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Williamsport Scouts prepare to collect food

Items will be taken local pantry to help hungry

Items will be taken local pantry to help hungry

March 25, 2008|By JANET HEIM

WILLIAMSPORT -- Boy Scouts are known for serving their communities in a variety of ways, including the Scouting for Food drive that usually is held in the fall. For the past few years, Troop 17 in Williamsport has done its food drive in the spring, when there's a greater need at the Williamsport Food Bank.

Jay Lauver, a volunteer with Troop 17, said the Harvest Hoedown in Williamsport and the Bags of Plenty food drive bring in donations for the local food pantry in the fall.

"We found ourselves competing ... and felt we weren't being as effective as we could be," Lauver said.

Troop 17 Boy Scouts, with the help of local Cub Scouts, will deliver bags and fliers to Williamsport and the surrounding community on Saturday, then return April 5 to collect food. Lauver said Scouts in the past have collected as many as 200 bags of food for the local food bank.

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"The townspeople are generous and help out quite a bit," he said.

Lauver said they start picking up bags at 9 a.m. and make a second sweep to make sure they don't miss any bags that are put out later. He said it takes about three hours to collect and deliver the food to the food bank.

Some people take their food donations to the Scouthouse in Byron Memorial Park if they miss the Saturday pickup.

Lauver, a regional vice president with Hagerstown Trust, got involved with Scouts when his son, Eric, joined Cub Scouts in 1992. Both moved on to Boy Scouts in 1994.

Father and son are Eagle Scouts - Jay from Troop 142 in Meyersdale, Pa., and Eric from Troop 17.

Jay Lauver has remained an active volunteer with Troop 17. The troop is the oldest continually chartered troop in Maryland, with its charter dating to May 14, 1914. He served as Scoutmaster for three years and is in his sixth year as district chairman for Washington County.

"It's such a great program. If there are any doubts, just look back at the Scout oath and law, and the path becomes clear. It molds the moral fiber to become good citizens," Lauver said of Scouting.

Lauver, 56, and his wife Vicki, live in Williamsport. They have a grown son and daughter.

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