"We figure to be pretty much done by end of the weekend," said Fee, who noted that Oakley Disposal donated the use of their dumpsters for the trees. "But we've had a pretty successful season. Our numbers are up a bit from last year's. People have been very generous. We've even gotten donations from people without trees."
The suggested $7 tax-deductible pickup donation helps the Scouts to pay for such items as summer camp and winter snow trips.
The Boy Scouts of America is a 96-year-old organization that has shaped the lives of generations of youths. After a decline in membership in recent years, scouting officials are thrilled that attendance again seems to be on the upswing.
In Oakley, three Scout troops are happy to confirm what they have known all along: that scouting is an integrity-building, leadership-making, life-changing endeavor. And oh yes, it's also a whole lot of fun.
"There is so much to scouting," said Fee. "Boys learn how to camp and swim, rock climb and hunt. It's also great because there is not the peer pressure to compete like there is with sports. Scouting is something everyone can do at their own level at their own pace."
The past decline in membership is, Fee agrees, due in part to the rash of public relations hits, including the brouhaha over not allowing gays in the organization, and a freakish string of Scout camp accidents the past couple years.
But that, officials hope, is a thing of the past, and today Oakley troops 152, 297 and 298 are so admired that they have attracted members from Knightsen, Brentwood and Antioch.
"We have Scouts from other towns as well as Oakley," said Fee. "We're happy to be so popular."
Popular and productive. This year the three troops participated, along with other troops in the Mt. Diablo Silverado Council, in the Scouting for Food drive. Together this group collected over 191,000 pounds of food products.
The Scout's various drives and fund-raisers throughout the year are a win-win for Scouts, local residents and the community alike.
"I just think Boy Scouts is one of those builders of people, a way to prepare them for the future," said Oakley City Manager and Troop 297 Scoutmaster Bryan Montgomery.
If you still need your Christmas tree picked up, you can call 818-0578 to schedule a pick-up time.