For Burrillville scouts, campside cooking, outdoor bonds are a Thanksgiving tradition

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BURRILLVILLE – Boy Scout Troop 102 Mapleville gathered with family – and a friend or two – at Buck Hill Scout Reservation on Sunday for their annual Thanksgiving adventure.

The boys practiced wilderness skills and celebrated the holiday deep in the woods. 

It’s a longstanding tradition that has brought scouts and their families together for decades. Some things change, but scouting remains the same, said Asst. Scoutmaster David Kearsley, who managed the event on November 21.

“This day and age (of the scouts) is the same as five years ago – and fifty years ago,” Kearsley said.

Benefits of scouting for the young still include, “the bonds they form; they’ll be talking to each other for a lifetime,” because of shared values, “duty, God, community, community service, honor,” says Kearsley.

Scoutmaster Daniel Esposito noted that scouting gets the group outside, and the scouts themselves offered visible proof of the benefits on Sunday: none were on a phone or playing a video game.

“We have a no electronics policy when we’re camping,” said Esposito. “We teach them scout law: (to be) kind, helpful, courteous.”

Mike Wright stirs a pot of food for the annual feast while Ethan Esposito throws a football.

One does, “not always get those things in today’s world,” Esposito said.

“We’re very family-oriented; we love our parents,” said Esposito, alluding to the families.

Scouts worked on their fire-building and cooking skills at the event, roasting two turkeys over coals, while parents brought the sides.

Small groups also worked on other outdoor skills, including lashing and rope tying, along with work with axes and hatchets.

By the campfire Sunday were Ethan Esposito, Franklin Carpinelli, Luke Wright, Dustin Murphy, Zachary Stone-Tate, Jesse Harper, Jesse Kearsley, Abraham Dorgan and friend, Asst. Sciutmaster David Kearsley and Scoutmaster Daniel Esposito.

And through reviews from the boys, it seems activities Sunday accomplished the mission of teaching the scouts lessons, while still having a great time.

“In my opinion, woods are very fun place for adventure with friends,” said 11-year-old Ethan Esposito. 

Learning skills is also fun, he said, and, “fire is cool,” he added, referencing one of the traditional scouting skills he’s developing.

With the scouts, “you learn a lot of things,” Ethan said.

Scout Zachary Stone-Tatro, 17, said he likes scouting, adding that he was having a good time.

“I’m an outdoorsy type of guy,” the young man said, enjoying the somewhat mild November day in the wilderness. 

Dustin Murphy, 12, said, “I like being a scout.”  

“There’s more opportunities to be outside, and to do good,” Murphy said. 

The youngster said he likes doing good deeds, such as, “helping with lifting something and shoveling a driveway.” 

“We’ve had a really good experience here in the past,” Jesse Kearsly, 14, said of the location. “Always a good experience. This is a happy place where people can relax.”

But scouts are about more than just having fun, the young men noted.

“You have to do dishes,” said teen Jesse Harper. “Do your duty as scout law says.”

The scouts and families sit down for an early Thanksgiving meal.
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