Last week was possibly the first time the municipal building parking lot was ever completely full for a standard Tuesday night Shamong Township Committee meeting.
Members of Indian Mills Boy Scout Troop 47 filled the room as they awaited their proclamation in full uniform accompanied by many of their family members.
The group took part in its annual Christmas tree collection to aid the township’s post holiday tree pickup. Each year, the group marks the Martin Luther King National Day of Service on Jan. 18 by doing so, and each year it seems to get a little bigger and a little better, as Mayor Timothy Gimbel pointed out.
Eighteen boys and 13 adults worked in teams to collect 190 trees, totaling almost 200 hours of volunteer work.
The committee pointed out that all of the work the troop put forward saved about 40 man-hours of labor, relieving Shamong Township Public Works of something it would be responsible for on top of other jobs.
“We as a community really appreciate the work you and your parents put forth. It’s a real tribute to what it means to live in Shamong,” Gimbel said.
Gimbel acknowledged that although the troop may not fully understand it right now, what it does for the community is something that builds character over time.
“Down the road, when you have children of your own, you’ll see the difference in what you do today,” Gimbel said.
Troop 47 teamed with Burlington County Recycling to tackle this job. By doing this, it ensured the trees were composted to produce a fertilizer that will be used by landscapers and nurseries.
The group attributed its efforts to Harold Abrams who made the service project possible by providing the truck and trailer that transported the collected trees.
It also commended Upper Crust Pizza, Thrivent Financial, a number of residents and township administrator Sue Onorato for getting the message out and providing additional support.
Gimbel concluded his presentation to the troop by awarding it a certificate of recognition from the township for a job well done to keep as a token of appreciation.
Though Gimbel gave the group the opportunity to sneak out after the presentation to avoid sitting through the tedious regular business portion of the meeting, many stuck around in good faith, further earning all of their merit badges.