Eagle Scout!!

The path to Eagle Scout comes in many shapes and sizes.  No two scouts share the same path.  The basics are the same, the requirements are the same but the actual journey is the decision of the individual scout.

We could not be more proud to announce Trevor Nigus as the newest Eagle Scout of Crew 91.  We are incredibly proud of you, Trevor, and all you have accomplished.  Congratulations!

Eagle Scout - Crew 91

 

The Journey to Eagle Pt. 2

We promise, Trevor has been working diligently on his project, we have just been a little lax keeping everyone in the loop.  The progress being made on The Cottage is remarkable.  You can really tell which parts of the building have been sided and the parts still requiring a little help.  A sizable group of volunteers have been spending their weekend mornings and early afternoons at the Chillicothe Historical Society.

Before and After

Before and After

A vast majority of the youth volunteers have no experience with construction or carpentry.  It has been a learning experience from the first pounding of nails, to learning how to measure lengths of siding, discovering there is a difference when taking measurements from the factory edge, observing first how to install F and J channel and hang siding, to completing all the steps on their own.

It has been a wonderful learning opportunity not only for Trevor but for all youth involved.  Trevor has collaborated with members of the Historical Society and Venturing Adults to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to complete his project.  Through the assistance of Jay and Jerry, Trevor has experienced what steps must be completed prior to the actual siding of the building, what materials and equipment are necessary to replace exterior doors and reside a building,  what it takes to prepare a building to be resided, how many man hours are actually required to complete his project, and how to relay instructions to his volunteers in an age appropriate manner.

Trevor and the Historical Society

Trevor and the Historical Society

With a lot of perseverance and overcoming many challenges, Trevor has seen his project through to completion.  So here’s just a sneak peak into the changes.  More to come later.  We are all just bursting at the seams with pride.  Congratulations, Trevor!

Venture Crew 91

The Journey To Eagle Pt. 1

Goodness are we excited to tell you about all the activities of Crew 91. But nothing could excite us more than to announce Trevor has begun his Eagle Scout Service Project! Woot, woot!!

Over the past four months Trevor has been collaborating with the Chilllicothe Historical Society to bring you a renovated cottage.  He has diligently sought out advisors to help him along his way.  With an adult representative each from the Historical Society and the Crew, Trevor has laid the foundations to complete his Eagle Project well in advanced of the date desired by the Historical Society.

Trevor's Eagle Scout Project

The little cottage behind the main building of the Chillicothe Historical Society used to be a detached garage.  Today it functions as a Cottage with displays about the local area.  However, it has been in need of an exterior overhaul for sometime.  When Trevor approached the Historical Society it did not take long for them to propose residing The Cottage, painting the windows, replacing two exterior doors, and repairing an exterior light fixture.  The old wood siding was peeling and chipping and the windows were looking a little dreary.

Trevor's Eagle Scout Project

Trevor’s first day of service got off to a great start on Saturday, April 11.  While a couple of people worked on replacing the exterior doors the rest of the group got started with the residing.  Goodness, what a difference vibrant white vinyl siding makes on a building with previously cracked and chipped paint!

After just a few hours of service the siding was coming right along.  The side door was a little bit of struggle but the volunteers persevered and the stubborn exterior door was conquered!  Trevor has done a great job not only organizing the necessary supplies for the project but seeking guidance from more experienced adults to learn the ins and outs of residing a building.  He’s learned new skills and in turn taught others the skills he has learned.  In the end, that’s the purpose of an Eagle Scout Service Project, to grow and then to grow others.  Nothing like the teaching E.D.G.E at work!

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

The month of December is always full of excitement for Crew 91.  There are so many wonderful service projects in which we participate.  We kicked off the Christmas season by lending a hand to our sponsoring organization, The United Methodist Men’s Club.

Venture Crew 91

Every year the Men’s Club in conjunction with the church hosts Christmas on 6th Street.  The day is full of crafts and vendors selling wares.  And not to be forgotten are all the delicious baked goods by the women of the church.  The event is held to help support the ministries of the church.  Members of Crew 91 volunteered in the kitchen, taking on our usual role of server, table buser and drink refiller.  The members of the Men’s Club have the kitchen down to a science and we fall into step with ladles and aprons in hand.

Venture Crew 91

The wonderful world of serving at the Chillicothe United Methodist Church are the friendly faces you come to know.  Almost every lunch or dinner served brings old familiar faces.  Serving food is a wonderful opportunity to catch up and get the latest news of the comings and goings of our little town.  This year we were joined by members of Troop 91.  It is easy to forget how young Boys Scouts are when you spend all of your time with Venture Scouts!

Venture Crew 91

Another wonderful organization to which we contribute is the Chillicothe Community Needs Agency (CNA).  Throughout the year CNA is meeting the needs of Chillicothe area residents.  From the past due electric bill, to helping the elderly replace broken and worn out appliances, to providing gift cards for groceries, and refilling pantries at Christmas time the CNA is a happening organization.

Our annual contribution usually takes the form of Christmas presents.  We LOVE shopping for the kiddos of Chillicothe at Christmas time.  This year CNA had a different need, a financial request.  When we approached the Community Needs Agency board concerning how we could best assist their organization they asked if we would contribute financially in place of Christmas presents.  As a collective we determined to use the funds set aside for Christmas presents and make a donation to be used as the CNA saw fit.  It is such a privilege to assist the Community Needs Agency in the services to individuals and families of Chillicothe.

This coming Saturday we will be participating in our all time favorite service activity of the year.  Bright eyed and bushy tailed we’ll join community volunteers at Illinois Valley Central High School to sort, assemble and deliver Christmas food baskets.  Throughout the month of December our local Kroger Grocery, area businesses, and the schools in IVC School District #321 have been collecting food donations for the Christmas baskets.

Venture Crew 91

Saturday morning we’ll be unloading carts full of donated non-perishable food items and preparing them for delivery.  It is just fabulous to see whole families, Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts, young children and Optimist Club members all come together to help serve those less fortunate.  A grand time is had by everyone as towers of green beans are assembled, potatoes are sorted into bags for individual families, and the Chillicothe Volunteer Fire Department picks up and delivers Christmas baskets.

Inevitably the day will be overcast, with a light drizzle turning into freezing rain while fingers and noses begin to freeze as the morning gathers speed. But no amount of gray skies and slippery sidewalks will dampen the spirits of the volunteers gathered at IVC to spread a little Christmas cheer to those who need it most at Christmas time.

What an incredible privilege it is to live in such a philanthropic small community as Chillicothe, Illinois.

 

Hike On {Part 6}

How did we come to the day we leave the back country?  Even though it’s taken all of this summer and fall and what seems to be the start of winter to bring the conclusion of our time at Philmont the actual 11 days went by in a flurry.

Ponil

Tuesday morning we broke camp for the very last time on the trail.  Jerry and Randy worked alongside the other adult leaders at Ponil to make a Chuck Wagon breakfast of pancakes and orange juice.  Breakfast was a perfect way to end our meal times on the trail.  Before leaving Ponil we rode horses throughout what was the original base camp of Philturn Rockymountain Scoutcamp. It was a lovely change of pace and a relief for the footsies. The canyon valley takes on a whole new beauty when atop a horse.  We leisurely rode with about 30 other scouts for an hour and made our way back to the stables before walking the 10 minutes to the buses waiting to take us back to base camp.

Ponil

Riding in the school bus on the way back to base camp and driving past the site where we first hit the trail brought a flood of memories.  Only 11 days ago we crammed ourselves into a Red Roof Inn with 30 of our closest friends.  Just 11 days ago we looked fresh and dust free.  On July 12 we hiked the first four miles of our 97 miles.  That Saturday our history together as a crew was just taking shape.  Making our way off the bus on July 22 we were no longer the newbies.  We were veterans. You could tell by the cakes of dirt on our legs and the sheen of our hair and the scruff on Jerry and Randy’s faces we had not just survived Philmont we had lived Philmont.

Ponil Turnaround

Over the next few hours we enjoyed a meal we did not have to prepare from dehydrated foods, we walked into air conditioned buildings, we unloaded our gear and crashed onto cots…cots!  Going through the final steps of a “Home Bound” crew we managed to return all our gear, visit the trading post and most importantly SHOWER!  Some of us threatened to take a shower and then don our trail clothes from the train ride home.  The idea was quickly vetoed!  Once we were all duded up we hopped the bus headed for Cimarron, New Mexico.  Hitting up the local stores, stopping for ice cream and ordering fresh pizza was the perfect cap to a wonderful adventure.

Cimarron, New Mexico

There is a tradition at Philmont Scout Ranch when leaving Philmont property.  It is said when you look over your shoulder at the Tooth of Time fading into the distance you are bound to return to this enchanting land.  As we made our way to Raton every single head was turned to catch one last glimpse of the Tooth of Time in hopes to be able to return.

Philmont Scout Ranch

I Want to Go Back to Philmont.

 

 

Hike On {Part 5}

Our 10th day on the trail was a doozy!  The morning was a delightful walk across open prairie of Ring Place leaving our feet nice and soaked for the next 14 miles of our Philmont experience.  We made our way to Seally Canyon by way of bushwhacking through a most challenging terrain.  There’s nothing like starting the morning by crossing a barbwire fence and making straight for the hills, okay mountains.  Talk about a wake up at 6am!  The rock face and the boulders we walked among were stunning.  When we reached the peak we had two choices: 1) go around and add 3-5 miles to our day’s total or 2) go down the rock face straight into Seally Canyon.  We were all about covering the distance in the shortest amount of time so rock face it was.

Early Morning Look

Early Morning Look

Crossing the Barbwire Fence

Crossing the Barbwire Fence

The tricky part about traversing a rock face?  Yucca plants, cacti, loose rock and no real trail.  But the view across the open expanse of mountains and valleys was a beautiful trade off for an early morning start.  There is really nothing more breathtaking as the wide open spaces of Philmont Scout Ranch.  We survived the tumbling of rocks and the occasional pricking of a yucca plant and made it into Seally Canyon in record time.  We were greeted by an amazing swap box and potable water.

View of Seally Canyon

View of Seally Canyon

Hiking into Seally Canyon

Hiking into Seally Canyon

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Hike On {Part 4}

We were gently reminded of a very large time lapse concerning our Philmont escapades.  Hopefully we’ll wrap it up in a couple of posts and move onto more recent adventures.  So here it is, Part 4 of our time at Philmont Scout Ranch. 

 

Just when we thought the hike to Iris Park was about to reach completion we realized we had a long ways to go.  We leap frogged with our sister crew the whole way from Upper Greenwood to Iris Park.  The valley walk was beautiful but the road stretching for miles was excruciating.  We were on our eighth morning and everyone was feeling it after hiking for 5 hours.  So to lift our spirits we sang more songs and ate plenty of snacks.

Iris Park

On our way to Iris Park

This lovely stretch of land belongs to Leave No Trace camping and boy could you tell.  It was a beautiful landscape change from Upper Greenwood.  We saw remnants of a widespread forest fire.  The roaming cattle could be seen everywhere and the skies were a brilliant blue.  No one wanted to say it but we were SUPER excited to be walking in dry weather.  We were afraid to jinx ourselves but we enjoyed it while it lasted.  Iris Park was a beautiful expanse of sparse Ponderosa Pines and open prairie grass.

Iris Park Sunset

Iris Park Sunset

The only problem with prairie grasses…restroom facilities.  Leave No Trace camping means no Red Roof Inns which means finding a rock in a land full of grass can be tricky…we survived.  We had to hike about a mile to retrieve water so we split into teams.  We had a water gathering party and a set-up-camp and get-dinner-going party.  Everything was not dry from the previous day’s deluge and we quickly spread out gear on any and every surface.  The previous two days had taken its toll on our merry band with Amariah getting a fever and a start of a head cold and the boys burying themselves in their tents to catch some shuteye before dinner.  Never did a warm meal and a sleeping bag feel more inviting.

Getting Dry

Getting Dry

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