MIDDLETOWN, NJ - Since the summer, Cub Scout Pack 242 in Middletown has been busy teaching their Scouts the meaning of giving back to the community. On August 26, the Pack hosted their annual family camping trip at Turkey Swamp Park in Freehold, NJ. During the trip, the Pack leaders led the scouts on a 1-mile hike along the Blueberry Trail. The boys collected all the trash that was left behind on the trail from previous visitors. In the end, the scouts had filled 2 garbage bags.
Pack 242 continued their efforts of giving back with double duty on October 21. Early that morning, the Pack joined forces with Clean Ocean Action at their bi-annual Beach Sweep. Once again, the young scouts assisted their leaders in cleaning up trash that had accumulated on Ideal Beach in East Keansburg. Immediately following that event, a group of the scouts went to Westminster Presbyterian Church in Middletown to help place American flags for the church’s Field of Flags Project.
Each year, Westminster places a flag on their front lawn for each military member who has lost their life while serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. During this effort members of Pack 242 joined with the church congregation and other community organizations to help place nearly 3,000 flags and help make the memorial a success once again.
At their November 21 Pack meeting, 242’s leaders taught the scouts the meaning of being reverent and being thankful for what they had by appreciating the efforts of others and providing for those in need. Families were asked to bring food donations for the St. Catherine’s Church Food Pantry. The church received 275 items from the collection. The Pack also raised $60 to be donated to the World Friendship Fund, an effort that helps Scouts in need around the globe. The boys even took time during the meeting to create thank you cards that were sent to active military personnel during the holidays.
On November 26, the scouts were invited to participate in the Ideal Beach Community Association’s Christmas Tree Lighting at Roosevelt Park in East Keansburg. While there, the boys entertained the crowd with their rendition of “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.”
So, what’s next for Pack 242? They plan to help place wreaths on the graves of veterans as part of the Wreaths Across America campaign in December.
“It’s important that we teach our scouts the value of giving back to the community,” said Cubmaster Joe McCarron. “If we can instill that in them now at a young age, it will set up a lifetime of meaningful service for them.” Scouts who participate in these projects are recognized for their efforts. Trash cleanups have earned the boys their Conservation Good Turn Award (photo shown) and Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics patches, awards that recognize scouts and leaders their efforts in conservation of wildlife, energy, forests, soil and water. Certificates are also presented to scouts for their efforts in community events.