Camp Parsons Celebrates 50 Years of the Wilderness Act With Photography Contest for Boy Scouts

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This summer, Boy Scouts arriving for High Adventure at Camp Parsons, the oldest continually running Boy Scout camp in the United States, will have an opportunity to participate in a photography contest celebrating the Wilderness 50 areas of the Olympic National Forest.

Boy Scouts attending Camp Parsons of the Chief Seattle Boy Scout Council this year are invited to help celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act by participating in the Camp Parsons Wilderness 50 Boy Scout Photo Contest. Scouts must take photographs within five Wilderness areas in the neighboring Olympic National Forest: Buckhorn Wilderness, Colonel Bob Wilderness, Mount Skokomish Wilderness, the Brothers Wilderness and Wonder Mountain Wilderness.

One first place grand prize winner and one runner up winner from each of the following four categories will be recognized: 1) Sunrises/Sunsets, 2) Water Features, 3) Wildlife and 4) Landscapes. The First Place and Runner Up winning photographs will appear on the Olympic National Forest website. Prizes will include a day to improve photographic skills with a professional photographer, a digital SLR camera and magazine subscriptions. Entrants may submit photographs between June and 31 August 2014 and the winners will be announced in September of this year.

Ken McEdwards, Director of the Camp for over 20 years stated, “We are very happy to be able to launch this contest at Camp Parsons in our 95th Anniversary and in commemoration of the 50th year of the Wilderness Act. Camp Parsons Scouts have hiked these wilderness areas for almost a century and is where they have learned qualities of outdoor ethics, leadership, and environmental awareness.”

About Camp Parsons:
Camp Parsons is a resident Boy Scout camp operated and maintained by the Chief Seattle Council of the Boy Scouts of America. It is named after Reginald Hascall Parsons, a Seattle financier and philanthropist, who helped bring scouting to Seattle, served as the first Council President and who led the campaign that raised the money to purchase the land on which camp is based. Camp Parsons is one of the oldest Boy Scout camps in operation in the United States today and the oldest operating camp west of the Mississippi. Since July 7th, 1919, Camp Parsons has never ceased operation nor moved from its original site.

About the Wilderness Act:
The Wilderness Act, signed into law September 3, 1964, established the National Wilderness Preservation System and set aside an initial 9.1 million acres of federal land as Wilderness for the use and benefit of the American people. Wildernesses are special places where the earth and its communities of life are left unchanged by people, where the primary forces of nature are in control, and where people are visitors who do not remain. Today, the United States has 758 Wilderness areas. Wilderness provides habitat for fish and wildlife, protects clean air and water, allows opportunities for solitude and primitive recreation, preserves iconic landscapes, and inspires awe and wonder.

Contest Background:
Ninety years ago in 1924, Camp Parsons Eagle Scout L. Ron Hubbard at 13 years of age led hikes through The Brothers and Buckhorn Wilderness Areas from Camp Parsons. He used one of the first point-and-shoot cameras, The Kodak Brownie Jr., to photograph areas of the Wilderness for his Photography Merit Badge. The photographs have been fully restored and will be on display at Camp Parsons and are the inspiration for the contest in the 50th Anniversary year of the Wilderness Act. Scouts will get the opportunity to improve their photographic skills for their merit badges and appreciate the history and value of the Wilderness Areas.

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Chris Finn

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