Local Boy Scouts of America officials are right to be proud: Camp Kingsley’s Blizzard Adventure Camp is spotlighted on the cover of the latest Boys’ Life magazine.
It’s also somewhat amusing to see the camp, which is in Ava, described in the article as “up near the Canadian border.” Well, we suppose geography is relative. What is a long hike in the snow for some people, is a short one for others. Near Canada or otherwise.
In any case, “it is very exciting news,” Boys Scouts Leatherstocking Council Director of Development James Hastie said of the Boys’ Life feature on Camp Kingsley’s winter camp, which also includes an article and photos inside the long-running national BSA publication.
The Leatherstocking Council oversees services for scouts in a six-county local area.
When asked how often local scout activities have been featured in Boys’ Life, Hastie said “we might have made the cover back in the ’80s after one of our Eagle Scouts rode his bike across the country.” But “as far as we are really sure, this is a first time for the cover” and a first or possibly second time that “any of our scouts, camps or activities have been featured.”
Boys’ Life, whose first issue was published in 1911, has a circulation of 890,000 and an estimated 3.38 million readers, according to boyslife.org.
When one thinks of a scout camp, summer comes to mind with swimming, camping, sailing and similar warm-weather adventures.
But Blizzard Adventure Camp in winter offers challenges such as cross-country skiing, snowmobiles, sledding, and snowshoeing. Attendees include 104 scouts plus 30 adult-trained volunteer leaders and about 10 trained volunteer staff, Hastie said.
The latest upcoming Blizzard Camp “sold out in advance again,” observed Hastie, and will be Jan. 17-20, which includes the weekend before the Martin Luther King Jr. Day observance. Volunteers are “looking to expand it to two weeks next year since it’s selling our earlier and earlier each year,” he said. Rob Mahardy, a Rome school district teacher, over the last couple of years has “volunteered his leadership and has recruited a lot of outstanding volunteers and added a lot of very popular merit badges.”
Credit for the Boys’ Life article also should go to Leatherstocking Council marketing committee chairman Kirk Evans of Favicon Consulting who had been “pitching this story for years to our national office,” Hastie explained.
Whether in Ava or near Canada, the camp and its activities are featured at boyslife.org/features/166311/move-over-summer-camp-scouts-have-a-blast-a-blizzard-camp/ online.