First Lutheran Church - DeKalb, Illinois


In the foreground is a vast field of debris, in the background is our Troop 33 campsite. In Passe Christian, Mississippi, their middle school had occupied this site before Hurricane Katrina destroyed it. This photo was taken on our Merry Christmassissippi relief mission in December 2005.

E-Mail Troop 33 Scoutmaster  
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What We Do During
Relief Projects
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        - Animal Rescue
        - Debris Removal
        - Distribution Centers
        - Emergency Service
        - Food Service
        - Fund Raising
        - Moral Support
        - Moving Materials
        - Rebuilding
        - Relief Item Collection
        - Supporting Groups/Agencies

Disaster Relief Projects
We've Done.
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        - Mississippi River, IL
        - Kishwaukee River, IL
        - Lafayette, LA
        - Hurricane Andrew, FL
        - Hurricane Ike, TX
        - Hurricane Katrina, LA, MS
        - Hurricane Sandy, NJ, NY
        - Hurricane Matthew, NC
        - Hurricane Florence, NC
        - Northern Illinois University, IL
        - Sandy Hook Elementary, CT
        - EF-4 Harrisburg, IL
        - EF-5 Moore, OK
        - EF-4 Tuscaloosa, AL
        - EF-4 Washington, IL
        - EF-4 Fairdale, IL
        - Blizzard DeKalb, IL

Visit our Disaster Projects here

Charter Sponsor

First Lutheran
324 N Third Street
DeKalb, Illinois 60115

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Troop 33 has been serving area youth since 1925. Our slogan is "Always an Adventure". We offer a busy calendar of Scouting activities which have taken our Scouts to local, national, and even international locations. Our community service has included local projects as well as Disaster Relief Missions to major flood, tornado, and hurricane sites across the nation.

Prepared. For Life.

What we do at Relief Projects

Animal Rescue - Debris Removal - Distribution Centers - Emergency Service
Food Service - Fund Raising - Moral Support - Moving Materials
Rebuilding - Relief Item Collection/Food Drives - Supporting Groups/Agencies

Scouts erect dog kennels at New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Animal Rescue

New Orleans had a major issue with animal rescue after Hurricane Katrina. On Christmas break 2005, Troop 33 Scouts helped assemble kennels at a temporary staging area called Celebration Station. Tens of thousands of rescued animals were rescued through that facility.

Returning to New Orleans during spring break 2006, our Scouts helped at an animal rescue center filling feeding stations positioned throughout the city and rescuing puppies from building crawl spaces.

Debris Removal

Debris is a major problem with storm surge after hurricanes, floods, and the destructive paths left by tornadoes.

Our Scouts have removed debris from residential areas, public parks, churches, agricultural fields and along roadways in disaster areas across the nation.

Troop 33 completed a project to remove masonry and concrete debris from lots after an EF-4 tornado struck Harrisburg, Illinois in 2012.

Scouts worked at a distribution center in Far Rockaway, Queens, New York following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Distribution Centers

Distribution centers are created soon after a disaster. At distribution centers we have helped distribute food, clothing, and other items.

Our work also included donation transport, unloading trucks, sorting and organizing materials, and assisting survivors in receiving critical items.

Emergency Services

Immediate relief projects take on a very important role.

Our Scouts have been involved with erecting temporary shelter provided by Rotary International.

Floods require immediate assistance, such as filling sandbags. Our Scouts filled sandbags for local flooding along the Kishwaukee river in DeKalb County plus driving to southern Illinois to help fill sandbags at a flood area along the Mississippi river.

Following Hurricane Sandy, beachfront homes were drifted shut by wind blown sand and dug out by our Scouts on Long Beach Island in New Jersey. Another Sandy time-critical project was helping to move a school in Union Beach, New Jersey. We emptied a four bedroom home of its contents before the scheduled demolition at Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina.

At every disaster there can be emergency projects that require immediate assistance. We always try to be alert and responsive to any need.

Troop 33 Scouts worked in New Jersey digging out houses on Long Beach Island drifted shut by sand following Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Troop 33 helped prepare over 5,000 meals during Christmas break 2005 and over 2,000 meals during spring break 2006 at God's Katrina Kitchen in Pass Christian, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. This photo shows the circus tent where people ate their meals.

Food Service

Our Scouts are trained in food service through a series of food booth fundraisers we do during the year. It provides experience in setting up a temporary kitchen to feed hundreds of people.

During the 2007 Kishwaukee flood Troop 33 provided hot breakfast and lunch meals to homeless flood victims.

At Hurricane Katrina in Mississippi during Christmas 2005 and Spring 2006 breaks Scouts helped prepare over 7.000 meals. Other food service work was done at Hurricane Ike in Texas during Christmas 2008 and spring 2009 breaks, and also the 2013 tornadoes in Oklahoma.

Special meals have included preparing a 2005 holiday dinner for homeless military families at Keesler AFB in Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina and serving 2012 Thanksgiving dinner at a retirement center in New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy.

Fund Raising

Pancake breakfasts and food stands have raised money for disaster relief as well as monetary donations and gift cards.

In summer 2006 a team of our Scouts conducted a 500-mile bike-a-thon riding between Memphis, TN and New Orleans, LA to raise money for the American Library Association's special fund to restore storm damaged libraries following Hurricane Katrina.

In 2008 our troop conducted a bicycle tour called the Forward Together Ride to help raise funds for a memorial to five victims of the school shooting at Northern Illinois University. A food booth raised money after the 2015 tornado in Fairdale, Illinois.

In 2019 money was raised to help fire victims after two devastating fires in DeKalb and Sycamore, Illinois.

Scouts rest during a 500-mile bike-a-thon in the summer heat of Mississippi. We presented a check for $3,000 to the American Library Association at their national convention in New Orleans. It was featured during the opening ceremony. Money raised was for rebuilding damaged libraries along the gulf coast.

Among things we brought to Newtown, Connecticut was a signature banner from DeKalb High School following the shooting at Sandy Hook School.

Moral Support

Troop 33 has helped in various ways with moral support following disaster events.

We traveled to Newtown, Connecticut and met with city officials in 2012 following a mass shooting at Sandy Hook School. Twenty school children and six adults lost their lives.

A giant banner was delivered, signed by hundreds of students from DeKalb High School. Over 200 "healing bags", donated by St Mary's Cub Scout Pack 173 of DeKalb, were filled with candy and a written note. The bags were for young students at Sandy Hook Elementary. With city approval, Troop 33 hung a Christmas angel from trees overlooking a memorial flag at Dickinson Park in Newtown.

Moving Materials

Critical items collected need to be moved to disaster site often hundreds of miles away. Shipments often weigh thousands of pounds.

Five shipments of donated items were moved to Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes. These shipments were divided among eight distribution centers.

A trailer, once emptied, can move critical supplies within a disaster area. In 2013 in Oklahoma we moved bottled water to a community in need. We moved tables in support of a celebrity visit from Ronny Dunn. Our van moved items after the 2016 flood in Louisiana.

Sometimes things need to be removed from a site. In 2016 we had to remove the contents from a flooded home prior to its demolition. The owners gave direction in which items of furniture could be placed either in a save pile or discard pile.

Scouts worked to unload a trailer at a FEMA site at Union Beach, New Jersey following Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The 26 ft trailer was loaded with items collected from the DeKalb area and moved to New Jersey.

Our Scouts worked on a house in Galveston, Texas flooded by storm surge from Hurricane Ike in 2008. We've worked on other projects involving building repair and demolition.


Our help with rebuilding have included removing debris, gutting damaged homes, and sometimes helping to tear them down. Safety for our Scouts have always been paramount in all of these projects.

Our Scouts have been involved with hanging drywall. For a home that is bare studs, hanging drywall gives it back solid walls. It is a rewarding experience for our Scouts and something very important to the disaster survivors.

Our Scouts worked two years during spring break to help refurbish an abandoned high school in Beechmont, Kentucky. The building was being converted into a distribution center and training center for disaster relief. It was meant to be a central location to organize for disaster relief and also serve as an emergency shelter and central communication center.

We worked on mucking a building at the 2015 tornado in Fairdale, Illinois and mucking the crawl spaces of homes after the 2016 Hurricane Matthew in North Carolina.

We gutted, sprayed, and fogged home in North Carolina following Hurricane Florence in 2018. Spraying and fogging kills mold and mildew which is a necessary process in preparation for rebuilding to take place.

Relief Item Collection/Food Drives

Disasters leave the survivors with immediate needs that we can provide help through collecting relief items.

What we collect depends on the magnitude of the disaster, weather conditions, and time frame following the disaster.

Non-perishable food and drinking water are essential needs ongoing for a long period. Clothing can be an immediate need, and critical in cold weather. Gift cards are easy to send and can be very important in any situation.

Items of critical need often overlooked are baby food and formula, disposable diapers, feminine hygiene products, over-the-counter medications, and other toiletries.

Cleaning supplies are very important. Duct tape, breathing masks, hard hats, work gloves, safety vests and other items have been collected. During the holiday we collect toys for children. Used bicycles have been collected, refurbished, and transported.

Thousands of items have been collected by our Scouts and sent to hurricanes and tornado disaster sites. It is important to contact a disaster agency onsite to find out which items they feel are in most critical need.

Several tons of donations were collected for Hurricane Katrina victims ranging anywhere from drinking water to Bibles to bicycles.

At Steelman Acres in Oklahoma a motorcycle group established a tent city for storm survivors known as "Ironhorse", seen in the photo above. We worked there in July 2013.

Supporting Groups/Agencies

Troop 33 works with various groups and agencies. Some groups provide donations and assistance, while other coordinate volunteer efforts and provide support.

Each disaster has non-profit groups involved. These groups have ranged from private individuals, groups of concerned citizens, churches, college and youth groups, national organizations, disaster survivors themselves, and a motorcycle club. They all share a deep commitment toward the survivors of the disaster and have all been amazing people to work with.

The people we meet and work with during our disaster relief projects make up so much of the incredible experience that our Scouts share.


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TROOP 33's
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Disaster Relief Projects
We've Done

TROOP 33's

        - 1992 Project Florida Storm

        - 1993 Mission - Illinois

        - 2000 DeKalb, Illinois
        2004 June - DeKalb, Illinois

        - 2005 Holiday Mission - link
        - 2006 Spring Mission
        - 2006 Summer 500-Mile Bikeathon - link

        - 2007 August - DeKalb, Illinois
        - 2008 Forward Together Ride - DeKalb, IL
HURRICANE IKE - Galveston, TX link
        - 2008-09 Holiday Mission
        - 2009 Spring Break Mission

        - 2010 Spring Break Trip, Kentucky
        - 2011 Spring Break Trip, Kentucky

        - 2011 May Collection Event

        - 2012 Spring Break Mission - Illinois -
        - 2012 Thanksgiving Mission
        - 2012-13 Christmas Mission

        - 2013 Summer Mission - Oklahoma
        - 2013-14 Holiday visit
        - 2014 March visit
        - 2014 October visit
        - 2014 November visit

FAIRDALE TORNADO EF-4 - Illinois - link
        - 2015 April Projects (2)
        - 2015 May Projects (2)
        - 2015 June Project

LOUISIANA FLOOD - Lafayette, Louisiana
        - 2016 Aug-Sep Project

        - 2016-17 Holiday Mission - Lumberton, NC

        - 2018-19 Holiday Mission - Morehead City, NC

        - 2019 Donation to DCCG for buying food

        - 2020 - Made face masks, thank you signs,
                notes to elderly and $415 to food banks

        - 2022 - Collected 250 Personal Care Kits


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Troop 33 Scoutmaster