SEBASTIAN – More than 100 Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts descended on the Sebastian Municipal Airport this weekend for the Second Annual Aviation Camporee. They gathered in hushed anticipation as two skydivers dropped to the earth, towing the Boy Scouts Flag and Old Glory behind them.
“That was cool,” one scout could be heard over the cheers as the divers landed.
This year’s Aviation Camporee was held in conjunction with the LoPresti First Saturday. The Indian River Boy Scout District will receive the proceeds from this month’s fund-raising breakfast.
Boy Scouts of America is recognizing its 100th year this year, so the camporee is also serving as a celebration of that milestone, according to Camporee Chair David Smith.
The scouts braved cold overnight temperatures Friday, hunkered down in their tents and insulated sleeping bags, and woke up to hot cocoa to help them thaw out in time for breakfast and demonstrations.
“It’s really cool just looking at the planes,” said 12-year-old Scout Donnie Reed, of Troop 567.
“I can’t wait to get in,” fellow scout Charley Osgood, 11, said of getting to fly in one of the small planes.
As part of the Aviation Camporee, Piper Aviation sent its new experimental PiperJet to the Sebastian Municipal Airport for a flight demonstration. It flew by the campers a few times before finally landing.
The boys stood in silence with mouths open as the experimental PiperJet taxied to a stop nearby.
“That’s awesome,” 11-year-old Anthony Comes, of Troop 567, said after the plane parked.
“That’s my new favorite one,” Reed added.
Along with taking turns flying in one of four planes, the scouts were scheduled to see demonstrations from the Sebastian R.C. Club and go on tours of the Velocity Aircraft facility. They were also expected to learn about gyroscopic technology used in aviation.
David LoPresti said that they plan to host the next Aviation Camporee, again the first Saturday in March, as a way to support the scouts.
LoPresti Aviation hosted the first Aviation Camporee last year at the Vero Beach Municipal Airport, but didn’t have the camping.