Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Boy Scouts volunteer and help tornado victims


Following the destruction of the tornado on April 27, a number of local organizations and groups provided a helping hand for the city of Tuscaloosa. Some were adults, but there were also young people involved.

The Black Warrior Council Boy Scouts of America had tools in tow as they began their work to rebuild the city the day after the storm.

“The day after [the tornado], we had Boy Scout volunteers,” said Chris Mehaffey, senior finance director. “Several of our volunteers got together on their own and started going out and cutting trees on the 28th. We had Boy Scouts here in Tuscaloosa County, Walker County and Winston County that manned donation sites.”

At these donation locations, the Scouts collected donations, helped sort items, distributed items and prepared meals.

“The Boy Scouts are prepared and helpful, so they – youth and adults – were out there trying to do what they could to help those that had been affected,” Mehaffey said.

While the Black Warrior Council has been working at home, there have also been troops from outside of Tuscaloosa that have lent helping hands. Mehaffey said there were two representatives from the national headquarters that made a visit to see what assistance they could provide. Neighboring scouts also came for the Storm Relief Day Camp that the BWC hosted.

“Several of our neighboring boy scout councils – Birmingham, Montgomery, Mobile, Atlanta and as far away as Dallas, Tx. and Bethesda, Md. – they all sent support to help us put that day camp together,” Mehaffey said. “Nationally, the scouting family has come together to help here at the BWC to make sure scouting continues.”

The camp was a free one-day event held at Snow Hinton Park. Youth participated in activities such as flag football, pinewood derby and also received free movie tickets.

“I think it’s always nice that, although you’re in the environment where it happened, you can remove yourself and have some relaxation, because if you concentrate on that too much it can consume you,” said Herb Ragsdale, director of the Scott Reach program. “What we wanted to do was take a day where we could catch our breaths and get away from the day-to-day catastrophe-looking areas.”

The BWC will continue recruiting at the beginning of next school year while still assisting with the clean-up and rebuilding of Tuscaloosa.

“I’m happy [with the work we’ve done],” Ragsdale said. “I wish we could do more, but the efforts we have put forward will really help out, and I think that’s what the organization is all about in terms of community service, so I’m very pleased across the board to be a part of anything that’s trying to rebuild our city.”

“We’re going to continue our mission – which is to instill character in young people so they’ll lead a moral and ethical life,” Mehaffey said. “We’re going to continue to reach out to kids that were affected by the storms, whether they were directly impacted or if they have to ride through a part of town that the tornado went through.”

“It’s our desire to help and to continue to reach out to those kids and make sure they’re still kids and don’t grow up too quickly because of this storm.”

For more information on the Black Warrior Council Boy Scouts, visit their website at or call their office at 205-554-1680.


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