By: Rose Sutkowski, Publicity Chair, Constellation District
One afternoon each December, Narberth is transformed into 1840s London as part of the annual Dicken’s Festival. This highly-anticipated event
happened this year on Sunday, December 2. The decorations, activities and characters at the festival matched the theme of Dickens’ classic, “A Christmas Carol” and drew large crowds to the tiny borough.
The Narberth Dickens Festival is a free event for the whole family on the streets and sidewalks of downtown Narberth. There is entertainment and activities for people of all ages including horse drawn carriage rides, crafts, food, carolers, musicians and so much more. One of the highlights is the scavenger hunt. Kids join in the hunt to search for costumed Dickens characters like Scrooge and Tiny Tim, and win prizes.
The Constellation District Lower Merion Scout Troops are part of the tradition every year. Despite the rainy weather, three troops volunteered their time by selling a variety of seasonal items. Each unit also served the community and accomplished it through teamwork.
Troop 176 (Narberth)
Troop 176 partnered with their Chartering Organization, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, and the Narberth Community Food Bank to sell 18 cases of chicken and rice soup-in-a-jar to fight food insecurity. Half of the proceeds from the soup sale were given to the food bank and the other half went back into the thriving giving garden, the vegetable garden outside of the Church.
Pat Brubaker, a volunteer with the food bank and a member of the church, enjoys serving the soup because it’s a worthy cause. “The festive afternoon puts everyone in a good mood,” she said. The church and the food bank prepared the soups and packaged them for sale at the festival.
The soup came in a mason jar and includes all the main ingredients to make several servings. The jars were yet again a hit and sold out fast. Many who sampled the soup, took home their own delicious soup-in-a-jar to enjoy or give as a gift.
The troop chose working at the festival and helping these organizations as their service project, and the church and the food bank appreciated their efforts. “Working at this event is all about being helpful and that is what Scouting is about,” said Henry Folk, a Star Scout in Troop 176.
Merion Liberty Troop (Merion)
The Merion Liberty troop proudly displayed their beautiful holiday wreaths for sale. Parents and Scouts prepared for this event by spending an entire day making 1,000 wreaths. “Our homemade wreaths are designed by us and they are the best quality wreaths around,” said Josh Green, a Life Scout in the Merion Liberty troop. “The wreaths come in two sizes and are decorated with red bows, pinecones and seasonal colored balls.”
Tom Leitch, Scoutmaster, said, “creating the wreaths is an engaging activity and it’s a great way for us to get out into the community and bring joy to others with these special wreaths.” Profits from the sale of the wreaths help defray the cost of high adventure activities for the Scouts in the troop and cover routine maintenance to the Merion Scout House.
Cub Scout Pack 212 (Narberth)
Pack 212 showcased specially designed ornaments in silver with blue lettering at their booth. The ornaments were adorned with “NARB” in the style of the iconic
“LOVE” statue to appeal to residents or former residents of Narberth. Ornament sales will help cover the costs of the Franklin Institute trip in January 2019.
Peter French, Cubmaster said, “one of the best parts about living in Narberth is being able to participate in the community events and teaching Scouts about civic values and how important it is to volunteer.”
The Pack also distributed the Dickens Festival Newspaper. This publication provided a map, schedule of events, a spirited message from the Narberth Business Association, merchant advertising and scavenger hunt information.
Scouts learn self-reliance
A founding ideal of Scouting is being thrifty. Learning to manage money is one of the ways Scouting prepares youth for life. Unit fundraising is a fundamental part of Scouts earning their way and helping others.
The festival fundraisers gave them the opportunity to practice not only the art of sales, but also that of goal setting and reward. When they aren’t given a blank check for everything they want, an important lesson is learned about effort and achievement.