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Boys throughout the Pacific are learning life experiences, interacting with their peers and having a ball at camps this week.

The Boy Scouts of the Far East Council, based at Camp Zama, Japan, is holding camps in Japan, Okinawa and South Korea through June 27 for about 450 boys and adult leaders, officials said.

Regional executive Guy Eichsteadt said expectations of Scouts in Asia are the same as those in the States.

“It is our goal to meet those expectations, and to meet the program standards of any U.S. camp,” he stated in a news release.

Summer camp is a scouting tradition in which youths learn skills, work toward merit badges and enjoy time outdoors. In the United States, Scouts have hundreds of camps to choose from.

In Asia, the Boy Scout Camp tradition began in 1951 with camps in Japan, South Korea, the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand and Singapore — the areas that fall under the Far East Council. There are fewer camps now, but their focus is the same.

“When our Scouts look back to their days in the Far East Council they should be able to do so with pleasant memories,” Eichsteadt stated.

Camps feature activities such as archery, swimming and boating, hiking trails and climbing walls, and arts and crafts.

At Misawa Air Base, Japan, a new camp for Scouts in mainland Japan sits on a lakefront and thus offers a variety of new aquatics and boating programs, according to director Darrin Nicholson.

Scouts on Okinawa gather at Camp Schwab, a Marine Corps base north of the island’s more populated areas.

“The setting is a bit different on Okinawa, but with the help of many volunteers and the Marines, we deliver an exciting and demanding outdoor program that challenges Scouts to learn, lead and grow during the week,” camp director Byron Fastnacht stated in the release.

Scouts across South Korea will gather at Camp Humphreys near Pyongtaek. According to camp director David Ayersman, the camp delivers on “scouting’s outdoors promise.”

“It is a bit of a challenge to deliver the same adventure when you are surrounded by farms, but our Scouts and leaders make it work, and we meet the standards set by the Boy Scouts,” he stated.

Volunteers leading the camps prepared at a national camp school at Camp Fuji near Tokyo in February, learning Boy Scouts of America camp standards for health and safety and new program skills.

For more information, e-mail the Far East Council at: boyscout@zama.army.mil.


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