Victoria Scouts' Christmas tree sales more than just a fundraiser
Not content to let a single potential customer drive right past, several Scouts were ferociously waving homemade signs and screaming at the top of their lungs. “Christmas trees, Scouts’ Christmas trees!”
When that didn’t have the desired effect, they changed their tune.
“I say Christmas, you say tree!” they chanted in rhythm.
Call it a lesson in marketing.
That was just one of several skills the boys were learning during their annual Christmas Tree Sale.
It is the largest single fundraiser for local Scouts, and goes a long way toward supporting their activities for the rest of the year, but it is about a great deal more than the money.
It is about things like work ethic and life skills.
There are grown-ups helping oversee things, but it is the Scouts who show people around the lot, measure the trees, price them and handle the money.
They also learn how to identify types of trees, clip the branches and even saw the tree trunks.
“But you have to make sure it’s even and it’s really hard, you’re not that tall ‘cause you aren’t that old. It’s really hard,” explained one of the younger boys.
The practical measuring, math and money skills are important, but the big lessons run a little deeper.
“We hope that they learn a little bit about the Christmas Spirit. We hope that they are learning about business and also just helping others,” said Matt Potosnak, a Scout Leader with First Cedar Hill Scouts.
All while having a great time.
“It’s a lot of fun. We get to get out in cold damp weather,” said one boy, then perhaps realizing that didn’t sound fun at all, he added “And you get to meet new people, serve them.”
They have a large community behind them. The trees are good quality, but for many customers, what makes their trees the best in town has nothing to do with their height or girth.
“They support the Scouts,” said a customer who was on the hunt for a Charlie Brown tree.
She had plenty of helpers, eager to please, one summing up his goal with ease:
“Helping them find a good tree for Christmas to put decorations on."