During Hurricane Harvey, Troop 55 took the Boy Scout motto to a whole new level. “Do a good turn daily” evolved into “Do multiple good turns for days on end” as the country’s largest troop responded to the worst flooding catastrophe in US history.
Clay Lein, Eagle Scout Henry Caldwell, Troop Secretary Suanne Bouvier, Scoutmaster Emeritus Dick Yale, Scoutmaster Bob Casey
Troop chairman and SJD parishoner Larry Lawyer said troop leadership realized early on that scouts could play a large role in post-Harvey help.
“Scouting is really about servant leadership,” said Larry, “Our troop represented a young labor force in a macro sense and unique skill sets in a micro sense. The deluge began on Sunday and so did social media, emailing and texting about different scenarios in collaboration with our church to impact local communities.”
Scouts, St. John the Divine parishioners, and neighborhood volunteers sorting donations on Tuesday, August 29, in Sumners Hall
When St. John the Divine decided to serve as a donation collection point, Troop 55 members converged on Sumners Hall to accept, sort and eventually distribute clothing and supplies to storm evacuees. Additionally, Troop 55 scouts:
Life Scout and Stake Jesuit Senior Michael Bouvier
Troop 55 Scouts Tommy Lykos, Rafael Trevino, Sergio Garza, Alejandro Garza
Trent Hale, Program Coordinator, providing instruction on how to sort books at Books Between Kids
Will Perdue, Assistant Scoutmaster Dan Parsley, John Perdue, and Douglas Parsley
Keith Derosier (Homeowner), David Pesikoff, Eagle Scout Jacob Pesikoff and Life Scout Ethan Pesikoff
Bob Casey, Scoutmaster, emphasized that the response comprised the entire Troop 55 community – all ages, family members and even older Eagle Scouts, like Clay Nickens who volunteers with Baker Ripley, the organization charged with creating a shelter at NRG Stadium. When County Judge Ed Emmett placed a call for volunteers to prepare the site for 10,000 evacuees, Troop 55 showed up within the hour to set up cots and welcome guests.
"The pack and the troop came together to partner with the church and disaster relief organizations we know as a group, pooling resources as we triaged this disaster," said Bob. "Boy Scouts is a game with a purpose and all these boys train in emergency preparedness, communications and leadership. When something like this happens, older high school boys assume leadership roles to direct the younger scouts and sometimes even adults. These young men really stepped up and used their training and leadership experience in the troop to help make a difference."
SJD thanks Larry Lawyer, Suanne Bouvier, and Tammy Casey of Troop 55 for their assistance in writing this piece. To learn more about Troop 55, visit their website.