Harford Nest #1

Harford County Ravens Nest #1 "travel team" gives a toast after finalizing plans for the road trip to New Orleans later this week. (PHOTO BY MATT BUTTON | AEGIS STAFF / January 27, 2013)

The members of Ravens Nest No. 1 have been there throughout the Baltimore Ravens' tumultuous 2012 season, cheering their beloved football team on from their section of the Main Street Tower in Bel Air.

Sunday evening, however, they will be cheering the Ravens on from their seats in the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans, as their team takes on the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.

"Here's to the Ravens and the Ravens Nest No. 1 travel team," Nest President Milton Skopinski said Friday evening while toasting a group of Nest officers and members who gathered at the Tower to discuss details of the trip.

Most members plan to leave Thursday and drive to New Orleans in a caravan over two days, and then stay in various hotels around The Big Easy. The game will be played Feb. 3.

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The Nest is made up of about 150 members, who live in Harford and Baltimore counties. It is one of about 30 Ravens Nests around the state, dedicated to providing fan support to the Ravens and raising funds for organizations in their communities.

Ravens Nest No. 1 has supported multiple organizations in Harford County, including providing scholarships to Harford County Public Schools students.

The group also meets on the second Thursday of each month.

"My Monday mornings rise and fall with how the Ravens do," member Kathi Smero said Friday night.

About 40 members are attending this year's Super Bowl.

Members present Friday included Smero, Sandy Coho, Milton and Kathy Skopinski, Pat Skebeck, Sue Perouty, Kim Cavanaugh and her companion, Mark Hunt III.

Dave and Beth Rooney, members and residents of Havre de Grace, were also scheduled to attend Friday's meeting, but couldn't attend.

Of the group present Friday, only one, Hunt, had the pleasure of attending Super Bowl XXXV in 2001, when the Ravens defeated the New York Giants in Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Fla.

"It's why I'm going back this year," the Glen Arm resident said. "It's that much fun; it's definitely a bucket list item."

He received his ticket to that first Super Bowl through his employer. Highlights of the game included a rendition of "America the Beautiful" by the late singer Ray Charles, and flyovers by the U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and a U.S. Air Force Stealth bomber.

Hunt said anyone who has the opportunity to see their home team play in the Super Bowl should take it.

"A lot of teams have never been," he said.

Admittance won't be cheap, though – Nest members are paying about $2,100 dollars per ticket.

"A lot of people in this group have given up a lot of things to go to this game," Milton Skopinski said.

It will, however, be worth it. Nest members can look forward to a number of Super Bowl-related activities this year in New Orleans, including a massive party scheduled to take place in a park near the Superdome before the game.

Ravens fans will be led on a walk to the stadium by a jazz band decked out in purple.