Saturday, April 19, 2008

Plea For Help

For my readers in South Florida, Please keep your eyes open for a big white trailer marked Boy Scout Troop 599. The troop has had it stolen and is looking for it!

I care about this because my dad and two of his friends started troop 599 in 1971. Some of my fondest memories of growing up in South Florida are centered on the great times I had in the Scouts. There were some great camping trips, and hikes, and trips to Summer Camp!

The troop trailer was stolen from the Kendall Area of Miami Dade County some time last week and as the trailer contained all their camping equipment, they would like the trailer and the contents returned. The trailer itself had sentimental value to the troop as it had the names of all the Eagle Scouts (since the trailer came along) painted on it and so, it is a source of pride and nostalgia to the troop.

If you'd care to make a donation to the troop to help replace their stolen equipment (which may/or may not – consult your tax preparer – be tax deductible) please contact their Scout Master. My dad and a couple of his friends chartered the troop in 1971 and it has been going strong ever since. If you can help, it would be appreciated. Tell them Denny Bergquist's son asked you to help.

When my sister called yesterday morning to tell me about the theft of the trailer, I was shocked, but I was also nostalgic… The first image that came to mind was the trailer we had when I was a kid. Someone had taken an old van that was no longer running and cut the front-end off it. They then added a tongue and trailer hitch to it and we used it for years to carry the camping equipment to all the troop campouts.

That is to all the troop campouts that were not in inaccessible places. The camping trips we took in the middle of the Everglades, at the edge of the Big Cypress Swamp just south of Alligator Alley, being one of the notable exceptions that spring to mind.

We had the trailer with us when we went to the Seminole District Camp-O-Ree only one of two troops from the Hurricane District that were invited to the event. We were invited because of our nature expertise; we had been survival camping in the Everglades for years and practically everyone in the troop had received all the nature-based merit badges that could be earned in South Florida. Troop 220, our rival from the northern end of our neighborhood, was also invited to the event because they had a (admittedly pretty good) native dance troop. They learned and performed Native American dances and were invited lots of places.

As I recall it, Seminole District never again invited Hurricane District troops to their Camp-O-Ree; what troop 599 didn't win, troop 220 did. Or at least, that is how I remember it.

Oh! And one of the founding scoutmasters of the troop was a member of the Miami Police Department Bomb Squad. He had the most interesting way of starting camp fire ceremonies!

Wherever you are today, I hope you'll either make or enjoy some wonderful memories.

Don Bergquist – April 19, 2008 – Lakewood, Colorado, USA

No comments: