BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Boy Scouts of Troop 68, a backbone of Berkeley Heights since 1936, have received the prestigious Rotary Community Service Award. This recognition is presented to the Scouts by their sponsoring organization, the Rotary Club of Berkeley Heights, and the International Fellowship of Scouting Rotarians.
Among the troop’s contributions to the betterment of their community are setting up a temporary homeless shelter at St. Joseph's Shrine, assisting at Cub Scout Pinewood Derbies and graduation ceremonies, collecting food for homeless youth who have aged out of the foster care system, participating in the town’s annual Relay for Life and Rotary Club Rubber Ducky Festival, gardening at the Wagner Farms Arboretum, and collecting trash and recycling for the Berkeley Heights Town Clean-Up Day. In addition, the Scouts have supervised children’s games at the Mary Kay McMillin School’s “Welcome Back” picnic, carried out ecological projects at the Summit Arboretum, and sorted food donations for local food banks.
Troop 68’s Life rank Scouts on their way to Eagle Scout status have led a variety of local improvement projects at the Hughes and Woodruff schools, the Little-Lord Farmstead, and the Watchung Reservation and Deserted Village.
A project unique to Troop 68—initiated by Scout Alton Grossman—is the collection and delivery of children’s toys to impoverished areas of the Appalachia area in West Virginia. Through this project, the Scouts have learned that these toys are often the only toys the children living in the region will receive during the winter holiday season.
This award was presented by Dr. Hal Daume, Rotary Club representative and Scouting Commissioner, to Senior Patrol Leader Doug Ladzinski and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader for Service Kyle Engemann.