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Scouting for food

Since the inception of the United States Scouting movement, Scouts have been urged to “Do a Good Turn Daily,” and it is codified as the slogan of the Boy Scouts of America.

The first national Good Turn was the promotion of a safe and sane Fourth of July in 1913. During World War I, Scouts sold Liberty bonds and war savings stamps totaling more than $355 million. They collected 100 railroad cars full of nutshells and peach pits for gas mask manufacturing, distributed more than 300 million pieces of government literature, aided in food and fuel conservation projects and planted 12,000 Boy Scout war gardens.

During the Great Depression, President Franklin Roosevelt called for help from the Scouts for the distressed and needy. Scouts collected 1,812,284 items of clothing, household furnishings, foodstuffs and supplies.

During World War II, the United States government had 69 specific requests for support from the BSA, and Scouts immediately integrated these requests into their program in order to support the war effort. Scouts collected 30 million pounds of rubber during a two-week drive; 20,000 Scouts earned the Gen. Douglas MacArthur Medal for Victory Gardens; Scouts distributed pledge cards for war bonds and savings stamps, distributed stamp posters, collected aluminum, wastepaper and salvage; conducted defense housing surveys; distributed air-raid posters; served as messengers and dispatch bearers; assisted emergency medical units; and served as fire watchers.

In keeping with the spirit of service to our great nation and its communities, the Boy Scouts of America started Scouting for Food in 1988 and, in its first year, collected 60 million food items. The town of Bow has played a big part in this program since 1988!

This year’s local Scouting for Food effort will benefit more than 175 pantries, kitchens and closets throughout New Hampshire. All food collected in our area will stay in our area.

Tomorrow, Scouts from Troop 75 and Pack 75 of Bow will deliver Scouting for Food bags and flyers throughout the town of Bow. Next Saturday, Nov. 9, at 9 a.m., Scouts will return to collect the donated nonperishable food items left outside your homes. Leave the bags out before 8:30 a.m. and place them in a visible location.

With the help of our citizens last year, and nearly 60 volunteers, the Scouts in Bow collected approximately 7,000 food items.

Like any large service initiative, things will not be perfect. We will undoubtedly miss a few of the 3,000 homes in town. Troop 75 will be camping in the town center at the Bow Gazebo for the entire weekend. If we miss your house on our collection route, I ask you to kindly bring your bags and stop in and see us in the center of town. We will have our campsite set up, a pioneering project in the field, and will be happy to answer any questions you have about the scouting program.

If you live in another community and are serviced by another troop, I encourage you to support them as best you can.

(Andrew Richardson is the scoutmaster for Troop 75 in Bow.)

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