A Boy Scout checks out Jeff Clark's truck at the Walcott Trucker's Jamboree. Photo: Trucker Buddy
As a former Girl Scout, a Girl Scout leader for the past three years, and a trucking editor for 24, I'm thrilled to see continuing efforts to educate these young people in both Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting about the trucking industry.
Last month, the trucker/classroom pen-pal organization Trucker Buddy teamed up with the Iowa and Hawkeye Councils of the Boy Scouts of America to bring almost 40 Boy Scouts, Scout leaders and Scout parents to the recent Walcott Trucker’s Jamboree in Walcott, Iowa. Each Scout earned his Truck Transportation and Traffic Safety merit badges.
Matt Slovack, a professional driver for Don Hummer Trucking, who is also an assistant Scout Master and a Trucker Buddy, was a key instructor for the event, with additional instruction from Chris Hummer, vice president at Don Hummer Trucking.
Following the instruction, the Scouts toured the industry exhibits at the Jamboree. They were treated to a special tour of the Freightliner Run Smart trucks by owner-operator Henry Albert and Jeff Clark, who explained the trucks’ new technology and fuel-efficient operations.
“We traveled two hours for this event, and it was well worth it. Hearing all the presenters speak so passionately about their careers, their first-hand experience, and the industry participants made the event. The tour was great, and we can’t wait to sign up more young men for the event next year,” said Thad Regenold, Troop 608 Scout Master, Beloit, Wis.
Women in Trucking is working with Girl Scouts to develop a patch program. Photo: Women in Trucking
Girl Scouts, unlike Boy Scouts, does not already have a badge related to trucking. So Women in Trucking is taking a regional approach to developing a program to earn a special patch offered by regional Girl Scout councils.
It's starting with the Girl Scouts of the Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana region.
An event, Trucks are for Girls, will be held October 13 at Olive Harvey College in Chicago. The girls, ages 7 to 12, will get a chance to drive a simulator, climb inside a real “big rig” and learn more about the trucking industry. The girls will receive a custom Women In Trucking patch for attending the event.
“Olive-Harvey College is very excited to welcome the Girl Scouts to campus and provide a fun introduction to the field of transportation,” said Associate Dean Joanne Ivory. “There are so many excellent opportunities for women in the industry. We hope that the transportation patch will help foster early interest that could evolve into a future career in distribution, logistics, commercial driving, or other rewarding occupations.”
Volunteers from Olive Harvey College, Navistar and Women In Trucking Association will be assisting at the event.
Patches are offered by many of the regional Girl Scout councils to supplement the national badge programs.
Sometimes they are regionally oriented. For instance, in Oregon, you can earn patches related to forestry. The Chesapeake Bay council has patches related to bays and oceans. D.C. has a patch about African-Americans in Congress. My own council, which includes Huntsville, Ala., where so much of America's space program was developed, and we offer a patch called "Out of this World" that focuses on astronauts, rockets, etc.
Other times they are simply areas that the national badges don't cover. Many councils have an archery patch, one about Girl Scout founder Juliette Low, troop camping, bullying, etc.
I know I'll be contacting my Girl Scout council about this patch program once WIT gets through this pilot program and encourage others to do the same. Scouting is a great opportunity to share the story of trucking, because many of these young people will be the leaders of tomorrow.
Trucker Buddy Boy Scout Event Big Success at MATS