He plans to explore neuroscience this fall at either Carthage or Edgewood, but for now, Summit Troop #49 Boy Scout Ben Voiles is producing masks for peers, and nursing home residents and staff. And this is more than a hobby. The Oconomowoc High School senior has produced more than 600 masks to date.

 “He’s got quite the setup in our basement,” smiled Ben’s mother Patti. “He did it all by himself…I taught the boys how to sew at an early age, and that’s important.”

 Voiles’ prewashed, reversible masks provide two layers of tightly woven cotton comfort and elastic on top and bottom. The Scout chose a CDC approved pattern and modified it to develop his own prototype. The masks come in men’s large and extra large and women’s in small and medium. Voiles chose a variety of cheerful, contemporary fabrics “to help brighten the people’s day,” he noted.

His Eagle Scout project included making 550 masks for classmates at OHS. Fellow students provided rave reviews. He liked making them so much he continued the production line, earning his Citizenship in the Community Merit Badge. Voiles dropped off more than 40 masks at Shorehaven last week. “I just wanted to help people. I know the elderly are more susceptible to the Coronavirus. My troop has helped at Shorehaven in the past, and we had the connection.”

Voiles asked that we send him photos of the residents donning the masks. “I feel just great about providing them. I hope the residents can see each other, and stay protected. I feel better knowing that they are protected.”