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.

 

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.

One Can, Two Can, Three Can, Potato

The cold, icky, icy weather always seems to make an appearance the weekend before Christmas. Unfortunately for Crew 91 and other community volunteers the weekend before Christmas means facing all the beautiful elements thrown our way.  But no amount of sleet, snow and ice could keep us away on our favorite weekend of the year.  The annual Chillicothe Community Christmas Baskets are put together and delivered on the Saturday before Christmas.

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This year a total of 107 families were provided with food baskets for Christmas.  The community donates canned food and other non-perishable food items, brings them to the high school and assembles Christmas baskets for those who need them most.  From Kroger Grocery every family receives butter, crackers, potatoes, oranges and apples, carrots and a bag of candy for each child.

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We helped assemble cardboard boxes donated by Tanner’s Orchard, bagged potatoes into smaller bags, organized all the baskets into an easy delivery system and carried Christmas gifts to cars.  Believe it or not, boxes of canned food can be a little heavy.  Thanks to Kroger Grocery we were able to use grocery carts to push all the Christmas baskets to the recipients’ cars instead of treading across ice and falling snow.

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At the end of the day there is nothing truly more wonderful than giving to others at the most important time of the year.  It may have been a little chilly and the ground may have been slushy but the smiles and ‘thank yous’ and the wishes of ‘Merry Christmas’ make the bitter air and frozen fingers seem insignificant.  We wouldn’t have it any other way.

Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.

Venture Crew 91

Partnering Up

There is nothing better than two scouting units coming together to support a community program.  When the community program is all in support of providing weekend meals to youth it is even better.  Two weeks ago we came together with Troop 91 to support Chillicothe Weekend SnackPac.

Troop 91

Troop 91

The Chillicothe Weekend SnackPac is a community program sponsored by the First United Methodist Church.  The whole purpose behind the program is to provide weekend meals to children who would otherwise go hungry.

Christmas on 6th Street

We were able to serve dinner as a fundraiser for Chillicothe Weekend Snackpac alongside members of Troop 91.  There is really no better way to spend a Saturday afternoon.  We made a few new friends in the troop and area children won’t be going hungry anytime soon.

Christmas on 6th Street

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.