The Scouts of Troop 200 have begun their annual holiday luminaria fundraiser, a tradition the Novato community has been enjoying for over 50 years. Troop 200 Scouts have begun walking door-to-door delivering order forms to Novato residents and will hand-make the luminarias in early December for delivery to residents. A luminaria is a votive candle placed inside a paper bag weighted with sand. On Christmas Eve and Christmas day evening, Novato residents line their walkways, drive ways and curbs with these lovely luminarias and light them to celebrate the holiday. It is a well cherished tradition not just in Novato, but in many communities across the United States. Troop 200 also provides luminarias to the Marin Symphony for their holiday candlelight concerts.
Troop 200’s luminarias can be purchased on their web site at www.novatoluminarias.org. A box of 10 ready-to-use luminarias is $8.00. This annual fundraiser helps provide for program activities and service projects for the scouts to learn leadership, outdoor and life skills which they use to give back to the community through many service projects.
Novato’s Boy Scout Troop 200, a boy-run troop founded in 1958 and one of the largest in Novato, is well known throughout their community for the numerous service projects they participate in to help others. They provide help to the Buck Institute for Research on Aging for their events, provide help to the Novato Elk’s Club for their gatherings (flag ceremonies, serving meals), participate in numerous Eagle Scout projects for the Presbyterian Church of Novato (who sponsors the troop) and the Nativity of Christ Greek Orthodox Church, and have the honor of training the future Boy Scout Marin Council Scoutmasters and Assistant Scoutmasters at the annual IOLST (Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills Training) at Camp Tamarancho.
Troop 200 is unique because it is a “boy-run” troop – the scouts are required to take charge of all aspects surrounding the planning and execution of all outings, events and service projects. “This way”, says Scoutmaster Mike Madias, “the boys learn how to interact with adults, speak, shake hands, look people in the eye and not just correspond with e-mail. Technology is great, but our boys need to learn the social skills required to interact with the world around them. This means, they call and make reservations, plan the outing and make the assignments, coordinate with the adult drivers, plan the meals, go purchase the food, pack the trailer, arrange the seating assignments per vehicle, etc. At the end of every outing, we all gather for a review of the trip to evaluate and see how we might improve going forward. The boys do it all.”
For information about Novato Boy Scout Troop 200, please visit www.troopwebhost.org/Troop200Novato.