Thousands of scouts flock to Tunica for the weekend

TUNICA, MS (WMC-TV) - Normally gamblers flock to Tunica, but this weekend, it is Boy Scouts, and they are inviting the public to join them.

The large area just outside the Battle Arena in Tunica will be filled to capacity with tents and campers Friday night as thousands of scouts descend on the area.

"I expect that we could have scouts coming from as many as 12 states all throughout the southeast. We've got people coming in from as far away as New Mexico, Virginia, the Carolinas, Ohio....we expect over 10,000 people here," event chairman David Pickler said.

ScoutBase 2008, sponsored by the Chicksaw Council of the Boy Scouts of America, is a bi-annual event that will be held for only the second time in Tunica.

"We've got the Navy Leap Frogs skydiving tomorrow, we've got Salute to Veterans, military vehicles, merit badges, Indian lore," Pickler said.

If you long for the good ole days of scouting, head to the Tunica Museum. There, you can trace the history of the scouts back to 1910.

Museum Coordinator Gene Bradberry has  been involved in scouting since 1948.

"Its just a good experience. It teaches them leadership, teaches them responsibility. It is just a lot of great things happening in the scouting program," Bradberry said.

For Patrick Lucido and son Collin, this is a time to see friends, participate in several fun activities, and perhaps move up the ranks.

"You can do anything that scouts have to offer here in one weekend. You get to see everybody, have all the different events and you can earn some advancement," Lucido said.

Over 280 Events and activities are free and open to the public. Tourism officials said that an event of this magnitude can do nothing but help bring a positive 'spotlight' to the local area.

Click here to e-mail Chip Washington.