Nine-year-old Cub Scout Landen Strawn and his sister, five-year-old Beaver Scout Savannah, are crafting ear guards to donate to front-line medical workers in their community. Inspired by the project of another Scout, the Strawn family decided to give back in a similar way.
Researching alternative methods to using a 3-D printer, Landen discovered how to fashion ear guards from plastic folders. Shortly after, the family put out a call on Facebook for supplies, and it didn’t take long for support to come pouring in. Friends, neighbours and businesses rallied to the cause, donating folders and money to buy more, allowing the Strawns to produce and distribute even more ear guards. While donations have mostly come from the Bowmanville community and neighbouring Newcastle, one donation came from the United States.
Scouting helps teach you to contribute to the community.
Ear guards are a simple piece of equipment that make a big difference to workers who are required to wear face masks for long periods of time, particularly during the pandemic. Relieving the strain of a mask, ear guards allow individuals to hook the mask straps around a secure plastic strap, ensuring a comfortable fit that doesn’t pull on the ears.
To create ear guards from plastic folders, Landen uses a cricut—a craft cutting machine—to cut the ear guards from the folders. When the machine is done its work, Landen and Savannah pop the ear guards out from the folders by hand. While it’s time-intensive work, the reward of helping others is worth the effort.
I’m doing it for people in the community. I want to do it to help people out.
The Strawn family has teamed up to make over a thousand ear guards so far. When asked how much time they have committed to the project, Landen is reluctant to even guess. “Hours,” he knows, over a number of days.
When asked how they feel about their project, Savannah is quick to respond: “Good!”
“Tired,” Landen adds.
Their mother, Terri, who is also the Group Commissioner of 4.5 Bowmanville, shares that Landen has been reluctant to connect the project to Scouting. She recalls her son saying, “‘I’m doing it for people in the community. I want to do it to help people out—not because I want something [earned] in Cubs.’”
She continues, “It’s an interesting perspective. I’m like, ‘Scouting helps teach you to contribute to the community.’”
Through this inspirational donation project, Landen and Savannah have not only discovered the importance of making meaningful contributions to the community, but they have also gained a better understanding of the positive impact their contributions have made.
“The kids have gotten a lot of feedback,” Terri says. “People are just really thankful for the increased comfort.”
The community has gratefully received the Strawn family’s ear guards, offered through Facebook. Terri can proudly list several organizations that the family has delivered ear guards to, including: Community Living Oshawa, Sunnybrook Hospital, Cobourg Hospital, Bowmanville Hospital and Oshawa Hospital.
To discover ways that you can get involved in helping others around you, while maintaining physical distance, visit Scouts.ca/GetInvolved.