Beavers, Cubs and Scouts will be taking to the streets of Bracebridge on Oct. 8 and 9 to collect donations and hand out apples to thank the community for its support.
Apple Day is one of Scout Canada’s oldest fundraisers, spanning back to 1932. Scouts handed out 21,000 apples for the first event in Saint John, New Brunswick, and troops have been carrying on the tradition ever since. Bracebridge Scouts will be out at locations like Walmart, Independent Grocer and Canadian Tire from 5 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 8 and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Oct. 9. Shawn Forth is a local Beaver Scouts leader, known as a Colony Scouter, and he said it’s an important event because all donations directly support activities like camping and educational programs.
“Apple Day is huge for our local Scout groups because, unlike things like Scout Popcorn or Scout Coffee, 100 per cent of the proceeds from Apple Day go directly to our local group,” Forth said. “Other fundraising initiatives over the year, we keep a percentage of what’s raised, but with Apple Day, it truly is a 100 per cent donation to our local group for our programming to directly affect the youth.”
The event is a great chance for Scouts to connect with their fellow community members, including some that participated in scouting themselves. Many people have fond memories of Apple Day from decades ago when they were Scouts, Forth said, so it’s a way for locals to reminisce while also supporting local youth.
“Apple Day really is a chance for us to get out in the community, to be seen and to remind people that yes, we are here, we’re still very active,” Forth said. “The apple basically is our thank you to members of the community for making donations to support our local group.”
Scouts Canada helps over 74,000 young people across Canada get involved with outdoor adventures, community projects and other learning opportunities. It’s a leadership movement and a way to foster community, Forth said, and it’s especially important after more than a year and a half of mostly virtual events and online engagement. He encourages anyone that’s interested in scouting to reach out and learn more, whether it’s on Apple Day or any other time.
“We have two groups in Bracebridge, one meeting at the United Church, one meeting at the Rotary Centre, different nights of the week,” Forth said. “People are welcome to contact any of us and we’ll make sure that we connect them with a group that matches their needs and their schedule.”