Belton Boy Scouts camp out in cardboard boxes on cold night to learn more about homeless

BELTON, Mo. -- On a Friday night, you might expect eight boys from Belton to be at a movie,  at home playing video games or just out having fun.

But, no. Easton Bardwell and his buddies with Boy Scouts Troop 1160 were busy preparing for a special project in the frigid cold.

”Yeah I’m ready for the cold. I can handle,” Easton said.

For weeks, the middle- and high-schoolers have been counting down the days to their big adventure. They camped out in the cold inside cardboard boxes. It was the scouts’ way of learning more about the homeless and how they can help them.

”I know they don’t have very much food and they live outside,” Easton said.

”We just want to give them more hope and everything,” 15-year-old Elijah McFerin said.

The boys range from 10 to 17 years old. On the below-freezing night, the scouts huddled in their makeshift homeless tents in sleeping bags, wrapped up in blankets and put on a lot of layers.

In addition to teaching the kids how to have more compassion for the homeless, organizers also wanted to stress to the scouts the importance of serving others and their community.

The Boy Scouts also collected canned goods and other food for the homeless and needy families.

”Be prepared for life. After all, that’s what the Boy Scouts program is all about. But tonight it was all about having empathy for the homeless, not just on one cold night, but year round,” said Michelle Yearout, the boys’ Assistant Scout Master.