2013 Volunteer Work Day

Volunteer Certified Arborists Provide Free Tree Care at Boy Scout Camp: Event marks 8th annual volunteer weekend and a blossoming partnership between Arborists and Scouts


MAR 17, 2013 – LOS ANGELES, CA – This weekend 50 volunteer Certified Arborists and their families volunteered their tree expertise at Camp Josepho, a Boy Scout camp in the hills of Santa Monica. In exchange for their donated tree care, the West LA Boyscouts donated $15,000 to The Britton Fund, a tree research and education charitable nonprofit driven by Certified Arborists. This marks the 8th annual volunteer work weekend, rotating between different campsites around the state.

“This is an event Certified Arborists bring their families back to year after year. They get to show their children what it is they do all week and enjoy the free time on Sunday utilizing the camp’s activities. I love seeing middle aged guys showing their daughters how to climb trees like the professionals do, or explaining why a certain tree needs to be pruned a specific way,” said event organizer Mary Pendleton.

In addition to the tree work being done, scout leaders also held a forestry merit badge program during the weekend. Lead by retired City Arborist from the city of Orange, Al Remyn, this program utilized the hands-on nature of the weekend as a learning tool. “This weekend represents two of my greatest passions, trees and scouting!” he said with his signature chuckle.

Over the past 10 years, the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture has organized annual volunteer work days to improve the treescape at a park or campsite, annually valued at $100,000. Each year seems to bring something new to the table – the 2009 Volunteer Work Day brought the dawn of Arbor Camp lead by Climbing Champion Chad Brey, where arborists can hone their climbing skills and share energy saving techniques. In 2010 in Oakland, several public education aspects were set up – a woodworking demonstration, a bluebird house building station (using lumber from the day’s tree removal naturally), a kid’s recreational tree climbing area, and more. This year’s event will be used as an training venue for new tree workers wanting to earn their certification.

Though they have held their volunteer day at other venues, such as Fairyland in Oakland, the WCISA’s volunteer arborists have a special place in their hearts for the Boy Scouts of America. There’s something inspiring about volunteer scout arborists (a triple threat!) leading a forestry merit badge program. Throughout the weekend scouts keep their feet on the ground but learn about the benefits of trees, how to plant them, and what being an arborist means. The partnership between WCISA and the Boy Scouts of America is an ideal example of nonprofits working together for a common cause. Each group brings its strengths to the table and the bounty is enjoyed by all.


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