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Scout Day melds helping with fun; Race proceeds to buy medical gear.

Byline: Jean L. Hill

COLUMN: Wachusett Watch

At 9 years old, John Amaral of West Boylston is already striving to make the world a better place. A Cub Scout, he is among the 120 Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts and Venture Crew members in West Boylston committed to helping the community while having fun. Venture Crew is a Scout troop for teenage boys and girls who thrive on adventure.

The Scouts are sponsoring Scout Day on the Common and the Race for Safety June 9, and you are invited.

The entertainment is free, as are most of the events.

Registration for a fundraising run/walk is from 7:30 to 8 a.m. and the start time is 8:30 a.m. at West Boylston Middle/High School, at 125 Crescent St. The registration fee is $10 for Scouts and $15 for others.

The rest of Scout Day on the Common begins at 10 a.m. on the West Boylston Bandstand Common at Routes 12 and 140.

The entire day is planned for extreme fun while assisting several worthy causes, according to John Amaral, a first-year Cub Scout, and Edward R. Salate, 10, who is in his fourth year of Scouting in West Boylston.

Rain gutter regatta races, a pie-eating contest and a silent auction are on the agenda.

The Worcester Kiltie Pipe Band, Knights and Ladies of the Society of Creative Anachronism, White Thunder & Friends Native American Drumming & Dancing, Yo Yo Mama and the Spinheads and the 15th Massachusetts Infantry Civil War Soldiers re-enactment group will be among entertainers, according to Scout leader Mark Baldi.

"I want to tell you why Scout Day is important to me," John wrote recently in response to a question.

"One reason is that the money from the Race for Safety will be used to buy a defibrillator for Major Edwards Elementary School (in West Boylston). This will help people whose hearts aren't beating. To make people's hearts start beating, the teachers who are trained will shock the person's heart. Another reason is to buy safety whistles for the program: Blow the Whistles on Crime, John wrote, referring to the Police Department's efforts to provide whistles to people walking on the local rail trail.

"Also, we need to collect food for the Food Pantry, collect dog food for the dogs from NEADS who will help the veterans who need help, and to collect items for the troops in Iraq. I think what we're doing is important because all of these things will help make the world a better place for the people who are needy," John wrote.

A seasoned Scout, Edward is well accustomed to his role as helpmate to others in the community. He also believes in having a good time, which is why Cub Scouting has become a way of life for him and a tradition for his family.

"I'm glad to help the troops and the other people in town and just to be at Scout Day," Edward said in an interview recently.

"My dad used to be in it and he said I should. And my mom was a leader," Edward said referring to his parents, Larry and Beverly Salate. According to Edward, his mother has left her position as den leader, but still helps out a lot.

The entire Salate family, including Edward's 16-year-old sister, Anna, will be attending Scout Day, and they will all take on tasks and participate in the activities.

Like Edward, John enjoys the fun of Scouting as well as the sense that he is integral to the well-being of his community. As Scouts, they know they are part of the solution to problems. They are fixers, but they are also enjoyers of life.

Some of John's favorite Cub Scout activities over the past year have been marching in the Memorial Day parade, learning about astronomy and how to read maps and making a race car for the Pinewood Derby.

You don't have to be a Scout to take part in Scout Day on the Common June 9. In fact, the Scouts and leaders are reaching out to the community to join them. Come on, don't we all need a rain gutter regatta race this time of year, not to mention pie?
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Title Annotation:LOCAL NEWS
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jun 1, 2007
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