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.

 

Are you hungry?

If you are hungry, you’re not alone.  In the United States 1 in 6 Americans face hunger every day.  More than 50 million Americans suffer from hunger and 1 out of 5 is a child (feedingamerica.org).

So that is why Crew 91 volunteered last weekend to serve at a fundraiser to fight child hunger.  The Chillicothe First United Methodist Church, which happens to be our organizational sponsor, has a Weekend Snacpack program.  Members of the church recognized there were children in the IVC School District who were hungry.  They pulled their resources and are now serving 157 children.

Photo Courtesy of Chillicothe Weekend Snacpack

The Chillicothe Weekend Snackpack program has a goal to feed every hungry child in the school district each weekend.  What an amazing goal and how incredible .  We were more than happy to serve a delicious pork chop meal, bus tables, serve drinks and clean up to support this much needed program.

Photo Courtesy of Chillicothe Weekend Snacpack

What can you do to be involved?  Start by becoming informed.  Take the Hunger Knowledge test sponsored by Feeding America.  Check out the Chillicothe Weekend Snacpack program sponsored by the Chillicothe First United Methodist Church.  Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food pantry.  There are hundreds of ways to get involved.

Chillicothe Weekend Snacpack

You don’t have to take on the 16.7 million hungry children of the United States (feedingamerica.org).  Start in your backyard.  You might be surprised by what you find.

It’s Been a While

Well, it’s been ages since we’ve posted about anything happening in the land of Venture Crew 91.  So we decided we’ll do one massive post with loads of pictures to get caught up on our happenings.

We participated in Relay for Life and had quite the blast.  There was a crazy marshmallow war that took place at the Bannister’s.  There were not any winners but the game was sure fun.  Try using the massive marshmallows, ripping them apart and then throwing them…they stick to your targets!  🙂

Relay for Life 2013

Four of our members traveled to West Virginia to participate in the National Scout Jamboree as members of Jamboree Crew F404!  What an awesome experience!  We’ll dedicate a whole post to the Jamboree.  There were just too many amazing things that took place for a synopsis.

Jamboree Crew F404

Jamboree Crew F404

Every year the Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce holds the CornFest.  This year 125 dozen ears of corn were shucked, cleaned and steamed.  Members of Crew 91 served hundreds of Chillicotheans close 1500 ears of corn!  It was a great way to spend an evening giving back to our community.

Chillicothe Chamber of Commerce CornFest 2013

We’re headed to Philmont next summer and we’ve been getting ready.  Summer 2014 seems ages away but it’s never too early to start hiking.  We spent a Sunday morning right after Jamboree hiking the trails at Camp Wokanda.  It was perfect hiking weather and we’ll be hitting the trails for many months to come.

Philmont Prep Hike

We attempted to use our speed boat last Sunday and that turned into an adventure all by its self.  Attempt would be the operative word.  Our speed boat is super fabulous…when it runs!  We backed into the river and the boat was running.  The boat ran for maybe two minutes tops…while still on the trailer!  But never fear, Craig came to the rescue with his fancy fishing boat and saved the day.  The weather was perfect, the water was fine and who knew a fishing boat could haul a tube at speeds fast enough to almost barrel roll.

Rocking the Bannister Fishing Boat!

Rocking the Bannister Fishing Boat!

The summer has almost drawn to a close.  School resumes in our little town next week.  Just because the summer is about to end does not mean the adventures will cease.  We’re looking forward to an outstanding school year!

Relaying all the Time

This past weekend, despite the heat, we made our way to the track at Illinois Valley Central High School for this year’s Relay for Life of Chillicothe.  We had quite the showing of Crew 91ers and played a supporting role in many different capacities.

Relay for Life 2013

We kicked off the morning helping to clean out the concession stand.  There was a ridiculous amount of dust and the nacho cheese machine hadn’t been cleaned before the stand was closed for the season! Once the stand was cleaned we made our way to the football field to set up games for the kids.

Though there were not as many kids in the past that did not stop us from having a good time.  We blew bubbles, jumped in the bouncy house, played with the water, attempted Hilly Billy Golf and had ourselves a grand old time.

Relay for Life 2013

Yes, yes, we were there to walk the track and we did that too we just enjoyed ourselves in all the different activities.  Derick even participated in the 5K Glow Run and came in first place!  After Relay we made our way to the Bannister’s lawn and camped out.  Two individuals, who will remain nameless, stayed up through the night.  The crazies!

Relay for Life 2013

We had another successful year raising $2,170.37 for Chillicothe’s Relay for Life!  All in all, a wonderful way to spend a weekend!

Flood Waters

This week Central Illinois was hammered with an excessive amount of rain.  There are more fields, roads and houses under water than we have seen in quite some time.

A few of our members have flood waters in their basements and spent all of Thursday afternoon mucking out their homes.  One of our most frequented camp grounds experienced heavy damage.  Camp Wokanda in rural Chillicothe had mudslides and flood waters destroy an outhouse, cause damage to trails and bridges and overall wreck havoc throughout the camp.

Flooding in Central Illinois

Our local Chillicothe Sportsman’s Club was holding a Youth Shooting Invitational this weekend but had to cancel.  The floodgates reached the club and have put the shooting ranges and the camping areas under water.

Students and members of the community have been sandbagging at the highschool all morning.  The waters are supposed to reach record highs this weekend.  Our community has been impacted and we will be out to help bring it back to its feet.

Crusin’ with the Carp

We can’t have all work and no play so we decided to kick back and enjoy the Asian Carp.  Today was a ‘get ready for Relay for Life’ day.  We camo tie-dyed our team shirts and they’ll look pretty fantastic when they’re finished.  After grabbing a quick hot dog and brat off the grill we loaded up and headed to Lacon.  The night could not have been any better for tubing and speeding up the Illinois.  We’re not a tame bunch when it comes to tubing.  The only objective…to get thrown from the tube.  And really, if you’re honest with yourself you know getting thrown from the tube is your favorite too!!  Half of us road in the boat and the rest of us hung out on the pontoon as pick up and deliver when it was time to swap.  We’re all about including family in our crazy activities so we had quite the group on the river.  We can’t wait until the next river jaunt!

Not Yet Thrown

Can’t Wait to be Big

About to be Launched

Sprinkles, Chocolate and Doughnuty Goodness

Our amazing volunteer Ambulance Rescue 33 had their annual fundraiser this past weekend and we were there to help!  Who could possibly turn down making homemade doughnuts, dipping them in frosting, plopping on sprinkles and eating the misshaped ones?  No one, especially members of Crew 91!!!!  For a whole weekend the town smells like doughnuts and what a wonderful smell.  Not only do you get to make thousands of doughnuts in a day, you get to eat all the ones that look a little funky!  I do believe “funky doughnuts” are made just for the pleasure of eating one fresh off the line.  The smell of doughnuts goes home with you, gets stuck in your hair and embedded in your clothes.  But we wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Thanks Rescue 33 for your volunteer services and for being one of the best in the state.  Your free services do not go unnoticed.  On behalf of Chillicothe, Crew 91 thanks you for your daily sacrifices.