CROUSE, N.C.––Crouse United Methodist Church has a long history of supporting Scouting. In addition to Girl Scouting (watch for an article about them to come in the future) they are now charter sponsors for two troops that are under the Boy Scouts of America umbrella.
Formed in February Scouting BSA Troop 1987 for Girls is already becoming very popular. The youth development program for girls ages 11-18 promotes adventure, leadership, participation and service in their weekly meetings and weekend outdoor activities. They meet at the church on Tuesday nights from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. From earning merit badges to obtaining the tenderfoot rank the girls are progressing along and can earn the rank of Eagle Scout.
The BSA’s co-ed Venturing program has now been at Crouse for two years. This program is also youth led for ages 14-21 and meets on Thursday nights from 6:30 p.m. until 8 p.m. Girls can join the Venture Crew as well as SBSA Troop 1987.
Hannah Hamrick is a former president, now vice president, of the co-ed Venturing Crew 87. Hamrick, 16, recently talked about the program.
“Venturing has been the best part of my life,” she said. “Venturing is a co-ed program under the Boy Scouts of America, designed for participants ages 14 to 21, and it is a youth-run program. When you join Venturing, you will become part of a crew. This is the equivalent of your team, if you play a sport. But to me, my crew is like a second family. You will have opportunities to earn rank and to grow as an individual. I am currently working on my Pathfinder award. This is the second-to-last highest rank you receive as a Venturer in your crew. I have very high hopes that I will fulfill my vision and earn my Summit award.”
Hamrick said the crew recently received the award for Crew of the Year from the BSA’s Piedmont Council, as well as the Bill Lander Advancement Award and a gold Journey to Excellence Award.
“These are all high awards the crew can receive together for advancement in rank and being an active crew in the community,” she explained. “Since joining Venturing, I have had many doors opened to my future success. I am truly thankful for all of my fellow Scouts and Scout leaders who have assisted me in my journey.”
Hamrick has been very productive. She has already earned her first required merit badge on the way to earning an Eagle Scout status.
“Venturing also introduced me to training, such as time management, youth protection training and NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training),” she said. “I attended this training in the summer of 2018, and I am serving on the staff for this year.
“Being a Scout has taken me out of my comfort zone by far,” Hamrick continued, “from something as small as rock-climbing and rappelling, to large trips, such as cave spelunking in Tennessee, to backpacking on the beach. Venturing allows you to have fun while being safe. It teaches youth the importance of leadership skills and communication. I have learned to be more outgoing and sociable through doing community service with my crew and by learning the proper way to plan events and present presentations.”
Crew 87 will have its first big trip this summer. Hamrick said the Scouts are going to Louisiana.
“And I am excited I get to help plan it,” she added. “Venturing has become a way for me to become stronger and to help keep myself physically strong at all times. More youth should become involved in Scouting, because it will help you learn valuable life skills, such as first aid, swimming, emergency preparedness and wilderness survival. Venturing has made me a better person, student and athlete. Sometimes the best way to de-stress is to unplug from society and plug into nature. Put the phone down and go camping. Breathe in the fresh air. Have a campfire. Sleep under the stars. As John F. Kennedy said, ‘Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.’”
To learn more about Troop 1987 or Crew 87 call Scoutmaster Charlie Saunders at (828) 320-9660.
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