Boy Scout Troop 105 and co-ed scout group Crew 2015 are headed to Alaska this summer after two years of hard work, through fundraising and community support.
Loxahatchee-based Troop 105 and Crew 2015 will set up at Eagle River Campground northeast of Anchorage, the state’s largest city, from July 15 through July 23.
Colleen Buttery, Troop 105 committee chair, said both scout groups, together, raised $40,000 over the past two years toward the $45,000 trip. Each member’s parents helped to pay the remaining cost.
“We decided we could make this happen, and we began fundraising,” Buttery said. “They did car wash, upon car wash, upon car wash. They sold Christmas trees and reefs. They sold popcorn. They sold pulled pork for the Super Bowl.”
The pulled pork was a hit. The group sold close to 200 pounds of it, Buttery said.
“We sold it throughout the community. It was advertised on Acreage Speaks. Parents advertised to their friends. They put it on Facebook pages, and people just placed orders,” she said. “So, we knew how much product to buy to smoke it, so that we didn’t have a lot of leftover.”
Buttery’s family is immersed in both Troop 105 and Crew 2015. Her husband is scoutmaster for the troop and the advisor for the crew. Her son is a member of both groups. Troop 105 is a Boy Scout troop for ages 10 to 18, while Crew 2015 is a co-ed group for ages 14 to 21.
“Crew is meant to be more high adventure. They do things like rappelling and zip lining and mountain climbing and ocean kayaking,” Buttery said. “They love it because it’s all about fun and adventure.”
The trip from Florida to Alaska will be the farthest summer camp trip on record that a troop has made, Buttery said.
“I’m excited that they get to go. It has been a long dream. They carefully thought about what they wanted to do, especially the crew members,” Buttery said. “And they worked hard to make it happen. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime trip for a lot of these kids.”
This will also be the first time that Eagle River has hosted a co-ed crew. “There are four females going on this trip, plus two female leaders. That’s pretty exciting,” Buttery said.
Peter Boffa, an assistant scoutmaster with Troop 105, also witnessed firsthand the work that both groups put in to have the opportunity to take this trip in July.
“The boys really run the troop. The whole point of Boy Scouts is that it’s a boy-run troop,” Boffa said. “So, they really came together, and they put their heart out and a heavy effort to fundraise for this to be able to go to this camp in Alaska.”
Every year, the troop’s youth leaders attend a troop leader training and discuss the kinds of trips they want the groups to experience. Two years ago, at one of these meetings, the Alaska idea came up, said William Campbell, a Troop 105 and Crew 2015 member who will be going on the trip.
“Someone brought up Alaska, and we thought that was a pretty good idea, so we planned to get that done,” he said. “We had to do a lot of fundraising. It was pretty difficult, but we managed to pull through.”
Campbell has been a scout for eight years and joined Crew 2015 two years ago while still a member of Troop 105. Some of his closest friends are scouts as well.
“Being in the troop is a really great experience. It’s an eye-opener to new experiences that you can have,” Campbell said. “I’ve been with the scoutmaster for that troop since I was a Cub Scout, and it has just been a great experience to be able to go outside, and learn more about my friends and my family.”
Sacrifices were made to put in the time to make this dream a reality.
“It was difficult having to put in the time, not being able to do stuff on weekends because we had to do car washes,” Campbell said. “They were pretty fun for the most part, though.”
In the end, the scouts paid for the majority of the trip themselves through the fundraising and community support.
“I’m looking forward to the new experience, not being in Florida, how cold it’s going to be and the fun things we’re going to get to do up there,” Campbell said. “I don’t really know what I’m expecting. It’s going to be a whole eye-opener when I get up there.”
In the past, Troop 105 has camped in places such as Peace River Campground in Southwest Florida. Last year, the troop visited Camp Old Indian in South Carolina.
“We always do a summer camp out of state, but this one is really an adventurous summer camp because it’s so far away,” Boffa said.
It was a group effort for both scout groups to earn the opportunity to travel to the largest state in the country.
“We joined forces because you’re stronger together versus apart, and everybody pitched in and did their share,” Buttery said.
For more information about Troop 105 and Crew 2015, call Buttery at (561) 644-8129.
ABOVE: Boy Scouts from Troop 105.