Scouts support historical property

Published 10:49 pm Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society needed serious help at the Phillips-Dawson House on Bank Street. The old and worn fence between the house and parking lot was removed, but there was still a large amount of overgrowth and debris left to clean on the property.

“The beds had not been worked on in five or six years,” Suffolk-Nansemond Historical Society Executive Director Kimberly Blair Greene said in a phone interview.

That’s where Boy Scouts Troop 73 of Suffolk came in. The troop’s committee chair Jennifer Sorensen saw a Facebook post about the society’s fundraiser for the renovation project and a need for more helping hands.

Email newsletter signup

“The troop saw that we were doing the fundraiser and asked if there was anything they could do to help,” Greene said.

More than a dozen came to help on Saturday, including nine young scouts. Hours were spent raking leaves and digging up and replacing brick borders on the walkways. Overgrown shrubbery and vines were cut back before the Scouts planted pansies and chrysanthemums.

“It was hard work, but it was also fun, believe it or not,” Sorenson said in a phone interview.

Greene said she was thoroughly impressed by the tenacity of the uniformed children.

“When they kicked it in, they didn’t stop until the project was finished,” she said. “I was really impressed with how much effort they put into it. I think they went above and beyond.”

They also went “above and beyond” when the small-but-mighty troop managed to work its way through 42 hotdogs at lunch.

“I thought I over-bought,” Greene said before she started laughing. “Well, I was wrong.”

It was a mutually beneficial partnership between the society and Scouts. Troop 73 was able to fulfill several merit badge requirements, Sorenson said, and also got to tour the historical building. They got to see a number of historical artifacts, including pictures of Boy Scouts from generations past.

“They were really intrigued with the stairway and all the older boots, hats and different things that have been donated to the house,” Sorenson said.

The society invited the troop to come by for school research projects, and the Scouts already have plans to come back soon when the mulch and rain barrels are ready to go.

“We’ll keep this relationship going,” Sorenson said about working alongside Greene and the historical society. “If she ever needs anything, she knows she can count on us.”