogs of the Caribbean,’” Heath said, adding the events had a pirate theme, such as “Save Your Matey.” “What the boys had to do, their whole patrol was on the side of a pretty big pond and on the other side was one scout with a boat. What he had to do was go across the pond and pick up one scout, take him back to the other side and drop him off on the other side.
“[The scenario] was there was a burning ship on [the group of scouts’] side of the pond and the [individual scout] was saving his mates.”
Scout Tyler Smith, a freshman at Cass High School, said his favorite event at the Dew Dog Challenge was the “Treasure Hunt.”
“The leaders gave us a map and a compass, and on this map there were 10 questions and coordinates, so once we got through the work, we would rotate the compass to a certain amount of degrees and we would walk a certain amount of paces to a building or a field, a landmark, and you’re being timed for this,” Smith said.
He said his team lost some time as they worked through the challenge, but eventually began working faster in cooperation as a team.
“We really started clicking together and were able to get over to which direction on the compass we needed to go,” Smith said.
Smith has been involved in scouting for 11 years. He said a family tradition of scouting initially drew him in, but the activities and relationships formed within scouting have kept him interested in continuing that tradition.
“[I enjoy] being in the outdoors, being with other kids my age and just relaxing, having fun,” Smith said, adding he also appreciates learning skills he can apply in emergency situations.
Heath said while events like the Dew Dog Challenge, along with scouting in general, help youth learn general camping and first aid, participants also learn team building and leadership skills.
“Each patrol has a patrol leader and they are supposed to work together, the leader of course is responsible for leading them and getting them through the events,” Heath said. “The patrol leader we assign for the weekend, he’s pretty much in control of his whole patrol, where they camp, the food they eat, being at a certain place at a certain time — and that’s kind of Boy Scouting in general. We’re trying to build leaders, leaders in the community, leaders in business.”