Boy Scouts willing to put forth the muscle to help |

Boy Scouts willing to put forth the muscle to help

by Amanda Hammon

Be prepared.

The simple motto of the Boy Scouts of America helped lead about 10 Carson City Boy Scouts from troops 44 and 45 to spend their Martin Luther King Jr. holiday splitting and stacking wood.

Even rainy winter weather couldn’t keep the boys from heeding the scout oath to “help other people at all times.”

Working on a pile of wood about 6 feet tall, scouts and troop leaders busied themselves stacking and splitting wood on a splitter provided at no charge by United Rentals.

Wood split by the scouts, their troop leaders and other volunteers was donated by the Carson City Street Department and is destined to become firewood for elderly Carson City residents.

Scout Sam Pincock from Troop 44 has been a scout for “a couple of years” and enjoys troop service projects, outings and activities.

“We’re doing a good deed, I guess,” Pincock said. “The people who need the wood can’t get it themselves.”

Every year, the street department collects tons of wood from limbs falling in streets or from hazard trees such as cottonwood or elm trees. Street Operations Manager John Flansberg said in the past, city street workers would cut the wood and use it for their families. Disputes about the wood led the previous division manager to decided to throw the wood away.

Seeing the wood go to waste didn’t sit well with Flansberg. A scout leader for about six years, he saw an opportunity to put scouts to work helping others using the the city’s trees.

About 11 families at the Carson Indian Colony received wood Monday. The colony’s oldest tribal member, Winona James, 96, received almost a cord of wood from the scouts.

“Look at them, they work like bees, those boys,” James said as she watched scouts unload the wood.

“Isn’t this great? I burn wood every day. It’s so very seldom I get help like this, I certainly appreciate it.”

Colony Council Chairman Darriel Bender said many of the colony’s elderly use wood as an alternative to heating their homes with electricity.

“Many of these seniors are on fixed incomes,” Bender said. “They’re pretty strapped for money so, yes, all the seniors here and many in the community need the wood just like (James) does.”

Flansberg said people weren’t getting a lot of wood, but in the winter when bills were tight, every little bit helps. The scouts will continue to deliver wood to other Carson residents Saturday. Flansberg said wood would be available for those who really need it.

“Boy Scouts is all about service, and this is a good project,” Flansberg said. “It was a little bit of a sacrifice for the boys to get up on their day off, but it teaches them good principles. This is giving back to the community.”

Matt Hogan has only been a scout for a week but said it has been a good experience.

“A lot of people need help and can’t do it for themselves,” Hogan said. “We help people.”

Troop leader John Read said the boys who helped today were learning service and self-reliance skills.

“The wood basically sits here, and it needs to go to someone,” Read said. “There are a lot of people who can use the it.

“The whole purpose of Boy Scouts is to help people who can’t help themselves. The boys get a good knowledge of what it’s like to help other people. Someone will be warmer this winter because of their efforts.”

A few street department employees braved the rain to help out as well.

Ryan Domina became an Eagle Scout at age 14.

“A lot of people helped me out, so I’m here seeing what I can do,” Domina said.

Tree worker Vernon Markussen said he thought it was good for the city to have a volunteer commitment.

“This is very good for the community and a good use for the wood,” Markussen said. “Helping other people makes you feel good.”