Jamboree Troop 3248 took one of the 10 days it had at the 2017 National Jamboree to provide a Messenger of Peace service day in Hinton, West Virginia.
After a 90-minute bus ride from the Jamboree, the Scouts were met at Hinton City’s entrance by Summers County Commissioner Jack David Woodrum. He next directed them to Summers Middle School.
The school’s gymnasium had been in need of painting for several years, but with limited funding and a struggling local economy, the Scouts stepped in to help.
The paint in the gym was old and faded. The Scouts taped off windows and doorways, spread drop cloths to protect the wood floor, and grabbed ladders, rollers and brushes and went to work.
Scoutmaster Dan Egelund, and his assistants Tim Pruess from Salt Lake City, Mark Bates from West Valley City and Robert Pieper from Taylorsville, pitched in as well. The Scouts’ leadership was evident throughout the day. Patrol Leaders directed their patrols and divided up the gym, painting from the floor to as high as the ladders, bleachers and roller poles would take them.
Susie Hudson, principal of Summers Middle School, was touched by the Scouts’ humility and hard work.
“This was the first time I have ever been acquainted with the Boy Scouts,” she said. “These young men from Utah have been very accommodating, hardworking and respectful. Like a sergeant, whatever I asked them to do, they would just smile and pick up the tools they needed and get the job done. We could never have accomplished the things we had to do in this school without their help and dedication.”
Messengers of Peace is a global initiative created in 2011 by the World Organization of the Scout Movement. It is designed to inspire millions of young people in more than 220 countries and territories to work toward peace.
Peace, as defined by the Messengers of Peace initiative, has three dimensions: Personal, Community and Environmental. Through them and leadership, Scouts have the opportunity to bring cheerful service to others.
The goal is for 20 million Scouts from around the world to share what they’ve done and inspire fellow Scouts to undertake similar efforts in their own communities.
Sir Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the Boy Scout Movement, said:
“If we apply love in place of fear we at once gain the diminution of poverty, crime, and disease in our individual countries, and we gain peace between the nations through mutual trust, honor, and goodwill.”
Jamboree Troop 3248 embraced the Messengers of Peace initiative and lived up to Powell’s admonition, demonstrating leadership across five states and the District of Columbia.
The Boy Scouts of America and the Citizens Conservation Corps (CCC) estimated the Messengers of Peace service days provided by 6,000 scouts daily over the course of 2017 National Jamboree would have an economic impact of over $7 million, benefiting every county in West Virginia.
The tender side of Scouting came as Troop 3248 interacted with Maggie Hellems, one of the special needs students at Summers Middle School. Hellems was accompanied by her mother, Marty Mann, who is a special education teacher at the school and Tanis Collins, another special education teacher overseeing the service project.
Hellems has endured a number of health issues, including cerebral palsy. Egelund spent time talking with her and her mother and teacher, and at one point knelt down on the floor and talked directly with Hellems in her wheel chair. Whatever was said brought tears to the eyes of those present.
When asked what he said to Hellems, Egelund said, “It was personal — just our special wishes for Maggie, her mother, her teachers and the school.”
After saying their good-byes at the school, the troop headed to an educational experience at the Hinton Veterans Memorial Museum. The museum was complete with collections and memorabilia from the Revolutionary, Civil, World War I, World War II, Korea, Vietnam and the Gulf Wars, including Gen. George MacArthur’s footlocker and vintage Jeep.
The veterans personally provided the Scouts hands on viewing, demonstrations and discussions. The troop presented Amanda Baker of the 101st Airborne and Trustee of the Hinton Veterans Memorial Museum, a special neckerchief that will be displayed at the museum.
The neckerchief pays tribute to the 101st Airborne Division’s seven soldiers killed in combat operations on April 23, 1969 in Vietnam. The commemorative neckerchief originated from the Messengers of Peace service project the troop provided for “The Wall That Heals” in June 2016.
Commissioner Woodrum thanked Tooele County Scouts Kendrik Craig, Isaac Fuwell, Landon Gumucio, Bridger Hope, Dalton Hope, Ryan Jackson, Michael Legg, Logan Soderborg, Luke Wilson and Devon Winder and the other Scouts from Troop 3248.
“We have enjoyed having you here and thank you for touching our hearts with your message of peace and service and for making a big impact financially for our community,” Woodrum said. “You have been well mannered, hardworking and really great young men.”