While the recent frigid weather has been keeping most people inside, members of Boy Scout Troop 54 are making plans to have a campout this weekend, all in the name of helping the community.
During the seventh annual Cardboard Campout, the Scouts will use cardboard boxes and tarps to create their own community in the Walmart parking lot to help collect donations such as paper products and canned goods, as well as monetary donations for the Community Cafe. The Cafe provides a free meal each weeknight for individuals and families in need.
“This helps raise money and food for those who are in more need than us, and I think it’s fun to be camping in cold weather, personally,” said Peter Reinkemeyer, 15, of Syracuse. “It brings hope to the people of Sedalia who are more needy than us.”
There isn’t a specific goal for this year’s event, but Reinkemeyer said the troop always tries to either match or increase the amount of food gathered from the previous year. This is Reinkemeyer’s fifth year participating in the Cardboard Campout, and he already has plans for what his cardboard home will look like this year. When it comes to the newer Scouts, those who have cardboard experience try to show them the ropes.
“We make sure since they’re generally smaller guys, we make sure they don’t have too big of a box because then they can’t really stay warm,” Reinkemeyer said. “We make sure they’re grouped together and make sure they don’t get cold.”
During their campout, Reinkemeyer said they “talk a lot, we also play card games in our boxes, and one time there was a huge snow pile and we had a huge snowball fight.”
The group has experienced below freezing temperatures in the past, and while luck is on their side with highs in the lower 40s all weekend, there is an 80 percent chance of rain during the day Friday and a 40 percent chance Friday night. The scouts don’t seem too concerned about the forecast though.
“We always tell our scouts ‘make sure you layer’ because that’s the secret of keeping warm,” Reinkemeyer said. “We can also put a tarp over our box, wear rain gear, stuff like that.”
The Scouts will be camping out and taking donations from 5:30 p.m. today to 10 a.m. Saturday in the Walmart parking lot, 3201 W. Broadway Blvd. For more information, call Reinkemeyer at 888-3765.