Boy Scouts in the Connecticut Rivers Council are putting the words in their motto – “to help others at all times” – into action.
At the June Norcross Webster Scout Reservation in Ashford, scouts use a 3D printer as part of their STEAM program. Now, camp staff are using it to produce N95 masks and face shields, as well as ventilator quad splitters for medical facilities in need. The printer can make about two masks and two ventilator splitters a day.
“First, we are sending them where the need is most, which is in Suffolk County, New York,” said Mike Brown, director of support services for the council. “It is a small operation with only one printer at the moment, but we are trying to do our part to give back and help the front line.”
In addition to using their 3D printer, the council has taken its inventory of health supplies from three camps in Connecticut and distributed them to local first responders in need.
Brown added, “We are also starting to work with Waterbury Hospital, to provide a place for medical staff that can’t go home due to the virus.”
The council has set up housing at Mattatuck Camp in Plymouth, which has room for 40 residents.
Scouting and community service have an interwoven relationship built on respect, honor and doing good.
“What we are doing is just a drop in the bucket, but it is our way of contributing and giving back,” said Brown. “We are encouraging our Scouts to stay engaged with their troops over social media, stay positive and follow the social distancing directions.”
The Council, which serves over 13,000 boys and girls throughout Connecticut, is also providing supplemental programs such as virtual merit badge instruction. Scouts are participating in video conferencing with trained adult merit badge counselors who are covering topics such as public health, american heritage, citizenship and more. For more information go to www.ctscouting.org.