WENATCHEE — A steady stream of vehicles passed through Boy Scout Troop 7’s Christmas tree collection site Saturday.
The troop estimates 180-200 trees were dropped off at the Stemilt Organic Recycling Center. It’s a free annual service, but most people give $5 to $10.
“We get money for the troop to help send kids to camp and uniforms and anything else that they need for the scouts,” Scoutmaster Anthony Talbot said. “Some of (the trees) came from Lowe’s, a big truckload, but we get spurts of cars coming in.”
Troop 7 will be at the center, 1465 S. Wenatchee Ave., again from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday for another collection day.
Scouts build forts out of the trees for fun, and then the trees are put through a wood chipper at the site. Stemilt turns the chips into compost for orchards.
Talbot’s son Henry, 17, has been involved with scouting for several years.
“I just like hanging out with the rest of the boys as we take trees,” Henry Talbot said. “That’s the best part.”
He watched as younger boys played in the trees and put their building skills to work.
“It started out with two separate forts and just became one big fort,” he said.
It was Wenatchee resident Ed Ogle’s first time dropping off his Christmas tree for the troop. He said he heard about the collection day from The Wenatchee World and wanted to support the Boy Scouts.
“I think that’s the deal,” he said. “I could dispose of it, but these guys need the money.”
Scoutmaster Talbot said the fundraiser and service project has gone on for over 10 years. This was the second year at the Stemilt Organic Recycling Center.
Although most people remove all decorations before dropping off their trees, he said the scouts usually find one or two ornaments that people overlooked. They try to find the owners through means such as Facebook.
“I’ve still got about 10 years’ worth of ornaments at the house,” he said. “We have connected and found a couple. Baby’s first Christmas, that was found. The husband was like, ‘Oh man.’”