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Possible Project ?


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I've been away from this forum for more than a few years( a ASM for 4 enjoyable years in the early 2000s)......my son achieved his Eagle Scout rank in 2004, went on to attend the  USNA in Annapolis Maryland, commissioned NAVY in 2012 and  currently has  a great shore billet in San Diego,  which, by the way, is a great place to visit !

Anyway back on topic.....I suggested a possible project idea to a friend that is still involved ( committee chair)with a small local , rural Troop.   I texted him  recently to suggest he might want to investigate a Post- Christmas Tree pickup and disposal project for his Troop .......whether as an individual project towards advancement or as a group project for the community.    I volunteered to furnish a bumper hitch dump trailer, a nearby field to  temporarily store the accumulated trees until eventually disposing them in a small lake I own on my farm to improve the fishing.   I even offered to pay for a few newspaper ads to announce this community public service project for the Troop .   I'm not aware of any local business the Troop would be competing with .   I'm confident this project could be continued in future years and probably help pull in some donations from appreciative families that don't have an easy way to dispose of their trees at the end of the Holidays.   My buddy was a little cool to the idea for unknown reasons....I'm going to discuss the project face to face with him over lunch Friday.......    I appreciate any experienced advice on this idea.

 

Greeneagle5

 

 

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7 minutes ago, Greeneagle5 said:

My buddy was a little cool to the idea for unknown reasons....

I didn't know that discarded Christmas trees are good for fish.  My first thought was about tinsel.  We always put tinsel on our Christmas tree, and it is impossible to remove all of the tinsel before disposing.  Is tinsel a problem?

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Thanks David,

 

Yes, old/ cut Christmas trees are often sunk in ponds/lakes by state conservation agents to stimulate algae growth that attract minnows that in-turn attract game fish such as bass , bluegill and crappie.   Tinsel shouldn't be a negative factor for this project to proceed.

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5 minutes ago, David CO said:

I didn't know that discarded Christmas trees are good for fish.  My first thought was about tinsel.  We always put tinsel on our Christmas tree, and it is impossible to remove all of the tinsel before disposing.  Is tinsel a problem?

OH YEAH! and also a lot of other conservation uses, irregardless of the tinsel.

@Greeneagle5, could your friend be cool to the idea because it will take a lot of planning and there is not enough time for it this year? Or maybe COVID is messing up things?

I am quite surprised this is not happening already. I have seen those trees used for conservations projects on trails and int he waterways. Especially in swamp conservation projects. 

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Possibly because it would benefit a private concern, not a public one?   Improving the fishing on a privately owned lake might be seen differently than a public park one?

Doesn't the city/county collect such? Ours does.  No charge, part of the normal recycling service, trash pick-up.  Several scheduled pick-ups after the turn of the new year.  

And, how many trees can you deal with?  How big is the neighborhood you would draw from?   What would you do with the trees that don't "fit" in your lake?  Our county and several incorporated towns hereabouts cooperate and grind up many TONS of old Christmas trees into mulch that is blended with other mulch material and sold to private baggers who further mix and market the organic material.  

Then to, we have had some Scout conservation projects nearby that included using past their prime Christmas trees for erosion control, habitat formation, and bird feeder creation. 

Good luck to you and thanks for getting back to Scouting.  

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It has to be done for a non profit. Not sure how a personnally owned lake fits into that.

Also, trees don't sink unless they're weighed down. I had a scout do such a project. He set 5 trees in concrete and then pulled them out with a boat and dropped them. This took 2 fairly busy days. So I'm not sure the big truck is needed.

What is needed is for the scout to figure this all out. My suggestion is give the idea to the scout and then stand back and see what, if anything, happens. The scout needs to do the research, planning, advertising and problem solving. If someone else does all that then it is no longer an eagle project.

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For an Eagle project, the beneficiary cannot be a private concern.

But for a generic conservation project and fundraiser for the boys, it's a nice gig. Can the scouts camp on your property? That would be the icing on the "cake". For quite a few years, our troop had a prime spot of land to camp on, and in return they cleared trees of the lake's dam, built bridges to preserve streams, burnt brush, and generally got head-to-toe dirty -- when they weren't fishing, boating, or swimming.

I think a consult with your state agricultural agent or game commissioner would be a good idea. What happens to water, even on private land, is a big concern. They might have other pointers of ways scouts could contribute to a healthy lake.

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My fear is if you advertise this ... you could get 100 or 1000 or more trees.  If you hand out a phone number or email, that phone and email could be flooded with "Can you pick up ?"

Private benefit can be argued because you are helping the public handle.  But then again, if you keep it manageable, you might be just handling the trees of the scout leaders and immediate family.

IMHO, the number one issue is ... is a scout interested in planning, developing and leading the project?  The rest can be solved.  On the flip side, you don't want to force a project on a scout.  I've seen that happen too and it's often when projects go south.

Edited by fred8033
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I wouldn't be worried about the tinsel but the chemicals are an issue. You might want to talk to your local watershed association first before you do it. Christmas tree growers spray their trees extensively with pesticides and other chemicals. In addition, many people add chemicals to the water to preserve them which stay in the tree's phlegmatic system long after disposal. Neither of those practices are good for healthy waterways and fish. Another place I've seen them used is to help prevent beach erosion. But again these are not random "clean" trees or brush from a property clearing or power line clearing -- they are an agricultural product that has been treated with chemicals.  Since it's not a product that people eat, the application of such can be pretty liberal. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

@Greeneagle5,

While the idea for the project itself is a good one, your friend may be cool on the idea for reasons already mentioned, and possibly because of the idea that "...this project could be continued in future years..."

As adult leaders, it is inappropriate for us to commit the unit to any ongoing (or possibly perpetual) projects.  Program planning is the purview of the Patrol Leaders Council.  And it is for the PLC to decide whether to undertake an ongoing project.  (That is most certainly off limits for an Eagle Scout candidate.)  I even caution our PLC during annual planning that, if they venture down that road, a future PLC may decide to end a "commitment" they make.  That is, a current PLC may not tie the hands of a future PLC.

Over 15 years ago, a long gone PLC (or leader) signed us up for an adopt-a-highway.  At the past seven PLC Annual Planning Conferences (we do planning semi-annually, actually) when they review our previous year and come up with a list of their desired activities, I always remind them that they are not committed to any specific activity (like a perceived "Troop tradition"). 

Me: "You are not obligated to do an Annual Troop Picnic, or the Annual Thanksgiving Turkey Cookout, or the two-times-a-year Adopt-a-Highway clean up.  You can pick other activities if you want."

PLC: "Really? We don't HAVE to do those??"

Me: "Nope...don't HAVE to do them.  Remember, the Committee can support almost ANYTHING you want to do, but you don't have time to do EVERYTHING you want to do."

There usually follows some discussion of past instances of the "traditional" activities (nostalgia), followed with comparing priorities on their list of "want to's."

PLC: "Well, we voted and decided we still want to do those things again this year."

Me: "I support you 100%, and I'll recommend the Troop Committee to approve."

 

 

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On 12/22/2020 at 8:35 AM, InquisitiveScouter said:

Me: "I support you 100%, and I'll recommend the Troop Committee to approve."

And that's how you earn your consultant's fee.    

You want that chocolate cake donut?  Just askin'....

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