Thursday, January 23, 2014

Red Cross Provides Training to Boy Scouts

Story and Photos by Bill Fortune and Charlie Mussi, American Red Cross

Nearly two dozen Boy Scouts of the Pikes Peak Boy Scout Council spent a challenging Saturday learning, sharing and working toward their Emergency Preparedness merit badge with the help of the Pikes Peak Chapter of the American Red Cross and the Colorado Springs Office of Emergency Management. The training was part of a larger Disaster Academy hosted by the Red Cross Pikes Peak Chapter.
Scouts working with volunteer
Gaby Stanley for their merit badge

For the Red Cross it was a chance to partner with the Pikes Peak Boy Scout Council in an effort to train and engage Scouts and to involve them in Youth Preparedness Week. Classes were held at the United States Olympic Committee training center (USOC) in Colorado Springs.

Boy Scout manual for Emergency
Preparedness merit badge
The Scouts learned to prepare and respond to emergency situations. They also learned important information about disaster mitigation, prevention and recovery. “We are so excited to work with the Red Cross and to get this training for our Scouts,” said Kent Downing, Pikes Peak Boy Scout Council Scout Executive. “Earning this merit badge helps a Scout to be prepared by learning the actions that can be helpful and needed before, during and after an emergency. Getting the training from a skilled Red Cross volunteer makes it that much better.”

Red Cross volunteer Heather Kraus, who serves as the leader for the Community Preparedness and Resilience Services team, provided the training along with her team members Gaby Stanley, Terri Possehl and Drew Phillips. They taught the Scouts what they needed to know to complete the requirements for the Emergency Preparedness merit badge.

“It was a pleasure to teach these enthusiastic and motivated Scouts the skills that they will use with their families and communities,” Kraus said. “These Scouts will go home and teach their families how to get or build an emergency kit, make a family emergency plan, and how to stay informed about rapidly changing situations.”

The Red Cross sponsors a number of youth programs across America.Youth and young adults are an important component of the American Red Cross family and make up more than 20 percent of the American Red Cross volunteer workforce.

Scouts Blake and Nathan say
Thank You to Red Cross
Young adult volunteers can be actively involved in every line of Red Cross service delivery; they can lead Red Cross Clubs, serve on disaster action teams, teach health and safety courses, hold leadership positions on local boards, donate blood and recruit other donors, raise funds in their local community, volunteer at veteran’s hospitals, teach community preparedness and support international initiatives. 
To learn more about the Red Cross and about the opportunities available for youth and young adults, visit

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