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Teamwork, leadership on display at pancake breakfast

Anthony Goeckner 17 Antioch who is Life Scout grills sausage ham Boy Scout Troop 323 8th annual 'All You Can

Anthony Goeckner, 17, of Antioch who is a Life Scout grills sausage and ham at the Boy Scout Troop 323 8th annual "All You Can Pancake Breakfast" at the VFW Post 4308. | Michael Schmidt~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: March 27, 2013 6:01AM

LAKE VILLA — Scouting teaches troop members life skills, preparedness and responsibility. It teaches boy scouts like Anthony Murray, 13, how to enjoy being involved in their communities.

On Sunday, Anthony was among about 30 members of Lake Villa Boy Scout Troop 323 who demonstrated an ability to cook, clean and interact with the public. The troop held its eighth annual pancake breakfast at the Lake Villa Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4308, just west of Route 83 on Grand Avenue.

“I think everyone should do scouting because it helps with life. At this pancake breakfast, they (people) find us doing good deeds. Its gives us a good reputation and shows people how good we are,” Anthony said.

Anthony is a seventh grader at Emmons School in Antioch. He said he was inspired to join scouting about a year ago because his uncle earned Eagle Scout rank.

His job Sunday was to work in the kitchen.

The scouts ran the entire event. Everyone had a job, from greeting guests to cooking, serving and cleaning up.

Senior patrol leader Danny Krzyvon, 16, of Round Lake Beach, was in charge of making sure everyone was on task.

“It’s going great. Everyone is doing a good job,” the Grayslake North High School sophomore said.

He said the pancake breakfast was a good fund-raiser for the troop. He started as a Cub Scout and continued into scouting. He said a lot of his best friends are in the troop with him. The “high adventure” aspects such as hiking and camping trips appeal to him.

“I like that it’s Scout-led, not adult-led. It gives us really good responsibility,” Danny said.

All proceeds from the pancake breakfast goes to defraying the cost of scouting activities for its 35 members, according to Scoutmaster David Mageri and pancake breakfast chairwoman Becky Coia, both of Lake Villa.

About 200 people are served at the pancake breakfast.

“We always hope to make a little more than last year. Last year, our net profit was $2,500,” Coia said.

Many ingredients are donated. Scouts also sell place-mat advertising space to local businesses. The VFW sponsors Lake Villa Troop 323 and allows it to use the space for free. The scouts does maintenance, lawn care and other service projects for the VFW, Mageri said.

“Our troop is very community-oriented. We do a lot of service projects,” Coia said.

The pancake breakfast also funds equipment for the troop’s 10 camping trips per year.

“For me, the goal (of the breakfast) is two fold. First is financial ... second, this is an opportunity for them to really show teamwork and leadership,” Mageri said.

Jerry and June Crichton of Lake Villa Township come to the breakfast every year for the “very good” food and to support scouting.

“Scouting teaches young men values and a better way of life,” June said.

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