WEST SALEM — Area Boy Scout troops caught gold fever this weekend.
About nine troops from the Killbuck District spent the weekend prospecting for gold at Pee Wee Hollow.
Scouts from Troops 4060 of Orrville; 4061, 4065, 4066 and 4068 of Wooster; 4069 of Apple Creek; 4355 of Holmesville; and 4356 of Nashville dredged the bottom of a creek bed, panned for gold, found fossils and learned about the mounds thought to be the site of Native American burial mounds on the campgrounds.
Altogether, about 90 kids and leaders from across Wayne and Holmes counties camped out over the weekend. The Camporee is a Killbuck District event that is held about three times a year, said Bob Simon, head of Troop 4060, which hosted this month’s campout and helped organize the event.
The Buckeye Chapter of the Gold Prospectors Association of America (GPAA) were on hand to demonstrate proper techniques and the history of gold to the campers.
“It’s all about the kids,” said Tony Ledford of the Buckeye Chapter of the GPAA, who dressed the part as a gold prospector during the gold rush of the 1850s. “If it’s memorable to them, that’s what matters.”
The gold that is found in Ohio is very fine and comes in small flakes that average about 20 karats, Ledford said.
Each camper got a small jar of gold flakes as a keepsake at the end of camp.
Among the troops was newly-minted Troop 4064, an all-girls troop out of Wooster.
“I think it’s so cool that girls get to do stuff like this,” said Brooke Johnson, Killbuck District executive. “I grew up in Appalachia, so this was like my backyard.”
Simon said a gold flake was found among Friday’s dredgings. Several fossils were found, too.
Simon said it’s important for campers to learn teamwork.
The next Camporee will be in October, Simon said, while the first one of the year is held in January and includes a skills competition between all of the scouts.
“We’re all friends here,” Johnson said. “It’s just like a big family.”
Kristin Hohman can be reached at 330-674-5676 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter at Kay_elizabeth07.