Boy Scout Camporee marks 50th anniversary of Camp See-Gar in Carrsville

Published 9:55 am Saturday, June 4, 2011

Donnie Bradshaw talks with Boy Scouts for the opening ceremony during a May 13-15 Boy Scout Camporee to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Camp See-Gar in Carrsville. - SUBMITTED

CARRSVILLE—More than 150 Boy Scouts and leaders camped at Camp See-Gar on the Bradshaw farm in Carrsville from May 13-15, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the facility.

Scouts in the Colonial Virginia Council from Suffolk to Lawrenceville competed in traditional events such as fire building, compass reading, first aid, wood chopping and knot tying.

Carrsville Troop 37 and Franklin Troop 17 hosted the event. Tom Jones from Troop 17 did most of the major planning, and Joel Bradshaw from Troop 37 was camp coordinator.

Phillip Bradshaw gets the boys going during campfire activities after relocating to the Carrsville Community Center during a Saturday evening rainstorm. -- SUBMITTED

State Forester Harvey Darden taught scouts and leaders how to identify trees and plants. The younger boys worked on their scout skills, and the older boys competed in mind games that required problem-solving and leadership.

The camp was founded in 1961 by Joel Bradshaw Jr. soon after Boy Scout Troop 37 was started. It has been the home camp for Troops 37 and 17, and has been frequently used by many other troops in the Tidewater area, including Troop 125 in Hunterdale, and troops in Portsmouth, Chesapeake and Virginia Beach.

The camp was heavily damaged during hurricanes and other storms the last 10 years.

Troops 37 and 17 have been working the last couple years to get the camp ready for the District Camporee. A Virginia Beach troop was instrumental in removing downed trees, including the one that crushed the clubhouse.

Thanks to a chainsaw training class by the Virginia Department of Transportation, which resulted in cutting down almost 50 dead and dangerous trees, contributions from local people such as Carl Harmon and Phil Wyne, and the hard work for many weekends the last six months by Troop 37 from Scouts and adult leaders, Camp See-Gar was ready when the Camporee started.

Dominion Virginia Power restored the power to the clubhouse, which was a big help for the entire event.

Before the Camporee began, severe weather was forecast, but it held off. The camp opened Friday evening with an Order of the Arrow campfire and the callout for new candidates next to the pond.

At the official Camporee opening ceremony on Saturday morning, brothers Joel, Donnie, Jim, Phillip and Andy Bradshaw, all Eagle Scouts and lifetime Scouters, were introduced.

Bill Fish, who was the district executive for this area and lives in West Virginia, gave the young scouts some words of encouragement and told a couple stories about the camp and Troop 37 50 years ago.

While eating dinner that evening, a storm approached, and everyone relocated to Carrsville Community Center for a couple hours, where the campfire activities, including skits and songs, continued.

Everyone went back to camp after the severe weather left, and the Camporee concluded with a church service and closing ceremony Sunday morning.