BEND, Ore. - On Sunday, the Boy Scouts of Central Oregon wrapped up their Christmas tree recycling fundraiser. Troop 25 in Bend helped collect 1,600 Christmas trees.
Over the last couple weekends,Scout troops have been going door-to-door to pick up Christmas trees after the holiday. All they asked in return was at least a $5 donation.
"We're raising money, and we're doing a service," said Evan Goetz, Troop 25 senior patrol leader. "We're learning responsibility and leadership skills. We're out here, boys leading boys -- that's the way we do it here."
This is the ninth year Troop 25 has collected Christmas trees, and they were able to raise $8,000. The money will help fund troop activities, community service projects and replace worn-out camping gear.
That wasn't the only purpose of the fundraiser, though.
"It allows the scouts to be able to give service to their community," said Marc Gedde, Troop 25 scoutmaster. "By picking up the trees, they learn how to do deal with people."
"For boys of this age, scouting is a wonderful experience," said Laurel Fishkin, the mother of one of the Scouts. "It teaches them responsibility, leadership and independence. It helps them to become adults in a constructive and positive way."
Gedde said one of the most important lessons the Scouts learn during the fundraiser is selflessness, and making an impact in the community.
"It's not just building for today," he said. "It's building this sense of citizenship amongst our kids, to be able to give back for a whole lifetime."