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HEROES OF TROOP 99 Subs. They’re the economic engine that carries Troop 99 across the country on great adventures. Scoutmaster Dave Shirk estimates that the troop has sold hundreds of thousands of submarine sandwiches during the years. The Scouts sell three kinds of homemade subs — Ita lian, roast beef and turkey — for $4 on the first Saturday of the month, taking off June and July. Scouts meet at the troop’s church at


7 a.m. and are usually done making the subs by 9 a.m. The boys then work with leaders and parents to deliver the pre-ordered sandwiches to members of the community, and some sell door-to-


door. The troop sells between 500 and 800 subs a month, although Shirk says they have sold as many as 5,000 in a single sale. Each Scout keeps $2 from every sandwich he sells, and 25 cents from every sale goes to the troop. While the troop usually does another, single-event fun-


draiser (spaghetti dinner, wreath sale, etc.), the sub sales fund trips. Many Scouts pay nothing out of pocket, using money they earn from the sales. Owning a bus also keeps costs down.


years. “If you miss what’s going on in October, you can go in November.” That many activities can take place


because the troop has a wealth of adult volunteers who bring a diversity of skills, including master craftsmen who can build anything, whitewater experts and more. Many of them have grown children who are no longer Scouts, including three of the six adults on this trip. Though his Eagle Scout son is 30,


24 S COUTING ¿ MAY•JUNE 2014


Ron Henry still goes on summer high- adventure trips, winter camping in the Adirondacks and backpacking in the spring and fall, taking time off from work. “It’s fun,” he says. “I get to do this cool trip. I love the camaraderie, the adult friends I have in this troop, and I get to give something back. But, I get as much as I give. I go to really cool places and have fun.”


“FUN” IS A WORD you hear a lot when you hang with Troop 99, from the Scouts as well as the parents. The key, Shirk says, is mixing work and play. “If we’re going to try to do something service-oriented, we’re going to do something fun as well,” he says. “It’s got to be fun for everybody. It has to be fun for the adults as well, or the adults don’t come back.” The service project on this first


portion of the weeklong trip is rebuilding a dock ramp and building some picnic tables. As Welch super- vises Scouts inside preparing beef tacos and salad, Dropik, Ciro, Erik Shirk and Isaac Novak are working on the picnic tables with Michael Novak, a longtime assistant Scoutmaster. Dave Shirk and Stu VanOrmer, both Scouters, wade in thigh-deep water, working on the dock, cutting away rotted wood with some help from Scouts. The dock work will take every minute they have over the next two days. The project is finished after 9 p.m. on the second day, the sun slowly dying.


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