With uniforms on, shoes laced and backpacks filled, IPC's Boy Scout Troop 28 began a 10-mile hike through downtown Birmingham on May 6. Scouts from across the city and even members of a Calera young men's church group visited places that shaped Birmingham's history as one of the nation's largest steel producers and sites where the struggle for civil rights caught America's attention. The stops showed the Magic City's transformation. They toured: IPC, Sloss Furnace, Morris Avenue, City Federal Building, Birmingham Public Library, Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Five Points South and Highland Avenue.
The Boy Scouts were working on their Hiking merit badge when they came up with the idea for this hike. Assistant Scoutmaster Steve Ray saw this as an opportunity to give the boys a better understanding of the city's history and an appreciation for Birmingham's role in the advancement of civil rights. Steve partnered with friends Rev. Calvin Meadows and Rev. Beverly Meadows of Present Truth Church and their young men's group to make the hike a reality.
"Partnering with Steve and his group has been a blessing. Our boys don't get many chances to do things out of doors," said Rev. Beverly Meadows of her group's participation.
Steve hopes the hike advanced the Boy Scouts' vision of teaching Scouts necessary skills to enable them to make lifelong moral and ethical decisions.