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Registration underway for special needs Camporee in Orange Park

Learn for Life event hosted by Boy Scouts of America on Doctors Lake

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ORANGE PARK, Fla. – The North Florida Council of the Boy Scouts of America is hosting a free event for exceptional students and their families on the First Coast.

The Learning for Life Special Needs Camporee will be held Oct. 20 and 21 at the St. Johns River Base at Echockotee on Doctors Lake in Orange Park. The event is free for all exceptional students, grades K through 12, and their families, but families must register by Oct. 12. The families are invited to come enjoy a few hours or to spend the night in the tent city. 

“This is going to be a great weekend for our Scouts and our special guests,” said Michelle Thompson, coordinator for the Special Needs Camporee. “Our Scouts and volunteers will create carnival-style activity booths throughout the midway that are suited for all special needs students, no matter what their disability. It really is a fun time for us and these families who get to enjoy the many fun activities the Scouts have created and to enjoy a night of camping, all for free and set up by our Scouts and volunteers.”

Registration and tent set-up is at 12 p.m. and then the fun-filled weekend starts with an opening flag ceremony at 1 p.m. The carnival-style activity booths open up after that along the midway.

There will be all types of activities including crafts, games, leatherworking and field games. There are also powerboat rides, fishing, military displays and more. The booths will be open until 4:30 p.m. followed by dinner. The evening events include a campfire program with Native American dancing, a bonfire, plus stories and skits from the Scouts. Sunday morning will feature a continental breakfast.

Families must register for the event by Oct. 12. They will need to bring a tent (if they have one), a flashlight, sleeping bags and personal items. Tents are available upon request. Families must also have a completed medical form for each camper. Click here to register and get the medical form.

Special needs Camporee has been part of the scouting culture for 30 years. It has occurred every third weekend in October since the late 1980s.