Troop helps Central Whidbey with after-Christmas cleanup

Now that Christmas has come and gone, Coupeville Boy Scout Troop 4058 again offers its services to recycle the community’s Christmas trees.

This Christmas tree pick-up service will be offered from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 8, within the Coupeville town limits and throughout the Admirals Cove, Sierra and Ledgewood neighborhoods.

Troop 4058 Committee Chair Angi Carlson said that volunteer Angela Ohme receives the pick-up requests by phone or email and then disperses the jobs among the participating scouts, who go fetch the trees.

“They split up into groups of two or three scouts, with a parent volunteer of course, and go out and pick them up,” Carlson said.

In general, the troop asks that the trees be undecorated and ready to be picked up outside, she said. However, if the tree’s owner is elderly or disabled, the boys will venture into a home — with a parent’s presence — to retrieve a tree.

Once the tree is in the troop’s care, the scouts will load it up on the back of a volunteer parent’s truck or trailer to be carted off to the Coupeville dump, where the troop will dispose of the tree in the “clean green” section of the facility, Carlson said.

Yet the path to the dump isn’t always easy. Since the boys pick up multiple trees per dump run, the old Christmas castoffs can pile up.

“Sometimes the trees are really long and the boys have to get on the trees and stomp them down to make them fit,” Carlson said.

And the boys don’t even charge.

Well, they suggest a donation, and Carlson said they typically receive $10 to $20 a pop.

“All proceeds from this event will go to sending boys to summer camp,” Carlson said, adding that the troop is looking to send 15 kids this year.

The troop will tally up the hours worked by each boy during the two days of this operation and will award a representative amount of the overall donations toward that boy’s cost of camp, Carlson said.

This year, the troop is heading to Boy Scouts of America Inland Northwest Council’s Camp Easton, on Lake Coeur d’Alene in Northern Idaho, which costs $320 a head.

Inland Northwest Council’s website says that at Camp Easton, “older scouts will appreciate the high adventure program and new scouts can start on their trail to Eagle at the Eagle quest area,” going on to say that the camp has a program for everyone.

Coupeville’s Troop 4058 is in need of a summer program that serves scouts of all ages. Carlson said that there were 10 new 11-year-old scouts that crossed over from Cub Scouts this year.

The troop has seen great achievement among the older scouts as well.

“We had three scouts achieve Eagle rank in 2016 and four boys are targeted to reach rank in 2017,” Carlson said in an email. “Two of the boys from 2016, Mitchell Carroll and Nick Dion, are having their Eagle ceremony Jan. 10.”

To support this program, donation checks should be made payable to Troop 4058. Contact Ohme at 360-969-0003 or aohme@msn.com to arrange a Christmas tree pick-up.

For Oak Harbor residents, Christmas trees will be accepted with yard waste bins on residents’ normal garbage pick up days, Jan. 3-6 and Feb. 3-6.

Those not in the yard waste bin program may attach a pre-paid yard waste bag to the base of the Christmas tree for pickup on the normal garbage day in those two weeks.

Only one tree per household will be picked up. The base of the tree needs to be less than three inches in diameter. Residents should remove tinsel, flocking and ornaments.

Those with an abundance of used wrapping from Christmas presents and other garbage can purchase extra garbage bags at City Hall, Safeway, Haggen and Saar’s Market Place.