The US Emergency Chaplains Corps (USECC) is proud to be associated with the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and the re-dedication and re-building of the Little Sioux Scout Camp in Little Sioux Iowa. The camp is located just 38 miles north of Omaha Nebraska in the Loshe Hills.
Little Sioux was the scene of a tragic incident June 11, 2008 when a tornado took the lives of 4 scouts and injured another 43. Although the scene of mass destruction, the scouts gathered there for a leadership training institute, immediately went into response mode assisting the injured and evacuating the camp. The boys showed unwavering courage and determination in executing their skills, teamwork and leadership abilities.
USECC was honored to have been a part of the re-opening and dedication ceremonies on the weekend of May 1,2 and 3. One Thousand scouts gathered along with another 800 guests, visitors and parents for the weekend that featured a camporee and other activities. Chaplain Steve conducted the Sunday morning chapel service and several scouts participated with readings and songs.
USECC set up a booth at the Trading Post that featured a combination of First Responder displays and Boy Scout memorabilia that Chaplain Steve had when he was in scouts during the sixties. Anyone who could guess all his Eagle merit badges received a patch courtesy of the Abraham Lincoln District in Springfield IL.
Once an Eagle, always and Eagle. That’s the statement of the Boy Scouts of America that mirrors the U.S. Marine Corps, the fact is, it’s true. Chaplain Steve received his Eagle Scout Award in his eighth grade year of school at the age of thirteen. There were 44 boys in Troop 1 when he was senior patrol leader with four full eight-man patrols and a full green-bar staff. His Always Supporting father was one of eight assistant scoutmasters.
USECC will be going back to Little Sioux this year for the site of our annual 911 project. A chapel will be built on the site where the four scouts died and several more projects around the 1800 acre camp will be completed. Anyone who has been to a summer camp anywhere knows there is no shortage of projects to be done.
Chaplain Steve will once again conduct the Sunday morning Memorial Service in addition to smaller ceremonies during the weekend of September 3,4,5 and 6, 2009. First Responders from around the country will join us from other disaster sites such as; the San Diego Wildfires, Utica Illinois tornado, Evansville Indiana tornado, Hurricane Katrina, Groesbeck Texas and Greensburg Kansas will join us this year as well as those from New York City and the New York Says Thank You Foundation. In all we expect over three hundred volunteers as well as five to seven hundred volunteers from the Mid America Council of the BSA.
This has become one of the most awe inspiring, emotional and patriotic events ever. Please join USECC by financially helping in this years project. If you are an Eagle Scout we especially want to hear from you. If you received your God and Country or religious service award as a scout, please help us by giving to a ministry that recognizes the value of training boys to grow into men of valor and courage.
We are told that charitable giving may be down this year and we have experienced that ourselves. We are asking for all First Responders consider a donation as well for a tribute to those fallen before us. If you have a soft spot and respect for First Responders please, let USECC be your charity of choice. Donations are needed now through September to cover expenses leading up to the event as well as expenses incurred during and after the weekend.
Please consider having your business, office, church, civic club or troop do a fundraiser on our behalf. It will be greatly appreciated and give a feeling of participation to those who helped. Please stay tuned for updates as the summer progresses and afterwards for the newsletters that will follow.
Thanks in advance for your support and assistance.