As a lifelong supporter of programs that develop life skills, values and a work ethic in young people, it is always a pleasure to find an event that epitomizes the effects that type of program can have on a small community.
Many folks around Chester may know that the local Boy Scout Troop 36 goes out each year in November to cut Christmas trees that are then taken down to Chico by Troop 31 and sold on their lot.
This has been an ongoing partnership for over 15 years and has virtually funded the activities of both troops for that period of time.
During the last two years the need for Christmas trees has not diminished in Chico or in Chester, but the number of boys that are filling the needs are currently less.
This is where the story about integrity, commitment and work ethic comes to light, both in the Scout youth and in a group of adults that stepped up and contributed greatly to the success of the project and ultimately the program to build strong young people.
The four boys of Scout Troop 36 accompanied different groups of volunteer adults from the Lake Almanor Elks Lodge on seven different days to gather the trees to fulfill the need for Christmas trees.
Just in case you are wondering, no, there are no chainsaws for the boys.
The scouts are relegated to carrying and loading the trees and unloading at the pick-up site, which often means a five- or six-hour day for them.
Thanks to the generosity of the Collins Almanor Forest and the Sierra Pacific Land and Timber Company, the troop was able to harvest almost 500 trees for the two troops’ fundraiser.
This undertaking definitely took a joint effort of commitment to tradition, lots of dedicated effort and teamwork between the adults and the scouts.
What a great way for the Scouts to learn by the example of the adult volunteers and then to see the satisfaction on their faces as they realize they are part of a job well done and have almost funded their activities for the coming year.
Troop 36 Committee Chairwomen Leslie Scott extends a special thank you to the Elks and Exulted Ruler Kathy Wasson, who organized the volunteer corp. It should also be mentioned that several of the adult volunteers are Eagle Scouts.
Thanks to Sierra Pacific and Collins Pine for providing this opportunity and congratulations to Troop 36 scouts Louie Buentiempo, Aidan Marro, Morgan Strange and Lucas Hogan for their extraordinary efforts this year.
The first benefit of their efforts will be a field trip to Sutter’s Fort in Sacramento to experience a circa 1840: ‘Simple Immigrant Christmas’.