Local Boy Scouts volunteer providing entertainment to seniors

Scouts and their family members volunteered to sing for more than 35 residents of an independent living complex

By Zach Cranmer, Troop 228 historian

Boy Scouts from Rockford’s Troop 228 brought a little Joy to the World of Rogue Valley Towers residents recently by Christmas caroling to the seniors living in apartments at the independent living facility.

“I am glad they’re here. They are a good group. It is wonderful,” said 90-year-old Hattie Cornell, who played the keyboard for the Scouts to keep rhythm to while they sang.

The Scouts were joined by their siblings and some adult leaders from the Troop to bring cheer to more than 35 residents.

“This was very, very nice. I was looking forward to it,” said 91-year-old Will Madders, a resident of Rogue Valley Towers.

Troop 228 Scouts carol for residents of Rogue Valley Towers

Boy Scout Cayden Peterson-McLain coordinated the troop’s efforts to perform at the facility.  The event started as a way for Peterson-McLain and some other Scouts from the troop to work on a merit badge, but turned into an invitation to Troop 228 and family members to join them in the caroling.

The independent living apartments offer various amenities such as the community room for the residents, said Lisa Remley, executive director of Rogue Valley Towers.

The federally funded housing community provides residents with a main floor laundry, grocery delivery, grocery buses, events in the community room, and elevators to the four floors and 52 units.

“I think this is tremendous. We are so fortunate to have them volunteer to do this,” Remley said.

Troop 228 Scouts discuss which songs to sing for residents of Rogue Valley Towers.

Scouts were able to learn from the residents as well through listening to stories from residents such as 90-year-old veterans, residents who were Scouts many years ago, and others. “This is a learning opportunity for the Scouts too,” she said.

“I love it,” said Sandy Lewis, 63. Lewis was among the residents who became very enthusiastic about the performance singing along with the Scouts and their families.

Juliet Hoke, who majored in voice and is the mother of a Scout from Troop 228, was able to help the Scouts with their singing. Hoke said she and her children attended because it was a great opportunity to provide service with her family. “I am drawn to anything that is singing though,” Hoke said.

The residents said they loved hearing Hoke sing along with the Scouts and loved her voice.