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story.lead_photo.caption Bill Newton (9) Webelo of Pack 8, takes aim with the two-handed slingshot, one of the range activities at Camp Preston Hunt. He was enthusiastic about the activities of Fun Day and anticipated the pedal cars and hiking activities that were coming up. Photo by Junius Stone / Texarkana Gazette.

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ub Scouts enthusiastically took to the activities available for Cub Scout Fun Day at Camp Preston Hunt. Many challenges awaited them, including pedal carts, archery, giant slingshots, a BB gun range, a hike complete with a pirate ship and more.

"Things are a little different this year," said Anthony Escobar, executive director for the Caddo Area Council. "In the past, it has taken place on one weekend, with hundreds of Scouts hitting the camp for a good time. This year, because of restrictions, we've broken up our Scouts into cohorts of 100, for safety. Each weekend over October, we send a cohort to the camp for their Cub Scout Fun Day, ensuring everyone gets a chance, yet we still stay safe and stay within state recommended protocols."

Cub Scouts and the older Webelos took aim at the various ranges.

"It is hard to tear them from the BB gun range," Escobar said.

One of the more unusual ones was the two-handed slingshot, which had the Scouts flinging projectiles at stacks of plastic cans.

"The slingshot is awesome," said Bill Newton (9), a Webelo from Pack 8. "Big slingshot, knocking down the cans. Fun being destructive."

Avery Morrill, left, a Scout volunteer, helps out with the launching of water rockets while Nevaeh Matlock stands by to catch them when they come down. Morrill said it is all about the youngsters and having fun.
Photo by Junius Stone/Texarkana Gazette.

Scouting looks a little different now than it did in years past, as Boy Scouts of America has now allowed girls into their ranks. Organized into their own groups, they participate with the boys during Cub Scout Fun Day.

"I really, really, REALLY love Scouting, spending time with grandma, working with the Scouts," said Nevaeh Matlock, a Webelo, who was there with her Bear Cub Scout brother, Noah, catching water rockets.

"Big Mamma" Ellon Phillips, Scoutmaster for BSA Troop 8 and Webelo leader for Pack 8, has been in Scouting for 15 years. She has a grandson, Austin Johnson, who is 21 and achieved Eagle status.

"I'm deep into Scouting," she said. "The kids roll with me. I just love it. It teaches great skills, values, strength in mind, body and soul. Teamwork. Any employer would want an employee with all that."

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