MERCER COUNTY, Ohio (WKBN) — For many, Labor Day weekend is a time for travel, cookouts and football.
However, for one local boy scout troop, it’s a 72-hour marathon, serving coffee and cookies to travelers.
James Shafer is spending his holiday weekend a little differently than most 12 year olds.
“We sit there and if soembody comes, we help get them their coffee and give them cookies and if they want the orange drink we give them that,” said Shafer.
He’s part of Reynolds Boy Scout Troop 52. On major travel holidays, the troop sets up a tent at a rest area along I-80 or I-79. They staff it 24 hours a day, offering drivers and passengers free coffee.
“Most: I’ve never seen anyone be all, aww, this is bad. Everybody’s nice. Unless they’re tired,” said Shafer.
It’s a community service project, so everything is free. They also accept donations for the troop’s upcoming trip to Washington, D.C.
“If they want to donate, that’s great and if not, that’s great,” Shafer said.
Scoutmaster Tom Hoovler said it offers drivers something special.
“They think it’s great. They’re really excited to see the boys out and doing community service and enjoy getting a free cup of coffee. Chatting with somebody. Just a little break from the manotony of being on the highway,” said Hoovler.
He said it also offers the boys a chance to learn.
“The boys really enjoy it and they get to experience different things they don’t run into in their everyday life,” explained Hoovler.
“We had once there was a Canadian couple going to Florida or somewhere down there for a cruise and they were going slowly so they could see stuff along the way,” added Shafer. “My friend Chance and I both got some Canadian coins. I got like all the coins that they have and it was neat. I like foreign money.”
Overall, he said this is really about sharing a smile.
“Feel like you make people’s day a little bit better? Yeah. Yeah. I’ve seen some people really get happy,” finished Shafer.