by Susan Fried
Christmas was extended for the boys and leaders of the Rainier Valley’s Troop 008, a unit of the Thunderbird District (South Seattle) of the Boy Scouts of America. The youth could barely contain their excitement when on Friday, January 5, Outdoor Research (OR), a local outdoor gear and clothing company, presented the Troop with several thousands of dollars worth of outdoor gear including waterproof hats, jackets, gaiters, beanies, and athletic shirts. The presentation took place at the Rainier Beach Community Center, where the troop meets weekly to plan their numerous outdoor adventures and service projects. The company was impressed with Troop 008’s mission to foster a love of the outdoors, leadership, and service to the community.
This big gift was the culmination of an idea first suggested by one of Troop 008’s dedicated moms, Dieu Nguyen, who met OR’s head of marketing Erika Canfield at a symposium about women in the outdoors. Nguyen spoke with Canfield and suggested that OR and Troop 008 partner to help ensure more youth of color were getting outdoors and doing so with proper gear. Within weeks of the initial discussion, OR informed the scout leaders that they wanted to help make sure they were properly outfitted for the frequent outdoor activities Troop 008 does every year.
“This generous gift provides our Troop the opportunity to take our outdoor program to the next level,” said Scoutmaster Adrian Cowens. “Our partnership will make sure we are able to brave all the elements of the Pacific Northwest. Troop 008 wants to thank OR for helping equip our Scouts with the tools they need in their journey to becoming community leaders.”
The gear the Troop received from OR will be put to use right away, beginning at the end of January, when the boys attend a camping trip in Wallace Falls State Park. Four additional trips are planned for the spring, before the annual weeklong summer camp.
Families interested in getting their child involved can visit the Troop 008 website for more information. www.troop008seattle.com. Boy Scouts of America is currently accepting applications for all children, regardless of gender or identity.
Susan Fried is a Seattle based freelance journalist whose work has appeared in The Seattle Globalist and Skanner newspapers.
Featured image by Susan Fried