The scouting program that almost wasn't

auction: Carol Roberts, chairman of the annual Moose Pie Auction; Tonya Swinehart, an EMT and the lead female Explorer advisor; Sandy Green, senior regent of the Women of the Moose; Jesse Hyden, former Fire Explorer and current captain Evart Fire Department andArlene Henry, pie auction contributor, pose with a check donation of $200 given from Moose Lodge No. 2452. (Courtesy photo)
auction: Carol Roberts, chairman of the annual Moose Pie Auction; Tonya Swinehart, an EMT and the lead female Explorer advisor; Sandy Green, senior regent of the Women of the Moose; Jesse Hyden, former Fire Explorer and current captain Evart Fire Department andArlene Henry, pie auction contributor, pose with a check donation of $200 given from Moose Lodge No. 2452. (Courtesy photo)

EVART — Who will be the next set of volunteer firefighters in the greater Evart area? The answer seems clearer when the community supports a youth training

program.

The Evart Fire Explorer Program, under the wider umbrella of Boy Scouts of America, used to be a part of the regional activities open to teens 14 to 18 years old. The idea resurfaced, thanks in good part to the aggressive lobbying of one of the youngest members of the Evart first responders, life-long resident and son of a former Evart Chief of Police, Ryan Douglas.

Without funds, there can be no scouting program. Even with expectations that the community would be supportive with donations and that the scouts once initiated and organized, would be fully capable of generating fundraisers, nothing could go forward without start-up capital. Moose Lodge No. 2452 is among those that have stepped up.

Last month, upon hearing of the invaluable hands-on learning that these scouts would experience (accident scene aide to fire fighting methods), it was decided that a portion of this year’s Golfing Weekend Pie Auction proceeds would be used to help launch the program. A check for $200 has been presented to the

Fire Explorers.

Auction chair Carol Roberts said that in addition to the Women-of-the-Moose auction contributions to the Wounded Warrior Program and to the Cystic Fibrosis Organization this year, the Fire Scouts were an obvious choice. She noted that they were reaching out to girls and boys from Evart, Tustin and in between.

The consensus was that to ignore the powerful impact this program has had in the past and would no doubt have well into the future, would have been a tragic oversight and missed opportunity. This is the fourth consecutive year that the Womenof-the-Moose have transformed flour, berries, apples and other key ingredients into a Golf Weekend fundraiser and this was their most successful.

Financial support from individuals in increments from $10 to more than $100 for the Fire Scouts is deeply appreciated by members of the program.

Part of their learning curve is to wear, tote and become at home with the exact equipment and gear of a regular firefighter. With that comes the expense of outfitting each teen. That burden is something that the program shoulders. The goal is to make the rigors and rewards of the program available to teenagers with an interest, not just those whose parents have an interest bearing checking account.