Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Hundreds of Boy Scouts Invade Holy Cross

Hundreds of Boy Scouts
Invade Holy Cross

Reviewing various components of basic first aid in the parish hall
In Champaign, Ill., Holy Cross School and the parish’s social hall were taken over by hordes of Boy Scouts on Saturday, March 4, for Troop 9’s 28th annual Merit Badge Seminar. Troop 9 is sponsored by Holy Cross Parish.

From all over Illinois, parts of Indiana, and as far away as St. Louis, Mo., came 436 Scouts, 103 adult leaders, and (more locally) uncounted course instructors, Troop 9 parents, and student volunteers from the University of Illinois. (The volunteers taught some of the classes, monitored hallways, delivered paperwork, and helped with clean-up.)
Practicing CPR
Three troops totaling 60 people arrived on Friday night and camped out in the school gymnasium and were served breakfast in the cafeteria. Others Scouts moaned about having to get up at 3:00 a.m. to arrive at Holy Cross in time for 7:15 a.m. assembly, presentation of the colors, and directions for the day.
Pack 9 committee chairman John Farney, who's also Champaign County's auditor,
led the class for citizenship in the community.
Assistant Scoutmaster Chris Williamson directing the computers course.
Doesn't look like anyone came prepared for a backpacking hike.
From 7:15 until 5:00 p.m., 65 merit badge sessions were offered for a total of 35 badges (out of more than 135 approved by the BSA). Most of the program took place in the classrooms and library, but other classes were given in the parish hall and even off campus. Scouts could walk a block to a firehouse for the fire safety badge or be shuttled to the Champaign Police Department for law enforcement, a courthouse for law, the University for cooking, Parkland College’s planetarium for astronomy, or Willard Airport for the aviation badge.
While the 436 Scouts went to class, many of their adult leaders hung out in the cafeteria,
close to the coffee and donuts, and straining Holy Cross's wireless network.
When the python wasn't needed for animal study upstairs, Jon Whittington gave it a tour of the school.
But Odin's handler kept him on a short leash after his session.
Troop 9’s adult leaders spend months planning for the MBS every year and execute it almost flawlessly, all things considered.
In the school office, Dave Unger (bottom), Mike Clapper (seated left), Chris Williamson, and Anthony Frasca coordinate the day's activities, including registration, attendance, lunches, classroom use, and transportation.

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