SOME RECENT NEWSPAPER STORIES
Re-enactors assigned Boy Scouts to a position and instructed them in each step during a mock firing of a civil war cannon.
Daily Chronicle - October 18, 2014 |
Living history camp takes Boy Scouts back in time
Boy Scout Troop 33 in DeKalb “traveled” more than 200 years back in time when they spent a weekend at a living history event in Ashippun, Wisconsin.
Scattered over acres of land were historic camps under canvas tents and tarps filled with authentic furnishings and tools. Seeing and meeting re-enactors in period dress and manner brought everything to life. They told great stories, explained how things worked, and were happy to answer every question.
Historic camps included fur trappers, French voyageurs, long riflemen, mountain men, Native Americans, traders, musicians, highlanders, Civil War cavalry, infantry, artillery, plus French and British settlers. A large circle of teepees replicated those used by the Cheyenne Plains Indians during the early 1800s.
The weather was a challenge for camping, but neither the rain and wind on Saturday, nor the frost and freezing temperatures on Sunday morning could dampen the boys’ spirit of discovery. They were eager to explore all the areas, excited to learn new things about old times. One location introduced them to the sport of tomahawk throwing. Scouts tried their best to hit a playing card on a wooden target. A re-enactor offered sage advice on how to improve their throwing style. In one tent, a British woman demonstrated a hand-cranked wood lathe. Visitors turned a wheel while she sculpted a piece of spinning wood.
Battery A, 4th U.S. Light Artillery, Cushing’s Battery, instructed Scouts in a mock firing of their Civil War cannon. The boys were assigned firing positions and instructed in each step. The training taught Scouts the importance of precision teamwork.
Next to the teepees, people gathered at dusk around a sacred fire, known to Native Americans as a drum circle. Scouts were given a small drum to beat during parts of a ceremony. Stories explained the meaning of each part of the ceremony.
An infantry soldier demonstrated various rifles and pistols used during the era. Cavalry soldiers rode horses across a field in drill formation. There were so many different things to see and do, the Scouts couldn’t find time for everything
DeKalb Boy Scout Troop 33 receives a check for $2,674.63 Monday from Corn Fest chairwoman Lisa Angel and DeKalb Corn Fest board members Mark Salsberry (red shirt), Stacie Haugh (black shirt), Shawn Lowe, and Melissa Butts. The auction of Northern Illinois University specialty Corn Fest football jerseys raised more than $8,000
Daily Chronicle - October 3, 2014 |
Corn Fest distributes funds from NIU jersey auction
DeKALB – Scoutmaster Cliff Golden was surprised by the amount of money presented to his Boy Scout troop, and he knows the funds will be used to help others.
DeKalb Boy Scout Troop 33, which often travels to help others in need, was one of three recipients of funds from the Corn Fest’s auction of corn-themed Northern Illinois University football jerseys, so it could continue to complete projects. In the past, the troop has traveled to disaster sites including New Jersey after Superstorm Sandy, and Oklahoma and Washington, Illinois, to provide relief.
“We have some different ideas,” Golden said. “Whatever disasters come our way, we will help. We are very pleased and excited to even be considered for this.”
The special fundraiser was a one-time opportunity for Corn Fest, said Lisa Angel, Corn Fest chairwoman and marketing development manager at the Daily Chronicle. NIU typically partners with a local nonprofit on a commemorative jersey.
In November, American-flag-themed jerseys featuring a red camouflage number were auctioned to benefit Active Heroes, which provides military families with financial assistance and programs that combat post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide.
This year, the first home football game of the season fell the night before Corn Fest started.
Angel said festival leaders decided to spread the proceeds from the auction to three separate causes, and were pleased with the results. More than $8,000 was raised by the sale of all 99 jerseys, so the Canaday family, Voluntary Action Center and Boy Scout Troop 33 each received a check for $2,674.63 this week.
“You never know whether people are going to buy them or not,” Angel said. “We had to hold our breaths a little.”
VAC Executive Director Tom Zucker said the money will help fund the organization’s day-to-day operations, which include transportation services and the Meals on Wheels program.
Mark Canaday has been overwhelmed by the community support his family has received since Corn Fest.
Canaday has been battling esophageal cancer, while his son, Christopher, was born with pulmonary atresia and has had 33 surgeries in his 13 years. The family deals with many medical expenses and related costs, so Corn Fest organizers selected the family as one of three beneficiaries of the auction to help with medical bills.
“It’s amazing how much love the community has given us,” said Amy Canaday, Mark Canaday’s wife. “To be on the receiving end of this is just overwhelming.”
Keegan Donnelly Eagle Scout
Daily Chronicle - September 6, 2014 |
Donnelly earns Eagle Scout rank
DeKALB – Keegan Donnelly, a member of Boy Scout Troop 33 chartered by First Lutheran Church in DeKalb, was recently presented the Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. Keegan is the son of Bernie and Deanna Donnelly of DeKalb.
Donnelly first entered Scouting in 2006 with Cub Scout Pack 173, sponsored by St. Mary School in DeKalb. He earned the Arrow of Light Award, the highest honor in the Cub Scout program. In 2011 he crossed over into Boy Scout Troop 33.
He attended numerous campouts and activities in every season, highlighted by several summer camps at Camp Lowden in Oregon, Illinois.
Donnelly has been involved in Troop 33’s high adventure programs, including backpacking at Rocky Mountain National Park, hiking in the Badlands National Monument, Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Parks, as well as visiting Mount Rushmore. Disaster relief efforts have taken him to New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, tornado sites in Oklahoma, and more locally, Illinois tornado sites in Harrisburg and Washington.
He attended the 2013 National Scout Jamboree in West Virginia and recently completed National Youth LeadershipTraining.
Donnelly has served in various leadership positions, including senior patrol leader. He earned 41 merit badges. He is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society. Keegan was presented the Ad Altare Dei award at the Catholic cathedral in Rockford.
His Eagle project involved improving the central landscaped area at St. Mary School.
Improvements included installing lights for the American flag and St. Mary statue, painting the St. Mary statue, replacing shrubs and plants, installing landscape cloth and decorative stone, and installing a granite monument commemorating the 100th anniversary of the school.
Donnelly is a 2014 graduate of St. Mary School and will be a student at Aurora Central Catholic High School in the fall.
All smiles, Christopher Canaday, 13, walks off the field with his dad Mark Canaday after the coin toss before NIU's home opener against Presbyterianin Huskie Stadium on Thursday, August 28, 2014. Canady was born with pulmonary atresia and has had 33 surgeries in his 13 years and his father Mark is currently battling esophageal cancer. Corn Fest organizers chose the Canaday family as a beneficiary for the first Northern Illinois University football jersey auction, an effort to raise money by selling the Corn Fest-themed jerseys worn by the Huskies during their opening game.
Daily Chronicle - August 28, 2014 |
DeKalb's Annual Cornfest set to pop
WEEKEND'S ACTIVITIES KICK OFF TODAY IN DOWNTOWN DEKALB
By JESSI HAISH
DeKALB – Mark Canaday has been overwhelmed by the support his family has received from the community, but he had no idea it would amount to recognition during Corn Fest weekend.
Canaday has been battling esophageal cancer, while his son, Christopher, was born with pulmonary atresia and has had 33 surgeries in his 13 years. The family deals with many medical expenses and related costs, and with two other children, things can be tough for Mark and his wife, Amy.
"Going to and from medical procedures, it's constant," Mark Canaday said. "It's not uncommon for us to go in and out of Chicago two or three times per month or more for procedures."
Corn Fest organizers chose the Canaday family as a beneficiary their first Northern Illinois University football jersey auction, an effort to raise money by selling Corn Fest-themed jerseys such as those worn by the Huskies during their opener Thursday night.
The auction was a way to help the community while showcasing town-gown relations, said chairwoman Lisa Angel, who is also the marketing development manager at the Daily Chronicle. The three-day Corn Fest opens today in downtown DeKalb, with hours of 3 to 11 p.m. today, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
The auction, which is open online now through 10 p.m. Sept. 5, also will benefit local Boy Scout Troop 33 and Voluntary Action Center.
Chad McNett, committee chairman for Boy Scout Troop 33, said the group was surprised when they were selected by festival organizers to receive funds from the auction.
"It was kind of a mix, we were happy but very surprised," McNett said. "Comparing ourselves to the other beneficiaries, we don't even feel like we're worthy."
However, the troop uses its funds to help others. In the past, the troop has traveled to help in disaster sites including New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy, and Oklahoma and Washington, Illinois, to provide relief after tornadoes.
"These kids love doing it," McNett said. "Sometimes it surprises us how much they love to help. The kids bust their butts all year doing fundraisers to fund projects to help others, and this is money they can spend to keep helping others."
Voluntary Action Center was founded 40 years ago on the principle of helping others, and it will use its portion of the auction proceeds to continue services in the community, such as serving meals and providing rides to those who need them, including rides to and from Corn Fest this weekend for seniors and people with disabilities.
"We're a grassroots agency that begins with support from the community," said VAC executive director Tom Zucker. "We were thrilled to learn we were picked to be one of the beneficiaries of this. It'll help a lot."
This will be the second year Corn Fest has been held downtown after its five-year stint at DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport. Prior to that, the festival was held downtown annually for 30 years.
Organizers are hoping for better weather this year. Last year, the festival's opening night saw a torrential downpour, Angel said. However, she was pleased many people stuck it out by waiting in nearby bars and restaurants until the rain let up.
"Nobody went home during the rain," Angel said. "People wanted to be at the festival anyway. That's what it's all about."
Events this year include a weekend full of music performances, both on the main sound stage at the Second and Locust streets, and the community sound stage on Lincoln Highway.
The bike rally will be held Sunday at Lions Park, and the vintage car show will be held Saturday at city hall, near Fourth Street and Grove Street. The free corn boil will be held 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, or until corn runs out.
"Where else can you eat free sweet corn, hear free music and go home without spending a penny?" Angel said.
ALL ABOUT CORNFEST
• Vintage auto show Autofest, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Saturday, City Hall
• Historical bus tours by historian Steve Bigolin, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, corner of Grove and Fourth Streets
• Chuck Siebrasse Corn Boil, 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, corner of Fourth Street and Lincoln Highway
• Cornhole bags tournament, 11 a.m. Saturday, soundstage area
For more information and a full list of events, call 815-748-CORN or visit www.cornfest.com.
3 to 11 p.m. Friday
11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday
11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday
Beer garden hours
5 to 11:30 p.m. Friday
Noon to 11:30 p.m. Saturday
Noon to 6 p.m. Sunday
Salvador Servin, of Elgin, helps set up for the Corn Fest carnival Wednesday. Corn Fest will begin Friday and run until Sunday in downtown DeKalb. The carnival will be held in the city and frontier parking lots between Second and Third streets (photo by Ryan Coasio)
Northern Star - August 28, 2014 |
Corn Fest Guide
by Rachel Scaman
The Huskies will sport custom Corn Fest jerseys during this year’s first football home game today.
Corn Fest is a free annual music festival that runs Friday-Sunday on Lincoln Highway between First and Fourth streets.
The jerseys will be auctioned off to raise money to benefit three charities Voluntary Action Center of DeKalb, Boy Scout Troop 33 and the Canaday family.
• The Voluntary Action Center of DeKalb is an organization composed of volunteers throughout DeKalb County. The Voluntary Action Center of DeKalb provides transportation and meals for seniors and people with disabilities. The group’s public transportation facility and community kitchen are located at 1606 Bethany Road.
• Troop 33 is a program for boys grades six through 12. Their service opportunities include local community service and national disaster relief projects.
• Christopher Canaday, an eighth grader at Clinton Rosette Middle School, was born with pulmonary atresia, a heart defect that has made his right ventricle nonfunctional. Christopher’s father, Mark Canaday, has been diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Proceeds go toward providing for the family.
Corn Fest Chairperson Lisa Angel said Corn Fest has been around since 1977 when Del Monte Foods started giving away free corn after the harvest.
The festival is a good way to bring NIU and DeKalb together, Angel said.
“This is a perfect example of communiversity,” Angel said. “People who have moved away still come back for Corn Fest.”
Angel said downtown stores started doing sidewalk sales soon after Del Monte Foods started giving away corn, then musical attractions, vendors and carnivals were added.
“Corn Fest is one of the last free fests you can go to besides the beer garden, which is $5 per day,” Angel said.
“One things that is different this year is that there will be shuttles that will pick people up from the Aurora and Elburn train stations and take them” to Corn Fest. “It’s great for people who have family coming.”
Kari Sulaver, owner of Northern Illinois Dance Center, said her dance students have been performing at Corn Fest for five years.
“It’s a great venue, and the kids really enjoy being a part of it,” Sulaver said.
Sulaver said she is happy with the change in location of the festival. Last year, the festival location was changed from the DeKalb Taylor Municipal Airport to its current downtown location. Corn Fest used to be held downtown, but then moved to the airport when the four-year renovation on downtown started. The fest was held at the airport 2008-to 2012.
“You see a lot more people at Corn Fest” now that it’s back downtown, Sulaver said.
Angel said there are more than 200 people volunteering this year. Blake Benzo, junior finance major and member of Tau Kappa Epsilon, said he is volunteering at the festival with his fraternity brothers.
“I’m going to Corn Fest because I want to get the Greeks more involved in the community and I feel this is the perfect event for that,” Benzo said.
The first of a series of road and parking lot closures began Tuesday in preparation for Corn Fest. The city lots of Glidden, Ellwood and Haish, as well as the parking lots of Ronan-Moore-Finch Funeral Home and Frontier Communications will be closed until Sunday.
Starting Thursday are closures for Lincoln Highway between First and Fourth streets, Locust Street between Second and Fourth streets, Second Street from the railroad tracks north of Oak Street and Third Street from the railroad tracks north of Oak Street. First State Bank drive-through customers will be able to access Locust Street until noon Saturday.
The City Lots at Fourth and Grove and Second and Grove, and street parking on Locust Street to the East of Fourth Street will be available during the festival.
Voluntary Action Center
Scoutmaster: Cliff Golden
to read an article about the
family go to bit.ly/YXRfdJ.
DeKalb Boy Scout Troop 33 went to summer camp at Camp Lowden in July. (photo provided)
Midweek - August 27, 2014 |
Troop 33 spends week at camp
DeKALB – Boy Scout Troop 33, chartered by First Lutheran Church in DeKalb, traveled to Camp Lowden near Oregon, Illinois, for summer camp July 20-26.
The 21 Scouts completed a total of 87 merit badges, including badges such as cinematography, chess, geocaching, golf, oceanography and robotics. Other activities included swimming, rifle shooting, archery, wilderness survival, climbing, rappelling, bouldering, kayaking and riding all-terrain vehicles.
Parents and siblings came out for Family Night, which featured a picnic dinner followed by a variety of fun camp-wide games and contests. Later that evening, a special campfire program recognized eight Scouts and one adult Scout leader for their election into the Order of the Arrow.
Some younger Scouts took part in the First Class Express program, which included basic outdoor skills fulfilling selected requirements for Tenderfoot, Second Class and First Class ranks.
The week ended with a celebration of Christmas in July. On July 25, Scouts enjoyed Christmas cookies, a large decorated tree, a day filled with skits, holiday songs, and even a warm weather visit from Santa.
The NIU Huskies will wear commemorative Corn Fest jerseys in their season opener Aug. 28. After the game, the jerseys will be auctioned to benefit three DeKalb charitable causes.. (Photo provided)
Midweek - August 13, 2014 |
Huskies’ Corn Fest jerseys to be auctioned for charity
DeKALB – Northern Illinois University’s connection to the local community and DeKalb County run deep, and those ties, as well as NIU President Doug Baker’s continuing emphasis on maintaining and building the “communiversity” connection, are the inspiration behind the 2014 Corn Fest jerseys that the Huskie Football team will wear in the 2014 season opener on Aug. 28 at Huskie Stadium.
In addition to recognizing the region’s agricultural roots, the special Corn Fest jerseys will be auctioned online to benefit three local causes. Proceeds from the auction will be split among the Voluntary Action Center of DeKalb, Boy Scout Troop 33, and the Canaday Family, a local family whose eighth-grade son, Christopher, was born with pulmonary atresia and has had 34 surgeries during his young life. Christopher’s father, Mark, an NIU employee, is also battling esophageal cancer.
The Voluntary Action Center serves DeKalb through myriad programs, including Meals on Wheels, which provides hot meals to the elderly, disabled and homebound, while their TransVAC and MedVAC services provide rides for senior citizens, the disabled and the general public. The Center also works with TAILS Humane Society to make sure that seniors’ pets are well fed.
Boy Scout Troop 33 participates in many fundraising events in the DeKalb area, and uses the money raised to travel around the country to help people in need. In addition to local activities – like their service during Corn Fest, when they stay after the events each night to clean up – they have been to the communities damaged by natural disasters like hurricanes and tornadoes.
Fans can bid on the jerseys online by clicking the link on the Corn Fest website at www.cornfest.com. The only way to obtain one of the special jerseys is through the online auction site. Bidding will close at 10 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 5.
NIU Head Coach Rod Carey said he is happy that Huskie Football can be involved with promoting an event like Corn Fest and helping worthy causes in the community.
“Partnering with the community is always important, so when Lisa Angel and her group at Corn Fest brought us this opportunity, we couldn’t say no,” Carey said. “They introduced us to the Canaday family and just knowing their story, I couldn’t think of a better family and cause. Mark and Christopher will be our honorary captains for this game and we’ll be honored to have them with us.
“Then you talk about the Voluntary Action Center and the Boy Scouts. Groups like these are what make our community tick. They do so much for other people in this community and for Corn Fest, and we are just trying to do our part to be good partners and good citizens.”
Excited Scouts from Boy Scout Troop 33 pose with their new equipment trailer. The purchase of the new trailer was made possible through a grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation. (Photo provided)
Daily Chronicle - August 9, 2014 |
Grant awarded to Boy Scout Troop 33
DEKALB – Boy Scout Troop 33 of DeKalb received a $2,750 grant from the DeKalb County Community Foundation to assist with the purchase of a new equipment trailer. Purchasing the new equipment trailer was an important goal for the troop.
“I’m really excited about our new trailer. It can store and move a lot of equipment, which better supports our program. I’m very grateful to the DeKalb County Community Foundation for the grant,” Cliff Golden, Scoutmaster of Troop 33 said in a news release.
The new trailer might be seen at various locations in DeKalb where the Scouts work to support many community events throughout the year.
Climbing mountains, paddling lakes, biking across America, are just a few things that Scouts do. Troop 33 has also taken their Scouts long distances to work with disaster relief projects at flood, tornado, and hurricane sites far and wide.
The Boy Scout program works to instill within boys the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law, with aims that include fitness, character, and citizenship. Those are things found in troop activities throughout the year, from the small weekend campouts to the large scale high adventure trips.
Boys work hard while having fun. They learn exciting new things as they experience each new adventure. Over the years their boys have traveled through 49 states and 19 foreign countries in search of adventure.
Boy Scout Troop 33 began serving the DeKalb area in 1925. Sponsored by First Lutheran Church in DeKalb, the troop's slogan is "Always an Adventure".
Troop 33 can be visited online at: www.troop33dekalb.net.
NIU Cornfest Jerseys
CBS SPORTS - August 7, 2014 |
Northern Illinois to wear corn-themed jersey for charity
By Jerry Hinnen | College Football Writer
Eat your heart out, Iowa-Nebraska. Ya snooze, ya lose, rejected 2011 CyHawk trophy. Some programs aren't afraid to mix a little corn into their football.
Programs like, apparently, Northern Illinois . The Huskies announced Thursday that in conjunction with DeKalb's annual CornFest -- this year, held the same weekend as NIU's season opener against FCS Presbyterian -- they would wear special corn-themed jerseys to be auctioned off for charity after the game. Behold:
From the Huskies' announcement:
In addition to recognizing the region's agricultural roots, the special Corn Fest jerseys worn by the Huskies during the season opener will be auctioned online to benefit three worthy local causes. Proceeds from the auction will be split among the Voluntary Action Center of DeKalb, Boy Scout Troop 33, and the Canaday Family, a local family whose eighth-grade son, Christopher, was born with pulmonary atresia and has had 34 surgeries during his young life. Meanwhile, Christopher's father, Mark, an NIU employee, is battling esophageal cancer.
So, yeah, anyone complaining about whether these uniforms look good or not is sorta-kinda totally missing the point. Besides, there's no better place to develop the corn theme than on the shoulder pads, and it kinda looks like this is corn protected by bleeping BARBED WIRE, doesn't it?
In short: thumbs up all the way around, Huskies.
Eagle Scout Jonathan Snow
Daily Chronicle - July 19, 2014 |
Eagle Scout honors WWII veterans
Jonathan Snow, a member of Boy Scout Troop 33, chartered at First Lutheran Church in DeKalb, was recently presented the Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America.
Jonathan is the son of Robert and Pamela Snow of DeKalb.
Jonathan joined Cub Scouts in 2002 with Cub Scout Pack 132, where he earned the Arrow of Light Award, the highest honor in the Cub Scout program. In 2007, he crossed over into Boy Scout Troop 33.
He attended numerous campouts and activities in every season, highlighted by several summer camps at Camp Lowden in Oregon, Illinois. He experienced winter adventure while dog sledding and ice hiking along Lake Superior, plus a summer adventure canoeing in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota.
Jonathan served in various leadership positions as a Scout. He earned 28 merit badges. He is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society.
His Eagle Project involved renovating historic nameplates of World War II veterans who were members of First Lutheran Church. Using these restored nameplates, he supervised a crew of workers creating a large oak plaque for public display to commemorate their service.
Snow is a 2014 graduate of DeKalb High School. He will attend OralRoberts University in Oklahoma in the fall.
Boy Scout Troop 33 Scout Ryan Kothrade paddles his kayak
down the Little Miami River in Ohio with his troop. Adult leader
Tom Burke paddles the river behind. (Photo provided)
Midweek - July 16, 2014 |
Scouts Ohio trip includes kayaking, aviation museum
Boy Scout Troop 33 of DeKalb enjoyed a kayak trip to the Little Miami River of southern Ohio. Forested banks with giant trees provided a green canopy above them as clear waters brought Scouts floating past turtles sunning on logs, birds darting through trees, and even a water snake.
Besides beauty, nature also brought them a generous amount of rain – not once, but four times. But even a hard downpour wasn't enough to dampen the Scouts' spirits.
The boys camped at Caesar Creek State Park and visited the National Museum of the United States Air Force, located in Dayton. At one of the world’s largest aviation museums, Scouts saw historic planes from the early days of aviation to the giant aircraft of recent times
Eagle Scout Alex Cohen
Midweek - June 02, 2014 |
Alex Cohen earns Eagle
Alex Cohen, a member of Boy Scout Troop 33 chartered at First Lutheran Church in DeKalb, was recently presented the Eagle Scout Award, the highest rank in the Boy Scouts of America. Alex is the son of Jack Cohen and Debbie Hermanson Strejc of Cortland.
Cohen first entered scouting in 2002 with Cub Scout Pack 173 sponsored by St. Mary School in DeKalb. He earned the Arrow of Light Award, the highest honor in the Cub Scout program. In 2007, he crossed over into Boy Scout Troop 33.
He attended numerous campouts and activities in every season, highlighted by several summer camps at Camp Lowden in Oregon, Illinois.
Cohen served in various leadership positions as a Scout. He earned 24 merit badges. He is a Brotherhood member of the Order of the Arrow, Scouting’s national honor society.
His Eagle project involved replacing an old, weathered pedestrian bridge at the St. Mary School playground with a new and improved bridge. The new wooden bridge is handicapped accessible and provides students with a safe crossing point over a drainage area to the school playground.
Cohen is a 2014 graduate of Aurora Central Catholic High School. He will be attending Carroll University in Wisconsin
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.