Local Scout Helps in Puerto Rico
Repairing A Camp
Puerto Rico was devastated on September 20, 2017 and has been picking up the pieces since. 6 months later, that process continues and volunteers are needed just as much now as then. A couple local Scouts took the call for help, traveling to Puerto Rico!
Charlie Novack was interested in using his spring break for a mission trip. He heard from his parents about Guajataka Scout Reservation, Puerto Rico’s only Scout camp, and how they were in desperate need of repair after the hurricane. Without hundreds of volunteers to put in thousands of man hours, they wouldn’t be able to open for summer camp this year.
“I thought, I grew up in Boy Scouts and I always wanted to give back. Scouts helped me grow up and I knew I had to give back,” Novack said. So, he applied and waited – but not long! Thanks to being well known in the Order of the Arrow and those sorting through applications, he was accepted just two hours later.
Novack flew out on March 11, arriving in San Juan and immediately met Scouts from around the United States. He also recognized a fellow Scout named Michael Villota. Novack was quickly deemed one of the ‘bigger guys’ and was set to help clear brush and debris around camp. “I used a machete for the first time, it was fun but the bamboo was very sharp.”
Local Scouts put on a program, telling everyone how the hurricane affected both their Scout and personal life, thanking everyone for their work. “Someone I met just got power back 3 weeks ago. It was a small punch in the gut knowing I’d go home to full power, wifi, and clean water” Novack said.
Novack, and other Scouting volunteers who went, really are living evidence of the Scout Oath. They helped others in need, even though it mean traveling thousands of miles.
Although now an adult volunteer in Scouting, Novack started at the beginning like most; in Cub Scouts. Eventually graduating to Troop 345 in Eagan and earning the Eagle Rank. An ever busy college student, he still makes time to be involved with his troop when home.