Tuesday, April 9, 2013
Over the next nine months, two dozen Boy Scouts from Troop 2 in Summerville will be preparing to battle the elements, battle the Swamp Fox Passage of the Palmetto Trail, and battle Bladder Cancer. Last December, Troop leaders began planning a 50 mile hike for the Troop so that those participating could achieve the Boy Scout 50 Miler Award. In order to achieve this award, the boys are required to cover 50 miles over a period of at least five consecutive days and perform 10 hours of community service along the way. Their reward for accomplishing this feat is a $2.59 patch and the satisfaction of accomplishing a goal. In order to motivate the boys, Troop leaders added an extra incentive, to hike for a charitable cause.
On January 19th, the boys had their cause – Bladder Cancer Research. On that day, Beverly Justis, mother of Troop 2 Scoutmaster Glenn Justis and grandmother of Scout Joe Justis lost her battle with the disease just 5 months after losing her husband of 55 years to a heart attack and stroke. Beverly and her husband Bill were both Scout leaders for their son Glenn and supporters of Troop 2.
Inspired to make a difference, 12-year-old Joe Justis contacted the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network the day following his grandmother’s funeral to see what he could do to help. He contacted legislators and Senators Sean Bennett and Brad Hutto have co-sponsored a resolution in the South Carolina Senate to declare May 2013 as Bladder Cancer Awareness Month in South Carolina. A similar resolution in the House is also expected.
Troop 2 is planning a Bladder Cancer Awareness Rally on May 4th at Knightsville Baptist Church to coincide with the Troop’s annual BBQ fundraiser. Bladder Cancer is the 5th leading type of cancer in the U.S. but it receives very little recognition and support. Troop 2 wants to change that and has committed to spend the next nine months getting the word out and shining light on this disease.
In order to be prepared for the 50 mile hike in December, the Scouts will conduct a series of training hikes throughout the year and work on skills such as orienteering, cooking, camping, first aid, and physical fitness.
The culmination of their efforts will take place on December 26, 2013 when the boys put on their 30-35lb backpacks and travel to Awendaw, SC to start the 51.2 mile journey to Boy Scout Camp Moultrie. They will arrive six days later on December 31st. Along the way they will battle the elements and camp along the trail. While most kids will be enjoying their break from school and their newly acquired Christmas presents, the Scouts will be putting into practice the survival skills they have learned throughout the year. They will also be battling Bladder Cancer on step at a time.
For more information on Bladder Cancer, please refer to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network at www.bcan.org. For information on how you can support Troop 2’s efforts please contact Scoutmaster Glenn Justis at firstname.lastname@example.org