SOME RECENT NEWSPAPER STORIES
NOTE: Troop 33 participated with a work crew of 19 people. The middle photo shows Troop 33 scouts clearing debris along Business Route 24 in Washington, Illinois. Troop 33 stayed three days April 28-30. We represented Scouting and talked with tornado survivors on Sunday at church services in both Washington and Roanoke, IL.
DeKalb County Cub Scouts pick up debris in front of a house that was almost destroyed by the November tornado that struck Washington, Ill. (Photo provided)
DeKalb County Scouts spread out along Business U.S. 24 in Washington, Ill., removing tornado debris. (Photo provided)
DeKalb County Scouts pose with a heap of debris they gathered from the front yard of a home in Washington, Ill., that was nearly destroyed by a November tornado that struck the town. (Photo provided)
MidWeek - April 9, 2014 |
Scouts aid tornado-stricken city
Over the last weekend of spring break, DeKalb County Boy Scouts made history.
On March 28 and 29, more than 150 local Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Scout leaders from 15 Scouting units traveled to Washington, Ill. to help with tornado recovery. It may have been the first time so many different Scouting groups from the local district made a disaster relief trip together, Scout leader Hugh Bisco said.
On Nov. 17, a tornado with winds estimated at 190 mph traveled through Tazewell, Woodford, LaSalle and Livingston counties. It reached its maximum intensity in Washington, a city of about 15,000 people near Peoria. According to the National Weather Service, the tornado destroyed 633 homes, seven businesses, and seven apartment buildings and inflicted major damage on 280 homes, two businesses and a school in the city.
With the help of volunteers, the residents of Washington are rebuilding and restarting their lives.
“I grew up in central Illinois,” said Bisco, a Scout leader with both Troop 18 and Pack 141 in Sycamore. “I knew people who lost their homes. The day after the tornado happened, the Scouts wanted to go down and help. That’s what Scouts do – they help those in need.”
In December, three Boy Scout troops from DeKalb County traveled to Washington to help with the tornado relief. When they returned, the stories they told sparked an excitement in other Scouts, and leaders began planning a second trip. Both Sycamore and DeKalb public schools had spring break the same week, leading Scouts throughout the district to plan a trip together.
Sean Staats, 16, a Life Scout with Troop 13, went on both the December and March trips.
“It was sad the first time I went down, but this time, the mood was better,” he said. “People were starting to rebuild and there was a sign of hope.”
In Washington, some of the Scouts had their first glimpse of the destruction a tornado can cause. They saw a crumpled radio tower, rubble and litter scattered in fields, tarps covering holes in buildings, and sections of roofs missing from houses. In some cases, only a home’s foundation and a closet or bathroom remained.
“I never saw anything like it before, except on the news,” 10-year-old Max Wray of Troop 18 said. “In real life, it’s worse. On TV, you see just that one picture, that one area. When you’re there, the whole town is like that. Where the tornado was, you could see houses almost torn in half.”
The Boy Scouts arrived on Friday and spent the weekend in Washington. The Scouts, leaders, and members of their families were hosted by the Roanoke United Methodist Church in the nearby town of Roanoke, which provided them with dinner and a place to sleep. Trinity Lutheran Church of Roanoke gave the Scouts breakfast, and Bethany Community Church in Washington fed them lunch and provided trucks, trailers, and supplies to collect bags of debris and bring them to trash bins and dump piles.
Scouts picked up small debris, such as screws, bolts, drywall, glass, and insulation scattered on the ground. The younger boys cleaned the fronts of houses and yards, while older boys helped clean sidewalks, streets and a golf course.
“Usually that golf course is open all year round, but it’s been closed since the tornado,” said Mike Hudspeth, a Scout parent and the activities coordinator for Troop 18. “The farms are too debris-filled and muddy. The farmers cannot farm and will lose a whole year’s worth of income.”
One tornado victim was emotional as she greeted volunteers, Scouts recalled. The tornado blew out the windows and tore the roof off the single mother’s home, and she and her 3-year-old daughter have only recently moved back in. Drivers honked and waved at the Scouts as they passed, and residents often came out of their houses to thank the volunteers.
“The people there really needed and wanted our help,” said Gavin Gartman, a 13-year-old Tenderfoot from Troop 13. “An elderly lady with a blind husband hired somebody to clean her yard, but they did a really bad job. Since they didn’t do the best job, we helped her. Afterwards, she was so grateful, she even gave us a small donation.”
Joseph Ryan. (Photo provided)
Daily Chronicle - March 15, 2014 |
DeKalb's Joseph Ryan earns Eagle Scout Rank
Joseph Ryan recently received the Eagle Award, the highest award the Boy Scouts of America presents, as a member of Boy Scout Troop 33 in DeKalb.
A 2013 graduate of DeKalb High School, he is the son of DaRin Ryan.
His journey in scouting began as a Tiger Cub in Pack 173 sponsored by St. Mary School in DeKalb, where he earned the Arrow of Light, the highest award in Cub Scouts.
In 2007, he joined Boy Scout Troop 33 sponsored by the First Lutheran Church in DeKalb. He enjoyed years of summer camp at Camp Lowden, where he earned many of his 27 merit badges and participated in swimming, canoeing, rifle shooting, archery, handicrafts, nature study and climbing.
Ryan’s most exciting Scouting adventure was touring Central America with Troop 33. In Panama he enjoyed visiting Boca del Toro, snorkeling coral reefs, an island jungle and dolphin watching. Activities in Costa Rica included zip lines, jungle hiking, whitewater rafting, volcano rim hike, waterfall hike, night nature hike in a rain forest, local family homestay, Scout Troop 78 in Escazu, and touring museums and sites in San Jose.
More recently he worked in disaster relief projects following Hurricane Sandy. He worked on multiple trips with his family collecting donations and cooking meals for hundreds of storm victims.
His Eagle Project took place at Oaken Acres Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, located north of Sycamore, which involved supervising the construction and installation of 19 bluebird houses in 2013. He collected lumber and materials from the community and put Scouts to work in the process. Bluebird houses provide habitat for bluebirds along a nature trail near the Kishwaukee River.
He has provided leadership in positions, including Junior Assistant Scoutmaster. Ryan is a student at Kishwaukee College.
Boy Scout Troop 33 is sponsored by First Lutheran Church in DeKalb. Visit their
website at www.troop33dekalb.org.
Twenty-two Scouts and leaders from Boy Scout Troop 33 in DeKalb had a winter adventure in northern Wisconsin. (Photo provided)
Ryan McNett tries his luck ice fishing on a lake frozen with ice more than two feet thick. (Photo provided)
MidWeek - February 25, 2014 |
Scouts have subzero adventure
DeKALB – DeKalb Boy Scout Troop 33, chartered by First Lutheran Church, traveled 350 miles to experience an exciting winter adventure in northern Wisconsin.
To prepare for the adventure, Scouts were trained in subjects that included snow shelters, warm clothing and sleep systems, nutrition and hydration, special winter equipment, buddy system, winter safety hazards, first aid, and emergency response.
Everything they needed to survive in the back country was carried in backpacks and pulled in gear sleds. They camped on a lake with ice more than 2 feet thick. Overnight temperatures dropped to -5 as Scouts slept warm in a parachute shelter and snow shelters they had built. Meals were cooked using backpack stoves and provided hot, simple, nutritious, and delicious food.
They enjoyed a variety of fun winter activities including constructing snow shelters, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, ice fishing, broomball, team building, and orienteering. They learned how to stay warm and have plenty of fun while experiencing a rugged subzero winter adventure.
Twenty-two Scouts and leaders took part in the trip. Winter activities and subzero temperatures helped them earn the Zero Hero and Polar Bear awards.
Troop 33 has been serving DeKalb area youth since 1925. They maintain a non-stop calendar of outdoor fun and adventure. You can visit them online at www.troop33dekalb.org/.
Aviation students from Kishwaukee Educational Consortium directed scouts from Troop 33 as they experienced using flight simulators..
Daily Chronicle - February 8, 2014 |
Scouts pursue aviation badge at DeKalb airport
In pursuit of the aviation merit badge, Boy Scouts from Troop 33 in DeKalb spent a day at DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport. They were the guests of Kishwaukee Education Consortium, DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport Authority, and Fly America Flight School.
Their aviation adventure began with classroom learning covering various aspects of aviation, including uses of aircraft today and how piston, turboprop, and jet engines work; physical forces such as lift, drag and thrust; and how control surfaces of an aircraft are used for maneuvering. They also learned about instrumentation in the cockpit and about recreational and private pilot certificates and instrument ratings.
Scouts received a special tour of the airport runways, taxiways, and fleet of emergency equipment. They saw a plane preparing for takeoff and learned about how radio communications, flight regulations and light signals make the airport operate safely.
Boys gave a plane a pre-flight inspection, observing firsthand how different parts of the plane work. While sitting in the cockpit, they maneuvered wing flaps such as aileron, elevator and rudder. They learned about all the safety checks that are made before each flight.
The most exciting part of the day was using flight simulators, which provided Scouts with a virtual-reality flying experience. The scouts’ instructors were KEC aviation students. Sitting in the cockpit, they operated controls while talking over headphones with a virtual reality control tower. They completed several maneuvers, including takeoffs, turns, climbs, descents and landings. Scouts used the instruments and controls just as a real pilot would in an actual flight. It was the closest thing to a piloting a real plane.
By the end of the afternoon, they had completed all the requirements for aviation merit badges. Troop 33 is sponsored by First Lutheran Church in DeKalb and are online at http://troop33dekalb.org.
Scouts and leaders from Troop 33, 13, 18 pose for a group photo in Washington, Illinois during a tornado relief effort during Christmas break.
Midweek - January 14, 2014 |
Scouts help with tornado relief
Three Boy Scout Troops from DeKalb and Sycamore traveled to Washington, Ill., after Christmas to do tornado relief work. Scouts from Troop 13, sponsored by the DeKalb Moose Lodge 586; Troop 18, sponsored by the Sycamore Sportsman's Club; and Troop 33, sponsored by First Lutheran Church in DeKalb participated in the trip.
The EF-4 tornado that struck Washington in November damaged or destroyed more than 1.000 homes. Scouts cleared debris on church grounds and along roadways, worked at a donation center sorting clothes, and removed debris at demolished home sites in the city. For the Scouts it was an amazing discovery of what destructive force a tornado can do and how much work it is to clean it up. The Scouts will return to Washington in the spring to do more work.