Some of the basic tenets of Scouts BSA are found in the Scout Law. “A scout is helpful, kind, thrifty, clean, brave…,” and the list continues. So, when the COVID-19 pandemic began putting a strain on our community’s healthcare system, the scouts in Troop 209 were ready to step up.
The urgent need for personal protective equipment was on everyone’s mind, so that was the obvious place to start. Troop 209 Assistant Scoutmaster Chris Lucsik sent an email asking for volunteers to come together to see what the troop could offer as a solution. On April 3, 2020, the first Zoom meeting was successfully attended by 16 families, all willing to lend their voices, ideas, and help to get the project moving. “I sent an email blast asking for anyone looking to help and was immediately blown away by the response,” said Lucsik.
That first meeting began with more questions than answers. “What is the best mask pattern available?” “What kind of fabric should we use?” “Does anybody own a sewing machine?” “For whom are we making these?” “Does anyone have material?” The phrase “many hands make light work” applies to ideas as well; many minds make easier problem-solving.
Sticking to the points of the Scout Law, “a scout is… thrifty” so the team pooled resources of extra bed sheets and cotton fabric on hand to get started. “A Scout is… clean,” and all fabrics were thoroughly laundered. “A scout is helpful,” therefore a production line was begun from home-to-home with some folks cutting, others ironing, still more sewing and others tagging and bagging. The transportation of supplies from one home to another even allowed Scouts with driving permits to get in some practice time while the roads were less traveled. “A scout is… brave,” so despite all the uncertainty and worry that everyone is facing, these scouts and their families looked beyond themselves to help others in need.
As of today, the troop has delivered over 1000 masks with the largest delivery of 300 masks to the Burbank Police Department on May 19, 2020. As the team has continued, our “kind” Troop 209 families have donated supplies to help keep the effort going.
The beneficiaries to date include:
-Burbank First United Methodist Church
-St. Francis Xavier Church
-Family Promise of the Foothills families
-City of Burbank Project Hope
-Burbank Temporary Aid Center
-L.A. Mental Health
-Providence St. Joseph Medical Center ER
-Burbank Coordinating Council
-Burbank Police Department
-L.A. Family Housing
-Burbank Boys and Girls Club
Meeting this moment has provided a unique opportunity to help serve the community with parents and scouts acting together in a way that bears an elevated purpose. There’s a different sort of resulting joy that the team is experiencing while working together on this project; a special sort of uplifting feeling that is the byproduct of teamwork and working for the greater good of all humankind, one mask at a time.
Troop 209 is not done. There is still need and they will continue to serve as they are trained to do, as caretakers of their community; as Scouts.
If you want to help, have materials to donate or know of a need within the community, please email Troop209Burbank@gmail.com.