The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

2013 Boy Scout Jamboree

July 24, 2013

Boy Scouts’ milk jug igloo to become reading hut for kids

Scouts don’t always build igloos. But when they do, they do it with sunburns, in July, in school gymnasiums.

And the igloos are “green.”

“It’s quite impressive,” remarked Raleigh County Solid Waste Authority Marketing Director Sherrie Hunter.

Visiting Boy Scouts and Venturers from Ethiopia and Great Britain started the “igloo” Monday in the gym at St. Francis de Sales Catholic School. Troop A230 from Connecticut took up the project Tuesday morning.

By Tuesday afternoon, the igloo was wider than the gym doors and shoulder-high to some of the tallest Eagle Scout builders ... and growing.

Constructed of around 500 recycled milk jugs, the igloo will be an eye-catching and imagination-capturing reading hut for younger kids and a Jamboree community service project to benefit the E. Paul Barley Recycling Center in Lanark.

The milk jugs were collected by recycling plant supervisor Fred Lovell and recycling center staff, said Hunter.

Even though the igloo was a rainy-day plan (wet weather on Monday put a stop to any outdoor service projects the Scouts wanted to do for the SWA, so St. Francis Principal Karen Wynne agreed to allow the Scouts to build in the gym), Hunter said the igloo project helped the Scouts and local people practice teamwork with those from other countries and states.

Scouts cleaned and dried the milk jugs before assembling the igloo, with assistance from Citizens Conservation Corps workers.

“It’s an international project,” Hunter said. “It has an Ethiopian flair, a Great Britain flair, a Connecticut flair and a Raleigh County flair.

“These jugs will never go in the landfill,” she added.

Scouts marked the inside of the igloo with “Jambo 2013” to commemorate Jamboree 2013 and their visit to West Virginia, Hunter reported.

James Butler, a 15-year-old Eagle Scout from Derby, Conn., said building the igloo at St. Francis was more favorable than most community service projects.

“It’s community service, and we’re actually having fun,” he said. “Most times we do community service, it’s more ‘shovel dirt into a ditch.’”

The Eagle Scouts gave up a day of high adventure at The Summit — with zipline courses and skateboard parks — to work on the earth-friendly project.

That was no easy feat, considering that Eagle Scout Dan Knepple, 17, from Oxford, Conn., reported the 2013 Jamboree was better than ones held in previous years at Fort A.P. Hill, Va.

“You had to walk longer (in West Virginia) but the activities were tenfold better,” he explained.

Scoutmaster Jimmy Butler of Derby, Conn., said the igloo project has been fulfilling for his troop.

“The boys were energetic and have found it to be rewarding,” he said. “It was rewarding in multiple ways.”

The igloo is not only sustainable and durable, it is guaranteed not to melt under normal gymnasium temperatures.

That begs the question of where the igloo will permanently stand.

“Do you have any suggestions?” Principal Wynne quipped when asked about the igloo’s future post.

She added she was glad that St. Francis could host the Boy Scouts.

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2013 Boy Scout Jamboree