By Nickol Enss ’10
Dr. Ed Easterling, a William Woods University professor, has been chosen to lead area Boy Scouts to the 2010 National Scout Jamboree next summer. When they go, they’ll be sporting a new patch designed by WWU graphic design students.
The Great Rivers Council Jamboree Committee chose Easterling to guide 36 Scouts representing a 33-county area in north and central Missouri. Now, thanks to the WWU students, those Scouts will arrive at the jamboree with a patch symbolizing their home state.
“It seems almost all awards in scouting revolve around some type of patch. All camps have special patches,” commented Easterling. “Scouts at the jamboree, or any large scouting event, will trade patches as keepsakes. In a way it is a type of competition among councils and regions of the U.S. We don’t want to look bad. And, we want a patch others envy or at least want to buy or trade with our Scouts.”
This is why he turned to the WWU level three graphic design class, which he calls the “ace up my sleeve.”
The class, instructed by Professor Robert Elliott, consists of juniors Frankie Hart of Lee’s Summit, Mo., and Veronica Myer of Peoria, Ill., and seniors Alison Boudreau of Jefferson City, Mo., and of Fulton, Mo.
“The whole class took on the challenge,” Elliott said. “They worked collaboratively brainstorming, reviewing their work together and giving each other individual feedback.”
The students came up with five different designs to present to the council.
“We want people to know we are from Missouri,” said Easterling, which is why, after careful deliberation, Easterling and the council decided on a design featuring a mule.
“It was very hard to make a choice because all five designs were very good. We ended up choosing the one with the mule because it is very distinctive to mid-Missouri, and we liked its simplicity,” he said.
The experience provided students with real-life application.
“At WWU, we are always on the lookout for real-world experiences for our students because they tend to be more engaged and excited about their work when they have a real client to satisfy and interact with,” said Elliott.
“They also really enjoyed this experience more because they knew they were doing a service project.”
More than 43,000 Scouts will have the opportunity to see the patch at the jamboree, which celebrates 100 years of scouting. The jamboree will be held at Fort A.P. Hill, a 76,000-acre facility in Virginia. Easterling’s older son, Schuyler, will be his third assistant scoutmaster, while his son, Ralls, will be a troop member.
The group from mid-Missouri plans to leave for the event on July 23. They will spend two days in Washington, D.C., touring monuments and museums, before arriving at the jamboree, which is scheduled July 26-Aug. 4.
“This trip is truly the opportunity of a lifetime for many Scouts,” said Easterling. “These Scouts have a chance to enjoy almost every conceivable outdoor activity. They will make new friends from Missouri and all over the United States, but probably the most important point for every individual Scout is how much he will learn about himself and the increased confidence in his own abilities that he will gain.”
The jamboree includes events that require participants to use their scouting skills, physical fitness, knowledge of environmental conservation and scouting national heritage. Rappelling, scuba diving, kayaking, rafting and sailing are just a few of the activities that will be offered.
Easterling, a professor of business and economics, has been teaching at William Woods since 1985. He’s an award-winning professor (three-time winner of the Dads’ Association-Louis D. Beaumont Distinguished Professor Award and winner of the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching). This will be his first jamboree experience in his 11 years of involvement with Scouting.
He says that Scouting is one of the best ways to spend time with his children and he is “looking forward to experiencing a jamboree with both of my sons. This opportunity is one of the few times all three of us get to be together for a Scouting adventure.”
Spots are still available for area Scouts to attend the jamboree. Information is available on the Great Rivers Council’s website: www.grc-bsa.org.