Scouts' detour through Atlanta proves fruitful

Despite Delta snafu and 600-mile bus trip, troop thrives in competition

“On my honor, I will do my best...” is how the oath of the Boy Scouts of America begins.

After this weekend, it should continue, “ ... to succeed despite overbooked flights, and arduous overland journeys.”

About half of the 30 San Antonio Boy Scouts who were bumped Saturday in Atlanta from their Delta Airlines flight to a national competition in Indianapolis will be in competition finals Monday despite the more than 600-mile bus trip they had to settle for Saturday night.

The troop arrived Sunday morning from their 12-hour overnight trip with just over an hour before the first scouts were due to compete, chaperone Anthony Carranco said.

“It had an impact, strangely enough, but not negative,” Carranco said Sunday about the extended trip. “I think it inspired the boys to do better.”

The group booked their Delta flight from San Antonio to Indianapolis in April.

In Atlanta, they learned that they had been bumped from their flight to Indiana, and feared they would miss the chance to compete in the National Order of the Arrow Conference at Indiana University, at Bloomington, Ind.

After finding a charter bus — that Delta Airlines agreed to pay for — the group left Atlanta headed north.

They arrived at 7 a.m., with the first of the group scheduled to compete at 8:30 a.m., but Carranco said, “The boys did great.”

Fourteen of the boys placed in Top 10 ranking in various competitions at the conference, earning spots in finals on Monday, he said.

“Of any single group, we have more participants in Top 10 tomorrow,” Carranco said. “I think they were sick and tired of being pushed back, and they wanted to show what they could do.”

The group, including eight chaperones, is scheduled to return home to Texas on Thursday.

“I think Delta will take care of us,” Carranco said.