Scouts from Nelson, Jefferson and surrounding counties gathered this weekend for the 75th Bishop Flaget Trail, a long-standing Scout tradition.
The event, sponsored by the Catholic Committee on Scouting and the Lincoln Heritage Council, returned to the site of the first Flaget Trail, St. Thomas Church in Bardstown.
“Bishop Flaget was the first bishop of Kentucky and his cabin is just across the church,” said Charlie Hulsman, chairman of the Catholic committee that was in charge of the weekend’s event. “We stay here in his honor.
Hulsman said that while the Bishop Flaget Trail traverses places each year, the first was in Bardstown in 1947.
“We’ve been to Gethsemani, Indiana to St. Meinrad, and previously to St. Catherine in Springfield, among others,” Hulsman said, listing some of the trail locations.
The event returned to its roots this year in honor of the 75th anniversary.
Activities took place over the weekend and Saturday, including visits to the Proto-Cathedral of St. Joseph and St. Monica’s Church in Bardstown as well as tours of St. Thomas and a visit to the historic cabin of Bishop Flaget. Scouts and their troop leaders camped on church property and enjoyed other activities such as a flag removal ceremony, games and a Sunday morning mass. The trail welcomed the participation of Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cubs, American Heritage Girls and families.
Over 200 people attended the event this year, and Bardstown Troop 142, which is sponsored by St. Thomas, was among those in attendance.
“Our children had a great time. Even though many of our kids are not Catholics, they chose to come camp with us and take the tour, ”said Tom Pfeifer, public relations manager and deputy scout director for 142.“ They had a blast. They seemed to be really enjoying themselves.
The Bishop Flaget Trail takes place at different locations each year, so it was an exciting opportunity for local Scouts to participate in the event’s return to Bardstown. Pfeifer said there were 10 scouts with his group.
The event is just one of a few activities that Scouts do throughout the year, including meetings, day trips and overnight camps.
“We try to plan a trip or activity once a month,” he said.
Pfeifer said the troop are preparing for a kayak trip and camp in September at Big South Fork of the Cumberland River. Next year they plan to visit Lake Kentucky for sailing and last summer they visited the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina.
While the troop is active, it is “not all play without work”. During events, activities and excursions, many Scouts are constantly striving to earn the rank of Eagle Scout, carry out community service projects and continuously learn.
Boy Scouts are like an extended family, Pfeifer said, and many stay connected to the organization for years to come. Pfeifer himself was a Scout growing up and he and many others who were in his former troop now serve in Scout leadership. contact him at (502) 541-7882 for more information. Phillip Roberts is the troop scout leader.
“We have grown to be the next generation and carry on the tradition,” said Pfeifer, and he hopes the young people of today will do the same.