Albion scouts end a long tradition with paper drive

Posted 20 September 2014 at 12:00 am

Photos by Sue Cook – Nathan Olmstead takes papers from Cole Spierdowis to put into the truck.

By Sue Cook, staff reporter

ALBION – After 30 years, Albion Boy Scout Troop 164 is ending their monthly paper collection.

Every third Saturday, the Boy Scouts would collect newspapers from businesses and citizens in the Save-A-Lot parking lot, then makie collection stops to get large quantities. A large 18-wheeler would come from Pennsylvania to take their paper and put it to use as insulation for houses and animal bedding.

“It started in 1984,” said Troop Leader Jonathan Doherty. “Troop 167 started it, then it was Troop 48, then Troop 60, now 164, but it ends today.”

Troop Leader Jonathan Doherty helps with carts while the boys load the trucks.

The collection has come to an end due to the busy schedule that the Boy Scouts have in their own lives. Many are unable to make time on Saturdays due to commitments to family activities, sports and other functions. The troop of about 40 ranges from age 10 to 18, though most of the scouts are 11 years old.

“We just can’t get help on Saturdays,” Doherty said. “We can only get a couple to help. It’s sad, but what can you do? We’re going to do two big fundraisers for the year, so that way there’s money for the activities.”

Troop Leader Karen Williams added, “It’s sad to see the paper drive go because it’s been going on over 30 years. It’s a sure sign of the electronic age and people’s lives getting busier where they just don’t have time to spread themselves out for volunteer work.”

From left: Nathan Olmstead, Cole Spierdowis and Sammy Williams load papers on the last day of the paper drive.

The troop is currently uncertain if they will continue their pop bottle collection. They are considering having an account at a local redemption center to allow the public to drop off bottles any time.