PICTURE THE HUB: GIVING TIME
roseanne and mark brill
Editor's note: This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Mark Brill - I've been a scout leader with Troop 47 since about 2009 when my son wanted to join. When I was young I didn't really complete the scouting program. So I promised that if my kids, my son, ever wanted to do this, that I would volunteer and you know, and that's what got me going. But what I've seen throughout the years is that the program really works in what drives me to stay now, even past my son’s participation. I see how the scouts start and they don't have confidence and it builds leadership. And that's really what keeps me going.
Roseanne Brill - So I got involved because our daughter got involved. The Boy Scouts of America allowed the girls to join in 2019. I definitely wanted to be involved because I felt like it was something historic. I think we were one of the first female troops so I thought that was really cool. I'm just seeing my husband involved with the boys and how they even when the boys aged out of scouts, they still kind of look to him as more than just a scout leader – they went to him for advice and job advice. The relationship kind of continued with him. So I'm hoping that you know, for the girls I can be that person too for them. Some of the girls I have, they're just cool –, they're different girls than the typical to do a program like this. I never had any involvement in scouts as a child. So Girl Scouts or Boy Scouts, I have no brothers. So I I wasn't familiar until my son was in it and I didn't realize you know, just how some of the things were really challenging, I mean, they're all in you know, so I'm like well, if you're all in and I'm going to be all in!
Mark Brill - So my son when he started, he couldn't even stand in front of a class for a presentation and he's an Eagle Scout and can speak in front of hundreds of people. The confidence he gained is incredible. Another scout, came to his first meeting and he sat in a corner. I didn’t think he’d make it through but he went camping and stuck with it and now he’s an Eagle Scout too. Just to see how this program builds up the kids – they start and they don't know what's going on and then they grow and then they become responsible.
The leaders do a lot of the work kids transition from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. You're there to make sure that everything's running smoothly. But the scouts run the meeting and set projects and activities based on their interests. And that's the leadership that I was talking about how they start off and they're really just like running around and then as they grow in the program they learn this responsibility and how to lead. And that's how the scouting program works.
For Troop 47 Eagle Scout projects we like to help them find a project that is part of Westwood. So some of the scouts have helped with garden and memorial restorations in the parks and built a trail. Our son’s project was building sensory boards for the preschool. For that project he was able to manage it, build the boards with help from the troop and give them to the school. There’s so many ways for the kids to add something of value to the community.
Roseanne Brill: For the girls in Troop 47, I think it's an amazing opportunity to help create something new, something that’s never been done before. We are at the point where some of the girls are becoming the leaders now, so they're able to teach and give back to, hopefully younger girls that come in or are younger boys that come in. I think that's it's a great way to give back. It's an easy way to give back in a sense. But it's not an easy program but it's a great way to get out of your comfort zone. A lot of our experience unfortunately has been within the pandemic so we haven't gotten to do as much as we could but we did camp in the woods and I survived and it was brilliant. It was fun! It was amazing! And I got to see the girls and boys doing just amazing things out there.
Mark Brill: So as a volunteer, especially in this program, if your have kids involved, then you get to see your kid do a lot of stuff you would never be able to see them achieve. And in the end the relationship grows – the relationship that I have with my son is so deep because of scouting. And now I am hopefully growing that relationship with my daughter too now.
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