By Carolyn Thompson, Greenery Chair
For over 90 years, Boy Scout Troop 342 has been a part of the community in South Pasadena. And for 69 years, Troop 342 has been selling Christmas greenery in the South Pasadena area. You might have seen our Scouts walking up and down the sidewalks in late September or early October, carrying a satchel of flyers advertising the products available for purchase that year. A Scout might have knocked on your door to personally take your order of holiday greenery. But, with all of Los Angeles County still under social distancing restrictions to limit the spread of the coronavirus pandemic, that’s not going to work this year.
Fortunately, technology has come to the rescue.
“We have records of orders going back over five years,” says Carolyn Thompson, returning to the position of Greenery Chairman for BSA Troop 342. “Luis Muench, a Scout parent who is way more tech savvy than I am, will crunch all that data and create lists of customers for our Scouts to contact, to see if they wish to re-order again this year.”
During the first couple of weeks of the month of October, the Scouts of Troop 342 will call or text using Google Voice the phone numbers of past customers.
The Scout will ask if the customer wishes to repeat their order from last year or order something new. People will be referred to “mini sites”, websites created by the product vendor, Sherwood Forest Farms in Lacey, WA, and linked to the Scout’s own seller account.
The customer can place their greenery order directly on the mini site. Payment can be made upon delivery of their greenery order. For Direct Delivery orders, which include shipping to anywhere in the contiguous United States, the customer and the Scout will have to arrange payment before the order is confirmed. The usual method, of a check in an envelope under the doormat on a pre-determined date and time, will work best in this situation.
“The annual greenery sales drive is the only fund-raiser for Troop 342,” says Troop Committee Chairman Dean Serwin. “The money raised pays for the annual dues with BSA National, all of the insignia earned and awarded to our Scouts, and the first neckerchief & slide and Scout Handbook presented to new Scouts joining our Troop or bridging up from Cub Scouts. Sales of holiday greenery also subsidize a lot of our events and activities, like camping, District Camporee, Summer Camp and, unfortunately for this year, a paid Zoom account to allow us to continue to meet as a Troop.”
“We have nine of our Scouts graduating from High School this year, and eight of them are aiming for Eagle Scout,” says Scoutmaster Kenneth Borgerding. “To earn this highest rank in Scouting, the Scout must design and lead a personal service project. Even with COVID-19 complicating matters, the Eagle Service Project still has to measure to the same high standards as in previous years. Eagle Projects usually require separate fund-raising.”
“This year,” adds Carolyn Thompson, Greenery Chairman, “since we didn’t have the expense of Summer Camp to cover, the portion of the profit that is applied directly to a Scout’s expenses can be applied toward the service projects of our Eagle Candidates.”
The deadline to place your greenery order with BSA Troop 342 is Halloween, October 31, 2020. If a Scout doesn’t call you before Monday, October 26, contact the Greenery Chairman at 626-765-1014 (voice mail or text) or order directly from the Troop’s Mini Site:
A Scout will contact you in the first week of December 2020 to arrange payment and delivery of your Greenery order.