The number of young boys from Boy Scout Troop 107 in Taylors, SC, just about matched the number of degrees the thermometer registered. It was in the low 20s Sunday morning and the pavement in front of Taylors First Baptist Church were cold and unforgiving. But the boys were there, in full uniform, and smiling! It was the second part of Scouting for Food Campaign, an annual event by Scout Troops around the country that provides a collection of non-perishable food stuffs for distribution to families in need. The Scouts met church-goers as they made their way to the building with plastic and paper bags holding food. They were all smiles as the Scouts approached them, and cheerfully asked, “May I take that for you sir or ma’am?” It was genuine American generosity with a helping “Doing a Good Deed” on the side.
Some of the boys made their way to the lobby of the building where a very large quantity of bags had already been placed by early arrivals. Canned good, boxes of staples of every variety and plastic bags stuffed with wholesome food were lined up waiting. The boys gathered them quickly and efficiently and made their way back to the parking area where Adult Leaders were waiting with vehicles. A van quickly filled and then the bed of a pick-up truck. It was quite a process, all done with very little impact on the church as it prepared for services.
This was repeated twice over the course of 3 hours, with the bags being gathered in the “Scout Hut” across the tracks from the church. Inside were some Scouts and a large gathering of parents. Hot water was bubbling on a camp stove, and donut boxes were sitting nearby. The cold air rushed in with the boys all of whom were carrying bags of food from outside. Instructions were shouted, boys were chattering and laughing, parents talking above the din and off to one side, quietly observing was Scoutmaster Brian Hicks. You could almost see the thoughts in his mind, “I love it when a plan comes together!” Just watching the boys and talking with his Assistants, you could hear the pride in his voice. Their efforts were paying off in a big way. In the main room of the hut, a gaggle of boys were on the floor opening the bags and placing the contents on the table. Parents and other boys sorted and counted the right amount of items into a bag, tied them up and whisked them to a smaller room. There two of the Senior Scouts, Chris Hicks, Eagle Scout and Duncan Pickard, Star Scout were busy tallying the completed bags. Chris’s clipboard was covered with tic marks, and the bags filled the floor of the room. Duncan said “one hundred and sixteen! With 10 items in each bag that totals just over one thousand, one hundred and sixty items. “Yeah!” said both young men, and with that the boys just smiled.
The food items gathered will be safely stored until they can be delivered to a local food bank or organization that can properly distribute them to those that truly need it. It was a classic example of a very tradition-steeped organization, the Baptist Church, using another long-lived tradition based group, The Boy Scouts of America, to “pay-it-forward.”
To find out more about the local Taylors BSA Troop 107, you can find their website at www.bsatroop107.org. You can also find contact information there for the Scoutmaster and how you too can get involved with the Community or Scouting.
The First Baptist Church of Taylors, http://www.taylorsfbc.org/ is the sponsor organization for Troop 107 and is a partner in their activities that benefit the boys and the Community. They recently participated in Scout Sunday services with the Troop.