Scouting for Skills event at 171st helps youths Published April 29, 2010 By Staff Sgt. Ivyann Castillo 171st Public Affairs May 2010 -- Approximately 1,000 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts along with some of their parents, attended the 171st Air Refueling Wing's annual Scouting for Skills weekend here April 10 and 11. Over the weekend the Scouts were given the opportunity to earn certain badges to progress in the scout organization. "This allows the Boy and Girl Scouts to earn numerous badges that would be difficult to earn outside of a facility like ours," said Capt. James Weber, operations officer, 171st Maintenance Group. Classes are taught by a 171st ARW member who works in the field such as a security forces troop teaching a law enforcement class or a representative of the public affairs section teaching public relations. Some of the classes can include: survival, communications, emergency readiness, first aid and home improvement, to name a few. Throughout the planning process, a major concern was parking. With a lot of internal support on base the parking situation ran smoothly, helping to pave the way for a successful event. "We are real fortunate to have a lot of people on base helping us with the event, from the social committee providing food, and the 171st Logistics Readiness Squadron providing additional personnel support, and the list goes on, we were very thankful", said Weber. Aside from acquiring life-long skills, these Scouts also got a chance to meet military members. "They also had an opportunity to work with our people at the 171st ARW, and were exposed to great indivduals who have a positively profound impact on their young lives," said Weber. Though there was a lot of hard work and dedication to those who participated in the Scouting for Skills weekend, Master Sgt. Jeff Pritchard, knowledge operations manager, 171st MXS and Pamela Hess, Lt. Col. Tom Hess' wife, played a vital role in the planning and coordintation. "I would have to say all the credit should go to Pritchard and Hess," said Weber. They did all the leg work to make this event go on without a hitch, especially with our inspection that just passed in March, they took it upon themselves to coordinate and take care of everything." "Everything went great," sate Weber. "The kids really had a great time." "Again this event would not have gone off so well without everyone's support," continued Weber. "On behalf of Lt. Col Hess, Mrs. Hess, Rich Kelly, Pritchard adn myself... Thank you all very much."