Letter: Darien Boy Scouts cannot function without tag sale revenue

To the Editor:

The P&Z Commission will be deciding on the new Scout Cabin and special permit for the Boy Scout tag sale.  We appreciate that their job is not easy. They will have to decide between pleasing six neighbors and 300 Darien Scouts and their families.

The scouts understand the neighbors’ complaints and have proposed adjustments to the layout of the Tag Sale that will reduce its visual impact. However, the neighbors have made a number of other requests that are not feasible — from restricting events on the property, to moving the sale to another location, to restricting the time.

The scouts have used this land since it was donated by former First Selectman Andrew Shaw for the benefit of Boy Scouts in 1926 — long before West Avenue was widened as a main thoroughfare and fully developed with a mix of commercial and residential buildings. It is in a central location in town, and serves the whole community.

Unlike many sports organizations in town that use town facilities,  the Boy Scouts have to fund their own building and programs. Three quarters of the Scout's annual funding comes from the Tag Sale, which has been a major source of funding for 46 years.  The Scouts receive no funding from the town, state, or national Boy Scouts of America.

The sale, Darien's largest recycling project, provides many benefits to the Town's citizens, is a cost savings in terms of waste disposal, and teaches the scouts many skills including leadership.

In all honesty, we cannot operate without the Tag Sale revenue and a two-week restriction will have a crippling effect on Darien Scouting and will be impossible to achieve.

Anne Cooling and Joyce Critelli