Our district is located in one of the poorest urban communities in America. In North Lawndale, where my troop is based, the rate of youth unemployment approaches 50%. In 2001, a staggering 57% of residents were somehow bound up with the criminal justice system.
Scouting provides a path for boys to become really decent young men. It leverages the enriching and healing power of nature to build character.
The Manistee Quest will be the first backpacking trip for any of the crew. We will do three 15-mile prep trips this spring/early summer. After the 30-mile Manistee Quest, they will have earned their Backpacking merit badge, a token of the effort they will have made in preparing and carrying out the trip.
The scouts will be raising money to cover the costs of the trek itself ($285 per scout), transportation, and their personal gear.
We need money to buy the camping gear. We are focusing on lightweight backpacking because it is safer and better for the scouts. That means we are looking at specialized, quality gear, including tents, sleeping bags and backpacks. The gear we buy as a result of the successful funding of this project will be an investment in the Westside community. We will hold on to the equipment for crews to use again next year, and the year after that, and the year after that. But we need to get started.
I hope you can help us out!
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