'Mulch Madness' funds scouts' summer activities
When the members of Boy Scout Troop 22, based at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Cleveland Heights, took on a mulch-delivery fundraiser in spring 2017, they hoped to sell around a thousand bags of mulch in the first year.
The scouts proved to be great salesmen and exceeded expectations, selling a whopping 4,200 bags of 3-cubic-foot hardwood mulch.
The only downside? Needing to work out the logistics of delivery. Factor in some 25 scouts and adults, ranging in weight from 75 pounds to 200 pounds, hauling more than 4,000 60-plus pound bags. and you have "Mulch Madness."
Troop 22 scouts rose to the occasion, with some smaller scouts carrying bags weighing more than they do, and some of the boy leaders carrying two bags. The physical labor of the volunteers was coordinated with loaned vehicles, trailers, and storage from Jet Dock, a local company, to make for a formidable effort.
The troop worked hard the weekend of May 12 and 13 to deliver the majority of orders, and made many additional sales at the point of delivery.
“The scouts really did an incredible job for the first year of an undertaking like this,” said Assistant Scout Master Tim Nevin, who planned the logistics for the event.
The mulch sale raised funds to pay for summer camping expenses. For a week in June, 26 of the troop’s scouts attended Camp Seph Mack in western Pennsylvania, completing merit badges such as Motorboating, Archery, Rifle Shooting, Aviation, and Forestry.
In summer 2018, the troop plans to send 24 scouts and leaders to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico, and the mulch sale will play a major role in funding that high-adventure experience.
The 2017 mulch sale was a huge success as a fundraiser, and challenged the scouts physically and mentally. Look for the next Mulch Madness in your neighborhood in early 2018.
Rob Fischer is Troop 22's scoutmaster, and the parent of three of its members. A professor at the Mandel School at Case Western Reserve University, he has been a resident of Cleveland Heights since 2001.