Conor and Mason Puckett like to see Old Glory wave.
The boys are members of Boy Scout Troop 707. Last year, with the help of their father, Pete, they started the Troop 707 Flag Project. Six times a year, they hang 10-foot tall American flags in neighbors’ yards. The neighbors pay $50 a year for the service, and the money supports Conor and Mason’s scouting projects.
They started with just six houses. Today, they have about 45 customers. They have focused on their street, Greenfield Drive, and a few neighboring streets just south of Walnut Hill between Audelia and Ferndale.
“In the morning, you wake up, and there are flags,” Pete says. “It’s really an awesome deal.”
Another troop leader in Salt Lake City passed along the idea to Pete at a convention. The Boy Scouts frequently hold fundraisers to support their scouting projects. Pete says when he heard about this one, it seemed fun.
He worked out a deal with Betsy Ross Flag Girl, which gave them a discount on the flags. Conor researched days to hang the flags, and they chose Presidents Day, Flag Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, 9/11 and Veterans Day. They typed up a flier and started lining up customers.
Pete designed a sleeve, or wood frame, to hold the flags. The night before each holiday, Pete, Mason and Conor install the sleeves between the sidewalk and street of their customers’ yards. At 5 a.m. the next day, they return and hang the flags so when their neighbors wake up, the flags already are flying. So many neighbors are customers that their street is pretty much lined with flags, all hanging at the same angle. At dusk, they take the flags down and take them home to store them until the next holiday.
The money they raise goes into Mason and Conor’s troop accounts, which the boys use to pay for camping trips and supplies. Conor was able to pay for an $800 sailing camp this past summer.
“It’s like a sense, ‘Yeah! I did this,’” says Conor, who is 14. “I earned my way for this.”
“If we had to pay for stuff with our pocket change, we wouldn’t do a lot,” says 12-year-old Mason.
Neighbors are very supportive, and after each flag hanging, the boys receive calls from more potential customers. Right now, they are focusing on their own neighborhood. They hope other Scouts will replicate their idea in other areas.
“It looks spectacular,” says Tina Teichman, a neighbor of the Pucketts. “It’s just a great feeling.”
“It’s about helping out everyone,” Conor says. “It looks really nice. And it helps instill patriotism in our neighbors.”
For more information about the Troop 707 Flag Project, contact Pete Puckett at 214.503.0717 or firstname.lastname@example.org.