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Hundreds of Boy Scouts take over Turlock fairgrounds
Turlock was home to hundreds of scouts from across the Valley and foothills last weekend for the Greater Yosemite Councils annual Jamboree. - photo by JONATHAN MCCORKELL / The Journal

An estimated 800 Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venture Scouts and parents called the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds home last weekend during the Boy Scouts of America’s Greater Yosemite Council annual Jamboree.

Program Director Ken Moffitt said the event is a place for scouts of all ages to participate in fun activities, team-building exercises and even explore possible careers.

On the menu for the Jamboree was archery, rifle training, an obstacle course, a model railroad exhibition, challenge courses, games, rock climbing and pinewood derby races.  For scouts the event is the pinnacle of scout-related activities.

“This really is the highlight of the year for the Yosemite Council,” said Eagle Scout and Turlock High School senior Vincent Lazar.

Some scouts had the opportunity to explore career opportunities at the three day, two night event. Moffitt explained that Learning for Life — a part of Boy Scouts of America based in career opportunities — gave Merced Police Department Explorers the chance to provide security and assistance services throughout the Jamboree.

Explorer Capt. Shelby High said the opportunity in Learning for Life allowed her to decide to pursue a law enforcement career.

Lazar also attributed his membership is scouts for his budding success. Currently, Lazar is student body president at THS and next he will be attending Modesto Junior College to begin his studies in civil engineering. He has been in scouts since he was six years old.

“I have Asperger syndrome, which is like highly functioning autism disorder, and the scouts have really helped me to develop my social skills through all the people I’ve met and experiences I’ve had with hiking, camping and even job skills,” he said.

The Greater Yosemite Council includes dozens of troops from the Valley, between Chowchilla and Galt, as well foothill communities to the East.