December is a month meant for giving, and the Parkrose Cub Scout Pack 4 and Boy Scout Troop 606 are no exception. Taking charge this holiday season, the troops plan on offering many valued services to the Parkrose community. One act involves collecting canned and perishable goods for Parkrose citizens in need as part of the nationally acclaimed Scouting for Food drive.

Moreover, these goods are perhaps more in demand than ever considering Parkrose—and Portland’s— exponentially increasing homeless population. The drive has been ongoing since 1985, and local Parkrose Boy Scouts troop leader Travis Martin sees it as a fixture. “Our Scouts spend about four to five hours on the first Saturday in December collecting food for the local food pantries in our area, as designated by our local council office,” says Martin. “We have been participating since I have been in the troop and, before that, in the Cub Scouts.”

A generous tradition, Scouting for Food is just one of several holiday season “musts” that the troop participates in for the sake of the greater community. Another staple, the annual Tree Recycle, acts as a fundraiser that accomplishes much more than just picking up abandoned curbside decorations. In fact, the Tree Recycle acts as an altruistic phenomenon that connects larger sections of the community while keeping the Scouts afloat.

“It provides income to maintain the equipment, pays for camp sites or cabins, provides meals on some campouts and funds our annual holiday party,” explains Martin. “What it really does is help provide a quality Boy Scout program at an affordable price that allows boys from all income brackets to participate in the program.”

Any trees that are picked up are hauled off by local transportation business Walsh Trucking, which transforms the trees from cultural symbols into logistical chips, mulch or bark. According to Martin, Walsh Trucking has supported the Scouts for several years.

But the real contribution of the troops this holiday season might benefit the kids themselves the most.

“In my humble opinion, I believe Scouting has trained my boys to be the helpful leaders they are today,” says Martin. “The lessons they have learned and experiences they have gathered will continue with them throughout their lives, Eagle Scout or not.”

As Martin says, a little goes a long way. Assuredly, these boys are off to a good start.

Cub Scouts is for boys in grades 1 to 5. Pack 004 meets at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays during the school year at St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, 11229 N.E. Prescott St. Email for more information.

Boy Scout Troop 606 is a well-established, active, successful troop. The troop meets Monday evenings at 7 p.m. at Menlo Park Elementary School, 12900 N.E. Glisan St. The troop is always recruiting new members. Contact Sue Lampe at 503-560-1148 for more information.

Boy Scout Troop 606 Christmas Tree Recycling Information

At Parkrose Community United Church of Christ: 12505 N.E. Halsey St. next to Bi-Mart

Mondays, Dec. 26 and Jan. 2 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Tuesdays, Dec. 27, Jan. 3 and 10 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Wednesdays, Dec. 28, Jan. 4 and 11 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Saturday Dec. 31 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Sunday Jan. 1 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Call or text 503-348-9787 for pickup areas, or email

$5 for green trees; $7 for flocked trees (trees with artificial snow). Pickup: $8 for green trees; $10 for flocked trees.