By Joe Cornetta
PHCC of Long Island (PHCC LI) was first introduced to the Boy Scouts of Nassau County in the Spring of 2017. The members of our association met thousands of young scouts and their parents at the 100th Anniversary Jamboree at Eisenhower Park and were able to demonstrate basic plumbing skills. The success of that day was well documented and set the stage for future activities with the Scouts.
Jerry Katz, Board Member of the Theodore Roosevelt Council of Boy Scouts, and PHCC LI came up with a unique idea last fall. Traditionally, the Boy Scouts travel to their summer camp for a full week where they participate in many scouting activities including earning merit badges. Katz explained that one of the merit badges offered at camp was a plumbing merit badge. It didn’t take long for several members to enlist, and the project took off. We were able to get the plumbers of PHCC LI to travel upstate to Livingston Manor to work with the scouts on plumbing skills and theories.
I’m happy to report that for a five-week period this past summer, every Thursday our members travelled to the Onteora Scout Reservation in Livingston Manor, New York, to work with the scouts. Personally, I couldn’t have had a nicer experience. Being the proud dad of an Eagle Scout, I knew the scouts would be trustworthy, loyal, helpful and friendly.
We had scouts learn and practice skills such as soldering, threading pipe, measuring and taking faucets apart, and we even simulated clearing toilet stoppages with an auger. As expected, the scouts were eager and loved working hands on to learn their new skills.
There was one scout in particular who took me by surprise. I questioned the group as to what was in my hand, and this young man answered, “a trap.” When I asked what function a trap serves, he answered, “it prevents sewer gas from entering the room.” He was even telling his peers not to scratch the bowl with the auger … you gotta love it! I wanted to hire him right there on the spot!
What a great opportunity to introduce young people to a career in the plumbing industry!
I would like to thank the many members of our association for donating their time. If it makes a difference in a few young lives, our efforts are well worth it. Since this was such a success, Jerry Katz will evaluate the results, and our program may be introduced to other Boy Scout Councils.