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Corning community service

Community Service

Community Service

Corning Employees Guide Scout Troop

Corning Employees Guide Scout Troop

A group of Corning employees is mentoring the Boy Scouts in Troop 61 in Corning, helping to teach them about leadership, community service, and physical fitness while the Scouts complete traditional Scouting activities like earning badges, camping, and hiking.

The troop, which is led by the Scouts and guided by adults, recently completed a Memorial Day weekend camping trip to Washington, D.C. The Scouts chose the itinerary and raised the money, said Chris Sharman, an assistant scoutmaster and a project manager, Advanced Engineering.

“We want our troop to be about more than just handing out badges,” said Chris, who traveled to Washington with the troop, including his 12-year-old son Noah. “We are focused on leadership and building life skills. That’s exemplified by the fact that we are a Scout-led troop.”

The troop, founded in 1970 by Evan Jones, the late owner of the former Jones Pontiac in Corning, has an elected senior patrol leader, who oversees three patrols. Each patrol has a leader and an assistant leader. The patrol leaders often undergo the Boy Scouts’ National Youth Leadership Training, a six-day course. The troop meets Wednesday evenings at Grace United Methodist Church, 191 Bridge St., Corning.

“The boys come up with ideas for activities they want to do as a troop every year, and we help them to refine those ideas, and consider the timing and resources to make them happen,” Chris said.

The troop has about 25 Boy Scouts right now, ages 11 to 17 years old. Since 1970, 69 Scouts – including three since October 2016 – have achieved Eagle Scout, the highest rank, by planning, leading, and completing significant community service projects. About 25 percent of the Scouts in the troop since 1970 have earned Eagle Scout rank, said Kurt Groeger, a project manager in CGT who serves as a mentor to the older Scouts as they work on their Eagle Scout projects.

“That’s well above the national average,” Kurt said.

Cindy Rosplock, who was recently appointed scoutmaster, has been involved with the troop for 16 years and was among the adults who traveled to Washington with the Scouts. The troop plans nine or 10 camping trips a year, including a big trip like Washington, she said. A year ago, the Scouts learned about American history and citizenship by going to Philadelphia.

“A lot of these boys would never go on trips if it wasn’t for Scouting,” said Cindy, a glass technologist in CGT Development. “The Washington trip helped educate the boys about their country and what they can accomplish if they work together. The best part of being in Scouting for me is I get to see the boys grow as individuals.”

The troop left Corning early on May 26 and first stopped at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania for several hours to tour the Civil War battlefield before continuing on to its campground for the weekend, in Greenbelt Park in Greenbelt, Md., a short distance by Metro train service to Washington. The trip had 23 people connected with the troop, including 12 Scouts.

“It was great for the Scouts to be in our nation’s capital during a Memorial Day weekend,” Chris said.

The Scouts cooked most of their meals at the campsite, as planned, and spent two days touring monuments, war memorials, Arlington National Cemetery, and Smithsonian museums. “We walked about 10 miles each day,” Chris said.

At the end of every day, the Scouts gathered around the campsite to talk about the day’s activities. “We talked about what went well, what they learned, and what could we do better next time,” Cindy said.

Cindy said Corning Values like leadership and valuing the individual are key to educating the Scouts. “The boys are always involved in the decision-making process and we want every child’s voice to be heard during the planning process,” she said.

In addition to their camping trips, the Scouts participate in Scouting for Food, help ceremonies on Memorial Day and Flag Day, and are custodians for a five-mile section of New York state’s Finger Lakes Trail system, among other activities, Chris said. “We provide an active, fun-filled year with monthly outings and other events, community service, and skill building.”

In addition to their camping trips, the Scouts participate in Scouting for Food, help ceremonies on Memorial Day and Flag Day, and are custodians for a five-mile section of New York state’s Finger Lakes Trail system, among other activities, Chris said. “We provide an active, fun-filled year with monthly outings and other events, community service, and skill building.”

Summer events continue this month for the Scouts. Some will head to the Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico for two weeks of backpacking in the southern Rocky Mountains starting July 10, and others will go to the National Scout Jamboree, which is held every four years, on July 19-28 at the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia.

Philmont Scout Ranch: Kurt, a veteran crew leader for Philmont, and fellow employee Peter Wigley will be among the adult leaders of this 12-day backpacking trek for eight Scouts from the Five Rivers Council, the regional Scouting organization, including four from Troop 61.

The boys will hike a total of about 100 miles in the ranch’s 219 square miles of wilderness, at altitudes up to 12,500 feet, in what is expected to be 90-degree heat, said Kurt, a former Troop 61 Eagle Scout.

“The trip gives the Scouts a chance to use a lot of the skills they have developed in other outings and in our practice hikes on the Finger Lakes Trail, the Pennsylvania Black Forest Trail, and Mount Marcy in the Adirondacks,” he said. “Parents have told me they have noticed a significant change in maturity in their Scouts upon completing the Philmont trek. It’s an amazing phenomenon and very rewarding to watch the daily transformations on the trail as the crew leader.”

"Parents have told me they have noticed a significant change in maturity in their Scouts upon completing the Philmont trek. It’s an amazing phenomenon and very rewarding to watch the daily transformations on the trail as the crew leader.”

Kurt, a Five Rivers Council executive board member, mentors Scouts from a number of area troops who are working on their Eagle Scout projects. “We are educating them about self-reliance, problem-solving, and leadership, skills they don’t teach in schools.”

Peter, the Troop 61 committee chair, will hike with his sons Andre, 16, and Benjamin, 14. “Some of the Scouts feel apprehensive about our journey, but Philmont will prove to ourselves that we can operate as a team and hike safely over long distances if we work together,” said Peter, business development manager, Fibrance Architecture, in Emerging Technologies. “It tests their resolve. We are trying to create an environment where the boys can grow.”

National Scout Jamboree: Former Troop 61 Scoutmaster Bob Case is traveling with 36 Scouts from the Five Rivers Council, including six from his troop. About 50,000 Scouts are expected to participate in events that include rock climbing, whitewater rafting, and mountain biking, said Bob, an employee of Anchor Glass in Elmira Heights, N.Y.

“Our Scouts will get to meet other Scouts from all over the world,” he said. “It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our Scouts.”

Some Scouts will also spend a week at Camp Gorton on Waneta Lake in Steuben and Schuyler counties, N.Y., starting July 30.

All of the Scout leaders take pride when their Scouts successfully complete a big annual camping trip like Washington, when they perform community service, and when they achieve a new rank after hard work, Cindy said.

“For those of us who work for Corning, it’s satisfying when the boys grow through their Scouting activities,” she said. “We know that many of the same principles that make an effective Scout prepare that Scout for being an adult and excelling in a workplace like Corning.”