Without Scouts, food drive cancelled in Calistoga

By Matthew Ahuja
Flapjack Chronicle

For the first time in years The Boy scouts of the town of Calistoga did not take part in their annual food drive due to a lack of active members, and former Boy Scouts and members of the town are upset.  Some residents of Calistoga feel that that now that the Boy Scouts are gone there is a lack of volunteer effort in the community.

The Scouts fell apart in the spring of this year when the number of active scouts in the group dropped down to two people, at that point because of active Scout participated the Scouts decided they would no longer hold regular meetings until they had a more full troop.

“It’s really frustrating to see,” said Bobby Sereni, 19, former Scout and active member in the community. “It isn’t just that the Boy Scouts are having issues, no one wants to put in the time to help out in the community, especially in this time of the year.”

Sereni and Thomas Prager, 20, another former Boy Scout, are now actively encouraging friends, family and community members to volunteer this holiday season in any way that they can. They have been finding volunteer opportunities in Napa and Sonoma County to help other find ways to help, as well as encouraging people to join groups like the scouts and community groups like “Calistoga Cares,” which try to help out in the area.

Ethan Penn, 18, one of the last active members of the Calistoga Boy Scouts, said that he was disappointed in how that scouts stopped working.

“Seeing the Scouts fall apart was one thing, but, knowing that no one is trying to fill the gap our help out is something that is really hard to accept,” Penn said.

Pastor David Moon-Wainright, community activist who works with volunteer services and the scouts, in Calistoga, said that he felt that there was a noticeable loss to the Calistoga community during the time that the Scouts have become inactive.

“[The past months] have been tough, [the Scouts] are good people who like to see things through. Their issues right now affect them and the community,” said Moon-Wainright.

Because of too few member the Scouts were not able to pick up goods for the local Thanksgiving food drive, however hopes are that a group of scouts might be pulled together to help volunteer in the area during the end of the holiday season.

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