Tweens and teens take on turf care

June 26, 2019 -  By
Grant Weckerly, a scout with Troop 318 in Delaware, Ohio, stands with a Ryan Lawnaire V aerator loaned by Hayward Distributing Co. Photo: Craig Myers

Grant Weckerly, a scout with Troop 318 in Delaware, Ohio, stands with a Ryan Lawnaire V aerator loaned by Hayward Distributing Co. Photo: Craig Myers

Any lawn care company that offers aeration services knows that it can be a good moneymaker. And many lawn care operators start out as children taking care of neighborhood lawns.

A Scouts BSA troop in Delaware, Ohio, discovered the profitability of aeration and did some hard work through a fundraising initiative.

The scouts, ages 10 to 17, offer lawn aeration services to raise money for camping and troop activities.

Craig Myers, Troop 318 scoutmaster, says this year has been their most successful yet. Starting one Friday evening and finishing Sunday afternoon, the scouts aerated 90 yards. They completed a total of 120 yards in the three-week process, Myers says.

“We’re at the point now where we could pull up to a yard and the scouts could do every single bit of it. They’ve got the system down really well,” he says.

The scouts completed extra yards with the help of Arin Monroe, president and CEO of Hayward Distributing. He loaned the troop a new Ryan Turf Lawnaire V walk-behind aerator for free.

“Having a brand-new machine meant they didn’t have any downtime whatsoever,” Monroe says. Plus, the money raised went to the scouts instead of rental fees.

Along with the Lawnaire V, the troop used two walk-behinds and one stand-on aerator rented from a local Sunbelt Rentals.

Although the adults or older scouts worked on the stand-on, every scout had a job. The scouts who were not aerating focused on sweeping up, managing paperwork, collecting money from customers and checking addresses.

“They are all learning job skills, like deciding the best place for the equipment and the most efficient way to do it,” Myers says. “We teach them to be polite and shake the customer’s hand.”

Myers posts on Facebook and NextDoor to find possible customers. To be efficient, the route is mapped out ahead of time. With signs on the trailers signifying it’s a scout troop, Myers says 25 percent of the troop’s business comes from add-ons of neighbors passing by.

“The biggest thing is the reaction we’ve had from people. A lot of people really appreciate seeing the scouts do the work,” he says.

This spring, the scouts raised more than $3,000, Myers says. A few of the scouts will put the funds toward a trip to the Boundary Waters in Canada for a six-day canoe trek.

Because of the success this spring, the troop is planning a fall aeration event. And Monroe says he plans to support the scouts in whatever way he can.

“Even though this is our busy time of year, it was it was a worthwhile opportunity to support and a sincere fundraiser for a good group,” Monroe says.

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Danielle Pesta

About the Author:

Danielle Pesta is the associate editor of Landscape Management. She started writing for the green industry in 2014 and has won multiple awards from the Turf & Ornamental Communicators Association (TOCA). She can be reached at dpesta@northcoastmedia.net.

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