Camp Sidney Dew was the site of a first-time training event called Zombie-O that attracted more than 300 Northwest Georgia Council Boy Scouts, Venturers and leaders. The brainchild of Max McAdams, Zombie-O was designed to help Scouts improve their orienteering skills.
“Basic orienteering skills, learning to use a map and compass, have been an important part of scouting since it was founded,” said McAdams, who also chaired the event.
“Interest in learning these skills — which can be difficult to master — has gradually declined until the last couple of years, when GPS units have become more affordable and the popularity of events like geocaching has risen,” he continued. “Two of my favorite hobbies are teaching orienteering and zombies, so I figured why not combine the two?”
Approximately 200 Boy Scouts received special training from Z.O.R.T., the Zombie Outbreak Response Team members. The trainers not only taught them basic orienteering skills but also provided valuable insight into how to recognize and avoid zombies while navigating a camp-wide course and collecting “samples” at several checkpoints.
Between 40 and 50 local Venturers — the co-ed program for young men and women ages 14-20 — volunteered to be “zombie-fied” and roamed the camp in small groups.
Teams of Scouts, armed only with a map, compass, watch, instructions and whistle, were sent out with instructions to navigate the course and “avoid contact at all costs,” as the zombies were considered highly contagious and dangerous. Those who completed the course and survived were invited to become Z.O.R.T. members themselves.
“The kids really had a great time,” said Matt Rood, district executive and staff advisor for the Zombie-O event. “We can definitely see this becoming an annual event.”
McAdams offered his thanks to the more than 80 volunteers staffing the event and Redmond Regional Medical Center EMS, which sent a unit to provide first aid and treatment to any potential Zombie victims.