By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Boy Scout troops from all over the country have packed up and are leaving West Virginia today, but what will happen to those not quite finished service projects left behind?
As part of the 2013 Boys Scouts of America National Jamboree Day of Service Initiative, Scout troops spent a day of their jamboree giving back in communities across nine counties in southern West Virginia, including Mercer, McDowell and Monroe.
Aly Goodwin Gregg, a spokesperson with the Initiative, said the Scouts were easily able to complete many of the projects assigned to them.
“It has been incredible,” she said. “The response from both the Scouts and the community has been tremendous. A lot of the Scouts have been thanking the local volunteers for having them here. It’s made a huge impact on the nine counties. I know in Princeton one of the projects was to raise a gazebo and they had it completed in a matter of hours. A lot of the projects went much more quickly than anticipated.”
However, Gregg said those projects that are still unfinished when the Scouts leave will be completed.
“The commitment is to get everything done,” Gregg said. “Some projects were finished in hours, but others are still going on. The volunteers with AmeriCorps and the Citizens Conservation Corps (CCC) of West Virginia will be overseeing what projects have been left unfinished by the scouts.”
George Acosta, a volunteer with AmeriCorps based in Mercer County, said every project selected as part of the Day of Service Initiative will be finished before the end of July.
“The scouts have exceeded all expectations,” Acosta said. “They have gotten a lot done. However, not all projects could be completed. AmeriCorps and the CCC will be working together through July 31 to make sure any project that hasn’t been finished is completed.”
George Martin, chief executive officer of the CCC of West Virginia, said only a small margin of projects were not completed by the Scouts.
“We are getting all the information on the projects that need to be finished,” he said. “There are only about two projects per county right now that need to be finished. The CCC will continue to work with AmeriCorps and local volunteers to see to it these projects are done.”
Martin said some projects were not finished due to weather while others proved a little more challenging than originally anticipated.
“Some of the projects were complicated and the weather had some impact on others,” he said. “There were some projects we anticipated would not be entirely complete. However, the Scouts finished about 95 percent of the projects. They did many of them much quicker than we though. We had some four or five day projects that were finished in three days. These young people worked very hard and were very dedicated to this. It was a pleasure to work with them. The entire thing was a smashing success.”
In addition to the Scouts, Martin said the people of southern West Virginia deserve kudos for making the Initiative possible.
“The people of southern West Virginia really delivered on this one,” Martin said. “These people worked for years to get these projects together. Local foundations kicked in the money we needed to raise for these projects. This took off in a huge way and was well worth all the effort people put into it. The local volunteers deserve quite a bit of thanks. These people went out into the community to get these projects going and provided all of the supplies we needed. It was a monumental project, but southern West Virginia got it done.”
— Contact Kate Coil at firstname.lastname@example.org