By Sandra Zunino
Directing the energy of about 30 elementary-school age boys for a Cub Scout meeting takes aplomb, a bit of courage and the generosity to stand up and volunteer. Patty Muller, leader of Centreville Cub Scout pack 129 sets the example.
Patty has held many volunteer positions in Cub Scouts since her oldest son Brandon started the program more than six years ago. Now that Brandon has moved on to Boy Scouts, Patty continues to volunteer while younger son Ryan is involved.
“The longer you stay in, the more you learn about what goes on and the more you take on,” she says. Patty started as Advancement Chair, ordering awards for the boys, and later held Committee Chair, helping direct other chair people. By her second year with the scouts, she was a den leader.
“Anytime you do volunteer work, it is rewarding,” says Patty. “I meet such great people – the parents in the pack are wonderful.”
A Cub Scout pack is comprised of dens designated by the boys’ age. First grade boys are Tigers. Second graders are Wolves. Third graders are Bears. Fourth and fifth graders are Webelos 1 and Webelos 2, respectively. Each den has a different program geared toward that age group.
Once a month, all the dens meet as a pack. Boy receive recognition for their accomplishments, announcements about upcoming activities are made and scouts participate in activates together. Often a member from the community visits and leads a discussion. Local Historian Mary Margaret Goodwin attended October’s meeting and spoke about researching family roots.
Monthly leaders’ meetings establish activities and community service projects for the scouts. Part of the Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s largest and most prominent values-based youth development organizations, volunteers are supplied with plenty of support to keep the programs organized.
Belonging to the Choptank District, Pack 123 is part of the Del-Mar-Va Council, serving scouts of Caroline, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties. “When a new person decides to volunteer, we have the documents and forms from the larger council that can help them,” says Patty.
Patty also acknowledges prior volunteers as instrumental in acclimating new volunteers. “The hardest thing is to find people to take on the big roles in the pack,” says Patty, “but it always works out and there’s always someone who steps forward.”
Volunteers and scouts have many activities in the near future. Currently, the Cub Scouts are holding a membership drive. In November, scouts will hold a Raingutter Regatta where scouts fashion small boats and race them down water-filled rain gutters. In addition to camping, meetings and other family-friendly events, scouts also attend banquets to honor their achievements.
“At banquets, it’s amazing to see how much these boys have done and grown,” says Patty. “I highly recommend the program especially if someone is looking for an alternative or addition to sports as far as character building.”
According to Patty, Cub Scouts interact in a non-completive way, learn the importance of community service, build outdoor skills, leadership skills and character in a fun environment as well as form long-lasting friendships.
For more information about Centreville Cub Scouts visit www.centrevillescouts.org. For information about joining, email firstname.lastname@example.org.