Boy Scouts Visit Fort Lee, Live a Day in the Life
Pfc. Charles Detwiler and Pvt. Shaun MacDonald, Headquarters and Headquarters Company 23rd Quartermaster Brigade demonstrate the proper use of the Grapevine on the Confidence Course for Boy Scout Troop 447 during a visit to Fort Lee April 16-18.

FORT LEE, Va. (April 22, 2010) - Soldiers from the 23rd Quartermaster Brigade recently helped more than 20 young men take a walk through history.

Boy Scout Troop 447 traveled from Rockville, Md., to live a few days in the life of a U.S. Soldier while participating in a “Walking through History” program.

The group arrived at Fort Lee on Friday evening and was welcomed by Col. Johnny W. Sokolosky, 23rd QM Bde. commander and Capt. Ernan Rodriguez, the brigade S-1.

After the briefing, the troop was issued linens and prepared their bunks in the modular barracks at the Aerial Delivery and Field Services Department.

The boys went to sleep anticipating what the following day would be like, said assistant scoutmaster David King.

“Most of these boys don’t have a clue what military life is like,” he said. “They were expecting drill sergeants to throw trash cans on the floor to wake them. They thought it would be like they’ve seen in movies.”

King is a retired Army officer and a former member of Troop 447. The King family boys have been members of the troop for 60 years.

Scoutmaster Tom Christiano said the troop has been studying history and visiting battlefields in Maryland and Virginia.

“Officially, this weekend is to visit the Petersburg Battlefield site,” he said. “We were lucky enough to find activities here at Fort Lee.”

For breakfast, the troop visited the Sgt. Major Roy L. Morrow Consolidated Dining Facility. The troop’s quartermaster, Michael, said he was surprised by the food available at the dining facility.

“We learned a lot today,” he said. “We learned what a typical Soldier goes through for training and that they get a better breakfast than I do every day. They even had marshmallows.”

After dining as a Soldier does, the troop headed to the Confidence Course where the boys aged 10-17 were trained on the appropriate ways to use each obstacle.

With Rodriquez, two assistants and two medical personnel on the scene, the scouts began the course. The more agile boys were quick to tackle the obstacles, but the troop moved as a unit. They cheered each other on and assisted when someone asked.

Boy Scout troops are led and run by the members with adult direction and guidance. King said senior patrol leader Jacob is equivalent to the troop’s commander. He works with the scoutmasters to make decisions about the troop’s activities and any concerns he has about them.

“As a scouting troop, we all learn to work together to push through anything that may happen,” Jacob said. “We are a boy-led troop and that instills a sense of thought in them that goes with them to every other aspect of their lives. I think when they go out and have to deal with other situations and people, they keep what they have learned in the back of their minds and it helps them.”

Editor’s Note: Boy Scouts are not identified in photos or with their last names per the Boy Scout of America policy.