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876 Feet Of Recreation And Recycling

Spectators on the New River Gorge Bridge during Bridge Day
Each year, 30,000 to 200,000 people flock to the New River Gorge for Bridge Day. (Summit Blog Staff Photo)

This is part 1 of a 4 part series about a service project (recycling) that we tied to some adventure stuff (Bridge Day). Fun? Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.

There was no BASE jumping done by Troop 179 on West Virginia’s Bridge Day. Scouts from that troop did, however, provide some service at the event by reminding visitors and participants to reduce, reuse, and recycle.

Unfortunately, with all the people, BASE jumpers and vendors, there’s always plenty of trash left behind at the state’s largest single-day event. So this group of Scouts from Fayetteville, West Virginia have been there to pick up the pieces of Bridge Day aftermath for the past few years.

But last year was a little different. At Bridge Day 2010, Troop 179 changed up their efforts by helping everyone at the event try to keep waste out of the landfill by recycling. In particular, the Scouts went to each vendor and collected their cardboard.

[pullquote]”It was good for them to see that they can sometimes get a reward for doing something good.” — George Lechalk, Troop 179 Scoutmaster[/pullquote]

Turns out there’s a lot of cardboard at Bridge Day. Who knew?

Service projects such as this are important to the Boy Scouts of America, as anyone reading this blog well knows. Scouts can get merit badges for these projects and other recognition. Plus, it’s a good turn. So recycling’s got a lot going for it in the Scouting world.

Aside from the years of helping with Bridge Day clean up, Scouts from Troop 179 have participated in several other projects. It’s just part of Scouting.

“I helped Hank [another Scout in Troop 179] with his Eagle Scout Project, which was cool,” said Matthew, a Life Scout from Troop 179. Matthew helped his fellow Scout Hank construct bleachers at their local police department’s shooting range.

That was easily as much fun as Bridge Day. Almost.


Want more Bridge Day action? Share this post to unlock “Best Of Bridge Day 2010” video clip.

Why Do They Do It?

Simply knowing they helped someone is reward enough for Scouts participating in service projects. But as most Scouts learn, there can be some pretty nice kudos attached. We’ll tell you what those were in other posts in this series, but for now, think “whitewater.”

Bridge Day BASE Jumpers
BASE Jumpers travel from all over the world to jump off the New River Gorge Bridge on Bridge Day. (Summit Blog Staff Photo)

“They learned the importance of recycling,” said Troop 179 Scoutmaster, George Lechalk, “and also what you get back for doing something good. It was good for them to see that they can sometimes get a reward for doing something good.”

Helping out at Bridge Day is a pretty awesome project. What are some favorite service projects that you’ve done?

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