Over 1,200 scouts will call the Muskingum County Fairgrounds home this weekend.
Scouts from seven counties are taking part in Scout Fest. It’s a full weekend of camping and other activities. It’s also a way for the scouts to learn about area history, patriotism and wildlife through interactive events. They’ll be archery, Civil War re-enactors and hatchet throwing.
"Kids don’t go outside as much as they used to," said Executive Director of the Muskingum Valley Boy Scouts Ed Mulholland. "What we’re exposing them to is just a million possible alternatives positive, fun things they could be doing besides staying at home and watching TV or playing on the computer."
To promote the importance of literacy and the reading merit badge a old time radio style performance will be put on courtesy of Galaxy Press.
"The rate of boys reading and earning their reading merit badge has gone down from an average of 15,000 a year to less than 5,000 now and it’s a situation where it’s just not happening and we’re trying to inspire their desire to read so that’s what this is about," said Galaxy Press President John Goodwin.
Two of the actors taking part in the event are John Mariano and Noelle North. Mariano is an Emmy Award winning actor who’s done voices for Animaniacs and Hey Arnold. North is most known for her voice work for the Smurfs.
"What we’re doing is telling stories around a campfire and tell stories. We’re doing that except we have microphones," said Mariano.
The events start at the fairgrounds Saturday at 9 a.m. and the radio show begins at 6:30 p.m. The event is open to the public and free if you just want to see what scouting is all about. But if you want to eat lunch and take part in activities there is a $10 charge.