Rockport teen begins Little Free Pantry to earn Eagle Scout rank

By Kim Lincoln | Aug 09, 2017
Zachary Dorr made three Little Free Pantries for his Eagle Scout project. Dorr installed the boxes at three locations, including this one at the First Congregational Church of Camden, Aug. 6.

Camden — People may be familiar with the Little Free Libraries that have popped up in communities across the nation, but 16-year-old Zachary Dorr has created a variation of that concept -- instead of books, he has filled them with nonperishables and toiletries to help those in need in the Camden and Rockport area.

Dorr, a Life Scout of Boy Scout Troop 200 and a junior at Camden Hills Regional High School, has built and installed three Little Free Pantries in Camden and Rockport as part of the requirements for earning his Eagle Scout designation.

Dorr, of Rockport, began in Scouts in first grade as a Cub and has proceeded through the ranks. Eagle Scout is the highest rank bestowed upon a Boy Scout and involves a number of requirements, including creating a project to show leadership. Only about 5 percent of Boy Scouts earn the Eagle Scout rank, according to the National Eagle Scout Association.

"The food pantry is not always open and I want people to be able to get what they need," Dorr said, adding that this is not meant as a food pantry replacement, but as an additional means of support.

Dorr heard about the Little Free Pantry project through social media and decided it would be a good thing to begin in the local area. The idea is "take what you need and leave what you can," and he encouraged people, if they see the boxes low on contents, to feel free to leave items, as the success of the project depends on community support. Troop 200 will be bringing nonperishables to weekly and monthly meetings to keep the boxes stocked until the project becomes known in the community and other people also begin contributing.

The boxes are filled with nonperishables and toiletries. The inside of the weatherproof boxes has an explanation of the project and guidelines for what to leave and what not to leave, such as canned goods in the winter, because they will freeze.

He started the project in January and has worked the past seven months to first get it approved, find acceptable locations and then install the boxes, which was done Aug. 6. The boxes can be found at the First Congregational Church, 55 Elm St., in Camden; The American Legion, at 91 Pearl St. in Camden, and at the Masonic Center, at 361 Main St. in Rockport.

Dorr had the assistance of Scouts Aidan Hebert, Sam Hebert, Ian Fordyce, Rowan Hurlbert, Jon Heath and Jacob Pendleton. Adult leadership was his step-father and Assistant Scoutmaster Brian Hebert and Assistant Scoutmaster Ed Hurlburt.

"There are lots of less-fortunate people in town, so why not put them out?" Dorr said, adding "I thought it would be a nice project for the community."

Next, Dorr must go through a Board of Review with the Scouts and if he passes, he will be honored with a Court of Honor to celebrate Eagle Scout designation.

Courier Publications Editor Kim Lincoln can be reached at 236-8511 or by email at klincoln@villagesoup.com.

Comments (2)
Posted by: Steven D Bryant | Aug 13, 2017 11:36

Great concept Zachary. The community should be proud to have you in their midst. No greater feeling than to do for those less fortunate. Congratulations on completing your Eagle Scout recognition.

Little "Scout Trivia" that I learned 30 years ago at a scout jamboree in N.C.

ONLY EAGLE SCOUTS HAVE WALKED ON THE MOON.

Wish you continued success in your life's journey.



Posted by: Everett Walter Dorr | Aug 09, 2017 11:20

Zachary, Very nice project and thoughtful, well done I am proud of you. Papa



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