JOHNSBURG - This has been an exciting year for our North Creek Cub Scout Pack. We added a number of new boys, aged 6-10 years, and now have 18 active members! We had such a successful recruitment that the district awarded each boy with a free pinewood derby car kit. We now have members from all over Johnsburg, as well as Minerva and Olmstedville. Along with the new boys, several parents have also joined the pack, by becoming den leaders.
Our Cubmaster, Jennifer Smith of Minerva, has given us six wonderful years of service, inspiration and fun. She is stepping down from that role now, but will still be actively involved as the pack committee treasurer. Local artist and teacher, (and mother of two Cubs), Kate Hartley, will be the new Cubmaster, after having led this year's "graduating" Webelos Cubs since they were in second grade. Danae Tucker, of Minerva, as well as Jim Harrison of North River, have been instrumental in leading this 2009 "class" of Webelo Scouts. The pack thanks them for their unflagging enthusiasm and support!
Our pack leadership is as follows: Kate Hartley, Cubmaster; Sarah Taylor, Adult Committee Chair; Jennifer Smith, Treasurer; Tonya West, Nate Davie, Sarah Taylor, and Lenny Wilson as Den Leaders.
At our once-monthly Cub Scout meetings, we regularly work on activities suggested by the Official Handbook for each age level. We supplement those projects with "extras" designed to take advantage of our Adirondack surroundings. Along these lines, we have explored several riverbeds and trails, doing "geocaching," and spent a wonderful weekend at Minerva Lake - camping, kayaking, hiking and swimming. A perfect evening of fishing (and frog catching!) was spent at Palmer Pond in June, with a number of scouting dads and leaders guiding the Cubs. An amazing (and long) hike was an expedition to Hour Pond in the Siamese Pond Wilderness Area. We like to do just-for-fun things too - our biggest turnout of the year was a whole-family trip to the Tree Paad Family Entertainment Center in Glens Falls, for laser tag and wild ball games in their tower fort.
Scouting also emphasizes community service, and our Cubs participated in many service projects. We collected over a thousand books for the African country of Botswana, collected over 100 pounds of food for the local food pantry, we baked cookies and sang carols for the Tri-County Nursing Home residents, and collected trash along many area roads.
A new leader has joined our pack, too, this year - Paul LoGuerico. He is a BSA certified archery instructor, and our pack was thrilled to have a whole day of practicing at his target range. Even a few parents enjoyed bettering their skills with a bow and arrow! Paul comes to our area, having been a life-long scout and leader in Westchester County, and as an adult Cub leader in Greenwich, CT.
Other special activities, led by parents and community members this past year, were doing pottery on a potter's wheel, landscape painting, hiking, fishing, and woodworking.
Cub Scouting is really a family and community endeavor. Parents, grandparents and other adults help the boys complete some of their award requirements outside of our first-Saturday-of-the-month meetings. Boys move through Cubs earning as many badges, beltloops or pins as they can. There is an award for almost anything that encourages them to be good citizens, family and community members. Athletics, academics, crafts, safety and survival skills, as well as environmental stewardship are taught through the program. All of our boys have proved to be great badge-earners!
The highest award in Cub Scouting is the "Arrow of Light." This requires the older Cubs to demonstrate higher-level proficiency in a variety of skills. All four of our Webelos 2 Scouts will be receiving this award at our upcoming Blue and Gold Banquet in February: Ryan Tucker and Daniel Dunbar of Minerva, Justin Hartley-Schmale of North River, and Evan Riedinger of Bakers Mills. These Cubs will have the opportunity to "move up" to Boy Scouts.
In the coming year, we're looking forward to our annual races - the Raingutter Regatta and Pinewood Derby, in which boys create their own wooden racers from kits; as well as more trips, hiking, fishing, and a big Pack Camp-Out in Riparius. We're still looking for a great service project for 2009 - suggestions are welcome! We're hoping to be volunteer "basket fillers" for the Outreach Center's Thanksgiving basket distribution. We'll also be doing some fundraising - ask a Cub Scout about our Holiday Wreaths next fall! Our best wreath seller this past year was Andrew Taylor of Minerva, selling over $500 worth of holiday decorations. Andrew was also our best pack recruiter in 2008.
Boys may join Cub Scouts at any time during the year, but our main recruiting time is in the fall, at the start of the school year. We're excited to start a new group of Tigers (first-graders) this June, however! If you know of a potential Cub, contact Kate regarding our spring orientation meeting. We have some fun summer activities planned, which your "cub" won't want to miss!
You don't need to have children to be able to help our boys grow into young men that the whole community will be proud of! Cub Scouts could always use more input from local "experts"... If you have a particular skill or hobby that you'd be willing to share, or if you're interested in being a leader, or just to find out more about Cub Scouting, please contact Kate Hartley (251-2235), or Sarah Taylor (251- 3532).