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.


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 (

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 (  Start in your backyard.  You might be surprised by what you find.

Alco, Monicals and the Bauer’s House

There is no better way to spend an evening than shopping at ALCO, eating pizza at Monical’s and destroying the Bauer Family’s living room all in the name of Christmas!  That is exactly what we did tonight.  Every year the Chillicothe Community Needs puts together Christmas baskets with food and presents for local families who need assistance at Christmas time.  And Venture Crew 91 participates every year and it is possibly our most favorite service project of the year.  This year we also decided to support the St. Edwards Giving Tree.

IMG_20121212_173626 IMG_20121212_171308

To pay for our Christmas gifts we work at a local second hand store, Helping Hands.  We volunteer one week out of the year and then the groups who work during that week receive a portion of the proceeds.  And each year we decide to give back to the community with the funds we raise at Helping Hands.

This year we bought Christmas gifts for 18 local children and this Christmas there should be a handful of very excited children.  What 10-year old boy does not like a Nerf gun for Christmas? Our thinking, if we still like to play with Nerf guns at our campouts what little munchkins wouldn’t like an arsenal of Nerf toys of their very own?  And of course we picked out our classic favorite toys by Fisher-Price and Melissa & Doug.  And we want to make sure our skateboarders are safe so we made sure to pick out spiffy helmets.


No Christmas gift wrapping party is complete without pizza so we invaded our local Monical’s and stuffed ourselves before heading back to the Bauer’s living room.  There was no portion of the living room untouched by wrapping paper, stuffing, tape, scissors and loads and loads of gifts!  It was fabulous.  And we lucked out this year – there were no injuries experienced on this Christmas expedition.  You try wrapping skateboards and helmets…very tricky if you ask us!


Good times were had by one and all!