Boy Scouts from Troop 634 in Galloway Township got a hands-on lesson about community service recently when they participated in a project to help repair homes damaged in Hurricane Sandy.

The scouts spent two long days over Valentine's Day weekend helping the all-volunteer Atlantic County Revive Long Term Recovery Group in Ventnor and Brigantine. Scouts worked side by side with other volunteers, scout leaders and parents, said Heather Swenson Brilla, the Troop 634 committee member who coordinated the project.

"Service to our community is a part of scouting," Swenson Brilla said. "Our scouts are always looking for ways to help our community, and we are glad to be a part of helping people restore their homes."

The scouts spent a large part of the time working in Ventnor on a home that had been completely gutted, she said. They helped lay the joists for the floor, put down flooring and replace a load-bearing wall that had rotted, she said.

They also helped to put studs up on all the walls so sheet rock could be applied.

The scouts also helped clean up a warehouse and storage unit at Saint James Church that AC Revive had been using, she said.

The scouts who participated in the work project ranged from 13 to 17 years old.

For their participation, the scouts qualified for the Citizenship in the Community merit badge, she said.

Participating scouts were Rob Swenson, Jack Swenson, Eagle Scout Shane Bell, Conor Bell, Drew Hart, Mico Manalang, Stephen Barnard and Brendan Kopervos.

Atlantic County Revive Long Term Recovery Group was assembled to provide coordinated management of the long-term disaster recovery process, increase efficiency in the county by avoiding duplication of efforts and provide additional long-term assistance for residents with limited resources, explained Swenson Brilla, who is also a committee member of AC Revive.

The group is comprised of more than 30 local, regional and national nonprofit, government and faith-based organizations and businesses with experience in all aspects of disaster relief and recovery as well as health and human services.

Atlantic County Revive recovery activities are supported by funds from NJ Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, Robin Hood Foundation, United Way Hurricane Sandy Recovery Fund and the American Red Cross.

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