IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Thousands of Scouts arrive at Superspeedway for 3-day event

Tents popped up Friday all over the Talladega Superspeedway. More than 8,000 scouts had registered to camp there, and some 15,000 to 20,000 are expected today to participate today in a three-day event that will be the biggest Scout encampment ever held in Alabama.
/ Source: The Anniston Star

Tents popped up Friday all over the Talladega Superspeedway. "If you think this is something, wait until tomorrow," said Ronnie Holmes, executive for the Greater Alabama Council of The Boy Scouts of America, gesturing to the thousands of campers and tents where parents were unrolling sleeping bags and lighting fires. "There will be a sea of tents in the morning," Holmes said.

More than 8,000 Scouts registered to camp Friday night. Organizers expect between 15,000 and 20,000 to participate today in a three-day event that will be the biggest Scout encampment ever held in Alabama. It is the second largest in the nation, behind the national Jamboree held in Virginia every year, and third event of its kind in the state.

With that many people gathered in one place, it is common for injuries to occur, organizers said. Two teenagers from Huntsville fell off a wall near the track at about 6 p.m. Both were sent to Regional Medical Center. Witnesses said it appeared one had a broken leg and another had a bump on his head. Their injuries did not appear to be life threatening.

The sounds of duck calls were everywhere. Scouts who identified bird calls at a hunting-gear booth received free duck whistles.

"That's my boy," a man said gruffly to another father as his 8-year-old identified 11 of the 12 bird calls on his first try.

There were 30 lanes of archery, air rifles, booths for casting fishing lines, and a movie theater. The National Turkey Caller champion will be at today's event, and professional bass fishermen will help Scouts with their casting skills.

Scouts also will meet NASCAR drivers and hear a host of bands, including the Porch Pickers, an Elvis impersonator, and a man who recites the story of Cinderella backward.

Alabama General Contractors on Friday was building a 100-lane derby race, the biggest one in Scout history.

"With four kids, it's just like moving to come here. We packed for three days and it looks like we packed for a year," said Jamie Hansard, of Birmingham, setting up her family's tent on the west side of the track. It was a new tent they nicknamed "the condo."

"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, to have an event this big so close to home," she said.

The Davis family was on its way to an outdoor movie on the track after setting up its camp.

"I have my own sleeping bag and my own tent. If I'm scared, I'm going to go back in with them," said Jarod Davis, 6, of Madison, gesturing toward his parents.

"Jarod, what if we move our tents in the middle of the night?" teased his father, Tym Davis.

"I can hear you. My ears will be awake," Jarod said. "They're in charge of what I hear."