ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Dozens of volunteers make the Blackhawk Area Council of Boy Scouts of America summer camp possible, and many of them are former Scouts themselves, hoping to create treasured experiences for a younger generation.
“From the camp director on down, none of us take a dime home,” said Alice Roby, Day Camp Director. “We do this because we love sharing with the kids.”
Every summer, Cub Scouts from all across the Stateline spend one week at camp.
“These boys and girls, who are giving their time, all have other options,” Roby said. “Not one of these Scouts is here because they couldn’t think of something better to do. They’re here because they chose to be here.”
The camp is run entirely by volunteers, including some older Scouts, called Den Walkers.
“We make sure everyone is being safe and having fun,” said George Roby. “Just general boosting morale and keeping everyone… making sure everyone is having fun.”
Roby has been a Scout for nine years. He comes back to volunteer because of the memories he has of being a young Scout.
“I love to come back and help, to give that same remembrance, that same sense of ‘this is an older scout who wants to help the younger scouts,'” he said.
The campers range in ages from five to ten years old. They learn a variety of skills, including how to use a BB gun and practicing with a bow and arrow.
“Basically, [I like] archery and things I can hold with my hands, ’cause I like new things,” said Cub Scout Landon Urquhart.
“They get to be having fun, but they’re still in the background, learning those, safely,” Roby said. “You can’t point the weapon at someone else. You can’t. You’re learning that safely.”
This years theme, “Under the Sea,” taught the Scouts about water, and returning Scout Lilly Nestler says she learned a valuable lesson.
“If you’re somewhere far away from water and you ran out of water, you can find some place with water and fill the water, so it’s clean enough to drink,” she said.
Thermo Fisher helped wrap up the week with a bang.
The camp runs through the beginning of August at various locations throughout the Stateline.