September 1, 2013 at 10:54 AM
BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Boy Scout Troop 368 of Berkeley Heights and Mountainside traveled to Florida and the Berry Islands, Bahamas for an 11-day expedition. The 36-person crew chartered a scubs diving sailboat and a snorkeling sailboat. Before the trip, 19 crew members attained their scuba diving certification in New Jersey.
The crew headed to Orlando on Aug. 1. They also visited the Kennedy Space Center, where they saw the space shuttle Atlantis on display. They also went on airboat rides where they learned about the Florida habitat and nature in the St. Johns River Park. Finally, they went on a night-time alligator expedition where the crew learned about the behavior and habitat of the Florida gator. On the final day in Florida, the crew had a fun day at Universal Studios Orlando.
On Aug. 3, the crew flew to Nassau, Bahamas to board the 'Sundancer' under Captain Steve and the 'Avalon' under Captain Ray.
During the next week, the crew worked as a team to sail around the Berry Islands to different cays. The boats were under the youth leadership of Crew Chief James Park and Ryan Vargo - the crew sailed, navigated, cooked meals, cleaned the boat and slept on top of the deck every day.
The crew scuba dived and snorkeled many coral reefs, fished, sailed and visited a few historical sites. They learned about coral reef habitats, Bahamas culture and participated in a beach clean-up with some local children for a day.
Any youth members ages 11 to 17 interested in joining the Boy Scouts can visit www.beascout.org for more information about Scouting.