Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Franklin Cub Scouts looking for shoes and a few good boys to have fun

Boy Scouts Maxwell McGuire and Liam McGuire from Troop 2 in Franklin 
If you’ve been at any of the local playing fields or the Town Common any of the last few Saturday afternoons, you’ve probably seen a few Cub Scouts – and lots and lots of shoes.  The five Cub Scout packs in Franklin, in conjunction with the charities Soles4Souls® and Rerun ShoesTM, have been running a charitable drive to collect gently worn shoes for impoverished and disaster-stricken people worldwide.  They are urging Franklin area residents to clean out their closets and donate their old shoes this Saturday, the last day of the drive.

“To tell the truth, we don’t even know how many pairs of shoes we’ve collected so far,” said Ed Milham, cubmaster of Pack 29.  “Thanks to the Franklin area community, as well as the efforts of many dedicated volunteers from our Cub Scouting families, the collection effort has been so successful that there’s been little we could do to keep count!”  The packs will be getting an accurate count after this Saturday’s final day of the shoe drive, though, because the pack that’s collected the most shoes will win an ice cream social, courtesy of the other four packs.

Another reason they’ll need that count is that the five packs are collaborating on a membership registration event on the Franklin Town Common on Sunday, May 20th, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and the newly-registered boy who guesses the closest to the actual number of shoes collected will win a free membership in Cub Scouts for his first year.  The packs plan an afternoon of fun activities that show off some of the things boys can learn and do in Cub Scouts.  Kids can participate in a “Rain Gutter Regatta,” a compass course, a knot tying demonstration, an interactive animal tracks display and a model rocketry activity.  Boys currently in kindergarten through fourth grade will be able to sign up right at the event, and start participating in the packs’ summer activities right away. Of course, if they can’t wait one more week, the boys can sign up online today at

“We’ve been really excited about the community getting to see our boys participating in a public service activity like the shoe drive,” added Milham. “It's activities like this that help the boys learn to be responsible members of their community, a concept that is central to Scouting. Last month, Pack 29 participated in the Franklin Earth Day activities, as we do each year.  And of course, there’s the nationwide ‘Scouting for Food’ drive every November.  One of the core values of Scouting that the boys learn is to ‘do a good turn daily,’ to help other people without thought of recompense or reward.”

Pack 29 is chartered by the Franklin United Methodist Church, and is made up mostly of boys from the Oak Street School neighborhood.  The pack meets on the second Tuesday of each month at the Franklin VFW post on Pond Street.

“The best thing about Scouting is that the boys learn about a huge variety of subjects, without really feeling like they’re learning,” Milham continued, “They’re self-motivated to learn.  And it’s not just the hiking and camping and other such things that people associate with Scouting; it’s history, civics, science, the arts, sports, the whole gamut of what makes up a well-rounded individual.”

And there is no shortage of fun activities for the boys, as well.  In recent months, Pack 29 has gone hiking in the Blue Hills Reservation, gone to see the Pawtucket Red Sox, the Providence Bruins, and the Harlem Globetrotters, and sent boys to the Seven Rivers District Pinewood Derby at Bass Pro Shops at Patriot Place.  In the near future, you’ll see them marching in parades and replacing flags on veterans’ graves.  They also plan a summer of hiking, camping and fishing, as well as a trip to the Boston Harbor Islands, a visit to Battleship Cove in Fall River, and a sleepover at McCoy Stadium after a PawSox game.

Meanwhile, the shoe drive continues for one more week.  This Saturday, May 12th, Franklin area residents can bring their used but still usable shoes to any of the following locations between 2:00 and 4:00 p.m. (with one exception, as noted):

  • Fletcher Field on Peck Street
  • Dacey Community Fields on Lincoln Street (from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.)
  • King Street Memorial Park on King Street
  • Beaver Pond on Beaver Street
  • Town Common across from St. Mary’s Church

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