On Sept. 11, a virtual event will be held to honor Carl Austin with the Scouts’ 2020 Distinguished Citizen Award. The event will also showcase local community leaders and Scouts in the Meade County Community.
This annual event is typically a dinner, and it’s a big source of funding for Scouting programs in Meade County. Mike Barbieri, Chair of the Meade County Friends of Scouting Campaign, says that the donations raised from this event help greatly to fund Scouting activities in the area. Because of COVID-19, the event will need to be virtual this year, but the funding is still much needed.
The cost of supporting one Scout is approximately $250, according to Barbieri. He says there are more than 150 Scouts in Meade County, spanning across various age ranges. He says that this type of event helps highlight the positive things Scouts do for the community and showcases all the hard work and dedication they put into improving the area.
“People tend to forget that Scouting is there,” said Barbieri. “If they don’t have a Scout in their family, they may not know about it. They may not know about the things that are happening in the community because of the efforts of the scouts, whether they’re picking up trash, renovating a park space, or adding something new to a local park.”
Barbieri has set up a link so that potential donors can donate online. On that same website, visitors can register to attend the virtual event. A Zoom link will be sent to their provided email address.
Participating in Scouting offers youth an opportunity to learn and develop leadership skills. Barbieri says that it teaches them responsibility and teamwork, much like team sports.
“[Scouting] puts the youths of our community in a position where they’re responsible for something other than themselves,” Barbieri said.
Because of the pandemic, the Scouts have not been able to attend summer camp as they normally would, which results in lost revenue for the program. The pandemic has also affected their visibility, which Barbieri says is a crucial component of their success.
“They’re not able to be out and doing a lot of the things they normally would, so people can’t see their activity,” said Barbier. “That hurts. …Whether it’s selling cookies and popcorn in front of Kroger or doing a community project, they need that visibility to stay relevant.”
Barbieri says that, though all donations are appreciated, there are volunteering opportunities for those who cannot afford to make a donation. He says that there are always Scouts looking to do projects, and they often need a set of extra hands. He says anyone interested in volunteering can reach out to him or anyone else in the Scouting program for more information.
To make a donation to the Scouts, visit the following link: https://app.mobilecause.com/vf/Meade/MikeBarbieri?fbclid=IwAR0YkhdQHjbX-hHmbwvmBLd7t9mAAkxqWZ6T_1XF3lDaSMbaRfs2jOtbmWg