Local scout organizes soccer event with a larger purpose

Date Published: 
May 9, 2014

Lee Downs, a 15-year-old Boy Scout from Troop 2540, has been working hard to reach his goal of becoming an Eagle Scout. Downs, currently a Life Scout, will be hosting a free soccer shootout on May 10 at the Sussex Academy soccer field, to promote physical fitness, and drug and suicide prevention to students 7 to 14.

“With the drug awareness, I’ve heard that Delaware is starting to have a problem with heroin,” explained Downs. “For the suicide prevention aspect,” the Sussex Tech student said, it was the death at the school of a fellow student that was the inspiration.

“That was not a very good event, and I’m hoping to prevent them in the future. We’ll be getting them all together for a mini-clinic, where we’ll be teaching the kids about drug prevention and suicide prevention, as well as helping them with their soccer skills.”

Downs said that Elks Lodge 2540 will assist in educating the children attending, and he has invited the Child Priority Community Outreach to participate, as well.

“We’re going to have little brochures and have discussions on the topics,” he added.

Those who wish to attend the event may register that day, at noon at the soccer field. A rain date is scheduled for May 17.

Downs, who is expecting to receive his Eagle rank by the end of the year, said he loves being a Boy Scout and would recommend other boys consider joining a troop.

“I’m a huge fan of the outdoors, camping and hiking. I really like how it lets you meet new people that you wouldn’t meet otherwise.”

He added that he hopes the event will be well-received by the community, and that parents and kids will attend to learn about drug and suicide prevention.

“I’m hoping that we’re going to draw at least 50 kids,” he said. “Hopefully, everyone will have a good time and learn something, too.”

Sussex Academy is located at 21150 Airport Road in Georgetown.