Cub Scout Pack 44 welcomes kindergartners in new pilot program

By on August 17, 2016

Lions Den is a new pilot program in which kindergarten-aged boys can explore Cub Scouting. Lititz Cub Scout Pack 44 was recently chosen to test the pilot program this fall.

“Pack 44 was invited to participate in the Lions Pilot program for three main reasons, said Matt Adams, scout executive/CEO for the Pennsylvania Dutch Council of Boy Scouts of America. “Pack 44 has trained leaders who consistently deliver a high quality Cub Scouting program. Pack 44 each year delivers fun programming and rank advancement for all Cub Scouts who participate. Pack 44 has some of the neatest outdoor programs that we have seen, such as participation in family camp, J. Edward Mack resident camp, and sleeping over at the Lancaster Barnstormers to name a few. All in all, Pack 44 was selected because they have quality trained leaders, superior outdoor programs, and they have a ton of fun with their Cub Scouts.”

The Lions Den program was designed to ease a younger generation of Cub Scouts into the program.

Webelos Scout Connor Avery (left) welcomes new Lions Den Scout Austin Chmiel to Lititz Cub Scout Pack 44, using the Cub Scout handshake. (Photo by Rick Reitz)

Webelos Scout Connor Avery (left) welcomes new Lions Den Scout Austin Chmiel to Lititz Cub Scout Pack 44, using the Cub Scout handshake. (Photo by Rick Reitz)

“We see a huge interest from younger siblings of boys already in the Pack to become ‘real Scouts’ as soon as they are able,” said Ben Spead, Pack 44 committee chair. “The types of activities that we do (hikes, fishing, nature study, camping, games, crafts, marching in parades) tend to appeal to boys of all ages. The Lions Program gives boys a chance to be ‘official’ in Scouting a year earlier but at a lower time commitment.

The Lion program weaves traditional Scouting concepts of character development, leadership skills, personal fitness and citizenship into activities that are age-appropriate and fun for the boys and their parents. At the end of the Lion year, they “graduate” to Tiger and advance through Cub Scouting. The Lion Cub program has exciting indoor and outdoor activities specifically designed for kindergarten boys and their adult partner.

“The Lion Program is intended to help families experience Scouting on a small scale at an earlier age,” said Lions Den Leader Amanda Chmiel. “The Lions meet twice per month (whereas the other Dens meet four or five times per month. This typically entails one Den meeting where the Scout and parent will work on a theme/idea such as “Fun on the Run!” (learn about healthy choices) and one Den outing to put what they learned in the Den meeting to action (i.e. Jungle Field Day).”

“In addition, Lions will be invited to take part in all of the full-unit activities that Pack 44 is doing during the year,” said Spead “This includes, camping out at Camp Mack, building and racing Pinewood Derby cars, exploring Valley Forge and learning about the Revolutionary War history for that area, participating in our annual Fishing Derby, discovering a local corn maze, Christmas caroling at a local retirement home, helping to collect food for local families in need, marching in Lititz community parades, songs, campfires, crafts, hikes, and more.”

The first Pack 44 Lions Den meeting will be held Sept. 6, at 7 p.m., at St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, 200 W. Orange St.

Families can sign up now, and participate in Pack activities right away. Parents should visit pack44lititz.org/join-us, and fill out the enrollment form. More details about the program can be found at pack44lititz.org/ranks/lion.

“This pilot is important because the feedback that the boys, parents, and leaders provide will be used to improve the curriculum so that when it is rolled out to all of the Packs in the area,” said Spead. “Because the feedback from the pilot is so important, we are asking families to join ASAP, or by the end of September at the very latest, as we won’t be able to take boys mid-year during the pilot stage. The official Lions meetings will start in September, but the boys that sign up in August are welcome to join Pack activities which we are running this month.”

There are other benefits to signing up early.

“All new boys that join a Cub Scout Pack before the end of September will be invited to join an exclusive ‘Hooked on Scouting’ fishing outing sponsored by the Council on Oct. 1,” Spead explained. “Each will be given a fishing pole of their own to keep.”

Older boys, and girls, interested in finding a Scouting group, are invited to attend Warwick Scouting Night, which will be held in the Scout Pavilion in Lititz Springs Park, starting at 6 p.m. on Sept. 14. Families can explore Boy and Girl Scouting opportunities for all ages, and meet Scout Leaders, to find a good Troop or Pack match for their child.

Melissa Hunnefield is a staff writer at the Lititz Record Express. She welcomes your questions and comments at 721-4452 or mhunnefield.eph@lnpnews.com

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