Scouts live slogan and “Do a Good Turn Daily”
By VICKI NOTARO
OBSERVER Lifestyles Assistant
Step into the shoes of a local lady. It’s autumn. You and your husband hope to celebrate your 64th wedding anniversary November 29, but his health is declining. It looks as though a long, cold, lonely winter lies ahead. Your children live out of town. What can you do?
Virginia Nedvesky is that lady. She decided to call the leaders of Boy Scout Troop 267 in hopes that they could recommend a boy she could hire to take care of snow removal for the season. The leaders checked with the troop members. It wasn’t possible for any one member to be totally responsible for shoveling the property for the entire four and a half month period.
Heidi Powell, training coordinator for Troop 267, became aware that the husband, Chester Nedvesky, passed on in early November. She took another look at the situation.
“The scout slogan is ‘Do A Good Turn Daily,” she said. “It became the ‘Do a Good Turn Daily Challenge.’ The kids signed up on a four month calendar. Jacob (Thompson) signed up every Sunday and went when there was snow. Others signed up for every other Monday and the other days. Often my sons (Scouts Brandon and Justin) filled in if there was a gap. If it snows in April, we’ll be there.”
She said that the boys were excited to help out. Heidi had kind words for Mrs. Nedvesky, noting,“She waved and smiled to all. She couldn’t have been sweeter. She insisted on getting pizza for the group. We tried to talk her out if it.”
Mrs. Nedvesky wanted to show her appreciation by having a little party for the Scouts on April 3. In addition to providing pizza, she made cupcakes for the event.
“I hadn’t really met the boys until today. When they shoveled, I would open the door and yell ‘thank you!’ They’ll help me rake, too. They’re all nice people. Heidi did one excellent job. The boys would come after school or after supper. If I needed to get out for an appointment, Heidi would shovel me out,” Virginia said.
“We had it covered,” Heidi said with a smile.
What was the experience like for a scout participant? Fredonia eighth grader Jacob Thompson was willing to discuss it. He has been with the troop for three years.
He said that one time he went with a friend, but other times, he went alone. “I went Sundays if there was snow,” he said.
It usually took 30 minutes, and he estimated that the longest time was about 45 minutes.
When asked if he had any funny experiences while shoveling, he recalled that one time he didn’t realize there was an adjacent driveway until a man came out and said that he had to take the snow off that he had just piled in that area. Jacob maintained a sense of humor about that event.
When asked for any other ideas for helping older people, he said, “try to put up more ramps in social places so people can go there.”
As far as favorite scouting experiences, he said, “there are a lot, I couldn’t pick one.”
When asked why kids should join, Jacob said, “it’s a lot of fun. You get to hang out with friends. They support you.”
Scoutmaster Chris Eichmann discussed the scouting program. There are 36 boys in Troop 267. Most are from Fredonia, but also from Brocton, Dunkirk and Silver Creek. Scouts must have completed the fifth grade, and can participate up to age 18.
“One of the things the program emphasizes is citizenship and community service. It’s nice to see them out there like this. It’s a busy group,” said Scoutmaster Eichmann.
“You hear so many things about youth, then there’s this,” he stated, glancing around at the room full of boys engaged in small group work.
“Things aren’t as bad as they seem. And I get to work with these guys,” he noted proudly.
It’s a youth-led group. A senior patrol leader runs the meeting. The Scouts are preparing for a camp-out to Smethport, Pennsylvania at the end of spring break. Included in the trip will be a visit to Kinzua State Park.
Virginia was given the opportunity to share any additional thoughts with the community.
“Remember to come to the Troop’s chicken barbecue (at American Legion Post 59 in Fredonia) on Father’s Day. They start selling tickets at the end of April,” she said.
It’s a great chance for members of the public to do a good turn on a special day for some amazing young men.