Local Troop Scouts Out Badges On Catalina

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Among the 20 merit badges earned last summer by members of Payson Boy Scout Troop 354 were rifle shooting, small boat sailing, wilderness survival, sports, emergency preparedness and oceanography.

All were garnered during the troop's seven day stay at Camp Cherry Valley located on Catalina Island off the coast of California.

According to Troop 354 member Chase Reed, the Payson contingent was the only Arizona troop that attend the camp. Most of the 16 troops that participated, he said, were from California and Utah.

In addition to acquiring merit badges, the local scout enjoyed ocean kayaking, snorkeling, hiking and had an exemplary scout camp experience, Reed said.

The thrill of the outing has the local scouts lingering for more of the same.

But the camp is booked until 2004

"We'll have to wait, but will go again then," troop secretary Peggy Reed said.

Troop 354, which is sponsored by Mount Cross Church, earned the money for the trip at several benefits.

Among those who helped the scouts earn the funds were Wal-Mart, Payson Elks Lodge No. 2154 and Legacy Home Furnishings.

"We'd like to give them a special thanks and also thank those members of the community who have supported our fund-raisers with their attendance," Peggy Reed said.

Scouts participating at camp were Jeremy Ruff, Brandon Antenen, Andrew Weatherly, Eric Molitor, Eric Lammers, Chad Lammers, Jonathan Brown, Travis Walton, Paul Higgenbotham, Josh Lammers and Josh Dahm. Adults included Ken Titus, Brent Scott, Gary Walton, Johns Wilson, Wayne and Sheila Antenen and Robert Higginbotham.

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