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

 

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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.

 

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 1}

When you spend 11 days hiking in the back country of Philmont Scout Ranch it is hard to squeeze everything into only one post!  So much happened we’ll need to share over a few days.  Hold onto your hats, we did a lot of hiking.

Venture Crew 91

Our grand adventure started off with a bit of excitement.  Crew 711-G was the honored recipient as the designated 1 millionth crew of the day when we arrived on Friday, July 11.  Our fearless Crew Leader, Trevor, was presented with a folding sheathed, engraved knife to commemorate this being the summer of the 1,000,000 scout to attend Philmont Scout Ranch.  We were quite shocked and honored.

Venture Crew 91

Mr. Sam Moore was introduced to us as our Ranger and we hit the ground running.  It did not seem possible for over a year of planning to finally be upon us and we were taking everything in with wide eyes.  From the dining hall lined with crew Class Bs to the opening ceremony to the gathering of our crew gear we were as ready as we could be.

Venture Crew 91

Saturday afternoon brought us to a Leave No Trace campsite where Sam filled us in on all the important stuff we needed to know.  Like how to put up bear bags, the importance of the Bermuda Triangle and the Human Sump.   Thanks Tanner for  sacrificing your gut on our first night! For some unknown reason girls always catch the blame for talking late into the night.  Not so on this first night in the back country.  Tanner, Ross, Trevor and Jared could not stop talking…they were not quiet folks!

Venture Crew 91

Campos Heck

Venture Crew 91

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Kansas Forever

Well we rolled into Kansas City last night at 10:30pm.  It’s 8 am local time and guess what…we’re still in Kansas. 

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The train was FREEZING! Sleeping was intermittent for those of us without blankets or long pants.  We made it through the night but have yet to escape the clutches of Kansas.

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Now that the train is warm and the view has been the same for hours we’re all catching up on some rest.  Had a little breakfast of muffins from ice cream containers and like champs ate pudding and brownies with Capri Suns.

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Trains, Scouts and Sleeping

It’s pretty fabulous to travel by train.  There’s way more room for wandering and for sleeping and overall better experiences.

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We’ve managed to make some friends from Michigan. Playing ‘Boy Scout’ and euchre in the cafe with our new scouting family.  We’ve shared our Twizzlers and Capri Suns and escaped onto the platform in Kansas City. 

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Trevor made friends with a few conductors and engineers and they’ve said they’ll give him a tour of the Galesburg Amtrak.   There was a crazy card game with pizza on the line. 

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Now we’re back on the rails and everyone is mostly winding down.  Tanner ‘s been sleeping for sometime curled in a little ball and Megan’s all comfy next to the window. 

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It’s bound to be a great trip!

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