It is not every day that a child with disabilities gets to have a social outing at a local swimming pool. It is also not every day that a scout gets to “earn” community service hours for playing in a water park, but both are exactly what occurred in August 2013. Scouts from Troop 5 Bronxville and Troop 353 Eastchester participated in helping children with special needs enjoy a few hours of FUN at the local water park, Tibbetts Brook Park. The event was sponsored by the Tommie Cares Foundation (TCF), which focuses on selected sports (selected water & snow sports) for children with special needs. The TCF was started in 2013 by the founder of the Tommie Copper organization, a line of copper-infused compression sports clothing. The event was exceptionally well-organized and the pre-event training for volunteers on how to understand and play with children with special needs safely and comfortably was exceptionally practical and thorough. Even though passing thunderstorms delayed the start of the event for an hour, there was no shortage of FUN activities inside waiting for the rain to pass. After an hour or so in the pool, a special awards ceremony recognized every child! It was a particularly happy moment for many children and families. Not only did the scouts have a very gratifying time, but the special needs children had the memory of a lifetime! Here are some more great photos here!
On May 12th, 2014, Westchester-Putnam Council, BSA had their annual recognition dinner with the primary billing being the Court of Honor for the award of Silver Beaver for adult volunteers that have made exceptional council-wide contributions over time. The Silver Beaver award is the highest honor an adult volunteer can receive in a local Council. The Court of Honor MC was the incoming Council President, John G. Callahan. John is also the founding Scoutmaster of Troop 353 back on May 1, 1992. It was a very special evening for both the Callahan family as well as Troop 353 as seen in the photo above, as most of the troop’s prior and current Scoutmasters were present as well as a few Eagle scouts that started as Cub Scouts with Mr. Callahan! Congratulations to John Callahan and all his family!
From left to right: David Kindberg (Eagle Scout, Cubmaster Tuckahoe Pack 7), Mike Occhicone (Scoutmaster 2011–2013), Tom McCandless (Eagle Scout, Scoutmaster 2006–2010), Dave Flannery (present Scoutmaster), Mrs. Lynn Callahan (current Pack 7 & Troop 353 Chartered Org Representative), John Callahan (Troop 353 founding Scoutmaster, Silver Beaver 1999), Richard Schraudner (Scoutmaster 1998-2002, Silver Beaver 2006), Matt Keller (Eagle Scout 1999), Don Wauchope (Scoutmaster 2002–2005), John Clark (Eagle Scout 1999, Scoutmaster 2005), Andrew Callahan (first Eagle Scout of Troop 353, 1997).