Corps Member and Eagle Scout Matthew Payne prepares to serve two outstanding service organizations at the same time in West Virginia
I didn’t quite fully understand the magnitude of our upcoming project with the Citizens Conservation Corps of West Virginia until our recent conference call with its organizers. The Reaching the Summit Community Service Initiative -- or The Initiative, as they call it -- will invite a towering 50,000 volunteers to work on community service projects in nine counties for a five-day period.
This will also be the site of the 2013 Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree. And for the first time ever, this Jamboree with host an enormous community service project, combining the resources of the Scouts, the Citizens Conservation Corps and us! AmeriCorps NCCC will be there to lead, organize and assist in this massive community service project!
I recall organizing my Eagle Project for the Boy Scouts of America; bringing together 10 volunteers for a day of work seemed like a colossal undertaking. I can only imagine how the coordinators of this Initiative in West Virginia feel. As an Eagle Scout myself, I was thrilled to discover that the majority of the volunteers with this project will be Boy Scouts (my peeps) and not only will we be working alongside them, but NCCC will act as leaders guiding the Scouts through the Initiative. It is a very unique and surreal opportunity for me to lead other Scouts while wearing the AmeriCorps "A" on my shoulder instead of my patrol patch, and I can be a role model to the Scouts.
While I may not be earning a merit badge, I am certain it will be immensely rewarding to give back to a program that has made me the man, servant and leader I am today. Scouting taught me invaluable lessons I carry everyday into my service with the National Civilian Community Corps, such as hard work, integrity and humility. I feel honored to be working with the Scouts and hope to instill in them the same love for service that Scouting and AmeriCorps instilled in me. Beyond myself, our NCCC teams from Vicksburg, Mississippi are beyond excited for this project. We are getting the opportunity to work on one of the largest service projects ever coordinated in U.S. history. We are prepared to show West Virginia what NCCC is all about!