Members of Boy Scout Troop 555, Penn Forest Township, recently spent a weekend touring and camping on the battlefields at Gettysburg. They earned the honor by winning a lottery with nine other troops, to camp in McMillan Woods, where some of General Lee's men had slept the night before Pickett's charge during the Civil War.
The weekend included a lot of walking, as well as a two-hour tour of the battlefields on horseback, giving Scouts the ability to experience what it was like to be in both the calvary and the infantry.
In additional to being a fun weekend for the Scouts, it was an educational one as well. The tour included a stop at the visitor's center and museum, seeing various monuments and plaques around the battlefield, as well as a few reenactments.
"The trip to Gettysburg was a fantastic adventure," said new Scout Gabe Jusino. "I liked when we went horseback riding and saw all the amazing landmarks."
Eagle Scout Nathaniel Flick enjoyed this historical nature of the weekend.
"It was amazing to be able to stand on the very spot where the fighting at Pickett's charge took place and to experience what it was like to be a cavalryman on a horse," said Flick
Scout Logan Farnell said he thought the trip was fun and exciting and would love to go back again. His favorite part was the horseback riding. He was amazed by the size of the battlefield.
"The tour on horseback was exciting," said Scout Zeb Kleintop. "I was never on a horse before. I had a beautiful white horse named Ranger. While on the tour we learned which roads were used by the Confederate messengers to report sightings of Union soldiers. It was cool!"
Scout Travis Huschka said he was amazed when he saw the Cyclorama at the visitors center. He also enjoyed the horseback ride.
"The horseback ride was awesome," said Huschka."I was nervous to get on a horse since I never rode one before. When I got on the horse I was amazed at how much fun it could be to ride a horse."
Scoutmaster Ray Attewell said it was obvious the Scouts enjoyed the trip.
"Over the years, there have times that I've watched Scouts just go through the motions at museums and such. I watched the faces of the Scouts in my group, and they hung on every word of the tour guide," said Attewell.
"No visit to Gettysburg would be complete with stopping at Devil's Den," he added. "It wasn't on our original agenda, but, I remember how much fun I had there 40 years ago when I was a Scout."