As Troop 79’s PLC reconvened this fall, SPL Andrew B. proposed a day of service be added to the calendar. The goal was simple – in order to advance in rank, Scouts need to perform several hours of community-oriented service work.
However, not all volunteering is treated the same. Some awards, such as the Philmont 50-miler, require Scouts to “complete a minimum of 10 hours each of group work on projects to improve the trail, springs, campsite, portage, or area.” In other words, outdoor conservation work. Thus was born Troop 79’s participation in an invasive species removal day with the Shedd Aquarium on a balmy November morning at the Cook County Forest Preserve’s Skokie Lagoons.
After a brief introduction to the ecosystem, tools and safety protocols, the T-79 guys started hacking away at the thickets of buckthorn and tossing branches in the fire.
Loppers, handsaws and flames. Is there any better way to spend a Saturday morning with your friends?
Normally, standing by a raging fire in November would be a welcome respite from the cold. Not this day, where temps soared into the unseasonable 70’s! Perfect for showing off the T-79 branded T shirts.
By the time the noon whistle blew, the volunteers had made a noticeable dent in the wall of invasive buckthorn, clearing room on the forest floor for native plants to return. Thanks to the PLC and Mr. Keats for their leadership, and to the Scouts and parents for attending! Shout out to 2019 “Eagle X” alum Edward Boyle who returned to work and capture photos.
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[PHOTOS] Skokie Lagoons @boylesfour, @artsmaniac