New troop raises money for basics

Published 11:03 pm Monday, February 7, 2011

The young men of Boy Scout Troop 1929 from West End Baptist Church in Suffolk recently gave back to their community by sprucing up the grounds of Western Tidewater Free Clinic.

Newly formed Boy Scout Troop 1929 is gearing up its fundraisers to help defray the start-up costs of equipment, materials and camp admission.

“There are a lot of expenses in starting up a unit,” said Cindy Fegley, committee chair for the troop. “We are trying to defray the costs as much as we can.”

Troop 1929 was chartered in September 2010 when the current leaders sought the opportunity to expand Boy Scouts in the Suffolk area.

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West End Baptist Church gave the new troop permission to use their facilities. The troop now will be able to use several rooms in the church’s basement as they gain new members and acquire new patrols or ranks within the troop.

“I would like to see the troop grow to 25 members,” Fegley said. There are benefits to having a smaller troop, but “Five is too small,” she said.

The troop is welcoming any boys ages 11 to 17 to join.

“We encourage them to come out and see what we’re all about,” she said.

Boy Scouting gives boys the opportunity to explore their interests through earning merit badges and learn skills that they may be able to use in a future career or hobby. Fegley said that Boy Scouts learn first aid, swimming, knife safety, soil and water conservation, electronics, geocaching, fire building, fire safety, knotting and more. “There are 120-some merit badges,” she said. “It’s really a great program.”

However, the troop is in need of money to help with start-up expenses.

“In order to have a good program for the boys, the number one thing you need is materials,” she said.

In order to raise the funds needed to purchase materials, the troop will hold a rummage sale Saturday in the fellowship hall at West End Baptist Church from 8 a.m. to noon. The proceeds will help the troop pay for basic outdoor and camping equipment and the materials that the troop will need to participate in a variety of other activities.

“I hope it will serve us well,” she said. “It takes away from other activities when they have to fundraise all of the time.”

The price of summer camp admission is over $300, she added.

The troop also is planning a fundraiser in March that will also serve as a community service project. The boys will be selling nine-volt batteries for smoke detectors in conjunction with the time change. The troop will educate the public of the importance of changing the batteries twice a year and will volunteer their time to change batteries at the homes of elderly patrons.

Many local troops have signature events to raise money to defray the costs of Scouting, but because Troop 1929 is new they have yet to establish a set fundraising activity. “As a new troop we are trying to find our way in what would work best for us,” she said.

The troop has several events planned to celebrate Boy Scout Anniversary month. They will take part in Scout Sunday at West End Baptist Church, participate in the Klondike Derby in Surry and attend a Norfolk Admirals game.

The troop also has a number of events planned for the coming months. They hope to go camping or to hold some outdoor event often during warm weather, Fegley said.

“There is no scouting without outing,” she said.

They are planning a trip to Washington, D. C., to visit the monuments, a trip to Arlington National Cemetery, a backpacking trip and a canoe trip, she said. They are also planning to participate in summer camp, and they will be working toward horsemanship merit badges in the near future.