Scouts sponsor community meal


Recorder News Staff

Inside St. Ann's Episcopal Church on Sunday, a dozen young men dressed in matching attire served drinks and dinner to their community.

Serving ham and green beans, macaroni and cheese, rolls and some ice cream sundaes for dessert, the local Boy Scouts were sponsoring the monthly community meal at St. Ann's.

More than 70 people came for the meal, and the boys eagerly waited tables to get more people inside and eating.

Peg Knack, committee chair for Troop 48, said Sunday during the meal that the boys have their meetings at St. Ann's each month and they do what they can to give back to the church.

There are 28 boys in the local troop, and February -- being Boy Scouts Birthday Month -- is the month they serve the meal every year, Knack said.

But even during months where other organizations are sponsoring the meal, the boys head to the church to do their part in service.

"Service is a huge thing for the Boy Scouts. That's part of their law," she said, adding that it's one of the key factors that they respond to as scouts, among other things like respect and reverence.

They are expected to do service hours for badges and to move up in ranks, but it's also a part they enjoy.

Fifteen-year-old Jonathan Knack, who has star ranking, and 16-year-old Ryan Mihalek, who will be reaching his star ranking very soon, both believe that what they are doing is helpful.

"You can help out other people in the community with what they need," Jonathan Knack said.

The two, along with their fellow scouts, have gone camping and tested their survival skills and have gotten to embark on many journeys in pursuit of learning.

Mihalek said his favorite parts are not only the camping trips, but "the satisfaction that we get when we help people like we are today."

Boy Scouts have been in their families, as it has for many other scouts, and it's taught them leadership.

"It's a fun time. We learn many skills," Jonathan Knack said. "We do many activities.

Sunday was just another test of what being a scout has taught them.

"They're learning a lot of leadership that kids are not learning today," Peg Knack said. "And this is where they're getting it.

"It is a big factor. This is some of the drive that these kids have."

A lot of planning went into the St. Ann's dinner, she said, and it was planned not only be the committee of dedicated parents, but by the scouts themselves.

Sitting at a table labeled "Prayer Table" Sunday during the meal was St. Ann's parishioner Anne DeGroff and Deacon Alan Hart.

Hart said the dinner is all about treating others in the community as though they are St. Ann's parishioners.

"We want them to feel welcome. It's great if they become members, but this is our church. We offer them warm food and warm things to wear if they need it."

The meals have been happening at the church for a good 10 years, DeGroff said but the scouts are one-of-a-kind helpers.

"We love them. We can call on them and they're always there ... they're always helpful."