On July 16 members of Scout Troop 347 and United Methodist Church took part in the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission scallop-sitting program training class at the University of Florida Extension Service’s office in Port St. Joe. The class was attended by Pastor G and his wife Liz along with members of the sponsored troop starting with Senior Patrol Leader Sean Farnsley, Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Fisher Van Der Tulip, Second Class Scout Sam Farr, Scouts Dru Flowers and James Ward, Leaders Abby Cozine, Ben and Diann Welch and Bill Van Der Tulip.
The class we took taught all about the creatures we are going to be caring for the next five or six months to help restore our scallop numbers. This program that FWC has headed up works well with the scout program because not only do the scouts have to do community service to advance in rank they have to do the same amount of conservation minded community service as well. So this project works in favor of both organizations in different ways.
After the training, the very next day the Troop took off from the Port St. Joe boat ramp and headed out to find our new home area for the 600 scallops in 12 cages the troop will be tending to.
We had to take water samples for salinity and place the cages in a sandy area but close to the grasses from which they feed. The scouts have to do this once a month and report their findings to the FWC each time.
It was a great day on the water and the scouts had a chance to see an abundance of sea life on our way out from dolphins to flounders swimming as we made our trek.
This is a very large undertaking for our troop but we believe in taking care of our environment and “leaving it better than how we found it,” words we live by in scouting.