Volunteers sought for Aug. 28 community vision screening at Boys & Girls Club of Vista

North County Lions Clubs are seeking volunteers for their upcoming Lions Gift of Sight event at the Boys & Girls Club of Vista on Saturday, Aug.  28. This is a community event to provide vision exams and fit refurbished prescription eyeglasses for low-income families, particularly children, who would otherwise be unable to obtain needed eyeglasses.

Volunteers are needed in the following roles:

  • Licensed optometrist
  • Eyeglass technician
  • Eyeglass fitting

In addition, volunteers are also needed for non-technical roles that anyone can fulfill:

  • Bilingual translators
  • Traffic control
  • Morning setup
  • Afternoon tear down and cleanup
  • Registration
  • Kitchen and meal helpers

If interested, please contact the Gift of Sight Committee of San Diego volunteer chair, Mary Manning, at edandmarym@cox.net or 619-445-5044.

Flapjacks for Backpacks – Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos

Celebrate the new school year at the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos’ very first Flapjacks for Backpacks event on Saturday, Aug. 14 from 7-11 a.m.! A twist on the annual pancake breakfast, the event will feature a Back-to-School Resource Fair topped off with an all-you-can-eat breakfast of pancakes, bacon, eggs, orange juice and coffee, opportunity drawings, and more!

Free health screenings will be available in partnership with TrueCare, and vision screenings will be available in partnership with the San Marcos Lions Club!

All proceeds will benefit the Boys & Girls Club of San Marcos – ensuring that program costs remain affordable to families and establishing an after school program scholarship fund for the 2021-22 school year.

Sponsorship opportunities are available! Contact Justin Buhagiar at justin@boysgirlsclubsm.org or (760) 471-2490 ext. 302 to learn more.

View the calendar entry for directions and more information.

Remembering Father Joe Carroll

Father Joe Carroll, the San Diego Catholic priest noted for his tireless advocacy for our homeless brothers and sisters, passed away yesterday, July 11.

While his efforts to transform how homelessness is addressed were international in their impact, he also had time to serve our community beyond his full-time calling: For some three decades, he was the Catholic chaplain for the San Diego-Imperial Council of the Boy Scouts of America – and was a hands-on Scouting volunteer. Having been a Scout himself growing up in New York, he believed passionately in the need for adults to volunteer for the betterment of our youth.

In spite of the seriousness of his work at San Diego’s St. Vincent de Paul shelter (later renamed for Fr. Joe), and the desperate plight of many of those whom he served, everything Fr. Joe did was leavened with humor.

During a 2013 Boy Scout fund-raising dinner honoring former Congressman Ron Packard at the Carlsbad Sheraton, Fr. Joe was the keynote speaker. In his remarks, he shared a memory of how a Catholic priest and a Mormon elected official became friends through Scouting – and provided an example of how humor can illuminate the ways we have more in common than we might imagine.

Ahead of a National Scout Jamboree at Fort A.P. Hill in Virginia in 1981, enough San Diego-area Scouts signed up that three large buses were chartered for the trip: One was filled with Scouts from troops sponsored by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, with Packard (then the mayor of Carlsbad) in charge. The second was full of Scouts from Catholic-chartered troops, and Fr. Joe was in charge. The third was for all the other Scouts.

As Fr. Joe told the story that night, Packard’s LDS bus followed the Mormon Battalion Trail from San Diego to Council Bluffs, Iowa, then traced back the route the Mormon pioneers had followed from New York to Ohio to Missouri. They stopped at every historic point of interest of importance to their church.

For its part, the Catholic bus followed a route drawn up by Fr. Joe to hit as many Catholic shrines as possible between San Diego and Virginia – with Mass starting off every morning.

But the third bus – well, they apparently managed to find most of the amusement and theme parks across the country.

When the three buses all met up at Jamboree after their very different journeys, Fr. Joe said he and Mr. Packard faced an unforeseen dilemma: “A whole bunch of Catholic and Mormon kids were asking how one went about becoming Presbyterian.”

God speed, Fr. Joe.

Red Cross first aid training

The Boy Scouts of America is offering Red Cross-certified first aid training on Saturday, July 17 at the Carlsbad Scout Hut. This is an affordable opportunity to earn a two-year Adult First Aid/CPR/AED card. This will prepare participants to respond to first aid and breathing and cardiac emergencies for victims about 12 years and older.

See the Calendar Listing for more information.

Volunteer service day at the Escondido Moose

Come help the members of the Escondido Moose Lodge in finishing cleaning their newly revamped park in anticipation of reopening as soon as County health rules allow.

Volunteers are needed to assist with sweeping, raking, and light cleaning of the park grounds. Water will be provided.

All volunteers should wear a mask, and social distancing will be practiced.

The event will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, March 6. View the calendar listing.

Driving interest in your online events

As the COVID pandemic drags on seemingly intermittently, we have gone from “Two weeks to flatten the curve” to coming up on a full year of severe restrictions on in-person gatherings.

Many nonprofit and public service agencies have simply had to shut down: Youth sports leagues have been able to hold limited practices, but not games. Volunteer auxiliaries for our public libraries, museums, and city, county and state parks have simply gone on hiatus as those facilities have been shuttered.

Others have switched to online “virtual” meetings on platforms such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Google, etc.

But more than 10 months into the shutdowns, it is getting more challenging by the week to keep our members – whether Scouting units or service club members – to participate in the virtual meetings.

The folks at The Events Calendar, whose website calendaring software we use here at Knights of Buena Creek for the Community Calendar, have put out a list of ways to help sustain enthusiasm for and participation in virtual events.

Among their suggestions are:

  • Send multiple email reminders, with embedded links
  • Include Q&A sessions at the end, or hold a raffle for those who attend
  • Make sure you have the right moderator – someone with the personality to hold the (virtual) room’s attention.

You can read the whole article on The Events Calendar’s blog.

An international award open to all youth

Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth, opened up the prestigious Duke of Edinburgh Awards to young people around the world a few years ago.

While youths 14-24 in the United States have been able to earn the award for the last few years, this year saw the first local winner – Stevin Latimer of Vista. A junior at Mission Vista High School, Stevin earned the Bronze and Silver DofE awards, and is working on his Gold.

Similar to The Congressional Award, participants in the DofE program set their own goals. In the DofE program, they work with a volunteer adult coordinatorin creating a game plan to meet those goals. The goals are set in the areas of volunteer service, skill improvement, physical recreation, adventure, and a residential project.

To learn more about this award and how youth in your organization can take part, visit the DofE site for the United States at USAward.org.

Moose Lodge hosts Lions Club’s Eagle Scout ceremony

Four Eagle Scouts were installed into the highest rank of the Boy Scouts of America at a noon ceremony on Oct. 11 at the Escondido Moose Lodge (#1874). Troop 651, sponsored by the Lions Club of San Marcos, welcomed the Troop’s four latest Eagles.

The ceremony at the Moose was the result of a January breakfast between the Moose, the Lions and the Lake San Marcos Kiwanis Club on ways to coordinate their service to youth through their Scouting units. As the Lions Club and Kiwanis do not have their own lodges, the Moose has made its campus available for those clubs’ Scouting units alongside its own unit.

The Moose Lodge charters Cub Scout Pack 640, while the Kiwanis charters Pack 662. All three units – plus others – pitched in at two recent volunteer workdays at the Moose, helping clear brush along the creekbed to lessen this year’s fire danger.

Sunday’s ceremony was held under the County’s health order; only immediate family were present in person – while the ceremony was livestreamed via Zoom to the rest of the troop, the Lions Club, and extended friends and family. Those who attended wore masks, and practiced social distancing.