On Sunday, January 10, 2021, members of Scouts BSA Troop 43, Cub Scouts Pack 43, and Venturing Crew 343, gathered outside their charter organization of Mt. Zion United Methodist Church to accept a generous donation from the Mt. Zion Odd Fellows of Lodge #300.
Noble Grand Jay Woodrum stated, “The Mt. Zion Odd Fellows supports numerous organizations and charitable efforts throughout the community. We recognized that the Scouts lost fundraising opportunities at Pony Express and with their annual Christmas tree sales this past year due to the pandemic. In an effort to support our local scouting program, and the great work they do for our community, the Odd Fellows decided to make a $2,000 donation to their program. These funds came directly from our recent 12 Days of Christmas Raffle that was held in December 2020 through January 2021.” The Raffle started on Christmas Day and was held every day for the 12 Days of Christmas, concluding on January 5, 2021.
According to the IOOF#300 webpage, “The Odd Fellows support multiple charities and various events in and around the Mt Zion Community with the proceeds from these raffles, as well as other fundraisers we participate in… Such altruistic and friendly society came to be known as “Odd Fellows” because it was odd to find people organized for the purpose of giving aid to those in need, and of pursuing projects for the benefit of all mankind. It was believed that they were “an odd bunch of fellows” who would behave in such a selfless and seemingly impractical fashion.”
Kent Newton, Committee Chair for Scouts BSA Troop 43, said the funds will be divided between Pack 43 ($500), Troop 43 ($750), and Crew 343 ($750). The Troop will be using the funds to cover insurance costs, trailer licenses, propane, BSA fees, and Scout recognition and awards for rank advancement and merit badges, so “we can continue to allow funds raised by Scouts through popcorn sales and other fundraisers to be used to offset the costs of camping and activities.”
Brian Zuber, Pack 43 Committee Chair, added, “Pack 43 plans to use the funds to replace lost activities due to COVID-19, such as our campouts, fishing derby, and other fun scouting endeavors.”
Venturing Crew 343 Advisor Chip Platt furthered, “The crew is grateful for the generous donation. We will use it to cover our operating expenses for the whole year and purchase some new equipment.”
In the Scout Oath, Scouts and Crew are trained to “help other people at all times” with a slogan to “do a good turn daily.” The Odd Fellows’ commitment to supporting local organizations is a good example of these values and each of the local BSA programs hope this donation will give Scouts and Crew an opportunity to see a real-world example of putting these teachings and sayings into action.