FORT MYERS BEACH, Fla. - With more than a dozen sandy works of art nearly complete and ready for inspection, 19-year-old Gregory Cain and 11-year-old Paul Walker start their laps around the sandsculpting arena.
"We do pairs of two," says Walker. "We go around for half an hour, then switch over to the next people."
The boys are with local Boy Scout Troop 999 and part of a group of about 30 who watch over the sculptures at the American Sandsculpting Competition, which is celebrating its 25th year at Fort Myers Beach.
The troop has been charged with this task for years now, and take its mission to heart.
"It's pretty neat," says Cain, an Eagle Scout. "Until you almost fall asleep."
Cain says the scouts work in shifts from dusk until dawn, making sure people do not deface the artwork.
The town has given the troop special permission to camp out on the beach overnight -- a measure that the festival says unfortunately became necessary several years ago.
"We had someone in the gallery that was intoxicated and stumbled and fell into the sculptures," says Andrew Cochrane, Chairman of the American Sandsculpting Festival. "It created a lot of havoc."
Cochrane says that person was prosecuted, fined, and served jail time.
"It's like going into a museum and destroying a work of art," Cochrane says.
Since then, the troop has kept watch every year, and in the process, developed another festival tradition. Every Saturday of the competition, the troop retires worn American flags.
This year, the scouts properly dispatched nearly a hundred, which were donated from all over Southwest Florida.
"It comes from the community, the fire department on their trucks, the town hall, the schools," says Raymond Desrosiers, the troop's Scoutmaster.
It's a duty the scouts say they're proud to do each year, along with their important overnight patrols.