Boy Scout troop honored for visiting 120 Pennsylvania state parks

Regional News

In this June 10, 2021 photo provided by Barry Bedlan, members of Troop 298 of Frisco, Texas are among the first to embark a 12-day trek across the Philmont Scout Ranch, outside Cimarron, N.M. Boy Scout and Girl Scouts’ leadership say their summer camps are full, special events are sold out, and they’re expecting many thousands of families – some new to scouting, some who left during the pandemic – to sign up now that activities are occurring in-person rather than virtually. (Barry Bedlan via AP)

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Philadelphia-based Boy Scout troop was honored for going the extra mile by visiting 120 of the 121 state parks in Pennsylvania despite some hardships.

Boy Scout Troop 120 officially completed its goal of visiting 120 state parks. They traveled over 8,000 miles during the course of five years, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) announced Wednesday.

The troop, led by scoutmaster Robert Gizinski, said they began visiting the state parks in 2016 following a camping trip at Fort Washington State Park. While there, a ranger shared a map with Gizinski who was struck by the correlation between the troops’ number and the 120 state parks in Pennsylvania at the time. Since then, the troop got to enjoy camping, fishing, hiking, sightseeing and other outdoor activities.

However, in July of 2020, tragedy struck the troop when Assistant Scoutmaster Jodi Brabazon died of COVID-19 complications, the DCNR noted. Yet, to honor Brazazon’s legacy and commitment to the troop, they pushed on.

State Park Dictor John Hallas presented the troop with a secretarial citation on behalf of DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn to acknowledge and applaud the accomplishment of the troop.

“This is an awesome achievement and true testament to the adventures and memories that can be made at our wonderful network of state parks,” Dunn said. “I am hopeful that these young people will carry forward the experiences during these visits and continue to be outdoors enthusiasts throughout their lifetimes.”

Gizinski said the troop will continue to visit the state parks, including Allegheny Islands State Park, the lone state park Troop 120 has not visited. Gizinski shared that he and Brabazon were unable to find the park using GPS and later learned that it was only accessible by boat. 

To learn more about the 121 state parks, visit DCNR’s website.

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