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We've had some previous discussions in these forums about scouts collecting old christmas trees for use in conservation projects like beach dune replenishment or soil erosion control in woodlands or stream beds. But these discussions were mostly about doing it for the conservation impact, not necessarily to raise funds. Yet a well-planned conservation project often CAN be a very effective fund raiser. There's a new article in the Bryan on Scouting blog that shows how one troop made this work: https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/2020/01/29/oh-christmas-tree-troops-unique-project-blends-service-fundraising-conservation/ I thought it was interesting in that the troop seems to be eliciting funds from seaside communities who want their dunes built up so their community can be more resilient against storms. That's an interesting approach to the "revenue stream" problem. When I've thought about how this kind of erosion control project could make money, I'd only thought about asking families to pay a "disposal fee" for the troop to pick up the trees. I wonder how much a troop might be able to earn if they charged both for tree pickup and for the project execution...Hmmm.
Eagle may be scouting's highest rank, but there are awards that are FAR rarer and more prestigious. The oldest of these is the Silver Hornaday medal. In many years, the number of these awarded nation-wide is in the single digits. Many scouts find their Eagle project to be a daunting challenge. Imagine having to do at least FOUR projects of equal or greater complexity, all of them focused on different areas of conservation....and requiring approval by national. Well, that's the kind of effort a highly motivated scout must have to earn a Silver Hornaday. My heart soared today at the news that a scout in West Texas achieved this very difficult and prestigious award. (The first time in 108 years that anyone in his council has earned one.) I am so proud of him. https://www.conchovalleyhomepage.com/news/news-connection/texas-boy-scout-awarded-highest-conservation-medal/1911775258