Scouting may have its faults, but one thing that I'm really proud of are the service projects we do each year with the boys. I think it's really important to expose the boys to a number of service projects. The boys learn that there are needy people out there, and that they can help to make a change for those folks. The boys see tangible results from their own efforts, whether it's cleaning up an old lady's yard, pulling weeds at the church, or my personal favorite: Scouting for Food.
This was Scouting for Food weekend, and today we went around the neighborhood collecting bags that we had set out last week. People donated canned and dried goods, which we delivered to Loudoun Interfaith Relief, the local food shelter. Times are tough for a lot of people right now, tougher than in years past, so it was really gratifying to do this work with the boys.
For my own den, which is about ten boys, we collected over 800 pounds of food! That's 80 pounds of food for each boy--about double the pack average! For the pack (about 50 total boys), we usually collect just over 2,000 pounds of food. That is a lot of food. All of it then goes on the shelves at Loudoun Interfaith Relief and costs them nothing.
The boys have a lot of fun collecting the bags, and I believe events like this also help them to appreciate just how lucky they are to be setting down each night to a warm meal. Lots of people, even in our wealthy county, still struggle with that.