THERE'S A new group in town, and it's drawing teens who want high adventure. Venture Crew 737 of Clarksville was chartered in December with the Boy Scouts of America.
Venturing is a relatively new concept for the Boy Scouts. Venture groups are open to young people between the ages of 14 and 21 - male and female.
Many Venture groups focus on outdoor and adventure activities, but some are oriented to social service, sports programs, or sailing and water navigation. Venture Crew 737 focuses on high adventure: rock climbing, caving, long-distance hiking and white-water rafting.
"I joined the Venturing Crew because, with the regular Boy Scouts, you really don't do many high-adventure things that keep my interest," said Clarksville resident Chris Black, 15.
Crew 737 was formed with boys from Boy Scout Troop 737.
"All these guys are senior patrol leaders in the Boy Scout troop," said Lenny Black, an adult volunteer. Some of the boys have been Scouting together since they were Cub Scouts, Black said.
Although all the members are boys, "Girls are welcome," said group member David Logan, 15. "It is always fun to have someone else to hang out with."
One of the advantages of Venturing is the older age range. According to crew adviser Betty Steil, older boys often help out with younger Scouts in Scout troops. But in Venturing, the focus is on the older boys.
"It keeps the older boys interested in Scouts," said David's father, Mike Logan of Dayton.
Said Chris Black: "With Venturing, I've got people that are more my age and have more of my kind of interests."
Along with Steil, Logan and Black, other adults advise the crew. Roy Ferguson is the sponsoring organization representative. Tom Larsen is assistant crew adviser and Tom Hartman is crew committee chairman.
Crew 737 is busy. On Saturday, members held a fund-raiser, selling candy bars at Boarman's Meat Market in Highland. On Sunday, Chris Black, Tom Larsen, and Danny Steil gave a backpacking demonstration for younger members of Troop 737 at a Blue and Gold Dinner, a traditional Scout awards function, held at Ten Oaks Ballroom in Clarksville.
Future trips include caving in Kentucky during spring break and a summer trip to Canada with another crew.
The Venture group also meets twice each month with Boy Scout Troop 737, and has a monthly dinner meeting at crew members' homes.
At their monthly meeting Tuesday, the crew members shared a meal prepared on a camping stove by Venture President Danny Steil, 16. Boys and adults sat outside in the Steils' back yard in Clarksville to enjoy pepper steak and rice. They chatted about future plans and discussed crew business.
The crew is working on writing bylaws that will establish guidelines for officers, dues, uniforms and participation. The boys also discussed their scheduled trip to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky.
After dinner, Chris Plumley, 16, presented a demonstration of knots. Paul Marcotte, 14, and Marty Winters, 15, held the ropes. Members watched as Chris skillfully twisted the ropes into intricate formations, ending in a variety of knots.
Attending the Tuesday meeting were Chris Black, Tom Larsen, David Logan, Marty Winters, Paul Marcotte, Chris Plumley, J. R. Brown, and Danny Steil.
Information: Betty or Danny Steil, 301-776-2099.
What's an emu?
Carlhaven Emu Farm in Highland is sponsoring an emu-egg-decorating contest as part of National Emu Awareness Week, April 7-15. Decorated emu eggs will be judged in three categories: painted, etched and Faberge-style. First prize in each category will be $50.
According to farm manger Diane Brown, the large eggs are dark-green with layers of green, turquoise and white underneath the outside shell, and lend themselves to the creation of beautiful works of art when they are etched.
Entries do not have to be etched; they can be painted with acrylic paint. Faberge-style eggs are cut, so that a scene can be built inside.
For $10 you will receive a clean, blown emu egg that you can decorate as you wish. Additional emu eggshells are for sale at the farm along with fresh edible emu eggs.
Decorated emu egg entries must be received no later than March 24. The eggs will be judged and placed on public display at Miller and east Columbia branch libraries in April. For entry forms or information: Diane Brown, 301-854-3915.
An emu, by the way, is a flightless, swift-running bird, related to but smaller than an ostrich.
Join your friends and neighbors at the Clarksville Pizza Hut from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Monday for a River Hill High School Music Department fund-raiser.
At Pizza Hut Night, you can contribute 20 percent of your eat-in or take-out order. Present a fund-raiser coupon or tell the cashier or your server that you want your order to benefit the River Hill Music Department. Coupons are available in the front office at River Hill or from any music student.
Information: Angie Swann, 410-988-8110.