Octoraro Lodge’s Day of Service

By Austin Pauling

On a sunny and brisk day in October, nearly 175 volunteers from the Chester County Council came together to complete a day of service. The volunteers were made up of approximately one hundred Arrowmen from Octoraro Lodge, fifty Cub Scouts and their parents and another twenty-five local volunteers. This day of service was not an ordinary day by any means. It consisted of providing service to three central locations in communities that lie in the Chester County Council: Kennett Square, Parkesburg and Darlington.

The volunteers started their day by heading out to the three sites where the volunteers would unload, dig and plant trees and shrubs. The trees and shrubs were planted to prevent the erosion of the land, as well as to protect the nearby rivers from silt and other foreign materials. Once the volunteers arrived at their locations, they reorganized into teams, each focusing on a different aspect of the project, such as planting or digging. At all three sites, the projects were organized in a similar way and completed in the early afternoon. The day of service required much teamwork and support from one another to complete the projects.

In total, the volunteers planted 875 trees and 250 shrubs amongst the three locations. Following the conclusion of the day of service, the directors of each of the respective environmental groups were overjoyed and appreciative of the service that was provided. For each organization, Octoraro Lodge and the rest of the participants set the record of the number of trees planted and volunteers on a given day.

According to Octoraro Lodge Chief Matt Candy that was not the only thing that made the project special.

“We have done plenty of projects at our local Scout camps and service center, but this one was unique because it centered on home. It made the event truly special because we were able to give back to our community in more ways than we thought possible.”

Such a large task could not be organized by one person though, added Candy.

“As Octoraro’s chief, I am honored and grateful for the many hours that were spent working on the project and the careful preparation and planning that made the project so incredible. The countless hours put in by its chair and adviser, Richard Gardner and Mike Steinberger respectively, give light to the true meaning of cheerful service. They brought together Scouts from all over Chester County to serve together and make our community a better place. That day, we demonstrated unselfish service and dedication to our community, and I could not be happier than I am now with the outcome of the project. However, the most extraordinary thing was that members did not leave until the project was over, regardless of when the event was scheduled to end.”

This day of service was an incredible experience for both the Chester County community, as well as Octoraro Lodge. Matt Candy and Octoraro Lodge were pleased to announce that they will be continuing their efforts next year and have made progress on making this a permanent standing committee which allows them to have an annual day of service. Candy is extremely grateful for his lodge’s support of the event.

“This was one of the highlights of my year as chief and I am so thankful for my lodge for supporting our mission of service as well as being stewards of the environment,” he said.

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