Boy Scouts help clean up - Camp Lejeune Globe: Carolina Living

Boy Scouts help clean up

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Posted: Wednesday, March 27, 2019 8:08 am

Early on March 9, 13 young men belonging to the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune’s Boy Scout troops collaborated for a massive conservation and cleanup project.

This project came about due directly to Hurricane Florence and illegal dumping on base.

Most Marines or members of the base may barely notice the small road tucked behind the Bachelors Officer Quarters. This road is home to Boy Scout Troops 90 and 490, Boy Scout Pack 90, and numerous Girl Scout troops. However, some of those who have noticed the road see a secluded location to dump their large bulk items, not only in the dumpster but also on the ground and in the woods. This was especially true after the hurricane. There were beds, couches, lawn mowers, shingles, wood and even a water fountain, to name a few of the dumped items.

While these scouts love a challenge and thrive on serving their community, this was something they decided must be stopped. Cleaning up this type of problem takes everyone to realize the damage being caused to the environment and what these scouts are being exposed to — from rodents carrying diseases, the coolant from the water fountain, exposed nails or the leaking fuel and oil from the lawn mower. Each of these items is bad for the scouts who learn in this area.

The biggest problem is that the area around the dumpster is not being picked up by normal trash pickup. That area and the dumpster belongs to the troops, so no one is permitted to throw their trash away in the dumpster or next to it.

The scouts are taught about conservation, “leave no trace” and “do a good turn daily.” This starts at the lowest scout and builds to a lifestyle as an Eagle Scout.

Several of the current Boy Scouts had a guest speaker from Marine Corps Installations East in 2017. He spoke to the scouts about conservation. When he was asked what the scouts could do to assist him in service projects, he specifically mentioned trash cleanup. These scouts understood and took that as their mission and have continued to do so. From beach cleanups to cleaning up the Greenway, these scouts are consistently trying to clean up this base, as it is their home, too.

This last project was the biggest to date and shocked these scouts as to how much trash had been dumped. These scouts filled an entire 20-foot trash container of unwanted bulk items.

This tedious, dirty project was also inspiring. Most of the time when these two troops meet, they are competing. This day was not about competing, but a collaboration to do something good for their community. Even though these two troops are small, they have big hearts and work hard at protecting and cleaning up their environment.

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