Much respect and credit have been given to the brave first responders and town employees in Greenwich who worked tirelessly to aid the town during Superstorm Sandy.
But last week, the town recognized some unsung and youthful residents, as members of the Greenwich Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts and the Police Explorers were honored by First Selectman Peter Tesei and Chief of Police James Heavey. All 24 kids were presented with a certificate of appreciation as well as custom patches honoring their service during storm preparation and cleanup.
The kids were credited for helping to fill sandbags to help prevent flooding, helping out the Red Cross and the Greenwich Police Department and collecting food and clothing for people in need at Neighbor to Neighbor.
Chief Heavey noted it was a “fitting place” to recognize the youths’ service since it was being done in the town’s Public Safety Complex in the same room which served as the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) during and after the storm. Chief Heavey, himself an Eagle Scout during his youth, also said that before the storm hit, the town had held true to the scouting motto of “be prepared.”
“In getting ready for the storm there were a lot of sandbags that had to be filled at all the fire stations in town, and we only had to make one call to make all that happen,” Chief Heavey said. “That call was to the Scout office. And after the storm, while most of their classmates had a week off of school for vacation, a lot of the boys here were either working in the EOC or helping the Red Cross and loading equipment and preparing supplies. It’s a huge resource for us, and it makes me feel great that we only had to make one phone call to tap into it. When you call 911 you get the police, but when you call the Scout office you get 50 Scouts able to come out and respond and assist their neighbors before the disaster, during the disaster and after the disaster.”
Not all the kids being honored could make the early evening presentation and Chief Heavey said the total of 50 Boy Scouts, 28 Police Explorers and one honored Girl Scout were all youth “making a big difference” in the town when they were needed the most.
“It’s an honor for us to recognize them,” Chief Heavey said.
Mr. Tesei said it was a “blessing for the town of Greenwich” that they had an Eagle Scout as chief of police because he “seems to set the tone and tenor for all our activities through his good training and development through this organization.” He said Chief Heavey was an example that all the Scouts in the room could aspire to be.
“As a community we are very blessed, not because of our material blessings, but because of the human riches that we have in our people,” Mr. Tesei said to the crowd of Scouts and parents. “You Scouts are part of those riches through your participation and action in the scouting program. You helped your fellow citizens in so many ways during a time of need. The ways you helped were immeasurable and provided comfort and benefit. As we embark on preparation and response and recovery to these events, one can never fully anticipate what is going to happen, but we know we need people ready, willing and able to support and protect our fellow residents. You did that so admirably and willingly and professionally, and I want to thank you on behalf of the citizens of the town of Greenwich.”
Mr. Tesei said all the Scouts and Explorers should “feel proud” that they came to the aid of others and their efforts were “greatly appreciated.”
“We know that what you did will go a long way toward your development as Scouts and as citizens in our community,” Mr. Tesei said before asking everyone in attendance for the Scouts’ regular board meeting to give the youths a round of applause for their “extraordinary achievements.”