The classroom portion covered the history of papermaking, the pulp and paper industry, the types of trees that are sourced for fibers, the papermaking process, and the technological, environmental and economic impacts of the pulp and paper industry. The classroom time also covered the types of careers available in the industry.
Sean Lane, the environmental health and safety manager at the Hawesville Mill and the troop’s leader, coordinated the event and helped conduct the tour.
“It was interesting to see how the boys and their adult leaders were so surprised at the complexity and diversity offered by the pulp and paper industry,” Lane said. “I think we really made a great impression on those young minds, and I wouldn’t be surprised if we helped spark the interest of a Domtar employee in the making.”
That evening, the Scouts set up camp outside the mill. Temperatures fell to minus 6 degrees Fahrenheit and only reached the 20s during the day; the chilly temperatures allowed the Scouts to earn their polar bear patch, in addition to their pulp and paper merit badge.