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hair windblown and youthful grins on their faces, as the teens chatter nonstop on the way to the mess hall. Did you see that turn? That was awesome! And still: I wanna see how fast that thing will really go. One crew member asks Williams, “Where are the secret keys? You know, the ones that let you go fast?” She laughs. “Sorry, guys, those are off limits.” After lunch, the two groups switch


activities. Come dinnertime, everyone in Crew 615 has windblown hair and sun-kissed cheeks. And, it’s early to bed, too. Tomorrow brings an arm-burning, sea-kayaking adventure. “Kids’ attention spans are so short these days; it’s great that [Pamlico] gives them the chance to speed up and slow down,” says Steve Matthews, father of crew member Adam. “This place has constant entertainment.”


IT’S DAY 3 AT CAMP—except Crew 615 isn’t actually at camp anymore. Instead, the crewmembers traded their cabins for a tent just 50 feet from rushing ocean waves. The “OBX Adventure” enables crews and troops to venture about an hour’s drive from Pamlico to the Outer Banks, where they travel to a secluded beach by means of ocean kayak. And that’s exactly what Crew 615 did. Forget about artificial “ocean


noise.” Here, at this oceanfront camp- site, the crew needed little help falling asleep in their new sandy home. The stillness of morning is a surreal reality for the group—after all, how often do you awake to the rise and fall of ocean waves? Yesterday, the Venturers paddled


across a sound separating the mainland from Harker’s Island to Shackleford Banks, a white sliver of sand on the Cape Lookout National Seashore. The crew members—indi- vidually seated in 15-foot ocean kayaks—spent about two and a half hours paddling. Sleep came easily to most of the crew. Now, nearing 7 a.m.,


the group is slow to rise. Cape Lookout Lighthouse’s


beacon blinks from its position just north of the campsite. Striped white and black, the lighthouse is visible over sand dunes as Crew Advisor Denise Jensen unzips her tent and inspects the sand around her that is speckled with crab footprints. Jensen’s legs and feet are covered in white baby powder—the Pamlico staff’s secret ingredient to a sand-free tent. Jensen takes a slow walk with a


handful of crewmembers down the beach shore to explore the surround- ings. When the group is about 200 feet from the campsite, they notice several furry visitors: dark-brown ponies with wildly styled hair. Jensen and the others freeze in


place, their eyes widening. The ponies keep walking, uninter-


ested in the visitors on their shoreline. This moment starkly contrasts the


go-go-go entertainment at camp, and it’s one that Jensen says made Crew 615’s trip even more special. “Getting to sleep on the beach and seeing the wildlife and history of the area took it one step beyond what we can experi- ence at home,” she adds. And after a week of practicing


and gaining confidence on the personal watercraft, Jensen says the trip and the high-thrill Sea-Doos left the group inspired. “Our crew had become much more social than adventurous, but the experience at Pamlico makes us want to get more active,” adds Jensen. That’s a jet boost to take home for future enjoyment. ¿


GRETCHEN SPARLING is Scouting magazine’s Associate Editor.


READ MORE about Pamlico’s brush with Hurricane Irene in 2011; plus, get up to speed on the BSA’s new All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV) program and find camps near you offering these activities at scoutingmagazine.org/PWC.


MAY•JUNE 2012 ¿ SCOUTING 43


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