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June 20, 2021

Christmas re-tree-val

When will Christmas Tree pick-ups be this year?

Troops 436 and 428 will pick up Christmas trees on Dec. 30 and 31 and Jan. 6 and 7. Base Camp is set by 8am and continues until sunset. It is a rain or shine service too!

What happens to the trees after pickup?

We remove any decorations or tree stands left over (the stands are returned to Bourdet’s Tree Farm for recycling.) All trees are taken to Z-Best to be composted. If you’ve lost a decoration, swing by Vet’s park.

How do you prepare?

There are hundreds of hours or preparation and a fair amount of paperwork that go into planning each year’s Christmas tree event.

We cover the entire city limits of Hollister, as well as Ridgemark. Troop 428 covers San Juan Bautista. We have approximately 16 routes manned by both adults and Scouts. Many Troop 436 alumni and their parents pitch in each year.

We have a base camp of about a dozen adults and Scouts. It serves as the loading station for the dumpsters or semi-trailer, and the refueling station for drinks and snacks. We generally fill trailers or dumpsters a couple of times each day.

The year-long preparation process requires coordination with our Scout District Council, local businesses for logistics (like ZBest), canvassing facilities that sell trees to hand out disposal flyers, as well as organizing routes and supplies for our ever growing community.

How can the community help?

Place your trees curbside by 9am on the day you would like it picked up. We cover the entire city limits each day, sometimes twice, so no need to make an appointment. Residents may leave their $8 donation under their door mat. If the boys don’t find a donation, they will leave a self-addressed envelope. The boys will be dressed in Class-B scout uniforms which include a sweatshirt or jacket with the BSA logo on it. We happily accept trees at Vet’s park from community members outside of our service area.

What kind of an impact has this service project made on scouts?

This project really teaches the boys about the benefits of hard work, giving back to the community, and customer service. Donations help fund troop equipment, activities and a major component: “camperships.” Camperships allow the boys to attend annual summer camps at a reduced cost which can be expensive.

Troop 436 has been picking up Christmas trees for Hollister for nearly 30 years. William Row is the former scoutmaster and current advancement coordinator for Troop 436; John Morin is the troop’s current scoutmaster. Questions can be sent to [email protected]

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