Boy Scout Troop Gives Back by Putting Up Wreaths
By Ean Goldstein
With the holiday season upon us, Lake Forest residents may notice wreaths adorning various signs and light posts around the city. While some may view these wreaths as just another festive decoration, for Lake Forest Boy Scout Troop 48, they represent an important tradition and sense of giving that makes this time of year so special.
Lake Forest Boy Scout Troop 48 members hang wreaths on garlands on more than 100 light poles around town.
For more than a decade, the 20-30 troop members -- whether current scouts, former scouts, or their parents -- have gathered near the Lake Forest train station on Thanksgiving morning to help the City of Lake Forest put up the wreaths and garlands that hang across town. Over the course of two to three hours, the troop divides into groups of four, each with a ladder and the supplies to hang the wreaths and garlands on 114 light poles across Lake Forest, as well as on informational signs and the train station downtown.
“It’s the idea of community service and giving back,” says Maureen Anger, who is the chair of fundraising for Troop 48 and is responsible for coordinating the wreathing every year. Anger’s work with wreaths also extends to the Fallen Heroes ceremony, which will take place at Fort Sheridan National Cemetery on Saturday, Dec. 17 at 9 a.m.
For both the hanging of the wreaths and the Fallen Heroes ceremony, the troop partners with Northwoods Wreaths, a local business that produces the wreaths that are hung around the city, as well as mums and garlands.
“It gets people in the holiday spirit,” Anger says.
Not only does it help to get people in the holiday spirit, but Anger believes that it teaches an important lesson to kids within the troop, since they get to experience the joy of helping and giving back without expecting anything in return.
“It’s become a tradition for many families,” Anger says. “It’s living the spirit of volunteerism that is very much alive in Lake Forest and is one of the principles of being an American.”
It even creates a stronger bond within the Lake Forest scouting community. “As you are putting up the wreaths and garlands on each light post,” Anger says, “you’re chatting, you’re talking about your families, you’re laughing at something silly that just might have happened when trying to put these things up, so just the involvement creates a stronger bond for members of the troop.”