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Sanibel Tiger Scouts form first pack in a decade

By Staff | Oct 22, 2014

Posing during a fieldtrip. CRAIG GARRETT

Sanibel’s first Tiger Cub scout pack in recent memory has formed, providing the opportunity to parents and youngsters to explore and develop new skills, Den Leader Kara Stone said, on-island. Scouts in past years traveled to Fort Myers, mostly because there were so few boys volunteering, Stone said. Her two sons are scouts. She volunteered as a Den Leader this summer.

Tiger Cubs with Pack 140 muster out of The Sanibel School, island homes and other locations for fun activities, Stone said. Her pack toured the Sanibel Fire District station on Palm Ridge for an Oct. 14 fieldtrip. The island Tiger Cubs are roughly half of the 36 first-graders at the school, all boys no more than age 7. Tiger Cubs are the entry-point in the Boy Scouts of America program.

That Tiger Cubs are just weaned from short pants was evident during the preliminary fire station tour; one boy clutching a toy had plenty of inquiries for Firefighter Josh Koza, a stoic man with an easy way of answering questions about office telephones and stuffed bears. Other scouts during Koza’s demonstrations of fire equipment fidgeted and rolled shoulders, scratched their legs and scrunched their eyes, otherwise behaved as natural young boys enduring a weighty lecture about things beyond their figurative and literal reach.

Yet the scouts seemed to be having fun in a boy-cave of red toys, each offering Koza the honest respect he deserved, marching quietly through the building tour, paying close attention to a backroom collection of burned and broken items — including a weedwhacker with pile of embedded hair — explained in detail by Koza and fellow firefighter Carl Johanson. The boys’ courtesy was not lost on Den Leader Stone, who said they are diligent in achieving the five goals of Tiger Cubs that include a “go-see-it” component.

Stone was recruited for the Den post by fellow parents, she said, never picturing herself in the role. Two of the boys have grandfathers that achieved Eagle Scout. Tiger Cubs is a great opportunity for boys to learn to play well with others, or “to have some boy time,” she said.

Stone, a Brownie scout as a girl, is pleased to discover that scouting pushes boys to reach high, but at their own pace.

“They try their best,” she said, “but it doesn’t have to be perfect.”