ARLINGTON — Arlington Boy Scouts helped those who celebrated Christmas this season clean up shortly after the start of the New Year, but one area family left behind an ornament that Troop 29 Scoutmaster John Peterson hopes to return to them.
On Jan. 5, the Scouts of Troop 29 took in more than 400 trees as part of their annual Christmas tree recycling program, along with $1,200 in donations that will help pay for awards, badges and pins earned by the Scouts, as well as campsite rentals and fees, and even scholarships to help financially less fortunate scouts attend summer camp.
"While bringing the trees back to our collection location, one of the Scouts noticed something shining from one of the trees," Peterson said. "Since the drop-off of the trees goes pretty quickly, we didn't know where that tree had come from exactly. We cast a pretty wide net over the city, and tried to get to every neighborhood within the less rural parts of the town."
Because the Scouts publicize that the trees they receive will be turned into mulching material for the city and county, as well as landfill material for the property of members of the Troop, Peterson explained that the Scouts usually assume that any such ornaments which are still attached to their trees were meant to be thrown away by their former owners.
"Most times, these ornaments are of a rather mundane nature, and by most accounts, they don't possess any significant monetary or sentimental value, so we tend to discard them," Peterson said. "However, this one probably still holds some significance for its owner."
The round, gold-colored keepsake ornament is engraved with the date 1984 and has two pictures in it; one one side, a picture of what appears to be an infant girl, and on the other, what appears to be a toddler boy.
"The pictures seem reddened with time to an almost sepia tone," Peterson said. "The Scouts asked what we could do to try to get the ornament back to its owner, and I told them I would see what I could do."
Although Peterson posted the ornament on Craigslist's "Lost and Found," he hasn't been contacted by anyone interested in claiming it, so he's hoping that the local media can help spread the word.
Whether people wish to inquire about the ornament or get involved in the Scouts, Peterson encourages them to contact him by phone at 360-720-6647, or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, to leave messages which he promises to follow up on.
Troop 29 meets at the Arlington United Church, on the corner of Fourth Street and Macleod Avenue, every Monday night from 6:30-8 p.m.