Cub Scout Pack 61 Dedicates Ship Bottom Mailbox for Retiring American Flags

Aug 30, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

On a cool summer night in August just before dinnertime, half a dozen Cub Scouts ran around the green lawn in front of Ship Bottom borough hall, waiting for their moment to come. Their laughter echoed in the blowing breeze as parents chatted in the adjoining parking lot. They were all there to dedicate an old mailbox as a collection bin for American flags ready for retirement.

In the moments before the dedication, it was as if time stood still. There were no cars racing down Long Beach Boulevard, no walkers, joggers or bicyclists on the sidewalks in this gateway community to Long Beach Island – just the sight and sounds of boys playing.

When their moment came, the laughter faded away and the only sound was the wind picking up.

It took Pack 61 of Manahawkin about three months to paint the mailbox, Megan Lange, pack den mother, said. The project was a labor of love for the pack, a byproduct of a beach cleanup they initially reached out to the borough about doing.

Lange reached out to Council President Ed English, a family friend, about the beach cleanup and he put her in touch with Borough Clerk Kathy Wells, who connected her with Bob Rossi, code enforcement officer and recycling coordinator.

“He asked if we’d be interested,” Lange said, recalling how the pack came to paint the mailbox. They were, and on Monday evening the boys had a chance to show off their hard work with a dedication at borough hall.

Ship Bottom Mayor William Huelsenbeck, a Cub Scout himself, brought a few of his own American flags to retire during the dedication.

“It’s a nice thing they’re doing,” he said. “It’s about respect. They’re not just learning about it; they’re teaching it.”

The mailbox has been emptied three times since being placed near the entrance of borough hall at the beginning of the month, Wells said. More than 260 flags have been collected, she added.

“If we can respect the flag,” the mayor told the Cub Scouts as they gathered before the dedication, “then we can respect anyone.”

Gina G. Scala






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