Scouts in Zaire
alan houser (houser@CEDR.LBL.GOV)
Mon, 1 Aug 1994 10:33:32 PDT
From a copyrighted article by Lance Williams and Marsha Ginsburg in the
San Francisco Examiner, 7/31/94:
BERKELEY -- Twenty Boy Scouts in Berkeley gave up their Saturday afternoon
to aid their counterparts in Zaire. Compared with the Zairian's sacrifice,
theirs was easy: the scouts in Goma are burying the dead.
"We're doing this to help the scouts," said Robert Hetherington, a sixth-
grader at Longfellow School in Berkeley. "If there's an earthquake, the
same thing could happen here."
Scout leader Vince Lipinski said the boys were moved by an account in
Tuesday's Examiner describing how 500 scouts in Goma were assisting French
soldiers in the hot, dirty, indescribably dreadful taks of carrying
Rwandan refugees felled by cholera to mass graves.
"The boys read the article, and it got very quiet, and I said, 'What do
you guys think?'" Lipinski said, recalling last week's troop meeting.
"And they said, 'Let's help the helpers -- let's help our fellow scouts.'"
The 20 boys, aged 11 to 16, spent Saturday marking and packing a collection
of face masks, hats, and scout neckerchiefs.
They settled on the face masks and scarves because, in the newspaper photo,
they could see the Zairian boys were wearing their scout neckerchiefs
across their mouths to ward off the odor of dead bodies. They decided on
the red baseball caps because they noticed the scouts were hatless.
In all, the Berkeley scouts are sending $750 worth of gear, with most of
the money put up by their parents. Retired San Francisco firefighter
Frank Blackburn, whose company already has flown a portable water filtration
system to Zaire, has agreed to deliver the donations.
Before packing up everything, the boys were stenciling the scout emblem on
each baseball cap.
Scoutmaster Tom Cintron said the troop already is required to do community
service projects each month -- such as painting over graffiti on school
walls or helping out at senior citizen centers -- but they were particularly
enthusiastic about the Zaire project.
"They were hitting this one very hard," he said. "I told the boys if it
was going to happen they would have to do it, that we (the adult leaders)
weren't going to do it."
Lipinski said he had been unable yet to make contact with scout leaders in
Zaire, but he expected the troops would eventually hook up, with the help
of national scout headquarters in Texas....
The above article describes Berkeley Troop 19. Is there anyone out there
who has any information about Scouting in Zaire that I can pass along
to them? Please respond directly to my email address, as I am supposed
to be getting digest information, but the last several days' digests have
Alan R. Houser
Scoutmaster, Berkeley Troop 24
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City