Inaugural Camporee Is a Huge Undertaking

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Inaugural Camporee Is a Huge Undertaking

It's been in the planning for more than one year, and for an event of this magnitude, that's not too long. The inaugural New Jersey State Police-Boy Scouts of America Invitational Camporee is the biggest such event ever held in New Jersey, and the largest collaboration in the country between a state police agency and the Boy Scouts of America. undefined Registration closed months ago when the Jersey Shore Council, coordinator of the event for the Scouts, neared the 6,000 mark.

The equipment rolled in and the program was finalized—and it wasn't just ghost stories around the campfire. There were personal meetings with a NASA astronaut and a Congressional Medal of Honor recipient; presentations on merit badges subjects such as emergency preparedness and tactical demonstrations by troopers in boats, helicopters, and armored cars; and Scouts speaking with real-life heroes and being challenged to lives of community service and responsibility. Basically, it was an event that was the antithesis of computer games and mindless videos.

From Friday evening, October 22, 2004, through Sunday morning, October 24, 2004, 6,000 Boy Scouts and their leaders participated in this inaugural event at the New Jersey National Guard Training Center/New Jersey State Police Academy. Joining the Scouts were more than 100 state troopers, including 50 who have earned the coveted Eagle Scout badge; astronaut Mario Runco, NASA, and former New Jersey trooper; H. C. "Barney" Barnum Jr., deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient; Colonel Rick Fuentes, superintendent of the New Jersey State Police; and Brigadier General Frank R. Carlini, deputy commander, New Jersey Army National Guard Joint Force Headquarters.

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