The simple truth is that when it comes to non-profit service organizations in Wallingford, it is the volunteers that make it happen. None of these organizations collect enough money to let them just hire staff to provide the services that are so badly needed in our community. Today’s post continues a series of interviews with volunteers who make up the strong right arm of Wallingford service organizations.
Jeremy Mason – Boy Scouts
Jeremy learned the advantages of being a community volunteer from his father and his own Scouting experiences as a youth. He saw his father volunteer with Habitat for Humanity on some home building projects and participating in community building projects in Nicaragua. As an adult, in Wallingford, Jeremy and his wife, Suzanne, worked with the annual Kiddies’ Parade and helped coordinate the music offerings. Attending University Presbyterian Church they found a congregation that encouraged community service. He began working as a Den Leader for the younger boys in the Cub Scout troop hosted by the church. Later he served as the Asst. Scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts and then took on the task of being the Scoutmaster of Troop 167. He says it is actually less difficult than it might be since scouting is so highly focused on the scouts themselves showing leadership, with the adults only advising, being careful of safety and ensuring there is a level of excellence in the scouting experiences.
Although it is church-sponsored, only about one-fourth of the scouts in Troop 167 are from the church families. Many of the participants are from Wallingford. Like many Scout troops now, Troop 167 is paired with Troop 8167, which is for girls. Their meetings and outings are together although since they are separate troops, each group has to take on their own leadership responsibilities. The adult leaders often have prior scouting experience, as that does tend to create a commitment to community volunteering.
The troops work with the U District street youth ministries, participating in clothing drives, for example. They volunteer at the U District Food Bank and have completed service projects in the Seattle area, at places like Magnusson Park, Portage Bay, the Montlake Cut, and the Ballard Locks. Most recently an Eagle Scout candidate led a project to collect books and supplies for Mary’s Place. But, of course, there is a strong emphasis on getting outside, with monthly activities. They have taken canoe trips on the Black River, bike trips on Orcas Island, camping and long hikes in the mountains for the older Scouts and shorter ones for the younger.
There is an opportunity for more Wallingford folks to join or volunteer with a Boy Scouts troop, making a real difference for the community. You can send an email to the Chief Seattle Council to find a troop that you might want to join. They can provide more information about leadership opportunities.
If you have suggestions for other dedicated Wallingford volunteers we should interview, please send an email with contact information for your nominee to [email protected]