Darien Scouts gear up for 45th Annual Tag Sale
DARIEN — The Andrew Shaw Memorial Scout Cabin was filled with activity one sunny Saturday in late April, as U-Haul trucks came and went on its driveway and volunteers hauled everything from chests of drawers to skis around the cabin.
On Sunday, the cabin will be abuzz again with similar activity, only this time, people will be taking the items instead of dropping them off. They’ll come from all over and begin lining up on West Avenue as early as 4 in the morning to take advantage of the deals of the Boy Scouts of Darien’s 45th annual tag sale.
“It’s looking like it’s going to be one of our better years,” said Jay Shutts, president of the Andrew Shaw Memorial operating board.
The proceeds go toward running the Boy Scout troops and Cub Scout packs in town.
“Their donations really support the troops, packs and our new venture crew,” said Andrew Shaw Memorial trustee Joellyn Gray. “We raise our operating funds in seven hours.”
The tag sale not only brings in around 2,000 shoppers, but close to 500 volunteers a year, most of them current or former Scouts and their families.
“People come back for years,” said Leslie Pennington, tag sale chairwoman. “There’s a lot of support from alumni coming back.”
William Shannon became an Eagle Scout in Darien in 2006, and is an assistant Scoutmaster who helps out with the sale.
“Scouting did so much for me.” he said. “I want to give back. I love working with the Scouts. They’re great kids.
In the weeks leading up to the sale, volunteers help sort through donations delivered via pickup or drop-offs. The Scouts have two pickup days where they go to people’s homes to get donations, often picking up items from over 120 people.
Once the items are donated, they’re sorted into a category. There’s a section for sports gear, linen, toys, electronics, houseware, furniture and more. Each department chairman is in charge of pricing the items, sometimes researching items online to get a sense of an appropriate cost, especially in collectibles, where unique items such as a valentine from 1875 and old baby toys are sold.
“What’s in collectibles is anything we think is unique enough to be highlighted,” said Gray, who is the collectibles chairwoman. “You can find things from $1 to $400. People in town have such a generous spirit.”
Big-ticket items like cars, boats, playsets, trampolines and this year, four tractors, are sold through a virtual tag sale, where the Scouts act as a broker. These items can be sold year-round.
“Some things we can’t physically have,” Pennington said. “But we can put the buyer and seller together.”
After the sale is over, local charities, such as the Salvation Army, take the leftover items. Over 30 charities take advantage of the items left from the sale.
“It’s a lot of fun to give back,” said T.J. Gaffney, another former Eagle Scout who returns to help with the sale. “There’s always something cool for everybody.”
A message from the Darien Boy Scouts:
The Darien Boy Scouts are holding their 45th Annual Giant Tag Sale this Sunday May 7 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Andrew Memorial Scout Cabin at 140 West Ave., rain or shine. Thousands of items for sale including furniture, lawnmowers, snow blowers, grills, garden tools, strollers, bikes, toys and games, sporting goods, electronics, books, linens, lamps, rugs, art and collectibles, housewares, and more! Unique items include top quality fly fishing gear, tires/rims, collectible stamps and baseball cards, vintage cameras, and an array of musical instruments. Larger items such as cars and boats swingsets and pianos are featured at www.darienscouts.org. The tag sale is the primary fundraiser for the Andrew Shaw Memorial Trust, which sponsors a new coed STEM Venture Crew in addition to the Darien Boy Scout and Cub Scout programs now entering their second century! Please join us at the tag sale this Sunday, May 7 and support your local Scouting community!
A message from police about the sale: