New Egypt Scouts collect blankets, books

By ANDREW MARTINS
Staff Writer

PLUMSTED — Members of the New Egypt Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts are banding together to remember the life of an 8-year-old Somerset County girl who lost her life to a rare form of cancer during the summer.

From now until Dec. 13, the New Egypt Scouts will be collecting new blankets and books in memory of Campbell Grace Hoyt.

Campbell, who was a member of Bernardsville Brownie Troop 61318, died from a rare form of brain and spine cancer called anaplastic ependymoma.

According to New Egypt Cub Scout leader Stephanie McMahon, the blanket and book drive originated in Bernardsville after Campbell’s friends gathered to show their support for their friend.

“In [Campbell’s] last days, some of her little friends would come to snuggle with her under a blanket and read books to her,” McMahon said.

After Campbell died on Aug. 21, friends and family members of the child created the Team Campbell Foundation, a group that seeks to raise awareness and funding to help fight childhood cancer.

McMahon said she and her fellow Scout leaders in New Egypt were moved by Campbell’s courage in the face of cancer and agreed that they wanted to help the foundation’s cause.

The blanket and book drive kicked into high gear once the Scout leaders told the boys and girls in New Egypt’s Scouting programs about the foundation, McMahon said.

“It was very easy [to get the troops together], especially because it was about a peer,” she said. “The kids could all appreciate rallying around a little girl.”

Collection boxes for blankets and books have been placed at Nova Tile and Stone, 630 Pinehurst Road; at the New Egypt Primary School, 131 Evergreen Road; and at the New Egypt Elementary School, 44 N. Main St.

On Dec. 13, the Scouts will also have a collection box in the parking lot of the New Egypt Marketplace, 53 Main St., from noon to 3 p.m. Members of New Egypt Boy Scout Troop 109 will be on hand to accept all donations.

At the end of the drive, the books and blankets will be bundled, delivered and distributed to patients in the Child Life Program at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York.

“The New Egypt Scouts are proving that Scouts support Scouts, no matter where they are,” McMahon said. “We are all brothers and sisters in Scouts.”

Contact Andrew Martins at amartins@gmnews.com.