Prior to their fall retreat, Baltimore City Scout Troop 5 met with Project Lyme via Zoom to learn about tick prevention strategies. Project Lyme presented an educational workshop geared at raising awareness about Lyme disease. The debilitating and chronic nature of the disease make it imperative to educate the youth to be conscious and safe. We always emphasize that ticks are everywhere and make it clear that your clothing choices, hygiene and preparedness are all critical pieces to keeping yourself safe from tick bites.
While the Fall retreat was canceled given a resurgence of COVID-19, Troop 5 was inspired to take the information they learned and apply it. After winter subsided, they decided to create a short film for Project Lyme in order to achieve their filmmaking badge. They also hoped to make a difference while doing so. Over the past several months, the troop wrote a script, planned another nature retreat, and filmed a short educational film with the goal of raising awareness about tick prevention and removal, as well as educating about the symptoms and signs of Lyme disease.
The movie starts on a campsite in Maryland surrounded by trees. One of the boys begins preparing for his hike, while the other two do nothing. The first boy explains the things they needed to be prepared including wearing protective gear such as:
Closed toed shoes
Sadly, the boys did not listen.
The prepared boy also encouraged the others to stay on clear and marked trails. While there is still a chance to be bitten anywhere, you increase your risk significantly if you go into high grassy areas or undistributed brush.
Again, the boys did not listen.
After some time, the boys return to camp. The prepared boy begins to check himself for ticks by combing through his hair and checking vulnerable spots including legs, and arms. The other boys just sit and watch.
The next day, one of the unprepared boys wakes up and does not feel well. The others check in on him and ask how he is feeling. He proceeds to lists off several identifiable symptoms of Lyme disease including:
After hearing all this, the boys quickly discover a tick embedded in his arm and begin to take proper steps to remove it.
The prepared boy grabs his first-aid kit, taking out tweezers and an alcohol pad. He reminds the bitten boy to not remove the tick without proper equipment, and not to burn it off as the other unbitten boy had suggested. He disinfects his tweezers, and carefully grabs the tick by the base of the mouth and pulls it directly out. He then put it in a zip-lock bag in order to send the tick into a lab for testing. The boys then call their parents and a doctor to set up an appointment.
While you may not always be able to identify a tick-bite or symptoms of Lyme disease as easily as in this film, as long as you stay educated about tick prevention you can stay safe. Join Project Lyme in the fight to stop the epidemic of Lyme disease and share this video with kids who spend a lot of time outdoors. It may just help keep them from getting bitten.