Scouting For Food Drive is Hotbed of Activity Despite Deep Freeze in Greenwich

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State Rep. Fred Camillo, honorary chair of the Scouting for Food drive with Robert Freder, an 8th grader at Western; Will Freder, a GHS junior; and Eric Parker a GHS junior. Credit: Leslie Yager

The Boy Scouts “Scouting for Food” drive is a well oiled machine in Greenwich, and Saturday morning was a great example of team work and communication.

At the Cos Cob Fire House, Boy Scouts District Executive Kevin Piro worked alongside Kevin O’Connor and members of both Troops 9 and 10 as a steady stream residents arrived with donations of food ranging from peanut butter to canned beans. The food was heavy. And it was cold. But there was no complaining.

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Piro, who graduated from Holy Cross in 2013 with a degree in Political Science, worked at Camp Seton for several summers during college. Piro, who is from Westchester, pointed out that boys at Camp Seton aren’t just from Greenwich. “It’s nice because there are kids from Westchester and Stamford,” he said.

As District Executive, Piro’s tasks are varied, and include fundraising and outreach through local events like Scouting for Food, the health fair coming up at Greenwich High School and next weekend’s Pinewood Derby.

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Bennett Hawley of Troop 9, which includes boys from JC, North Street, Cos Cob, Parkway and Central Middle School, said, “It’s pretty fun. Everybody brought a little of their own to contribute. And we also went to our neighbors with donation bags and list of food and instructions.”

“It’s a common misconception about Greenwich that because this is a well off town there is no hunger, but it’s not true,” Hawley said. “Between Thanksgiving and Christmas Neighbor to Neighbor has a good amount of donations, but after the holidays they’re running low.”

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Greenwich resident Audrey McNiff and her dog Josie walked through the snow with their donations. At Cos Cob fire house, scouts admired Josie, who sported purple booties to protect her paws from ice melt chemicals.

Throughout the morning, scouts and parents shuttled their food from their collection points to Christ Church. Food was sorted in the parish hall auditorium and transported to the Neighbor to Neighbor food pantry.

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State Rep Fred Camillo, who again served as honorary chair of the food collection drive, was busy at work in the parish hall auditorium all morning. While the deep freeze may have made a small dent in turnout, Scout leaders considered extending the collection beyond Saturday in order to met the 3 ton goal.

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Since its inception in 1912, Greenwich Scouting goals have remained the same, emphasizing youth adventure, leadership, learning, outdoor exploration, and perhaps most importantly, service.  Scouts are encouraged to “Do a Good Turn Daily” and the “Scouting for Food” drive has been the council’s largest annual good turn for nearly 30 years.

Screen Shot 2015-03-07 at 7.12.34 PMCamp Seton offers programs for boys completing grades 1st -8th. In addition, we offer a Counselor-in-Training program for boys or girls 15 years of age.  For boys completing grades 5-7, Adventure Camp gives current Scouts the opportunity to participate in an array of exciting outdoor activities.

The Boy Scout Program offers a daily schedule where boys have their choice of different Merit Badge classes and program activities.  Program areas include Scout skills, nature, archery range, rifle range, climbing tower (tower, bouldering wall and rappelling), boating, and swimming. The Boy Scout Camp offers a new camper program to acquaint new or first-time campers to Camp Seton, and provide advancement opportunities for those Scouts, Tenderfoot Scouts, and Second Class Scouts to work on selected outdoor requirements.

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