Even throughout the time of COVID-19, scout troops across the Dallas County area have worked to help support their local community.
Troop 468 and 505, for example, have recently helped donate around 1100 packages of cookies to local heroes and frontline workers. Members of the two troops have also helped sew masks for local healthcare staff.
“With three weeks left to the program leaders ordered enough cookies for personal and booth sales, but then were asked for our safety not to sell,” Troop 468 Co-Leader Kristine Jimenez said. “As a way to show appreciation for our frontline workers we started collecting donations to give away.”
In addition, Troop 468 and 505 Leader Jackie Giles said that the troops have left their telephone number at their meeting place which currently houses elderly residents. These residents can then contact the troop with any needs that come available such as helping provide masks or shopping for items.
“Organizations like the scouts are important because people still see the good in the young children and how they help to affect change,” Giles said. “But, we also couldn’t have accomplished this feat without calling our communities to help.”
Cub Scouts Den 4, which is comprised of third graders, have helped pick up trash throughout their neighborhoods and creeks. Den Mother Kari Johns and her family have also helped maintain the Butterfly Garden located at the Adel Dog Park. The Cub Scouts had originally planned to take on this garden as a service project but had to postpone their plans due to the impact of the virus.
“Our family, as part of scouts and master gardeners, is so happy to help with the butterfly garden raised beds. We’ve had fun teaching our kids carpentry while promoting good citizenship and conservation for butterflies and pollinators,” Johns said.
Leaders of the local troops have also gotten creative when holding troop meetings or working to earn badges. Some leaders have turned to virtual meetings as a way to connect with their members. Cub Scouts Den 4 Leader Jenny Andrew said that these meetings provide a much needed break from the quarantine life.
“The boys were excited to see one another,” Andrew said. “You can tell they were missing each other and needing the interaction.”
As a leader of a large mixed group, Giles said that she finds it difficult to meet with all of her scouts together. She, instead, has created badge earning kits with instructions on how to complete each badge and patch work. Giles said that the hardest part about making these kits is coming up with ideas where scouts may already have the needed supplies at home.
“Whether a Girl Scout or a Cub Scout, these scouts are a part of great communities. We have many who are called to help in anyway they can. A simple act of buying cookies for a donation, making masks, writing a letter to a neighbor and friend, can make a person’s day brighter - and you do not have to be a scout to affect change,” Giles said.