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Venturers from Hawaii, Colo. complete day of service with a smile

Creating and maintaining the Summit Bechtel Reserve brought jobs and money to West Virginia, a state ranked 47th in per-capita personal income last year.

But now that the Summit is built, that positive impact on the community will only continue to grow thanks to initiatives like the Messengers of Peace Day of Service, which launched today.

I spent most of the day today tagging along with Crew F206, a jamboree unit that combines Venturers from the Maui County Council in Hawaii and the Denver Area Council in Colorado.

Joined by two outstanding Arrowmen from the Order of the Arrow, the group spent four hours creating hiking and biking trails near Raleigh County Memorial Airport in Beckley, W.Va., about 30 minutes from the Summit.

Theirs is just one of hundreds of similar projects that jamboree participants will complete over the next several days. Messengers of Peace Day of Service (or MOPDOS) organizers expect 250,000 man-hours of service during the jamboree.

I know; it’s easy to gloss over that 250,000 number. Yes, it’s clearly a lot, but to really understand the effect of each individual hour, you need to look closer at units like Crew F206. So I did.

Before we left this morning, I had a nice conversation with Greg Moore, deputy advisor for MOPDOS. The Scouter explained why the Order of the Arrow was a natural fit to help with this service event.

“It all goes back to what the OA’s all about,” he said. “We’re the perfect guys to work with on this project.”

The idea for MOPDOS, Moore said, grew from the desire to have Scouts be more than just visitors to West Virginia. They should leave it better than they found it. Still, participants pay money to attend the jamboree, and Moore says that’s why outsiders might be shocked to learn about MOPDOS.

“Most people would be surprised to hear about people paying to go to work,” Moore said. “The potential impact to the perception of Scouting is huge.”

When our bus finally pulled into the site, Gary Morefield of the Raleigh County Cycle Club grinned and waved his arms. Moments later, he talked to the group.

“I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Morefield said. “This trail is something I’ve been dreaming of for eight years.”

Now that Morefield finally has the manpower and womanpower to get it done, he’s thrilled. Scouts and Venturers visit on five separate days this week. Throughout Crew F206’s day, he shook his head in amazement and snapped photos with his phone to post on Facebook for his friends to see.

In just four hours, a large section of the path — formerly a logging road — transformed from a dangerous tangle of roots, branches and stumps into an inviting route for bikes and hikes.

The Venturers worked until they were drenched with sweat and covered with dirt. But they still had time to talk and joke around.

Venturers from Maui taught Venturers from Colorado how to pronounce Hawaiian words, like the Hawaiian fish the humuhumunukunukuapua’a (pronounced just like it looks — easy, right?).

From there, the conversation flowed from books based on the Halo video game series, to the TV show Doctor Who, to the names of the Hawaiian islands, and to Venturer Hulukoa Nunokawa’s rules to enter the “Honorary Hawaiian Club.”

“Everybody in our crew is already honorary Hawaiians,” Hulukoa said.

For Hulukoa, the project was a family affair. His older brother, twin sister, and both of his parents are members of the crew from Maui. Quite an impressive Venturing family, they know how to work hard and have fun while doing it.

All of the Venturers did the BSA proud, but a special shout-out to OA Service Corps members Jonathan Haines and Aaron Mullinax. They led the trip with a smile, as you’d expect from a group who counts “cheerful service” as its chief tenet.

Said Aaron: “It’s cool because we’re not just helping ourselves; we’re helping the community.”

More photos:

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5 Comments on Venturers from Hawaii, Colo. complete day of service with a smile

  1. My son is an OA Day of Service staff member. He is having a great time! Love this service component of Jambo!

    • Same here. Those OA guys were really impressive. If you’re at all concerned about the future of this country’s youth, just come to jamboree and find someone in a light-blue polo shirt!

  2. Mark Murphy // July 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm // Reply

    Thanks for the great article about our day of service! For the record, in addition to Venturers from Maui and Denver, Crew F206 also consisted of Venturers from the Western Colorado Council.

    • Thanks for the added info!

  3. What a day it was and all the day’s after…all the scouts every day sweated and worked, learned some things and most of all had some fun….The first day for me was just like it was for the scouts …a learning day and the start of my dream trail what a good day it was. All I had to do was give the leaders some direction on where to start and kinda what to do …thats all it took they went to work…We started a switchback in a bad section that I thought was possiable but wasn’t sure due to the location and how much rock and the scouts did start a small ledge from landing to the timber road below… Time was up and we had to leave and they were disappointed that it wasn’t finished..like I tould them we have more scouts coming and I knew that they could finish what this group started..fun learning fact for that first day was show the leaders and scouts from Maui what poison Ive looked like they had never seen it in person so we found a plant and I showed them all. After the first day we (Piney Creek Trail Committee) Kinda knew what to expect and got into a routine so things would run smoother for us and get the scouts on the trail faster…well intill we moved from the first drop off point down the road a mile closer to next phase of the trail…that was on monday… I was at the summit on sunday talked to a few of the scouts I knew they didn’t need to do anymore walking than they had to. I had a blast all 5 day’s that the scouts were on site .I got the trail started that was great but more important than that is the we taught them some skills that they could use one day to help out in their own community….You guy’s and gals rock and talking to some of the other project leaders in are community and other countys we all feel the same way. I ‘am just one person of 4 on are trail committee that was born out of The Piney Creek Watershed Assocation seeing a need to have a greenway from the National Park to Beckley WV for Hiking Biking Fishing. With my dream the committees know how and the scouts help we have got a good start.. Since its a greenway connecting the National Park may earn time towards a badge..may want to check that out. Thanks Gary

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