The Benefits of Pre-Scouting

There are a lot of details to consider when holding a stream cleanup. Selecting a site,
contacting property owners for permission, ordering cleanup supplies, rounding up food
and snacks for volunteers, and contacting local media outlets are just a few tasks to accomplish.

Often overlooked is pre-scouting the cleanup area. This effort does take time, but there are many benefits to be had. Pre-scouting can answer several questions to help better prepare for the event, and is important regardless the event’s size. For example:
1) How many volunteers are needed where?
2) How many supplies need to be ordered
from the Stream Team Program?
3) What type of volunteers are needed?
Is it appropriate for school or Scout
groups? Or will it be more suited for
adults with more cleanup experience?
4) How many tires do you expect to collect?
5) How many dumpsters will need to be ordered and what size?

Having answers to these questions will help keep volunteers safe from the unknown. What kind of unknowns should you be aware? In addition to the amount and
types of trash, pre-scouting has allowed Teams to identify sharply cut embankments,
unwanted adult reading material, discarded needles, meth waste, abandoned tanks and
barrels, firearms, and much more.

These pre-scouting events help keep volunteers safe from sharp and volatile substances, secure vacated waste products, eliminate what could be perceived as a toy, and prevent parents from answering countless unwarranted questions. If you take the time to do a thorough pre-scout, you might discover it can be even more enjoyable than the day of the cleanup.


-Brian Waldrop

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