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Scouts from the Fleur-de-Lis District in the Southeast Louisiana Council recently took a weekend hike across Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida. The hike started near the base’s hangars for the Blue Angel flight demonstration team, toured across two early 19th century forts and Barrancas National Cemetery, and ended back at the Scouts’ campsite in the middle of the base.
Three-Tier Protection, Compliments of the Cannon
Before the days of modern warfare—when cannonballs were the popular form of projectile—a key naval base like the one at Pensacola needed protection in case of an assault. Thus, three forts, armed to the neck with cannons and soldiers, protected Pensacola Bay. No ship could enter the bay without being in lethal range of at least one of the forts.
Today, the forts are part of the National Park Service and open to the public. The Scouts made a stop at two of the three forts, Barrancas and Rhubarb, as well as the first lighthouse built by the United States in Florida.
[pullquote]“We did a five-mile hike, went to see the NAS museum, then had a campfire and fun telling ghost stories. I had a great time!” – Dewey (Troop 185)[/pullquote]
National Museum of Naval Aviation
Late on Saturday afternoon, the Scouts finished the hike with a tour of the National Museum of Naval Aviation, a nearly 300,000-square-foot building filled with perfectly restored planes dating from World War I to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
After taking more than enough rides on the motion simulators and walking in awe through the two stories of exhibits, they headed back to their campsite—another Scouting mission complete.