British Scouts enjoyed their stay in America
This year Scouts from Britain came to Oakwood, Ohio. This is part of an exchange program between Troop 101 in Oakwood and the Fourth Wood Green in London, England that has been going on for almost 20 years. I was able to house two of the scouts, Daniel and Femi, who I knew from when we went to London in 2006. There were a total of nine scouts and two leaders.
They really liked our American homes, cars and food. They live in “flats” or apartments in London and don’t have very big yards and most don’t have cars, but use the trains and buses. It was also very cool to be able to travel everywhere we went in big vans.
The first couple of days we went to places around Oakwood, like the Long Romspert Homestead, Hawthorn Hill, and Wright Patterson Air Force Base. We even got to go to a Dragons game! The Brits also went to John Gray’s farm to hear the Oakwood Band perform. On the first Sunday, we went to church at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, had a picnic at Shafor Park and went to the pool at the Oakwood Community Center.
Then we went camping at Buck Creek and canoeing at Mad River, about an hour away. They really liked that…especially the bonfire. All scouts like camping and bonfires. The Brits did not like the bugs though! They must not have many bugs in London.
Next we left for our trip to the big city of Chicago. We stayed outside the city in a Boy Scout camp called Camp Topeneebee. They had lodges, so we didn’t need tents. I think the Brits were relieved! We took a train into the city and went to the Museum of Science and Industry. Then we went to Navy Pier, which was a hit. We also went to Gino’s Pizza….had to wait an hour to get in, but it was worth it. Next day, we went to the Sear’s Tower, which is now the Willis Tower. No one called it that though, except for the people who worked there. We took the Architectural Tour on the river and that night had dinner in a Greek Restaurant. We all got to try a lot of new food, some of it on fire! That was cool.
Then we went to the Indiana Dunes. We all got buried in the sand and the water was about -7 degrees!
My favorite part of the trip was the next day at Cedar Point. For many of the Brits this was their favorite part too. They had never been to an amusement park like this! They tried to ride all the rides in one day.
From what I heard all of the Brits loved the entire trip. For a lot of them their favorite part was going to the shopping mall after we got back from Cedar Point/Chicago. We went to the new Cincinnati Outlet mall. They couldn’t get enough of the basketball or gym shoes. They called them “trainers.” They also really liked the baseball caps and t-shirts.
It was really enjoyable to get to see old friends and make new ones. There are many people to thank for making this trip possible, parents and leaders, community support and a special thanks to the Schiewetz family for their financial support which made a lot of things possible.
I cannot wait to go to London in 2011.
Input needed for athletic and recreational
In July, the city hired the consulting firm of Michael Schuster Associates (MSA) to assist with development of a facilities master plan. MSA is an architectural design and planning firm with extensive experience in master planning and in designing athletic and recreation facilities. We selected MSA from a pool of twenty consultant teams.
The master plan will address Oakwood public athletic and recreation facilities and will provide a guide for operations, maintenance, and capital improvements over the next 5-10 years. The Master Plan will include a vision for the future, taking into consideration the existing facilities, as well as unmet athletic and recreation needs as identified by our citizens and city leaders.
On June 15, Oakwood City Council appointed a 25-person citizen advisory committee to assist with the project. The committee conducted its first meeting in late July and will meet several more times during the project.
The most important component of the master plan development process is PUBLIC INPUT. It is essential that we have very extensive citizen involvement throughout the course of the project. To that end, we are planning the following public input opportunities:
Initial Written Survey: This will consist of a long form survey and a short form survey.
The short form survey will be included as an insert in the October/November Bi-Monthly City Newsletter. That newsletter will be delivered to every Oakwood home and business in late September. Please take a few moments to complete it and send it back to us. You can return it via mail, or simply drop it off at the city building (or water bill drop off box on the north side of Park Avenue) or the OCC.
The long form survey will be distributed to all attendees at the two community meetings announced below. It will also be available at the front counter at the city building, at the OCC and on our city website beginning on September 23. You may complete both surveys if you wish, but please do not submit more that one of each.
Community Meetings: We will conduct community meetings on Sept. 22 and Oct. 6. The meetings will take place at the Oakwood High School auditorium and will begin at 6:30 p.m. The meetings will focus on obtaining community input on wants and needs. We will conduct at least two more community meetings during the course of the project and then a City Council meeting where the final plan is presented for approval (dates TBA).
Meeting with our Youth: On Oct. 6 we will also conduct a separate meeting with our youth. This meeting will take place in the Oakwood High School auditorium from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m., just before the community meeting.
Neighborhood Meetings: We will conduct a series of neighborhood meetings in each of our five property maintenance districts (dates TBA).
Personal Interviews: We will conduct one-on-one interviews with 10-15 selected citizens representing a varied Oakwood demographic.
Final Written Survey: We will mail a final written survey to all Oakwood property owners towards the latter part of the project. That survey will focus on getting reaction to our proposed plan and design options and the projected costs. The survey will also be available on the city website.
Telephone Survey: We will conduct a telephone survey towards the end of the project to get a statistically valid read on where the community stands on the proposed master plan and potential project funding.
Over the course of creating the master plan, the project team will use the public input to guide development of preliminary options and ultimately final recommendations. We will share the preliminary options at community meetings expected to take place in November and December, and possibly January. The final recommendations will be presented at a community meeting thereafter.
Please assist us with the master plan by participating in the public input process. If you have any questions, please contact me at 298-0600.
Norbert S. Klopsch
September 8, 2009
Volume 18, No. 36
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