Local Boy Scout troop camps in cold temps for annual food drive - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Local Boy Scout troop camps in cold temps for annual food drive

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A local Boy Scout troop in Milford is camping outside all weekend for their annual food drive. 

Troop 1 has been doing this drive for 13 years and the cold temperatures this weekend isn't going to stop them. 

The plan is for the scouts to camp out through Sunday afternoon, so there will be plenty of layers and some pretty heavy duty sleeping bags for the kids and adults. 

There is no need to worry about the frozen turkeys defrosting, at least not with the frigid temperatures expected on Friday night. 

Like any good Boy Scout, Dylan Schwartz is prepared. 

"I've got a negative 16 degree sleeping bag, three blankets, just try and stay as warm as I can," Schwartz said. 

Schwartz is one of 50 scouts expected to spend the weekend at Milford's Wasson Field, out in the elements as part of Troop 1's annual Thanks for Giving Food Drive. They are collecting turkeys and other items for a number of local charities and food pantries, which help to feed 300 families. 

"We've never canceled, in fact the first year we had sub-zero temperatures, it was so cold. We have burn barrels set up in the parking lot. One of the ways we keep warm is we're going to keep moving, a lot of work that needs to be done, sorting food, making the packages for the family," said Tom Mercaldo of Troop 1. 

While the kids were out collecting food, plenty of others were out working in the cold. 

While the wind prevented New Haven from Putting workers up in a bucket truck to continue stringing Christmas lights on the tree, the downtown ambassadors and those working the popular food carts on Cedar Street were bundled up. 

"We dress in a lot of layers, a lot of Under Armour, hats, gloves, just layer up and stay warm and work," said Robert Santoemmo. 

Santoemmo and others doing road work on Whitney Avenue in New Haven were trying to stay warm, by staying busy. 

"If you don't move, believe me you get cold. It's us that are going to be cold, but we do pretty good," Santoemmo said. 

As for the scouts, they're ready for this weekend. 

"We just have a lot of blankets, get our sleeping bags, set up our tents around there, we should be fine," Schwartz said. 

If you want to donate a turkey or canned goods to Troop 1, they'll be at Wasson Field in Milford until noon on Sunday. They'll be sorting through the food and making their first deliveries starting Saturday afternoon. 

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