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Somonauk Cub Scouts honor Scouting mentor with trees in Plano’s Cook Woods

Somonauk Cub Scout Pack 335 planted two apple trees at Cook Woods in Plano dedicating one tree to the memory of Eagle Scout and longtime scout leader, Bill Distelhurst.

The Cub Scouts of Somonauk Pack 335, under the direction of Cub Master Brandi Levick, planted and dedicated the two trees as a conservation project and Earth Day recognition at Cook Woods in Plano. Unbeknownst to Levick, one of the trees was to be dedicated to her father.

The Somonauk Boy Scout Troop has camped several times at Cook Woods, a rural wooded property managed as a cooperative between the Plano Rotary Club, the Plano American Legion and Boy Scout Troop 71. The Cub Scouts discovered the property through the involvement of the older scouts in Troop 35, and began visiting Cook Woods to experience the unique wilderness atmosphere which had become a sort of home away from home for their local Boy Scout troop.

Cook Woods is also home to beekeepers that are developing and fostering hives for honey. The addition of two new fruit trees will be beneficial to the bee colonies, according to Rotary member and Cook Woods guardian, Jim Hill.

In planting and dedicating the trees, assistant Webelos Den Leader Aimee Michaels commented, “We have two trees to plant, one was donated by Walmart in Ottawa and the other is donated from the Plano Rotary Club. When apple trees are half a mile from each other they can cross pollinate and apples will grow. We will take turns, scouts and leaders, to dig the holes to plant the trees in this wonderful property, and we can have fruit to enjoy in the future.”

Scouts and leaders of Somonauk Cub Pack 335 planting apple trees.

Scouts and leaders of Somonauk Cub Pack 335 planting apple trees. (photo provided /)

The Cub Pack planted a Gala apple tree and a Golden Delicious apple tree on the Cook Woods property, and then added a memorial plaque at the base of one of the trees to mark it in honor of Bill Distelhurst, past Cubmaster of Pack 369, and longtime Scout leader.

Plaque honoring Bill Distelhurst.

Plaque honoring Bill Distelhurst. (photo provided /)

“Another reason we are here is to dedicate this tree to a very special person who has indirectly been a part of our pack for years,“ Michaels continued. “This person guided the heart of the Pack and two of its members. Whenever times get tough, Our Cub Master, Brandi Levick talks about what helps keep her strong, and that is her dad’s dedication to his Pack and to scouts. Her dad, Bill Distelhurst passed away earlier this year. He was an Eagle scout, and Pack 369 den leader, Brandi’s brother’s den, for several years. Mr. Distelhurst taught Brandi how important and meaningful scouts are and how much value it gives to our families and communities.”

Speaking directly to the Cub master and her family members, Michaels added, “Brandi, Shawn, and Aiden, we will get to watch this tree for years and get to pick apples from it until you are both eagle scouts.”

The experience caught Cub Master Levick off guard and brought her to tears. It was deeply appreciated by Levick and her family.

The addition of the two apple trees is part of ongoing park development at Cook Woods. The site features a large, wooded parcel, space for several primitive campsites, beehives, and native plantings. The site is managed through Plano Rotary Club member Jim Hill. The mission of Cook Woods is to allow for outdoor recreation and educational opportunities for the youth of Plano and the surrounding area. “I am thankful for the Somonauk Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts for their interest and assistance in Cook Woods,” Hill said.

For more information on activities at Cook Woods, contact Hill at 847-417-9861. For more information on activities of Cub Pack 335 of Somonauk contact Aimee Michael at

Source: The Daily Chronicle

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