Trees: Joaquin Jackson-Alcanta is one of the scouts selling trees in Santa Monica. Matthew Hall

With Thanksgiving behind us, it’s time for many Santa Monicans to put up a Christmas tree and Boy Scout Troop 2 is ready, willing and able to meet all your tree needs. 

The troop has opened their tree lot in a new location this year, at the corner of 19th and Santa Monica Blvd. Trees are available in all sizes and they stock two varieties, Noble and Douglas Fir. 

The lot is a major source of income for Troop 2, which has operated a Christmas tree lot for almost five decades. It was on Montana for many years before a brief stint on Wilshire. The current location was provided by LAcarGuy and is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekends and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on weekdays. The lot holds more than 200 trees ranging from three to twelve feet tall and they will sell about 1,200 trees over the season. They also sell wreaths, garland and tree stands. 

All proceeds from the tree sales benefit the troop who use the money to fund regular camping trips. They go backpacking and canoeing everywhere from Catalina Island and Colorado to Minnesota and upstate New York, always learning survival techniques and life lessons along the way.

“We have an amazing team of scouts and dedicated parent volunteers excited to provide a high quality tree lot for the community,” said Tree Lot chair Stephan Corbel who runs the event alongside Scoutmaster Dr. Steve Marcy.

However, organizers say the lot has an even stronger impact on the scores of scouts who work volunteer shifts there throughout the month. Indeed, as they rake in money for the troop, they also develop their skills in business, customer service, organization and time management.

At the Christmas tree lot, parent volunteers operate the chainsaw and supervise the cash register but the scouts do everything in between, from assisting with sales and keeping the area clean to helping customers load trees onto their cars and making deliveries (an adult drives the car while the scouts do the lifting and setup). 

Joaquin Jackson-Alcanta has been scouting for a year and enjoys working in the lot. 

“I get to meet a lot of new people, go on deliveries and pick up trees which I never thought I’d be able to do,” he said. 

He said the sales skills he’s learning will help him outside the scouting world and he enjoys guiding customers through the sale from start to finish. 

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Matthew Hall has a Masters Degree in International Journalism from City University in London and has been Editor-in-Chief of SMDP since 2014. Prior to working at SMDP he managed a chain of weekly papers...