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Boy scout group goes to glide along local canopy course
Noah Wood, 11, a scout with Boy Scout Troop No. 3, ziplines through the trees at North Georgia Canopy Tours in Lula Thursday. The troop got to use the course free of charge thanks to a generous donation. - photo by SARA GUEVARA

A Hall County Boy Scout Troop went soaring through the trees Thursday afternoon thanks to a donation from a former scout.

Ronald Mason, the builder of the North Georgia Canopy Tours facilities, sent 15 scouts from Troop No. 3 on the course, which involves a series of zip lines and rope bridges in tree tops.

"I thought it'd be a good thing for the young boys," Mason said. "Young people, you have to take an interest in them. That's a good group they had over there today."

Troop Commission Chairman Shon Peppers said the scouts, between ages 11 and 15, learned a lot from the experience. He said it took a lot of the kids courage to jump off the high platforms at first.

"They had a blast," Peppers said. "It really pushed them into confidence and helped their self esteem."

Leah Watkins, co-owner of North Georgia Canopy Tours, said the course works well with the goals of scouting.

Between zips, guides talk about the species of trees, flowers and animals that are found throughout the trail.

"We're very excited to have the scouts participate," Watkins said. "Scouts are realizing they can go out and earn some of their hours of outdoor requirements and have fun at the same time."

Peppers said the scouts were able to brush up on their knowledge of trees and plants.

"It was neat quizzing the boys," Peppers said. "It was a great opportunity. All the boys just had a phenomenal time."

North Georgia Canopy Tours, located on 100 acres near Lula, opened in April.

Currently, there is only one other facility like North Georgia Canopy Tours in the state, Banning Mills in Whitesburg.