The Boy Scout motto is "Be prepared," and members of Vernon Hills' Troop 95 took that to heart Wednesday morning as they waited to march in the town's Independence Day parade.
With the temperature already climbing toward 90 degrees before the 9 a.m. kickoff, the boys and their leaders stood under shade trees with water bottles ready.
"We're keeping it simple -- just lots of water and take it easy," Assistant Scout Master Rick Heiberger said when asked about the heat. "Everyone's got at least one bottle."
The 1.6-mile, U-shaped parade route -- on Deerpath Drive, Sullivan Drive and Aspen Drive -- was well lined with spectators despite the blazing sun.
Watching the parade with some friends and their kids, Casie DeRose had a comfortable spot beneath a large maple tree near the Countryside fire station on Deerpath Drive. But she also had some inside information about the relatively cool location -- her husband is fire Lt. Tony DeRose.
"It's an annual spot that we pick," she said.
Elsewhere on the route, 10-year-old Tyler Pazsko and three mischievous friends used large water guns to spritz passing marchers. Although they were specifically waiting for Pazsko's brother's girlfriend and another young lady, their attacks were indiscriminate.
No one seemed to mind.
"(The water) keeps them cool," Pazsko said.