May 24, 2012 2 Comments
The following article was written by Ernest A. Rusch and originally published on June 26, 1986 under the Waves and Tidings column in The Leader, a former local paper in Ocean County, NJ.
As far back as a year ago we expressed a hint of concern on behalf of the Boy Scouts committed to Point Pleasant’s newspaper recycling drive on the first Sunday of each month. One of the reasons that hint of concern came out was due to comments by volunteer veterans who worked on the four Saturday pick up program, those comments to the effect that the once a month Sunday drives by the Boy Scouts entailed some heavy work especially in the area of lifting.
We expressed that concern which had more to it than we realized in the hope that a town official involved in the overall recycling program might also want to look into it. Instead, and we do not say this in disrespect, that town official, who is totally dedicated to the success of the recycling program, construed our column comments as a complete misunderstanding of the Boy Scout program and their supreme sacrifice in labor and time was the backbone of the scouting program here, there, and everywhere. That was expressed in a real 4th of July letter to our Editor.
That town official and gentleman has worked too hard in bringing the recycling program to the heights it has reached and it is not our intention to undermine those superb efforts. However, we perhaps can all learn by looking behind the scenes, learn that by a only once a month endeavor it can affect the whole of a scouting program.
Let’s take it right from the actions of those running or participating in the Point Pleasant Scouting program that includes that first Sunday of the month paper drive; go back over a year.
First we’re talking about Point Pleasant Cub Scout Pack 16, sponsored by Point Pleasant Fire Co. No. 1, which is the one handing the paper drive. Right off the bat it is important to note that the age group for this Pack is six to eleven. That is, of course, extremely important to note because one immediately sees that this group is not the regular elder Boy Scouts of America, but the younger lads leading into it.
That age bracket obviously leads to the need of greater supervision and protection which in the main comes from parents. Also obvious is the fact under today’s economy that many of the mothers are also working mothers, and fathers, in many cases, are holding down two jobs or doing extra work of some kind. They, nevertheless, are the ones, along with the youngsters, who must do that one day a month paper drive job compared to the other volunteers who have those four Saturdays to do the town’s recycling drive.
Many of those scout parents continue that Sunday job until 4 p.m. while the Saturday workers aim for a 12 noon finish. Now, between certain safety factors involved on the part of youngsters that long Sunday does take away some time that must be devoted to the responsibilities of the scout program itself.
Now, a lot of us involved directly or indirectly in the scout paper drive have heard words of praise regarding the reward or monetary gain from the activity. That has been acknowledged without question, as a matter of fact praised by those looking from the outside in. Fortunately, however, the parents or those directly involved with this Cub Scout 16 saw the other side of the coin and it seems if they hadn’t taken the bull by the horns a change in the paper drive program would not have taken place.
They have gone on notice (by Mid-June) that the Cub Scout paper drive will be cancelled for the two summer months if July and August. The paper drive will resume on the first Sunday of September (7th) at 9:00 a.m.”
The Cub Scout committee people responsible for this move and the bulk of activities explain the cancellation. First is the summer heat, heavier traffic and additional people, the public’s summer activities or vacations and busier internal summer schedules.
The cancellation, a stand if that be the description, makes a lot of sense. This additional up in the air discussion makes even greater sense.
The Cub Scout people have simply turned to the local Boy Scouts of America, the Scouts of the older age, with this question: “Scoutmaster, what about your troops sharing in this paper drive, even alternating every other month or you take extra months?”
We were privileged to be told a general idea of that conversation which took place early in June. The program and commitments of the older Boy Scouts would not permit any action during the summer months. The monetary returns of the paper drive program were not lost on the part of either group. It was a matter of fitting in what could be fitted in without a grave disturbance to the requirements of the scouting programs.
For the time being, or at least the summer months, the paper drive concern for scouts is on the burner and while that is the case it is well to bring out that as soon as a difficulty was discerned on the part of the younger Scouts’ drive though of even a conveyor belt to assist that operation was studied, the decision on cancelling the summer part of the drive may have entered into its further stage.
As to the cancellation there are two points, no three, which might be appropriate. One, and this is a personal surmise, that a technical feeling developed that the first Sunday in the Month paper drive by the Boy Scouts (without proper recognition that they were Cub Scouts instead of regular Boy Scouts) was an integral part of the town’s recycling program, that it was ordained, so to speak as if by ordinance. We, ourselves, as did others, fell for the pitfalls of that surmise when we did not press further at that first hint of concern for the (Cub) Scouts under the program.
Two. We are proud that the cross section of parental advisors in the Cub Scout program did not intimate or suggest any feeling of political pressure or exposure whatsoever. They acted in the proper interests of the entire Scouting program.
Three. We like the manner in which they made their decision to cancel the summer collections and the follow up.
And just in case we might mistakenly think those parental advisors were goofing off (besides the 88 persons who attended the Ringling Bros. Circus, Madison Square Garden, New York in May) here’s an idea of their summer program. Annual Picnic, Sunday June 22 at Camp Zhender; Saturday, July 26th, Chartered Bus to Philadelphia Phillies Baseball Game; Putt Golf, July 16th and August 19th at Point Pleasant Beach Boardwalk, Forman Ave.,; August 2nd, Wall Stadium, Car Races, all in addition to other June Activities.
Keep up the good work!