BATESBURG—The Boy Scouts of America are celebrating their 100th anniversary this year.
To help commemorate it, the Archdiocese of Atlanta and the Dioceses of Charleston, Charlotte, Raleigh and Savannah will unite for a Catholic jamboree at Camp Barstow on March 19-21.
Jim Weiskircher, jamboree chairman, said it is the first time the whole province has come together for a Scouting event. They have been planning it for a year and a half and the theme is “100 Years of Duty to God.”
Although the program is designed to promote awareness of Catholic life and prayer, all registered Scouts are invited, regardless of religious affiliation.
Weiskircher said they expect 750 to 1,000 people and have a whole weekend of Scouting activities and fellowship planned for all ages.
One of the highlights will be an award ceremony for St. Mary Help of Christians Venturing Crew from Aiken. The group of teenage girls and boys were named the winners of the National Gold Medallion Award.
Jim Paczynski, crew advisor, said they are an outstanding bunch that always go far beyond what is called for by Scout law.
“They truly deserve this honor,” he said.
The 12 members of the Venturing Crew are in charge of running the Stations of the Cross at the jamboree.
Bishop Robert E. Guglielmone will deliver the homily at Mass. Other religious dignitaries will attend, including Bishop Peter J. Jugis from the Diocese of Charlotte.
Bishop Guglielmone said as they celebrate 100 successful years, they must continue to look forward.
“Scouts live out the values that are taught and I hope all the young people that are there will continue to do the same thing,” the bishop said.
He encouraged adults to look at Scouting as more than a fun activity, and to emphasize it as a value-based program that teaches Christian morals in a wonderful, exciting way.
The program has helped produce many of America’s leaders, creative artists and priests.
Father Jeffrey Kirby, Vicar of Vocations; Father David Michael, administrator of St. Andrew Church in Barnwell; Father Patrick Tuttle, pastor of St. Anthony of Padua Church in Greenville; and seminarian David Nerbun are all Eagle Scouts.
Weiskircher said vocations are an important aspect of Catholic Scouting and will be a prominent part of the events. A display will be created to honor diocesan seminarians and Scouts will have the opportunity to fill out cards of support for them.
At least one Eagle Scout not only supports seminarians, but is on his way to becoming one.
Andrew Fryml has been accepted by the diocese to attend St. Andrew’s College Seminary at Seton Hall University in New Jersey.
The 19-year-old is a sophomore at Presbyterian College in Clinton and a lifelong parishioner of Jesus Our Risen Savior Church in Spartanburg.
Fryml said Scouting did not directly influence him to become a priest, but helped him grow as a person and to understand himself and his beliefs.
“It did help me start to grow in my faith,” the youth said, adding that he has felt the Lord tugging on his heart since he was a sophomore in high school.
Fryml said the best part of Scouts was the fellowship of his peers, especially the monthly camping trips when they were able to learn new skills and grow together as Christian brothers.