First girl BSA troop serves as color guard at recent regional meeting.
Hamburg - The first female Scouts BSA Troop in Sussex county led the flag ceremony at the district’s Roundtable this past Thursday. The ceremony was led by three of the twenty-one girls in Troop 1150. Their Scoutmaster, Bob Brady, looked on with honor. The Troop is chartered by the Sparta United Methodist Church. With the introduction of girls into the Scouts BSA program which is now geared towards all youth ages 11-17, comes fresh excitement and enthusiasm for the timeless program. The addition of girls into the Scouts BSA compliments the Exploring program which has included girls since the 1970s and the Venturing program which has included girls since its inception in the 1990’s. In 2018, The Cub Scout program was opened to girls, providing today’s families with the ability to Scout together. Family Scouting has taken off, inspiring thousands of youth to not only go on an adventure but to also live by the Scout Oath and the twelve points of the Scout Law. One of the promises a Scout makes in the Scout Oath is to “help other people at all times”. On Thursday night, representatives of the packs, troops and crews in Sussex county were given a great community service opportunity. Mayor Harry Shortway of Vernon, Councilman Patrick Curreri and GAAC Vice-Chairman Craig Williams stopped by to share the plans for the Vernon Greenway Trail System. The Vernon Greenway will build off recreational parts of the Walkill River National Wildlife Refuge, Wawayanda State Park and the Appalachian Trail, including the famed Stairway To Heaven. Their presentation and ideas were met with true Scout Cheerfulness and an eagerness to get started. District Commissioner and Advisor for Venturing Crew 276, Karen Rozek and District Training Chair and Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 85 Jim Hermès asked for a list of projects. The Scouts will embrace the current Spring and Summer seasons to accomplish various tasks including trail-building, maintenance and beautifying. With projects like this, Youth of all ages can participate and experience community service while learning new skills and being conservation-minded. The best part Is the healthy, outdoor activity, which is one of the Vernon Greenway’s and the Boy Scouts of America’s common missions. The Boy Scouts of America offers many awards that can be earned while completing a project that benefits the Greenway. Awards such as World Conservation, Conservation Good Turn, Dr. William T. Hornaday, SERV and The Messengers of Peace Awards are just a few of what is achievable. Scouts looking for an Eagle Project will find many appropriate opportunities for one of the most important projects of their Scouting careers, in turn acquiring and honing skills that will last a lifetime. In 1999 one Scout did just that, Gregory Sheridan of Troop 389 created a Botanical Garden across from the municipal building in Vernon. Many years later, grown over and forgotten, Mayor Harry Shortway uncovered the remnants of benches and a walkway. The brush was then cleared away and a once-lovely sitting area was unveiled. Projects such as this one need to be maintained so they can flourish and be enjoyed for years to come. On April 24, in honor of Earth Day, Scout units in Vernon, including Cub Scout Pack 183, will be spending the day cleaning up the site and getting it ready for planting and rebuilding. This is one of many upcoming and ongoing opportunities for local children of all ages to take care of and rebuild a special project that could have been lost forever. If interested in getting involved, learning more about the Vernon Greenway or becoming a Scout send email to Sussexcommunityservice@gmail.com