Boy Scouts from Oregon’s Troop 168 traveled to Marsh Harbour in the Bahamas in August to participate in the Boy Scouts of America’s Sea Base program. While they had a fun time and learned a lot, the full experience of their journey didn’t hit until weeks later.
A group of nine Scouts and three adult leaders lived and worked on a sailboat for a week, exploring the islands in the Sea of Abaco, a culmination of two years of planning.
They visited several communities, fished and snorkeled around coral reefs and shipwrecks and met local people.
Just two weeks after they returned to Oregon, though, Hurricane Dorian struck the exact area they traveled through. Troop 168 committee chair Jay Bonnell said it hit the group hard after a “fantastic” trip still fresh in everyone’s minds.
“(It) took a direct aim on the area we explored and more heartbreakingly, on the people we were fortunate to meet,” he told the Observer in an email. “For many of our Scouts, it was their first time outside of the United States and encountering a culture different than our own.”
Bonnell said Scouts are already planning their next “big” trips: to New Mexico next summer and the Boundary Waters in 2021.
“We’re doing outings every month,” he told the Observer last week. “Sometimes close to home, sometimes quite a ways away, but we’re always up to something.”