49th annual Camp Cowpie occurs remotely, with a little in-person fun

Published 8:00 am Friday, July 24, 2020

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Martha Evans has hosted Camp Cowpie at her home, located on West Point Lake, off of Mooty Bridge Road, for the last 42 years. She wasn’t about to let the pandemic break that streak. 

Despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Camp Cowpie hosted its 49th consecutive annual day camp for local cub scouts this month.

The camp mostly took place remotely, with the exception of an outdoor, in-person event on Wednesday. The day camp is usually a daily, in-person week of activities. In a two-hour session Wednesday, scouts from the LaGrange area experienced three different activities — archery, BB gun shooting and slingshot. 

The Cub Scouts, who are composed of boys and girls from kindergarten through fifth grade, wore masks as they did so.

In addition to the masks, shared equipment, including the bows, arrows, BB guns and slingshots, were wiped down with sanitizing wipes after each use. 

“We’re trying to keep everything as clean as possible,” said Chris Largent, a district executive for the Boy Scouts of America. “[Kids] still don’t fully understand … but we’re working on that,”

Evans explained that typically, there would be other activities such as arts and crafts, nature study, whittling and a water slide. 

The traditional end-of-week hotdog cookout did take place, however.

About 20 scouts attended. Largent said a normal year draws 40-50, but he was happy with the number of scouts that showed up. 

Largent felt it was important to hold an in-person session for the kids, especially since every other summer day camp in the Chattahoochee Council of the BSA was canceled this year.

Churches often play host to day camps, but this year, the headache of keeping kids safe while indoors, plus the daily sanitation of facilities was too much, he added.

Largent is in charge of the Yellow Jacket District, which includes Troup, Heard and Merriweather counties. 

It’s one of four districts in the Chattahoochee Council. The scouts at Wednesday’s events came from all over the council, he said. Parents were anxious to get their kids out of the house and mentally stimulated.

“Parents are totally tired of Zoom. They’re Zoom’ed out,” Largent said.

This year’s theme was Cub Scout Investigation (CSI). 

At the start of the week, scouts came to pose for mugshots and picked up an “investigation kit” of arts and crafts, stickers, faux badges from local law enforcement agencies and scavenger hunt instructions. 

Kids were expected to entertain themselves at home with the activities before attending the in-person session.