Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

July 25, 2013

Meals on Wheels helps fulfill Boy Scout obligation

Mike James
CNHI News Service

ASHLAND — Spencer Lett and Tim McKinney pulled two large insulated bags out of the car trunk, carried them into the lobby of the Unity Square apartment building, and unloaded their cargo of hot meals onto a serving cart.

Taking the elevator to the fourth floor, they knocked on Samuel Kassan’s apartment door and waited.

It took Kassan a minute or two to answer because he is on oxygen and uses a walker, but when he opened up, he cracked an immediate smile upon seeing the earnest young Boy Scouts on his doorstep.

The boys were making deliveries for Meals on Wheels, and at each stop they exchanged warm meals for warm greetings.

“I love to see these young guys. It takes me back a few years,” Kassan said. Before they left, he gave each of the scouts a lollypop from a supply he keeps for handing out to guests.

The boys, both 12, are members of Troop 112, which meets at First Christian Church. The church has a group of Meals on Wheels delivery volunteers, and scout leader Bob Cruikshank injects his scouts into the mix in the summer, the only time of year they aren’t in school during delivery hours.

Volunteering for Meals on Wheels helps the boys fulfill their troop obligation for a service project, but on a deeper level they fulfill one of the core tenets of scouting. The Scout Oath that every Tenderfoot can recite requires the boys to “help other people at all times,” Cruikshank pointed out, and the scout slogan is “Do a good turn daily.”

The troop also works with River Cities Harvest to pick up surplus food and take it to Shelter of Hope, Cruikshank said.

The scouts said the Meals on Wheels delivery is more enjoyment than it is work.

“I get enjoyment from seeing smiles on their faces when they see us,” said Spencer, a Star Scout. He and Tim got more than a smile from Virginia Estep when they dropped off her lunch. She insisted on giving them hugs, which they accepted gracefully.

Returning to the car after delivering the last meal, the boys said they’d enjoyed the job and wouldn’t mind delivering more meals. “I’m not one of those people who just want to get it over with,” said Tim, a Tenderfoot scout.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.