Local photographer, activist, and Eagle Scout candidate Charles Wetzel has launched a donation drive to help provide transition wear for Briarpatch Youth Service’s Teens Like Us Group, which supports LGBTQ youth ages 13-18, many of whom have been kicked or forced out of their homes. Read more about Charles’ project and how to get involved:

What is an Eagle Scout Project?

In the Boy Scouts, soon to be the Scouts BSA, there are are 8 ranks, the highest of which is Eagle Scout. To achieve that rank, a Scout must earn a total of 21 merit badges, complete a minimum of 22 hours of community service, demonstrate leadership inside and outside of the Scouts, and plan an eagle scout project.

Eagle Projects take all forms—they can be anything from food drives to conservation projects. The main requirement is that the aspiring Eagle Scout must “plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or community… other than Boy Scouting.”

What is this Eagle Scout Project?

My team and I are putting together a transition wear & resource drive for Briarpatch Youth Services; specifically, their Teens Like Us group, who’s goal is to “provide support and education for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer youth ages 13-18.” We’re collecting donations of clothing for TLU members who are exploring their gender identity and expression. By creating a stock of transition wear, we’re hoping to relieve some of the cost and anxiety associated with that exploration.

In addition, we’re collecting other general resources that will be helpful to the group, such as bus passes & Uber gift cards to assist TLU with transportation to and from meetings and books about LGBTQ+ issues.

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A little bit about me.

Hi, I’m so glad you’re here! My name is Charles Wetzel. I’ve been in the Scouts my whole life, and am currently working to earn the rank of Eagle Scout.

The Scouts and the LGBTQ+ community have really served as second families to me. Given that fact, I find it disheartening that there is so little collaboration between the LGBTQ+ community and the Scouts. I know first hand how much Scouting has to offer LGBTQ+ youth. With this project, I’m hoping to demonstrate that at it’s best, the Scouts can be an amazing organization for youth of all stripes.

DONATE:

We’ll be having our collection day on August 25th at the locations listed below. If you’re unable to make it to one of our locations on the 25th, that’s ok! All of the items on the shopping list are able to be shipped directly to Briarpatch at 2720 Rimrock Rd, Madison, WI 53713. Make sure you ship your donation to Attn: TLU Drive. Also, feel free to drop off donations on Sunday mornings at Trinity United Church in the weeks leading up to the drive.

Find out more about items needed, etc. at www.transitionproject.xyz.