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North Star Badge earner hosts collection for Ronald McDonald House


by Sylene Argent

Photo submitted by the Knapp family.

Eight-year-old Benjamin Knapp has been a Beaver with 3rd Essex Scouts for some time now. And, in his time as a member of the troop, he has enjoyed the opportunity to earn badges and participate in many fun things, like making crafts, going on camping trips, and exploring new areas during field trips.

  One of the most important things Knapp has learned in his tenure as a Beaver, is the importance of giving back to his community. That is why when he learned he and his peers would be going after earning the prestigious North Star Badge, that challenges the Beavers to find a way to create a project that will benefit the community, the local youngster new he wanted to help the Ronald McDonald House.


  With some time as a Beaver under his belt, he said, “Now, I get to give back,” when he learned he would be undertaking a community-minded project.  

  Starting towards the end of February, Knapp began collecting snacks and little stuffed animals as a means to provide comfort to the kids who are staying there as they get treatment for an illness. He also collected money, Knapp’s dad, Derek said.

  Knapp said he chose to support the Ronald McDonald House through his North Star Badge project, because many of his friends and family members have used the service in their time of need. “They help a lot of children,” he said.

  So far, Knapp has raised $600 in monetary donations. In addition, he was able to solicit the help of a local hotel that donated around 3500 hotel-sized bottles of shampoo and conditioner. He also made a connection with a dental office that provided a discount in pricing to get 200 small bottles of toothpaste.

  He said one wall along a 10-foot-long hallway in their home, was full, probably around four-feet high, with the donated items.

  “I didn’t think I would collect this much,” Knapp said, adding the great result of his campaign was probably due to other families wanting to support the collection, because they have also needed to use the service. “I was very happy. It felt really good [to collect that much].”

  Knapp was overwhelmed with the support his campaign was shown.

  Knapp and his dad and mom, Catherine, recently dropped off the donated items. His dad, Derek, said they will, however, not say “no” to collecting additional donations from those in the community who would like to contribute.

  Those who would like to donate to Knapp’s collection for the Ronald McDonald House can email his dad at derekslego@hotmail.com

  Knapp hopes to host more collection drives in the future, and encourage others to do the same.

Knapp also encourages other youths to get involved in Beavers. Once a Beaver gets up to the White Tail level, they can help the community, and helping the community is really important, he said.

  Fellow Beavers, Erica Davison and Jameson Brett, also worked on their North Star Badges recently. Davison supported the Windsor-Essex County Humane Society through a collection drive and Brett collected items to create care baskets for residents at Iler Lodge in Essex Centre and Royal Oak in Kingsville.