A pair of Sherwood Park Cub Scouts are cleaning up the community one park at a time.
Josh McMenamon and Angus Coyne are members of the 169 Glen Allen Scouts and are working towards Seeonee Awards but the COVID-19 pandemic threw a wrench in their plans. The duo decided they didn’t want the pandemic to stop them from helping the community and came up with a coronavirus-appropriate community service project.
The Cub Scouts have been cleaning up parks and walking spaces in Sherwood Park, with the help of their parents, as their community service project spending Saturday, May 23 at Ball Lake Park.
“It was the cleanest park we went to so far,” explained McMenamon, a Grade 5 student at Davidson Creek Elementary. “We collected two full garbage bags there in total between the four of us.”
The duo spent about two hours picking up trash this past weekend.
“We have been to Broadmoor Lake. We did the entire park and it was snowing that day. We did Centennial Lake Park, Ball Lake Park, including the baseball diamonds,” explained Coyne, a Grade 5 student at Strathcona Christian Academy. “Broadmoor took the longest as it had the most trash.”
In total, the pair have collected about eight bags of garbage from parks in Sherwood Park.
“For our community service project for the Seeonee Award we needed to do something big because the original thing we were going to do was cancelled due to COVID-19. We needed to come up with something that helps communities and fit the restrictions now,” McMenamon said.
To get the Seeonee Award, you need 15 hours of community volunteer service, eight of 12 personal achievement badges, the World Scout Environment Award and 10 outdoor adventure skill badges.
“The Seeonee Award is the hardest award to get,” Coyne explained. “You can only do it once in your final year of Cub Scouts.”
“In our Cub Scouts, we have to accomplish the Seeonee Award, which proves our community service and effort we put into doing things. We came up with the idea of picking up trash and decided we’d help out the community by going to local parks and cleaning up garbage,” he explained.
Both McMenamon and Coyne said it is easy to pick up litter and trash while taking proper precautions for COVID-19 and they are able to socially distance the entire time they do it.
“People say thank you or hello when they see us out there,” McMenamon said.
The pair plans to do it again next Saturday at another park in Sherwood Park but they haven’t decided which one will be next.
When the pair aren’t picking up trash at parks they are also staying in touch with their Scouts group and participate in weekly virtual meet-ups.
“We’re continuing to pick up trash but we also meet up on Zoom every Monday and get new challenges to accomplish. We get to talk to each other and the leaders ask us how we’re doing on our project and Josh and I keep telling them we’re doing really good,” Coyne said.
Both boys said they are disappointed that many scout activities have had to be cancelled due to the pandemic but they hope to do some camping this summer with their families to make up for the cancelled trips.