09/15/04 — Sauls remembers Scout badge and vow to never litter

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Sauls remembers Scout badge and vow to never litter

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on September 15, 2004 1:58 PM

Randy Sauls has been interested in keeping Goldsboro clean for more than 30 years, and he has a badge to prove it.

The Keep Wayne County Beautiful board member has kept all his Boy Scout badges stored in his attic for years, including one for picking up trash.

He'll be continuing that tradition Saturday during Litter Sweep. The event, sponsored by Keep Wayne County Beautiful, the state Department of Transportat-ion, Wayne County and the city of Goldsboro will begin at 8 a.m. Participants will meet at the County Courthouse.

Sauls said the little black patch with the gold trim was the smallest badge he received as a Scout, but it made a big impression.

"The thing is," he said, "is that it's small, it's not ornate and it's not colorful like some of the other badges I got. But it was meaningful, and it taught me a lesson."

As a member of Troop 7, Sauls said, he and the entire Boy Scout district spent a Saturday in 1969 picking up trash in the city.

Though he can't remember what triggered the event, he definitely remembers the work.

Armed with tobacco sticks equipped with a finishing nail at the end, the boys plodded through city streets, picking up a variety of trash.

"I remember that there was an incredible variety of stuff we picked up," Sauls said.

Their day began at Daniels Methodist Church, and they continued to pick up trash all the way down Ash Street until stopping for lunch at the old McDonalds restaurant.

After lunch, the Boy Scouts continued picking up trash throughout the afternoon.

"I don't think the curb and gutters were in place on Ash Street, because I remember the ditches being full of trash," he said.

Sauls said the day's work made an impression on him, because he hasn't thrown a piece of trash on the ground since then.

"I really didn't litter before that day, but that drove it home to me, spending the day picking up all that trash," he said. "Once you pick it up, you think about it. I think it's good when kids get out and pick up the trash because it makes them aware of their surroundings."

There's no question that participating in Litter Sweep has an effect on kids, says Simonne Cato, executive director of KWCB.

Ms. Cato said that she recently received an e-mail from the aunt of a young girl that had participated in Litter Sweep last year and planned to help out again this year.

But the girl's arm was injured in a playground accident, and she recently had to have surgery. The aunt told her niece that she was sorry she wouldn't be able to participate in this year's Litter Sweep.

The young girl replied, "Aunt Debby, if you can hold the bag open, I can pick up trash with my other hand."

Ms. Cato urges all citizens, young and old, to come out Saturday to help with Litter Sweep. If the weather is bad, the event will be held the following weekend, on Sept. 25.

For more information, contact Keep Wayne County Beautiful at 731-1600 or by e-mail at KABWAYNE@aol.com.

Register on line to participate in Litter Sweep at www.waynegov.com/littersweep.