Cub Scouts

Clatskanie Cub Scouts show off donations they collected during a previous food drive.

Clatskanie Cub Scout Troop #241 is encouraging the spirit of giving through their annual “Scouting For Food” program.

The troop’s committee chair Teresa Johnson said Saturday, Nov. 13, The Scouts are aiming to repeat the success of last year’s food drive, in which over 1,500 pounds collected for Turning Point, the local food bank.

“This year, we’re hoping to match our goal,” she said. “We are still in COVID. People are still trying to survive with unemployment and all of that. But I’m not really going to speculate because we could have another amazing year, and that’s what we’re hoping for.”

Johnson said a few years back, the food drive gained traction like never before after the event was promoted heavily by parents.

“We had a couple of really low years for scouting for food where we were only getting about 700 to 800 pounds,” Johnson said. “Two years ago, it was really touching, because a lot of our parents started reaching out to a lot of other community members, they started reaching out to a lot of other people and we actually hit our highest round ever two years ago.”

According to Johnson, the food drive comes at a time of “high need.”

The Scouts will be posted at both doors of the Safeway, 401 Columbia River Highway in Clatskanie, taking donations from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13.

“When people come up to go into Safeway, we ask them if they would be willing to help us help Turning Point, and if they can look at the list and see if there’s some items that they’re willing to pick up,” Johnson said. “Then when they go into do the regular grocery shopping, they also pick up items and put them in baskets for us.”

The donations allow Turning Point, a community services center in Clatskanie, to assemble food boxes for families in need.

“We just do this food drive to help (Turning Point) cut their costs on the food boxes, that way they can take the money that they have and put it to other places,” Johnson said.

Turning Point offers local families in need with a range of services, including food, energy payments, transportation, housing assistance, Oregon Department of Human Services (DHS) applications, and prescription assistance.

The Scouts will be accepting nonperishable donations. The pantry is seeking fruit, vegetables, milk, potatoes and Thanksgiving foods.

Cub Scouts of America

Johnson said working as chair for Troop 241 is an unpaid position, but for her, the rewards are intrinsic.

“I love the Boy Scouts of America. It’s been great working with everybody. It’s been great working as a team. I believe it teaches amazing values and life skills to both boys and girls,” Johnson said. “I think that (the) scouts have taken a lot of changes over the years. But I have seen that a lot of those changes have actually made things better.”

One of the service projects Johnson said she remembers in detail was the Memorial Day cleanup of Stewart Creek Cemetery.

“That was all my cubbies that did that,” she said. “I have kids out there from the ages of 5 to 11 with their parents, scrubbing tombstones, and we scrubbed all of the tombstones in the cemetery so that way, it was all cleaned up for everybody that wanted to go up and see their family member.”

The Cub Scouts were formed in 1985 by the greater St. Louis area council and have an extensive history of serving the community.

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