Kennebec Valley district Scouts and Packs lend a hand locally and for Hawaii
The slogan of Scouting is to "Do a Good Turn Daily." Members of local Scout Troops and Cub Packs will be working this year not only on badges and awards but also on ways that they can help others in their community and as far away as Hawaii.
Eric Handley of Sidney, Kennebec Valley District Commissioner, is encouraging Cubs and Scouts to find ways to help other people.
"The Scout Oath reminds us that we have a responsibility as Scouts to help other people not when it is convenient but at all times," Handley said. "Our role as Scouting leaders is to teach our Scouts that they have a duty to find ways to be helpful at home, in their community and to others everywhere. There are so many challenges all around us and Scouts can and are making a difference and we need to do more."
Shelley Connolly is a Scout leader from Pittsfield and has been tapped by the Kennebec Valley District to serve as the Scouting for Food chair this Scouting year which follows the school calendar.
"Scouting for Food demonstrates to the nation how our movement can make a difference in their communities. Serving others always has been what the BSA does best," Connolly said.
She said that here in Maine, the Scouting for Food effort is needed more than ever. One in seven children face hunger and one in four of those are in the high-risk category on a daily basis, Connolly added during a presentation to Scout leaders on August 9 at Camp Bomazeen.
"Our elderly face making decisions about paying bills, taking medications and/or feeding pets,” she said. “Maine needs Scouts to offer up 1-2 days of the year to collect food, especially outside of the ‘holiday’ season. Similarly our youth need to be 'helping other people at all times' to strengthen their character development. To know that even one or two days of the 356 days of a year, can mean a vital difference to someone who is at risk of hunger. "
Local Packs and Troops are being asked to work with their local soup kitchens, food banks and other charities to coordinate their efforts so all of the food collected will stay in their community for their neighbors who are in need. This can be a door to door collection, a fill the basket effort, collecting food along a parade route, or a fill a tent or kayak effort as has been done in Augusta and Pittsfield.
"People a good by nature and will want to donate money to help the cause," Connolly said. "Scouts will use money collected to buy food items and in this way they will learn a bit about nutrition while making a difference."
Scouts who take part will receive a patch and Scout units should report their local efforts or ask questions to Shelleyaconnolly@gmail.com.
Theresea Poirier of Augusta is promoting efforts for Scouts to assist the victims of the wildfire in Hawaii which has claimed more than 100 lives and left many homeless. The Boy Scouts of the Aloha Council are actively engaged in relief efforts for those affected by the devastating wildfires on Maui. This fund helps Scouting families who lost everything and will provide essential needs. The council has also opened Camp Maluhia as a shelter to provide essential resources.
You can help support these Scouts' relief efforts by going here: https://www.flipcause.com/secure/cause_pdetails/MTg3Mjk2.
Poirier said, "Something so devastating and so tragic happened and our Scouts, of course, have heard about it and want to help.”
People can send items through Amazon and it can be shipped to the Scout office at 200 Liholiho Street Wailuku, HI 96793 or they can make a donation to help support relief efforts at Camp Malhuhia for those in need there in Hawaii.
Finally, Scout Troops and Cub Packs are being asked to lend a hand on September 17 for Landowner Appreciation Day here in Maine.
"Scouting happens in the outdoors," Handley said. "Our Scouts are always out camping and hiking in Maine and this is a great way for us to lend a hand and help remove trash others have left on lands that don't belong to them."
Each year, on hundreds of sites, volunteers have picked up more than 1,000,000 lbs. of trash including 1,000-2,000 tires.
Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW) is hosting Landowner Appreciation and Clean Up Day on Sunday, September 17, 2023. All loads of trash will be measured by pick-up truckload at one of the designated drop off spots by MDIFW or Maine Forest Service personnel. Tires will be held separately in piles at designated sites and picked up by BDS Waste Disposal. Prizes will be awarded to volunteers who pick up the most truckloads of litter. Cub Packs and Scout Troops or other organizations can register their team to volunteer to participate by completing this online https://tinyurl.com/3ck2pdv5.