When you’re a Scout in Florida, you’ve got adventure all over the place. There’s great wildlife to learn about, amazing beach islands to explore, tons of cycling opportunities, and plenty of places to enjoy water sports.
But mountain sports? Not so much.
So when Troop 455 from Daytona Beach, Florida, decided they wanted to try something a little different, they packed their bags for the U.S. National Whitewater Center in Charlotte, North Carolina. While there, the Scouts tried their hand at whitewater rafting and mountain biking – two sports that are hard to come by in the Sunshine State. They even had a little time to try zip lining from a COPE course.
Florida Scouts On Whitewater Rafting
Luis, 16, and Jaymes, 15, two Scouts who participated in the trip, were brand new to all these high-adventure sports. But it didn’t take them long to warm up to the action-packed activities. When asked which activity was their favorite of the North Carolina trip, both agreed hands-down that the winner was whitewater rafting.
[pullquote]“Everyone kept saying, ‘Let’s do it again!’”[/pullquote]
“It was…something different,” said Jaymes. “It was one thing I would never have thought about doing. I’ve seen it before but it seemed too crazy. [After I tried it] the fear went away.”
Luis chimed in enthusiastically, “I wanted to fall out so bad. We did it three times — it was awesome! The only thing [the troop] wanted to do was whitewater rafting. Everyone kept saying, ‘Let’s do it again!’”
Florida Scouts On COPE Courses
But whitewater rafting wasn’t the only thing these Florida boys got up to. “We ended up doing a whole bunch of different stuff, like mountain biking and the COPE course,” Jaymes reminisced. “It was hard! We had to walk on a tight line and…then at the end, zip down.”
[pullquote]“‘You can do it, Luis. Don’t be afraid. It’s easy.’ And I did it.”[/pullquote]Luis remembers how some encouraging words from Xavier, another Scout on the trip, helped him get over his fear. “I was so scared ‘cuz I’m scared of heights, but then Xavier challenged me and put some words on my mind. He was like, ‘You can do it, Luis. Don’t be afraid. It’s easy.’ And I did it.”
Florida Scouts On Mountain Biking
Xavier’s encouragement stayed with the two Scouts the entire five-day trip as they faced each new challenge and especially came in handy when Jaymes tackled mountain biking. “It helped…because the [U.S. National Whitewater Center] had huge hills.” With his confidence raised, Jaymes and one of his leaders decided to tackle an advanced-level trail. And Jaymes was ready for it. “There was one really big hill we had to ride. It was tiring ‘cuz there’s no hills down here [in Florida]. But the downhill was the best part. It was crazy. It was steep and long. You had enough speed from that to go down all the way to the end!”
[pullquote]“It was fun!” added Jaymes.[/pullquote]
“We ride bikes here in Florida every day,” Luis said as he compared the biking styles of Florida to what they experienced in North Carolina. “In Florida…we do it just to get around. . [In North Carolina, it’s] way different than what we do here in Florida.”
“It was fun!” added Jaymes.
Florida Scouts On High Adventure
When Luis and Jaymes found out that all the activities they participated in were going to be at the Summit (plus more!), they said it sounded like a perfect place for Scouts to go and do some great high adventure. And we do, too!
So what were these Scouts’ last words when it came to high adventure? “Everyone should do it: it’s awesome!” Luis grinned. And when it comes to Florida kids, Jaymes immediately endorses it. ”Oh yeah! Definitely. Don’t be scared!”
Are you from a state without mountains? How does your troop enjoy the outdoors? Let us know in the comments!