Scouting has literally opened a whole new world for two Helena-West Helena KIPP School students.
Jaelon Porter and Eric Brown have never flown or traveled outside the Delta Region of Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. However, thanks to their decision to join Boy Scout Troop 113, chartered to the Boys & Girls Club of Phillips County, the pair will be participating in all-expense-paid trip to the 23rd annual World Scout Jamboree to be held July 28-August 8 in Yamaguchi, Japan according to Terry Sharp of the Quapaw Area Council of Boy Scouts of America.

Scouting has literally opened a whole new world for two Helena-West Helena KIPP School students.

Jaelon Porter and Eric Brown have never flown or traveled outside the Delta Region of Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee. However, thanks to their decision to join Boy Scout Troop 113, chartered to the Boys & Girls Club of Phillips County, the pair will be participating in all-expense-paid trip to the 23rd annual World Scout Jamboree to be held July 28-August 8 in Yamaguchi, Japan according to Terry Sharp of the Quapaw Area Council of Boy Scouts of America.

Their peers selected Porter and Brown to attend the World Scout Jamboree based on their demonstrated leadership abilities and Scouting spirit.

“This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has a wonderful story behind it,” says Sharp. “It has become a reality through the efforts of several volunteers and Scouting supporters.”

According to Sharp, Quapaw Area Council presidents Sherman Tate (2013-2014) and Gus “Buddy” Blass (1960-1962) provided the funding and leadership that led to the establishment of Troop 113 in 2013. Tate was the first African-American president of the QAC. His original vision was to offer Scouting to the youngsters in and around his hometown of Marvell.

Tate’s effort to organize the troop was generously supported by Blass who paid for all the Scouts in the troop to attend summer camp in 2014.

Chris Johnson, a KIPP Delta Public Schools teacher, became the Scoutmaster of the newly formed troop. He was instrumental in implementing and delivering the program to the boys registered as Scouts. As a result of the success of this Scouting program, KIPP Delta Schools is currently working to add Scouting as part of their educational offerings in several other locations.

Porter and Brown will be departing for Japan from the Little Rock Airport on Sunday, July 26 with other representatives from the council attending the World Jamboree. Sharp reports that Dr. James Hendren, a long-time Scouter from Little Rock and former Quapaw Area Council president (1998-2000) will lead this group of Scouts.

“This experience will literally open up a whole new world of adventure for these young men,” stated Sharp. “And with both of them being in their early teenage years, it is the hope of all that have supported this effort that they will be able to tell their story to the other young people in and around Helena.

The Quapaw Area Council – Boy Scouts of America provides Scouting opportunities to more than 8,000 youths in 39 countries throughout Central, Northcentral and Northeast Arkansas.