Wednesday, November 17, 2021

DCNR Honors Boy Scout Troop That Visited 120 State Parks In Honor Of Late Scoutmaster

On November 17, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources honored Boy Scout Troop 120 for completing its impressive goal of visiting 120 state parks while with Troop 120.

“We are so proud of this scout troop and its dedication to learning more about Pennsylvania through visiting state parks,” DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said. “This is an awesome achievement and true testament to the adventures and memories that can be made at our wonderful network of state parks. I am hopeful that these young people will carry forward the experiences during these visits and continue to be outdoors enthusiasts throughout their lifetimes.”

State Parks Director John Hallas presented the troop with a secretarial citation Wednesday afternoon on behalf of Secretary Dunn to acknowledge and applaud the impressive accomplishment of the troop. 

Over the course of five years, the troop traveled more than 8,000 miles visiting 120 of Pennsylvania’s 121 state parks, enjoying camping, fishing, hiking, sightseeing and other outdoor activities.

Led by its scoutmaster, Robert Gizinski, the Philadelphia-based troop began visiting state parks in 2016 following a camping trip at Fort Washington State Park. 

A ranger checked on the group and shared a map with Gizinski who was struck by the correlation between the troops’ number 120 and the 120 state parks in Pennsylvania at the time.

“I knew then that this was the quest we needed to take and visit all the parks,” Gizinski said. “What better story a scout can tell throughout life that they did all 120 state parks while with Troop 120!”

The troop subsequently planned routes during meetings, made reservations to camp and visited 26 parks in 2016. 

In 2017, the troop went to a Boy Scout Summer Camp and was unable to resume the quest until 2018 when they visited 46 parks. 

Troop 120 again went to the summer camp in 2019 and was unable to visit parks in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and scout regulations.

Tragedy struck in July 2020 when assistant scoutmaster Jodi Brabazon died of complications from COVID-19. 

The troop visited the remaining parks in 2021 in part propelled by honoring Brabazon’s legacy and commitment to the troop. 

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.

  For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

[Posted: November 17, 2021]  PA Environment Digest

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