03/25/12 — Explorer Scouts hosting Fun Fest this week

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Explorer Scouts hosting Fun Fest this week

By Gary Popp
Published in News on March 25, 2012 1:50 AM

The Goldsboro Police Department Explorer Scouts program is hosting its first Fun Fest, a six-day long fair that will kick off Tuesday.

The fun will run through Sunday and will include a midway of carnival rides, inflatables and traditional fair eats.

The festivities will be held off of U.S. 70 West on the grounds between Bojangles' restaurant and the state Highway Patrol Office.

Goldsboro Police Sgt. Trey Ball, a former Explorer Scout who serves as the Senior Explorer advisor, said he is expecting Fun Fest to be a big success.

"This is our first year with the carnival and we hope to make it an annual event," Ball said. "There will be something there for everybody, from young to old."

Ball and others orchestrated the event to help the Explorers program raise money to offset the cost of trips and activities it holds throughout the year.

Ball said not all of the nearly 20 young people involved in the Explorer Scouts have the financial support to pay for some of the group's outings, which will include the National Law Enforcement Exploring Conference in Fort Collins, Colo., later this year.

"We want to give as many kids the opportunity to experience a conference as this one," Ball said. "For some of these kids it could be a once-in-a-lifetime event."

The police department's Explorer program is open to youth 14 to 20 years old who are interested in learning more about a career in local, state or federal law enforcement.

Ball said the Scouts actively volunteer in the community, including providing parking direction at events such as Relay for Life and the upcoming Pig in the Park.

He said a Scout often spends three or four years with the organization.

"They grow up with us," Ball said. "We see them become more responsible. They must maintain their grades to participate. They have to juggle their school work, family and the projects with the Scouts."

Ball said the typical Scout is eager to learn about law enforcement and is community conscious.

"We want to help them out as much was can," Ball said. "Fun Fest is helping us do that."

Admission into Fun Fest is free, but there is a fee to enjoy the rides.

The Explorer Scouts will receive a portion of the proceeds of ticket sales and generate funds through its own concession area.

The fair will be open Tuesday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m.; and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Unlimited ride tickets will be available on Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.