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Boy Scouts

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A local troop is looking to grow their membership.

Submitted photo

Boy Scouts Troop 993 welcomes boys and girls in one of their three programs: Cub Scouts (ages 6-10), Boy Scouts (ages 11-18) and Venture Scouts (ages 14-20).

The troop welcomed two girls since last year and currently has 95 scouts altogether with room to grow.

Troop Committee Chairman Gerry Hahn said scouts learn life lessons, skills and citizenship. This year, the troop will trek on backpacking events, participate in scouting competitions, and canoe down the Colorado River.

The troop has produced 20 Eagle Scouts and expects two more to gain that rank by the end of the year.

“We are also starting a quarterly community service program this year where we will reach out to the community and see if there are some projects, within reason, that the scouts can do just to give back – not for Eagle Scout or anything, just to help out the community,” Hahn said.

This Spring, scouts completed a paver project from someone who didn’t have the ability or means to do it themselves, Hahn added.

High School students can also earn community service hours through scouting.

The Troop meets Thursdays at 7 p.m. inside the multipurpose room at Butterfield Elementary School.

For more information, contact Hahn at troop993@yahoo.com.

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Boy Scouts and Venturers kayaking in the “Crown Lands." Submitted photo

By Gerry Hahn

What Did You Do This Summer? The question that nearly every parent and teacher asks their children as they go back to school. Some will have hopefully taken part in city programs, or even ventured over to the pool at Copper Sky. But for many, unfortunately, due to the temperatures and weather here in Maricopa, most of our outdoor activities and options are limited, and will answer “stayed inside,” “watched movies,” “Xbox,” and so on.

But, if you were part of the Boy Scouts here in Maricopa, your options were greatly increased. What many don’t know is that the Boy Scouts is not just a camping and hiking organization for boys anymore. The Scouts have opened its doors to youth of many ages, including girls ages 14–20. That’s right, boys and girls of all ages this summer with the Scouts were able to expand their horizons and venture off to some pretty amazing activities and locations.

The youngest group – Cub Scouts from Pack 997 – took to the foothills of Phoenix and enjoyed Day Camp (actually afternoon/evening camp), where they swam, did craft activities, obstacle courses, BB-guns, archery and more to have fun with other kids in the outdoors under the early evening skies and cool mist sprinklers and pool. Keeping these young ones active, keeping them cool by keeping them wet and promoting fun and games, is something to break-up the summer monotony of being inside, or watching TV. From water-balloon fights to obstacle courses, these kids enjoyed a part of their summer they will remember for a long time.

Some of the older boys and young men ventured further out. Troop 993 had several activities and options this summer. Some older boys enjoyed spending their summer both “working” and “playing” off the coast of Los Angeles on Catalina Island. As camp staffers, ocean kayaking, paddle-boards, mountain biking and more were all part of their adventures outside Maricopa’s blazing heat. And being over the age 16, they even got paid – all in the name of fun and Scouting.

Another group from Troop 993 spent a week at our traditional Boy Scout Summer Camp north of Payson, in the shadows of the Mogollon Rim. Temperatures lower than in the valley made it more comfortable – especially at night, and the boys enjoyed activities such as swimming, horseback riding, muzzle-loading muskets, rifle shooting, climbing and archery, just to name a few. Nights were filled with astronomy and hikes, games and fun. It’s always more fulfilling when you can go away and have fun and get something out of it too. The boys earned badges and rank advancement along the way.

Further still was another group from Troop 993 who visited another Scout Camp atop Mt. Lemon outside Tucson for some incredible weather at nearly 7,000-foot elevation. Doing much of the same activities as the group outside Payson, these young men were broadening their horizons by visiting a new place with new friends and new adventures. Some highlights for their summer included friendly sporting competitions, poolside activities and cool summer nights.

Yet the most adventurous group were the oldest of the scouts from Troop 993 and members of Venture Crew 2993 – which is the coed program with young men and women ages 14-20. This group got to travel off to the north and western reaches of Ontario, Canada, for eight days for a kayaking trek in the beautiful mountains and vast waters up north. The group kayaked and camped in some of the most scenic areas our Scouts have ventured to yet, including seeing beautiful scenery, wildlife in its’ natural habitat, historic landmarks, and meeting folks from all over North America.

While enjoying temperatures that dipped 60+ degrees cooler than in Maricopa – into the 40’ at night – we were awed by the sights of wild snapping turtles, American bald eagles, sea otters, beavers and more all in their natural habitat. To celebrate the completion of trekking and kayaking more than 75 miles for the week, the group enjoyed a day at the Mall of America in Minneapolis, before returning home.

So when your kids tell you “there’s nothing to do” next time, think of the event-filled summer the Scouting program offers – and that was just our summer. We do activities and adventures like these throughout the year, so come on by and check out this great program.


Gerry Hahn is a leader in Troop 993 in Maricopa. Learn more about Scouting at GrandCanyonBSA.org.

Ryan Hahn (right) works on his Eagle Scout problem with (from left) Raul Rivera, Derek Blakely and Braydon Sanders. Photo by Michelle Chance

Three years ago a Maricopa woman rushed her husband to the emergency room. Doug Urbaniak, 64 at the time, wasn’t feeling well and momentarily lost consciousness.

Once admitted to the hospital, Urbaniak woke up and gave his son a call – but he ended the conversation abruptly.

Urbaniak has been paralyzed from that moment on, his wife Pat Urbaniak said.

Doug Urbaniak has been paralyzed for three years. His wife Pat is his caregiver. Photo by Michelle Chance

“He was talking to his son on the phone in Ohio and all of a sudden he said ‘I think I have to go’; His hand dropped and he never moved again,” Pat said. “It happened that quickly.”

 For the first two weeks, hospital staff in Chandler referred to Doug Urbaniak as their “mystery patient.”

Finally, after spinal taps and bloodwork, doctors diagnosed Doug with the West Nile virus, an infection transmitted by mosquitos. A physician said he probably contracted it in the backyard of their Maricopa home, Pat said.

After lengthy hospital stays, Doug was transferred to a skilled nursing facility in Scottsdale for rehabilitation. He would spend almost three years there and regain the use of one arm.

Five months ago Urbaniak finally returned home.

Pat is Doug’s dedicated companion and caregiver. At night Pat is summoned by Doug’s bedside bell every two hours to suction his lungs, which Pat said are also paralyzed.

“When he rings I zoom back out here,” Pat said.

Ryan Hahn (back) with scouts (from left) Raul Rivera, Derek Blakely, Braiden Whitworth and Braydon Sanders. Submitted photo

At the couple’s house, Doug enjoys the company of his cocker spaniels and the kind of comfort, Doug said, only being at home can bring.

“There is something about being back at your own place that is more relaxing, soothing – that’s good medicine,” Doug said. “The dogs are very comforting as well.”

But one obstacle has prevented him from one of his most basic needs: bathing.

The Urbaniak’s shower is not wheelchair accessible, forcing Pat to help Doug bathe using the sink and a wet cloth,a process Pat said takes over an hour to complete.

“It has really been challenging,” Pat said.

Pat sought resources to help with the cost of installing an appropriate shower she estimated would have cost her thousands of dollars in labor and supplies. Despite her outreach to county and city agencies, she said every effort led to a dead-end.

“Unfortunately in Pinal County, there are very few services available,” Pat said. “In my effort to try and find services to help remodel the bathroom so he can take a shower, I made I can’t even tell you how many calls.”

That’s where a group of teenagers come in.

Seventeen-year-old Ryan Hahn is a Boy Scout in local Troop 993. He was looking for a project that would help him gain rank as an Eagle Scout.

Ryan’s dad Gerry Hahn is the troop’s committee chair. Gerry heard about the Urbaniak’s from a friend and thought the shower installation would be a way for his son to help the community, as well as complete his Eagle Scout project.

Gerry Hahn said to earn rank as an Eagle Scout, scouts are required to plan, develop and give leadership to a project that is of no cost to the person whom it benefits.

The Urbaniak’s shower remodel was also an opportunity, Hahn said, for scouts to participate in a project that is “outside of the box” compared to previous Eagle Scout projects.

In the past, Hahn said, scouts have gained rank by completing various projects in local parks around the city.

“Lately our boys have been doing the same thing over and over,” Hahn said. “I want somebody to do something noteworthy.”

Ryan began fundraising for the project three months ago by holding a car wash and asking for donations from family and friends. The remodel cost nearly $1,000, Hahn said, with the custom shower base requiring the majority of that cost.

The shower base is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and will allow Urbaniak to shower himself.

“He’ll be able to sit in a shower chair, and I’ll push him in, and he’ll be able to hold a handheld (nozzle) and shower himself. (It will) give him a little dignity,” Pat said.

Last week, Ryan and Gerry Hahn, along with four other scouts, began the remodel.

It took the teens 2.5 days to finish the project that included demolition and the installation of sheet rock, trim work and the shower base.

“It feels really cool to help out people that couldn’t help themselves,” Ryan Hahn said.

For Urbaniak, the new shower not only represents a form of independence, but the project also holds sentimental value to him as well.

“It means a lot because I haven’t had a real shower in several months and it’s very kind of the young man to volunteer to do that,” Doug Urbaniak said. “My own son was an Eagle Scout, so I know what the project means to him.” 

Gerry and Ryan Hahn. Photo by Michelle Chance

Austin Long cleaning the California Zephyr for his Eagle Scout project. Submitted photo

The fifth annual Uncle Bucks Golf Classic Boy Scout Fundraising Tournament is set for April 30 at The Duke at Rancho El Dorado, 42660 Rancho El Dorado Parkway. The golfers will raise funds to support the Grand Canyon Council of the Boy Scouts of America, of which Maricopa Scouts are members.

The tournament was founded in 2011 to financially support camps, outdoor programs, career exploration, civic engagement and other positive activities for the nearly 900 scouts in Maricopa and Casa Grande. Recent Eagle Scout projects benefitting Maricopa cleaning the historic California Zephyr train car, making improvements at Pacana Park and staging a basketball tournament to raise funds for veterans.

On six patriotic holidays each year from sunrise to sunset, Boy Scouts from local troops post dozens of U.S. flags in residential communities.

The tournament is open to players of all skill levels. The fee is $75 per golfer and includes the green fee, a cart, golf shirt for all participants, breakfast and lunch. Players can register online. Registration and breakfast begin at 6 a.m.

GrandCanyonBSA.org


This story appeared in the April issue of InMaricopa.