Members from seven councils of the Boy Scouts of America spent Sept. 26-29 camping at Fort Riley as part of Scout Riley activities.
Scouts began setting up their camp sites Sept. 26 at Moon Lake on post. The scouts spent their Saturday taking in Fall Festival events, including a demonstration by the Commanding General’s Mounted Color Guard, a military working dog demonstration, the chance to fire an M-16 rifle, a tour of Custer House, an obstacle course and tactical equipment training.
“There has always been a close relationship between Boy Scouts of America and the United States Armed Forces. The scouts tend to share the same values as Soldiers. The Boy Scouts of America and the United States Armed Forces complement each other very well with what they stand for and the values they believe in,” said Andy Massanet, community relations coordinator at Fort Riley’ s Public Affairs Office.
Kansas councils that participated in Scout Riley events include Troop 65 from Baldwin City, Troop 93 from Shawnee, and Troop 13 from Topeka.
“The firing range was my favorite part of Apple Days. The M-240 was my favorite gun to shoot. Surprisingly, the gear that I had to put on, I actually stayed pretty cool for being so heavy. I also enjoyed the vehicles, the four-wheelers and the ATV rodeo,” said Austin Kraus, member of Troop 65.
Fellow Troop 65 scout Andrew Morgan also said he had fun at Fort Riley.
“The obstacle course was my favorite part, I also enjoyed the vehicles,” Morgan said.
Another member of Troop 65, Noah Pippert, said the weapons firing range was top notch.
“I really liked firing the guns.
I didn’t have a favorite gun to shoot. I liked them all. I also enjoyed all the free stuff that we got,” Pippert said.
Having Scout Riley coincide with the Fall Festival was a huge bonus, said Myrl Wear, Troop 93 scoutmaster.
“I loved it. Everything has been so great. We have camped out at Fort Riley a couple times, but it’s normally in February. This is the first time we have taken part in all of this. The scouts all liked the shooting range and the obstacle course. I just loved being here and being a part of everything. I enjoyed looking at all the tanks, and the food was all really good, too,” Myrl said.
Corey Tindall, a scout from Troop 13, said the firing range was the best part of his visit to post.
“The M-240 was definitely my favorite gun to shoot. From a civilian standpoint, it gives you a better idea of what Soldiers go though on a daily basis. I also thought the cavalry demo was really good, the people involve deserve their praise. The military personnel were all very knowledgeable and very helpful for everybody. The Soldiers are doing very good public relations for the Army. You can tell there is a lot of history here at Fort Riley and it shows.”
Boy Scouts are invited to Fort Riley four times a year for Scout Riley activities, including the first weekend of January, the last weekend of March, the last weekend of June and either late September or early October for the fall campout.
By Russel Cope
Sgt. Shannon Williams and Sgt. Bayyinah Antoine, both with the 1st Inf. Div., pump Boy Scouts up to go through the obstacle course Sept. 27 during Fort Riley's Apple Day Fall Festival.