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How do you make a week of service exciting for Scouts? Keep it fun. When Troop 99 isn’t hammering away on new decking, the group explores the Chesapeake’s rich ocean life, starting with some fishing. Aboard a crabbing boat, the boys watch in shock and delight as Chesapeake Bay Foundation educators Paige Sanford and Megan Fink (on left, from left) demonstrate the two methods of preparing crab bait. Bob Kilgore and Life Scout Erik Shirk, 17, offload crab pots at the end of the day (opposite page, right). Star Scout Isaac Novak, 14, tries to avoid the crab’s pincers (opposite page, left) as the Scouts help sort and measure the catch. And what comes after all of that hard work? Chow time! Matt Breslow, 15, announces the evening’s culinary delights (middle right). Star Scout Robby Kilgore, 12, finds himself caught amid the fast-flying quips between leaders Stu VanOrmer and Dave Shirk (bottom right).


we get a lot of our energy,” Dave Shirk says. “The adults come in, and they’re passionate about a certain item and they sit around and say, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to go here?’ They get the kids thinking about how it would be cool, and soon the kids say, ‘Let’s go here.’ It’s a very dynamic process.” His time with the troop goes back


34 years. He was less active for a few years when he was in college, but otherwise, Troop 99 has been a part of the daily fabric of his life. He’s just one of many who have been with the troop for years and years. Henry, Szarko and VanOrmer volunteered


when their sons joined the troop but stayed on to go on trips like this. VanOrmer — called Uncle Stu


because he is the uncle of boys who have been in the troop and because he’s that kind of funny, philosophi- cal and quirky character — says that means the veteran adult leaders mentor not only Scouts, but also other adult leaders. “That’s been the heart of the


success of this troop — the overlap- ping careers — and there have been a lot of them,” VanOrmer says. “It’s created a transcendent book of experi- ence that has overlapped generations of the troop.” ¿


MAY•JUNE 2014 ¿ S COUTING 27


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