Monday, November 16, 2009

Scouting leadership group discusses possible major partnership in 2011

On Friday, I had a very energizing meeting with Mathew Allyn and Evan Skandalis, two members of the Boy Scouts of America's leadership group, the Order of the Arrow. They were joined by advisors Bob Davies and Barbara Sher. Together, we discussed plans for a possible major partnership in 2011, one that would bring older scouts (ages 17-25) to Mount Rainier for volunteer projects, potentially in large numbers.

This is not an unprecedented possibility. The group last year organized five projects on five different national forests, called "ArrowCorps5." All told, it was the largest organized service project in Forest Service history, contributing a staggering 280,000 work hours nationwide. (A great video about this effort is available online as a 93mb download.)

Obviously, our piece of that legacy would be smaller. But through partnerships with groups like the Washington Trails Association, by expanding the program beyond park boundaries into adjacent national forest land, and by focusing on trail work as only one of many possible projects, the contribution to Mount Rainier could be significant to say the least.

We'll spend the next year looking for grant opportunities to support this effort, developing our partnerships, and planning service projects. Stay tuned.

For more information about the next generation of ArrowCorps5, visit their website at or contact Bob Davies at the Boy Scouts' Chief Seattle Council #609.

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