Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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September 11, 2012

Civilian Conservation Corps, Boy Scouts ready for project practice run

BLUEFIELD — Though the Boy Scouts will not be coming to southern West Virginia until 2013, local volunteers and officials with the Civilian Conservation Corps of West Virginia are getting a jump start with some of the service projects the Scouts will be working on.

Aly Goodwin Gregg, a spokesperson for the Boy Scouts of American, said community service projects will soon be underway in Mercer, McDowell and Monroe counties. Gregg said the projects are a way for the Boy Scouts and Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) of West Virginia to figure out the logistics of other service projects to be done by the scouts as part of the 2013 Boy Scout Jamboree in Fayette County.

“The demonstration projects are sort of a dress rehearsal in each of the nine counties,” Gregg said. “This is so people know what it is like to have multiple projects like this going on next year when we will be here for five consecutive days. It shows them what they need to do to prepare volunteers. It is a run through so they can learn more about fundraising, outreach, and prepare things like tools, lunches and logistics.”

Gregg said issues like getting the scouts from the jamboree site to project sites, as well as weather contingency plans, need to be explored before scouts arrive.

“Any local volunteers from the area are invited as well as volunteers from the Pioneer 7 Team with AmeriCorps and the CCC will be doing the work,” she said. “It is a lot of different volunteers who will be working together to get these projects done. It gives us a glance at the logistics that will be required. It gives us a checklist of little things like is there enough gear, rain-delay options and making sure the time is used adequately. Next year we will have scouts coming in and there will be logistics between moving the scouts between the Summit Bechtel Reserve and the work sites. These demonstration projects allow us to think along those lines as well.”

Volunteers will be working in Monroe County on Sept. 12 in Union to help refurbish city basketball and tennis courts. In McDowell County, volunteers will meet on Sept. 13 and 14 at the McDowell County Humane Society in Superior to construct an animal intake and segregation area as well as fenced in areas and pens for dogs taken in by the shelter. On Sept. 17, volunteers will come to Mercer County to repaint basketball and volleyball courts as well as partake in beautification efforts at Lotito City Park in Bluefield.

Gregg said the final projects selected as part of the 2013 National Day of Service will be announced in October.

“We intend on announcing all of the final projects we will select in October,” Gregg said. “All of the applications have been received, reviewed and the sites have been looked at. The scouts are in the process of reviewing and will announce final projects in October. Every county had double-digit applications and projects, so they will be taking as many projects as they can and break them down over five days. So many people have been energized to get out and volunteer for these projects. We encourage everyone to find a way and get involved.”

Gregg said projects not selected by the scouts may be completed by the CCC and AmeriCorps volunteers at a later date.

“That is the beauty of the scouts having a partnership with the Civilian Conservation Corps of West Virginia,” she said. “If a project is worth doing but doesn’t fit within the scout’s mission or the logistics of the day of service, the project can be handed over to the CCC. The CCC has connections with AmeriCorps and other organizations to see if these projects can get done.”

Thousands of Boy Scouts will be coming to Mercer, McDowell, Monroe, Summers, Nicholas, Fayette, Raleigh, Wyoming and Greenbrier counties in 2013 to participate in community service projects as part of the Reaching the Summit Community Service Initiative. The event will be part of the National Boy Scout Jamboree at the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve in Fayette County.

— Contact Kate Coil at

kcoil@bdtonline.com

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