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

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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.

 

Cheerful Service

One of our favorite aspects to Venturing are the opportunities created to give back to our community.  The last week in September afforded us two opportunities of service.  Both service projects benefited important organizations positively impacting the Chillicothe area.

Chillicothe Weekend Snackpac

Friday evening brought us to the 2nd Annual Chillicothe Weekend Snackpac Fundraiser.  Chillicothe Weekend Snackpac provides sack lunches to the students of Illinois Valley Central School District who otherwise would go hungry during the weekend.  We played a handful of roles at the fundraiser.  A few of us bused tables and refilled patrons’ drinks while others of us took turns serving the meal and informing the kitchen of what needed refilled.

Chillicothe Weekend Snackpac

It’s always nice being the kitchen help, you get fed well!  To have the opportunity to serve the Weekend Snackpac program is really more of a blessing to the members of the crew than it is to the program.  There is such a large need not only in Chillicothe but throughout the country.  Children go hungry on the weekends but with the assistance of the Chillicothe Weekend Snackpac program fewer children are feeling the pangs of hunger.

Illinois River Sweep

The morning started a little dreary but soon the Saturday sun made an appearance at the Chillicothe River Sweep. We met other Chillicotheans at Cutright Park to patrol the beaches for trash and unwanted debris.  Crew 91 partnered up for the morning with members of Troop 91.  We combed the beaches and parks and were rewarded with bags and bags of trash. The highlight of of patroling would probably be the baby snapping turtle we found or the discarded headless cement swan.

Illinois River Sweep

There are endless opportunities to volunteer and serve in your local community.  For ideas contact your local food pantry, chamber of commerce, school district or pet shelter.  There’s no need to be bored when there are countless ways to lend a hand, a shovel or a smile.  Happy serving!

Illinois River Sweep

Windy Weather

The last couple of days Chillicothe has been pummeled with wind, rain, hail and crazy weather.  The straight line winds which coursed through our little town left quite a wake, espeically in the north end of town.

Though we as a crew have been unable to help as a group with clean up there have been scouts all over town lending a hand.  Between the power lines snapped in two and the dozens of trees ripped from the earth there’s quite a little mess.  Monday early morning knocked power out of half the city and closed the entire school district.  The roads were flooded and delayed getting to and from work.

Courtesy of Trevor J. Nigus

Courtesy of Trevor J. Nigus

The really wonderful thing about living in a small town: your volunteer fire department, your police department and the community as a whole.  Everyone working together to remove debris and picking up the pieces to start another day.

 

Kudos to the members of Crew 91 who were out and about lending a hand.  And a huge thank you to the men and women of our volunteer fire department and the police department for their relentless services.

Hike On {Part 2}

Hiking with a 40-45lb pack can be exhausting.  After the ill fated game of Uno in the boy’s tent naps were had by almost everyone.  Jared and Ashley started dinner and then another bout of rain had us scurrying under the dinning fly.  While in transit the first of three hail storms came upon us.  This hail wasn’t tiny!  But what’s a good camping story without a little hail!  After clopping through the mud to hang up bear bags it was off to bed.

Venture Crew 91

We gave ourselves a little break and broke camp around 7am to head to Baldy Skyline for our conservation project.  The views on the way to Baldy Skyline were pretty fabulous.  We caught a glimpse or two Mt. Baldy, the highest peak at Philmont.  Tanner busted out his sketch book and took down a few notes for future sketches.  Trevor wished he had his sketch book but whipped out his iPod to snap a few breathtaking pics instead.

 

View of Mt. Baldy

View of Mt. Baldy

By now we’re used to the afternoon rain but hoping it holds off for us to complete our conservation project.  The fellas at Baldy Skyline put on quite the informational show.  Tanner volunteered to be their accident prone scouter and demonstrated how to wear all the PPE required for the project.  We threw rocks and logs and trees and branches for three hours to help in the completion of the Baldy Skyline trail to Ewells Park.  It was a cacophony of voices bellowing “Rock, Tree, Twig, Log” every time something was lofted into the air.  Beware, don’t stand downrange of a rocks, trees, twigs and logs being thrown in your general direction.  Thank goodness for hardhats and sturdy trees!

 

After a short 10 minute walk from Baldy Skyline to Ewells Park we made camp.  Everyone was super excited to be setting up camp in the same spot for two whole nights!  Everything was wet from the night before, including Megan’s sleeping bag.  We thought we’d catch the sun while we could, set up camp and hunker in for the afternoon.  Ross and Tanner made their way to the Red Roof Inn while the rest of us started setting up camp.  It wasn’t too much later when we hear these perturbed cries from the woods.  Tanner and Ross somehow managed to toss the toilet paper out of reach and needed to be rescued.  Jared could have let them suffer but they were disturbing the wildlife.  We just held it over their heads when we needed a good laugh.

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It’s Not Cold…

When we told our friends, family and co-workers we were going to go camping this past weekend we received the, “Are you crazy?” look.  You know the one.  It’s the look where one eyebrow raises, the mouth gapes open and a slight gasp for air follows.  Here in good ol’ Chillicothe, Illinois we are having all kinds of fun in the extreme cold.

The Camp Wokanda Face

The Camp Wokanda Face

But a subzero temperatures were not going to keep us from our annual cabin camping at Camp Wokanda.  There it is, the key word, cabin.  We don’t mind the cold but we’re not completely off our rockers!

Wash your dishes with a sock?

Wash your dishes with a sock?

The weekend was laid back and easy.  We snuggled in Friday night for chili, snacks, games and a movie.  A new member joined us for her first campout with the crew and here’s hoping we didn’t scare her away.  Sleeping did not even require the sleeping bag!

Service & Fun

Service & Fun

No need to get out into the frigid weather too early on a Saturday morning so we had a late start to breakfast.  Made our way to a little service project clearing felled trees and took a break to sled.  It’s slightly tricky to avoid trees, stumps and people.  We managed to survive and get back in time for lunch and the remainder of the service project.

Never a dull moment

Never a dull moment

Nothing too exciting but the weather was brisk, new friendships were made and most importantly we presented a crew member with the rank of Life Scout.  Times are always good when spent among friends, especially while ‘camping’ at Camp Wokanda.

Our new Life Scout!

Our new Life Scout!