Glasgow Daily Times, Glasgow, KY

September 21, 2013

Searching for something unusual

Glasgow Daily Times

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Glasgow Daily Times

Bobby and Madeline Ward and their 7-year-old son, Wil, combed the shoreline near the Bailey's Point boat dock Saturday morning, picking up trash.

They told us to look for something unusual,” Bobby said, as he stepped over large rocks, holding a trash bag.

The Wards, who traveled to Barren River Lake with members of Cub Scout Troop 868 on a bus from Shepherdsville, were among about 290 volunteers who turned out for the 26th annual Trashmasters Classic, a lakeshore clean-up event. It was the family's first visit to Barren River Lake.

They arrived at the campground Friday night amidst the rain. They soon learned their tent was not waterproof. Rain leaked in around the pole that supported their shelter, puddling on the ground.

We were sleeping in water,” Bobby said.

The rain had stopped by the time they boarded a pontoon boat Saturday morning for a short ride to a spot along the shore to pick up trash.

I found a shelf for our house,” said Madeline, as she held it up for Bobby to see. “That's unusual. Isn't it?”

A few moments later Bobby said, “I don't know what this is,” holding a small cylindrical item. “It says deodorant.”

Madeline found a fishing pole. Bobby found a wild mushroom growing on a dead tree trunk. Wil found old bottles and pieces of Styrofoam, but it was Bobby who found the turtle nestled in a pile of rocks near the water.

The turtle retreated inside its shell when Bobby picked it up. Wil extended his index finger to touch the edge of the turtle's shell. Bobby then put the turtle back near the pile of rocks.

The family discussed whether they could count the turtle as the unusual item they found, but discounted it because it wasn't trash.

After working for about an hour, they placed the bags of trash they had collected in a heap and waited for someone in a boat to come pick them up.

While they waited, they thought about what they had found and wandered if they had found an unusual item.

The family was interested in finding something unusual, because they could win an award for the most unusual item found during the lakeshore clean-up.

It wasn't long before David Taylor of Scottsville pulled up in his boat to collect the Wards, as well as their trash.

Already on board Taylor's boat were Richard and Michelle Haliburton of Scottsville and their children, Zachary, 19, and Emily, 17.

The Haliburtons have been participating in the Trashmasters Classic for about nine years. They do so, “Because it's the right thing to do,” said Michelle. “It just makes me feel good to know we've kept our environment livable.”

Like the Wards, the Haliburtons were also searching for something they could declare as the most unusual piece of trash.

Among the items they found was part of the undercarriage of a car, three tires and an old Wesson Oil bottle.

As the Haliburtons and Wards turned in the trash they had collected, Ronald Fox, 11, also with Boy Scout Troop 868 of Shepherdsville, sat on the curb of the boat ramp.

This marked his third year for taking part in the Trashmasters Classic.

I think we are the only troop here,” Ronald said.

He talked about camping in the rain Friday night and said it was “all right. We always get rained on, so I guess it was a normal night.”

Fox and his fellow scouts found more trash this year than they did in 2012, he said.

There were mountains of trash my second year,” he said.

As for finding anything unusual, Fox said, “There really wasn't anything real interesting. Last year we found a tractor.”

A cookout for all who volunteered for the event took place at the beach area of Barren River Lake State Resort Park.

Following the cookout, door prizes as well as specialty prizes were awarded. Such specialty prizes included one for the most unusual item.

Stephan Smith, of the Rocky Hill community of Barren County, accepted a certificate of appreciation on behalf of his 12-year-old daughter, Jasmine, for finding the most unusual item. It was a cologne bottle shaped like a Buddha statue, which the family got to keep.

Winning the grand prize award, which was a kayak, was Joshua LaVigne of the Adolphus community of Allen County.

The Trashmasters' Classic is headed up by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who were assisted on Saturday by members of the Friends of Barren River Park and Lake.

As for the turnout for the event, Holly Myers, a park ranger for the U.S. Corps of Engineers, said, “It's about 60 people less than what we had last year. It's a pretty fair turnout and I feel good about it,” she said.