MISSOULA - There are a few easy ways that you can recycle your Christmas tree in Missoula, but a local Boy Scout troop is making it even easier for you.
The boys from Troop 1911 will drive to your house, grab your tree, and bring it to the recycling lot at Playfair Park or Fort Missoula. The Christmas tree collection is a way to get the scouts to perform services for their community and raise money for the troop.
The idea for the tree collection fundraiser began with a previous Boy Scout leader who brought the idea from Bend, Oregon. This is the second year the boys will collect trees.
The first collection was on Jan. 1 and the second will be on Sunday, Jan. 8.
Last year the troop was able to raise $3,000 by collecting 250 trees. The money raised is used to help fund future scout activities, such as summer camps.
“It’s also a good fundraiser because then we get more opportunities to go to more scout camps,” said Boy Scout Nixon Wright.
Although the collection raises a lot of money, Wright says the boys just like to spend time together.
“We just go out here to have fun, we don’t really do it for all of the things,” he says. “We just mostly do it so we can have better life skills and have fun with our buddies.”
Boy Scout Finnegan Steele agrees and says he likes being able to explore the community.
“Just being able to have fun and just picking up Christmas trees, and just going around, and you know, getting to see the city better,” Steele says.
This service also encourages sustainability, something both Wright and Steele say they are passionate about.
“Otherwise either the trees get thrown away, or they will get burnt and just wasted, but if we do this they can get sent to somewhere where they can get composted and reused,” Wright said.
Scoutmaster Eric Henderson says the tree collection is a great way to encourage the boys to help out their community.
“That’s one of the purposes of the scouts is to teach kids how to be good citizens in their community and this is one of the ways that they can do that,” he says.
Henderson was a Boy Scout until his mid-20s and is happy to still be involved with the organization. His son is one of his scouts.
“Especially when you are working with a young kid and they’re struggling with confidence or something like that, and you know, you help them get to the top of the climbing wall, or learn that swimming stroke that they didn’t think they could do, and you see them overcome those obstacles, and grow, and you really get a lot of joy out of that," Henderson says.
To sign up for the troop’s collection this Sunday, visit their website. You are able to leave the tree on the curb and the scouts will pick it up.