Starting a Cub Scout Pack
I have always thought at some point in time I would start a Cub Scout and Boy Scout unit. My father worked for the BSA for 15 years and I spent a lot of my youth around Boy Scouts and Scout Camps learning camping skills, cooking skills and a love for the outdoors. As a teen, I worked at Camp Hugh Taylor Birch in Yellowsprings for a couple of summers, one stint in the dining hall was an interesting adventure and the summer that I taught Tecumseh Island was one of the most memorable for me.
Fast forward to Columbus, Ohio and my sons have gone through Cub Scouts and are now enrolled in Scouting and the entire time I have worked with the boys they have gone to units that were really not that close to our home. It struck me there was no Scouting in my neighborhood. One evening I plotted all of the Scout organizations in the city and to my not so great surprise, there was a huge circle over the near east side of the city where I live where there was really no Scouting at all. A little homework and research and Packs and Troops seem to have come and gone but never stuck. I decided that was a clear signal for me to change that.
It takes quite a lot of effort to start a Pack or Troop. The BSA always wants the Cub Scouts first, even if there are boys who want Scouts, they tell them to go elsewhere which in our neighborhood is probably the reason why there are not that many Scouts. So I set off to see what people would think and for the most part, every single person was positive about having Scouts in the neighborhood. But it has not made the effort easier. There are several schools to recruit from but only one responded. A few churches and a couple of parks – my work was cut out for me. But today, we had our first Pack Meeting with six boys looking for a Scouting experience. One boy wants to be a police officer when he gets older and a couple of other boys are looking for fun outside of the city. I had a great time meeting people this week and talking about Scouting, the fun that kids have, the opportunities that it brings and I realized that I have another 20 years in my neighborhood. I am looking forward to seeing how the Pack and Troop are faring when it’s time for me to step down.
As for now, I am excited for the fun things we have planned and we will keep working the neighborhood to have young boys come to Scouts and walk away fine young men.