PHOTO: Cub Scouts of Pack 242, Middletown, with their leaders at Ardena Baptist Church in Freehold.
This Winter Season, the Cub Scouts of Pack 242 were busy being “reverent”, “kind” and “helpful” living the values of the Scout Law. On December 16th, the boys came out on a cold and snowy Saturday morning and volunteered their time. While many kids were sleigh riding and playing in the snow the scouts of Middletown Pack 242 went to the Ardena Baptist Church in Freehold placing more than eighty wreaths on the graves of veteran soldiers who served in wars from the Revolutionary War to World War II.
The scouts worked with the “Wreaths across America” Project which began in Maine in 1992 and was founded by Morrill Worcester. Paying tribute to our veterans he created “Wreaths across America” as a way to honor veterans and to use his surplus of wreaths. “Wreaths across America” immediately gained popularity with Local American Legion and VFW Posts. An image of the soldiers graves adorn with wreaths at Arlington National Cemetery inspired volunteers from across America to continue this tradition. Today, the “Wreaths across America” Project is working with over one thousand two hundred veteran cemeteries nationwide. The family members, scouts and leaders of Pack 242 participate alongside community members and veteran posts in the annual event.
Pastor Tom Detamore organizer of the Freehold “Wreaths across America” said “Wreaths across America is a wonderful way to honor our veterans at this time of the year around The Christmas Season. It is just beautiful to see so many people nationwide that are part of this program and to see our country come together to honor the members of our armed forces. I would like to thank the local Boy Scout Groups and Cub Scout groups that have come out today to help us through their donations and participation. This is a wonderful way to teach the next generation the importance of service and sacrifice and civic mindedness. Pastor Detamore went on to say “I am so thankful that we had so many volunteers at this event, we are just a little voice in Monmouth County but there are bigger and better thing to come in the years ahead. I would like to thank the members of Middletown Pack 242 for coming and being a part of this.”
In another event, Pack 242 Volunteered their time again assisting “The Blessing Bag Brigade” at Middletown Ice World. The scouts made Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches and put together “Blessing Bags” filled with tooth paste, shampoo, tooth brushes, soap, snacks and trial sized items for the homeless. The creator of “Blessing Bag Brigade” Kevin Garrison stated “I started the Blessing Bag Brigade back in 2016 after working in New York City and walking past the city’s homeless population everyday on his way to work so I started this foundation because I refused to walk by them like they don’t exist.” Kevin went on to state “just last year the Blessing Bag Brigade put together and delivered over 65,000 bags for the homeless delivering them to places like Newark, Asbury Park, New York City working in the homeless shelters, food pantries and soup kitchens. It is so awesome to do this and come together with people and bring awareness to homelessness.” Lastly, He thanked Middletown Pack 242 and the other volunteers for their work and looked forward to doing more events with us.
Pack 242 has lived the Scout Law by participating in the “Wreaths across America” and “Blessing Bag Brigade” events and by scouts’ sending homemade holiday cards that reached our military in Afghanistan the week before Christmas. Pack 242 is returning to the Ardena Baptist Church Cemetery in February with an initiation from Pastor Detamore to help clean the grounds of the wreaths that were placed and to compete in a Dodge Ball Tournament with a cookout. Fun Times ahead!
Written by Mike Lorenson Jr. Public Relations Chairman of Pack 242