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'Little Patriots' win national scouts award


Orland Park Boy Scout Troop 383 had an extra reason to celebrate as the group observed its second anniversary on Dec. 22.

One of the newest troops in the Nishnabec District of the Calumet Council, Troop 383 earned the Boy Scouts of America's Journey to Excellence Gold Award.

The Journey to Excellence Award is the BSA's performance recognition program designed to encourage and reward success, measuring the performance of units, districts and councils. The award honors excellence in providing a quality Boy Scout program.

"Our troop had to meet a lot of requirements and score points in a bunch of areas," said Troop 383 Senior Patrol Leader Tim Klotz. "We were excited when we had 300 more points than what we needed to make gold."

"They wanted nine community service projects for gold," added Assistant Senior Patrol Leader Will Davis. "Our guys did 15 service projects in 2012," he added. "The project I liked most was helping at the Wounded Warriors Motorcycle Ride. It was cool to see all those riders come out to support the vets."

Troop 383 includes boys in sixth, seventh and eighth grades from School Districts 135, 140, 146 and St. Germaine in Oak Lawn. Members include Jack Barrett, Bob Burns, Davis, Steven Fechtner, Belal Jaber, JT Jakstavich, Tim Klotz, Mitchell Kramer, Jacob Monnett, Jaden Mossman, Colin Motzny, Mark Mueller, Shane Murabito, Christopher Pearson, Vince Scaravalle and Nate Sporleder.

Troop 383 is chartered by the Village of Orland Park Veterans Commission and volunteers at a number of veteran and military oriented events. Commission Secretary Gail Blummer serves as the group's charter organization representative.

"Every time we ask for help from Troop 383, they all show up," Blummer said. "The commission is very proud of them and we love to see the boys interact with veterans of all ages. I've known many of these boys since they were Cub Scouts and I've always called them 'my little patriots'. Now they're my 'big patriots' because some of them are taller than I am.''

"We like to help the vets and I especially like helping at the steak fry because we get to spend time and talk with them," said Burns.

Troop 383 was created by the Cub Scout Pack 383 Webelos Patrol led by former Cubmaster Gerry Klotz who created the troop in 2010 and serves as scoutmaster.

"Each of our founding scouts has a special red 'founder' emblem on his uniform. When we go to scout events, people congratulate the boys for starting a new troop because it's a huge undertaking. Many of them were in Cub Scouts together and their goal is to make Eagle together," Klotz said.

In two years, the troop has doubled in size.

"I like Troop 383 because we're approaching a reasonable size and being small gives everyone more opportunities for activities, finishing requirements and positions of responsibility," said Mossman, who will soon complete his first year with the troop. "I also like that we're involved in so many community events.

Troop 383's largest community service project in 2012 was creating the Orland Park Geochallenge 2012 to celebrate the Village of Orland Park's 120th anniversary. The scouts spent several hours researching and creating the historical tour of Orland Park, which was co-sponsored by Mayor Dan McLaughlin.

Whatizit?


Readers, we hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. Last week's "Whatizit?" however, was apparently not-gift-wrapped for you despite our attempts to do just that. Either it was really difficult or you were all too entrenched in planning holiday festivities to bother responding. No problem, we understand. Those who knew it was a Christmas ornament were Henrietta Mysliwiec of Evergreen Park, Steve Rosenbaum of Oak Lawn, Jack and Griffin Burke Faddis of Hickory Hills, and Worth residents George and Theresa Rebersky and Celeste Cameron.

This week's clue is: Baby food flora. Send responses to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. under the subject "Whatizit," and include your first and last names and where you live. We wish all of you a safe and happy New Year! Don't hurt yourselves and we will see in 2013!

Focus on Seniors

The Evergreen Park Office of Citizens' Services will visit Amelia Island, St. Augustine and Jacksonville next Feb. 23 to March 3. Cost is $645 for triple room, $665 for double and $905 for single and includes motorcoach transportation, eight nights lodging, 14 meals, visits to the Fountain of Youth and historic Kingsley Plantation, narrated cruise on St. John's River, and visit to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum. Final payment due Dec. 29. Call 422-8776 for more information

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The Evergreen Park Office of Citizens' Services offers a Meals on Wheels program for village residents 60 years and older who are unable to prepare their own meals. Meals are delivered Monday through Friday. For more information call 422-8776.

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Palos Hills residents 55 years and older meet from noon to 2 p.m. the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at the Palos Hills Community Center, 8455 W. 103rd St. Tickets for events must be purchased one week in advance. Entertainment includes musicians, singers, luncheons, movies, plays and bingo.

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The Worth Senior Pinochle club is seeking new members. Membership is free. Visit the group at the Worth Park District Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave., every Monday and Wednesday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Games begin at noon. Call 448-1181 for information.

Park Clips

Evergreen Park

The Youth Commission's fall game room hours are 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. The game room will be open from 1 to 5 p.m. during Evergreen Park students' Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks. For more information call 229-3377.

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The Youth Commission is seeking volunteers for leaf raking and snow removal. Certified babysitters are also available. For more information call 229-3377.

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Step & Strength Training is from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday and Wednesday, 7 to 8 a.m. Tuesday and Thursday, and 6:45 to 7:45 p.m. at the Community Center, 3450 W. 97th St.

Oak Lawn

The Oak Lawn Ice Arena's 8th annual New Year's Eve Kids Countdown will be from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 31 at the arena, 9320 Kenton Ave. CMT Productions will provide entertainment. Each child will receive a party hat and noisemaker to celebrate a balloon drop over the ice at noon. Admission is $8, skate rental is $3. Concessions will be available. For more information on call 857-5173.

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Registration is underway for before- and after-school FLASH (Fun & Learning After School Hours). The park district has partnered with Ridgeland School District 122 and Oak Lawn- Hometown School District 123 and is in all of those districts' elementary schools - Columbus Manor, Harnew, Kolb and Lieb in District 122, and Covington, Hannum, Hometown, Kolmar and Sward in District 123. For more information call the FLASH director or the FLASH assistant director at 857-2420.

Palos Hills

The Bulls/Sox Academy will hold a Chicago Bulls FUNdamentals Camp starting Saturday, Jan. 19 at the Community Center, 8455 W. 103rd St. in Palos Hills. The four-week camp is designed to teach players techniques in ball-handling, passing, shooting, footwork and rebounding as well as offensive and defensive team play. It is open to boys and girls. Camp for children 5 to 8 will be from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturdays, cost is $79. Youths 9 to 12 will participate from 2 to 3:30 p.m.; cost is $114 per athlete. Each participant will receive instruction from professional academy coaches, a tee shirt, scouting report and a replica autograph photo of current Bulls superstar Derrick Rose. For more information or to register visit BullsSoxAcademy.com or call (630) 324-8221.

Worth

Jazzercise for persons age 16 years and older will be from 9:20 to 10:20 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. Saturday; and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Monday and Wednesday at the Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave. Fee is $37 monthly for an Easy Fit Ticket and a registration fee of $25. For more information call 448-7080 or visit worthparkdistrict.org.

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The Terrace Centre, 11500 Beloit Ave., has an indoor playground featuring slides, a climbing wall, tree house and more for children who can walk through 4 years old. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Fee is $1 for residents, $2 for non-residents. For more information call 448-7080 or visit worthparkdistrict.org.

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The Worth Park District Historical Society meets at 7 p.m. every fourth Wednesday of the month at the Worth Historical Museum, in the Terrace Centre at 11500 Beloit Ave. Meetings are open to the public. Membership is free but is not required to attend.

Volunteers are welcome to come to the museum from 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays to assist with projects. The museum is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Curator hours are 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Thursday. For group visits call 448-7080, Ext. 107.

Library Notes

Chicago Ridge

The library is accepting donations for its Hat and Mitten Tree. New and handcrafted winter wear such as hats, mittens, gloves and scarves for adults and children will be accepted at the library through December. All donations will be distributed to local families.

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The Chicago Ridge Library is at 10400 Oxford Ave. The phone number is 423-7753.

Evergreen Park

After School Homework Help is offered Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. Both teachers are bilingual (English and Spanish).

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The library will, through December, showcase art by Evergreen Park High School students.

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The Evergreen Park Public Library is at 9400 S. Troy Ave. The phone number is 422-8522.

Green Hills

The library has an eBook service, Axis 360, through which users can download bestselling eBooks for as many as 21 days directly onto a device using the Blio software application. Titles automatically expire at the end of the lending period and there are no late fees. Place holds on items that are checked out. Service is only available to Green Hills cardholders. To start browsing visit http://ghpl.axis360.baker-taylor.com. For more information call 598-8446.

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The library is collecting firstperson accounts of stories of military service to be donated to the Veteran History Project of the Library of Congress. The library is seeking photos, memoirs, and wartime diaries from World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. Call 598-8446 for more information.

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The Green Hills Public Library is at 8611 W. 103rd St. in Palos Hills. The phone number is 598- 8446.

Oak Lawn

The library will be closed Sunday through Tuesday, Dec. 30 through Jan. 1. The library's regular hours are Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m.

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The library will hold a free screening of "Ice Age: Continental Drift" (PG) at 2 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 27. Manny, Diego, and Sid embark upon another adventure after their continent is set adrift. Using an iceberg as a ship, they encounter sea creatures and battle pirates as they explore a new world.

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Registration for winter/spring 2013 Youth Services programs begins Wednesday, Jan. 3 and continues through Sunday, Jan. 13. Child's library card must be presented at registration. Additional information regarding activities and events is listed at oaklawnlibrary.org.

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The library will host a free screening of "Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days" (PG) at 2 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 3. School is out and Greg is ready for the days of summer, when all his plans go wrong.

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The library offers "Temporary Online Patron Registration." Fill out a registration form at oak lawnlibrary.org/librarycards2. shtml, and visit the Circulation Desk within 14 days to receive a permanent card. Proof of residency in Oak Lawn is required.

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The Oak Lawn Public Library is at 5300 W. 95th St. The phone number is 422-4990.

Worth

The library subscribes to Zinio, an online magazine stand that enables patrons to read magazines on computers, tablets or phones using web browsers and apps. Must have Worth Library card. Zinio is accessible at worthlibrary.com.

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The library offers Try-It Illinois, which allows access to 300 free databases from more than 40 vendors. Access Try-It at worthlibrary.com (login and password is available at the library).