Thank you for your interest in Cub Scout Pack 278!
Below are some of our Frequently Asked Questions:
Ø What is the purpose of Scouting?
Scouting helps youth develop academic skills, self-confidence, ethics, leadership skills, and citizenship skills that influence their adult lives. The Boy Scouts of America provides youth with programs and activities that allow them to:
v Try new things.
v Provide service to others.
v Build self-confidence.
v Reinforce ethical standards.
While various activities and youth groups teach basic skills and promote teamwork, Scouting goes beyond that and encourages youth to achieve a deeper appreciation for service to others in their community.
Scouting provides youth with a sense that they are important as individuals. It is communicated to them that those in the Scouting family care about what happens to them, regardless of whether a game is won or lost.
Ø Is it Boys only that can attend?
Cub Scouting we are proud to say is one of the few programs that is family oriented. What that means is we encourage the whole family to participate/attend events to help your son as he grows preparing him for Boy Scouts. It’s so much FUN even siblings will look forward to coming! No babysitters required here. We also have several female leaders on our team and just as many moms/grandmothers who bring their sons/grandsons to meetings and events as the men do.
Ø How old does my son have to be to join?
In Scouting boys are grouped by their same age/grade level and not how long they have been involved. So what that means is your son doesn’t have to worry about being in a different rank or den than his friends. He can join as early as June 1st if entering Kindergarten through 5th grade in the fall. If your son will be entering Kindergarten this fall please read about the new Lion program…
Ø MY SON WILL BE ENTERING KINDERGARTEN THIS FALL; CAN HE JOIN?
We are finally overjoyed to report YES! As of September 2016 our Council kicked off a new pilot program called the “Lion” rank and we are proud to say we have been a part of a select group of Packs to host it in our District! Read more about the Lion program by going to http://scoutingwire.org/new-lion-program-piloting-this-fall/
Ø Scouting is known for their good turns (deeds), what types of community service opportunities will my son have?
v Every 4th Tuesday of the month during the school year our scouts do the packing for the MVPHP School Backpack Program to benefit local area students in need of food assistance on the weekends.
v In the beginning of May our Scouts decide where to pick up trash for the yearly FSK District sponsored “Scout Sweep” (in May they collected trash from the field next to Middletown Safeway).
v In August/September our Pack conducts a stream study which is not only fun and wet but records valuable research data for DNR to determine the health of our local streams.
v We assist in the Braddock Heights yearly Park Clean-up and pick up trash along Deer Spring Road prior to our yearly Pack Fishing Activity at Seven Ponds Farm.
v Every November the Scouts are involved in the nationwide scouting event “Scouting for Food” where they collect nonperishable food donations from our community and donate it to the local food bank. This is Scouting’s largest community service event as up to 70% of the food banks yearly supply is collected during this single weekend!
v Each month scouts will have the opportunity to donate a nonperishable or household toiletry item to the local food bank or other local charitable organizations such as Toys for Tots at our Pack Meetings organized and collected by our Good Turn Coordinator.
Ø My son is involved in other activities, what kind of time commitment will Scouting be?
the best part about our Pack is your time commitment is up to YOU! It can be as little as 3½ hours a month by just attending the Den and Pack meetings or it can be much more! Just remember your FAMILY is welcome to attend ALL our Pack events, siblings included! Don’t just be content sitting on the sidelines, Scouting is one of the few organizations that allows families to be an integral part of the journey to help your son grow and have fun!
Scheduled Den & Pack Meetings…
v Starting in September your son’s den will host 2 meetings a month (1 hour long each) to learn skills for his rank requirements, these are a must to attend for your son to obtain his rank each year.
v Den meeting dates/times are dependent on the members of the den. What that means is the den families decide which day of the week and time works best with everyone’s schedule to allow the most participation. Our Pack Leaders ask that it follow a regular schedule for consistency and ease of planning. For example, the Webelos Den chose to meet the 1st and 3rd Sunday of the month from 3-4pm this past scouting year.
v On the 3rd Wednesday evening of each month the Pack will host a Pack Meeting for 1½ hours to honor our Scout’s monthly achievements, I recommend attending these as the boys love receiving awards, “bling”, to show off on their uniforms and cheer on their friends accomplishments.
The following activities are where YOU decide your family’s commitment…
We call it the “Cub Scout A La Carte Menu”
v Each month your son will have the opportunity to attend an outdoor pack activity, anywhere from hiking to fishing to snow tubing to the maple syrup festival to a model rocket launch and a pack community service project, such as the MVPHP school food backpack program, taking up a collection for the Middletown Food Bank, the Middletown Community Clothes Closet, or Toys for Tots.
v Five times a year your family will have the opportunity to join the pack for a Family Camping weekend trip. In July, Scouts enjoy watching a baseball game, camping on the outfield and watching a movie on the Jumbotron at Key’s Stadium in Frederick! In April they camped at Washington Monument State Park with hiking trails, bird watching and a campfire program. And in May our Scouts attended the Goshen 50th Anniversary Weekend Celebration in Goshen, VA.
v Can’t forget the derbies: Pinewood, Raingutter Regatta, Klondike and our Space Water Bottle Rocket Launch. We even host parent and sibling races!
v Our local FSK District and NCACouncil will host yearly events you are more than welcome to attend with us; Day Camp in June and July/Aug is one of them!
v We also invite you to join in many Middletown and Braddock Heights Community Events such as the Braddock Community Parade, Middletown Heritage Day Parade, Veteran’s Day Memorial Services, Memorial Day Celebration, 4th of July Flag Ceremony and many more!
(select ‘For Fun’ on the top left menu board of our website to see event photos and our program activity calendar)
Ø AS A PARENT WHAT OPPORTUNITES WILL I HAVE TO BECOME MORE INVOLVED IN MY SON’S SCOUTING PROGRAM?
Our goal is for all of our families to feel vested in our Scouting program. Each year as families bridge to Boy Scouts, volunteer positions become available in our Cub Scout program ranging from event aids to activity organizers to committee positions to pack leaders. As these positions become available we advertise them to all members within the Pack. Most of these positions include a shadowing period in addition to online and/or in-person training sessions so you always feel supported and confident in your position. As an all-volunteer organization we rely on our pack families’ willingness become involved in their son’s program. The extent of your family’s involvement will always be up to you and as a Pack we are ever so thankful for the time our families are able to give whether it is helping transport supplies, picking up ice for the coolers, teaching the scouts an activity such as fishing, being a guest speaker, or diving in as a den leader. We couldn’t do it without everyone’s support! The heart of our program is our pack families, they have led us to execute such an amazing program each year for our Scouts our Pack has been honored as the FSK District’s “Pack of the Year” several times and we welcome you to join us in celebrating this tradition again for 2017!
Ø WHO WILL BECOME MY SON’S DEN LEADER AND ASSISTANT DEN LEADER?
Scouting is structured just like your local sports program where you have a Den Leader (coach) and Assistant Den Leader(s). And just like in sports, parents of Scouts in that age group (den) become those Leaders. If your son happens to join as a 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th grader there may already be an established leadership team in place or we may be looking to add to our leadership team. When a den is newly formed such as our youngest Cub Scouts, the Tigers, (1st graders) all of the families get together in an orientation meeting in the beginning of the year to determine the dens basic platform of what day of the week works best for meetings and what time so everyone is able to attend and the initial investment is made. During this meeting we will go over expectations for the year and those who are interested are welcome to step up to become the Den Leader or Assistant Den Leader. And just like in sports we welcome more than one Assistant if multiple parents are interested.
Ø WHAT TYPES OF TRAINING DOES THE PACK PROVIDE TO ITS LEADERS?
To ensure our Pack delivers a consistent program our senior leaders will serve as guides to all new volunteer leaders and dens for their first meeting(s) and continue to provide support throughout the year. Our Pack follows the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) National Program by providing all our leaders with supporting materials, outlines, and recommended practices for all meetings as well as multiple training opportunities at the District, Council, and National level. All members in leadership positions are required to complete position specific training according to the BSA. We also host meetings each month for our leadership team to monitor our Pack’s progression. All pack families are invited to attend the Pack’s monthly Committee Meeting to provide their input on upcoming activities and feedback for improvement.
Ø WHAT’S THE COST TO JOIN?
For an August start the joining fee is a prorated cost of only $27.00 for your BSA/Den dues OR $33.00 if you would also like an optional subscription to Boys Life Magazine. If you decide to join later I can send you the adjusted prorated cost for that month. We do not charge the yearly Program Fee when you join, that cost is only included in our yearly December invoicing. The reason for this is so the boys have the opportunity to fundraise during the fall to offset or earn FREE Program Fees. We want everyone to have a chance to join scouting and benefit from the fundraising program. We don't ever want cost to be the reason not to join; our Pack offers financial assistance for those in need. Scouting also offers camperships for Scouts requesting financial assistance to attend Summer Camp.
Ø Fundraising? How often is that?
We want our Scouts to spend their year enjoying the outdoors, learning, and having fun, we don't want them to spend most of the year fundraising. Our Pack only fundraises through the Trails End Popcorn program in the fall. The selling season is from September 1st to October 31st for take orders and through November 30th if you choose to take online orders. We provide many table selling opportunities for those who prefer not to sell door to door. Many of our Scouts have earned FREE Pack Dues and additional District, Council and Trails End rewards such as Stomp Rockets, LEGO sets, Wal-Mart gift cards, Six Flags Amusement Park Tickets, FREE Summer Camp, and College Scholarships. It is very doable!
Ø what if our family chooses not to fundraise?
That’s fine too; there is a buyout option! If you choose not to fundraise you will receive an invoice in December for the full amount of the annual scouting costs including program fees. (As of December 2016: $255 annually not including uniform costs)