Maximus Buckhalter, left, and his father Eric Buckhalter of Belgrade received a Tiger Cub uniform so Maximus, who is in first grade, will be prepared for his next Scout meeting. Photo by Chuck Mahaleris

WATERVILLE — New cubs and scouts received uniforms, books and other scouting items at the annual Scouting Uniform Bank held Sept. 22 at the Goodwill Industries store.

Those scouts paid it forward by donating food to the Pleasant Street United Methodist Church Food Bank. They collected seven bags of canned goods and other non-perishables to help the fight against hunger, and many youths left wearing gently used Scouting uniforms.

“We were looking for something to get him into, and my mom noticed this on the town page on Facebook and forwarded it on to me. He has been so excited to get started,” said Kayla Dennis of West Gardiner, who attended with her son Cameron Rossingnol, according to a news release from Chuck Mahaleris, district vice chairman for Kennebec Valley District of Scouting.

Cameron Rossingnol shows off his Cub Scout gear he received at the Scout Uniform Bank at Goodwill Industries in Waterville. Photo by Chuck Mahaleris

Cameron already had his first meeting with Gardiner Cub Scout Pack 672 on Sept. 21, and the following day he got geared up for scouting at Goodwill, which has been collecting and cleaning the uniforms which had been donated all year.

“I am so excited about my whole day joining scouting. This is my best day ever,” Cameron said after receiving his uniform, Tiger hat and neckerchief, belt, canteen, Tiger Cub book and Cub Scout bag. Cameron beamed, showing off the “Scouting for Food” patch he earned by donating food that the Kennebec Valley District of Scouting was collecting for the Waterville church.

First grader Maximus Buckhalter of Belgrade was with his father Eric Buckhalter. He had just joined Cub Scouts in Oakland Pack 454 and like Cameron also received a full uniform at the uniform bank. Nearly 20 area Scouts, and one from Bath, were given virtually everything they would need to get their Scouting program off to a good start.

“We started the uniform bank in 2014,” said event organizer Christopher Bernier of Winslow. His program has provided uniforms and other Scouting items to Scouts who otherwise would not be able to afford these items. “Scouting isn’t about how much you have in your pocket. It is about how much you have in your heart to help other people. Scouting is for everyone.”

Items given to the youth were not limited to just clothing — two Scouts received backpacks and others received compasses, mess kits and song books. Parents who will be leaders also received material to support their program.

Bernier gave great praise to Goodwill Industries. “We remove any of the earned badges from the uniforms so the Scout has the chance to earn the badges themselves. Anything that has anything to do with scouting that ends up at Goodwill during the year ends up in my hands and gets matched up with a scout who needs it. Each scout who came with food to donate tonight earned their first patch — the Scouting for Food Drive patch. I really just love this program, because you see the look on their face when they get their first uniform. It is wonderful.”