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Cub Scouts gearing up for another fun-packed year

By Staff | Aug 19, 2015

The Sanibel Cub Scout den, which is part of Pack 140, learned about bike repair last year at Billey’s Bikes on Sanibel. PHOTO PROVIDED

Cub Scouts is gearing up for another fun year of activities and service projects on Sanibel for boys in grades first through fifth grade.

Kara Stone began a Cub Scout den last year to offer young boys with the opportunity to get involved on the island.

“Last year we had a den meeting on Sanibel, which is nice because honestly the participation on Sanibel was affected by people not wanting to drive off the causeway to go to a weekly meeting,” she said. “There was a time at least 10 years ago that there was more scouts on island.”

Eight first grade boys took part in the Sanibel Cub Scout den last year, which is part of Pack 140. The pack, currently comprised of 20 boys, meets at the United Methodist Church in Fort Myers.

The pack is split into smaller dens of four to eight boys led by parent volunteers. The dens consist of first grade Tigers, second grade Wolf, third grade Bear, fourth grade Webelos and fifth grade Arrow of Light.

The Cub Scouts reciting their Scout Oath. PHOTO PROVIDED

With a successful first year packed with tons of activities, Stone is reaching out to other young boys who would like to join the pack and get involved in Cub Scouts through a few recruiting days.

From 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, Stone will have a table set up at The Sanibel School during open house for those interested in joining. Another sign-up night will be held from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22 at The Sanibel School.

The cost for joining in August and September is $13. The yearly dues, $26, occur in December.

“If a boy wants to join and there is financial concern, we help them out,” Stone said.

She said her hope is that all eight boys will return this year, as well as additional boys who are interested in joining.

Pack 140 traveled to Big Cypress in the Everglades National Park last year as one of their camping trips. PHOTO PROVIDED

“We will make more dens as needed,” she said adding that if they have more than eight kids they will split the boys into two little dens.

Every year Boy Scouts holds a fundraiser in September and October selling popcorn. The goal for this year is to sell around $10,000, which includes a portion returning to Pack 140.

The funds are used for such activities as camping, maintenance, supplies and awards.

“Last year as a pack we camped about four or five times,” she said. “This year we have camping trips planned in October, November, December, January and March. We usually go around Lee County to some of our parks.”

One of the camping trips from last year took Pack 140 to Big Cypress in the Everglades National Park where they went on a swamp buggy ride and attended a Native American show.

Stone said since they love opportunities where they can give back to the community, the Cub Scout den participated in such activities as the Veterans Day ceremony on Sanibel, as well as planting bushes at The Sanibel School.

In addition to service projects, the den also learned about animals and their tracks, how to hike safely and how to tie knots.

“Sanibel has been awesome,” Stone said.

The boys visited Billy’s Bikes where they learned about bike repair and safety and took data on plants and animals while hiking the Indigo Trail at J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge.

“I see it as there is the service work, love and respect for one’s country and then there is the outdoors and camping,” Stone said. “It’s a really great program for boys.”

One of the first things she learned when she became a parent volunteer is the boys enjoy hands-on activities while getting out and experiencing things.

A nice feature of Cub Scouts, Stone said is the large emphasis on family involvement.

“People like scouts more when they do feel involved,” she said. “It helps the pack overall to have everyone have ownership over it.”

For those interested in joining or learning more, should contact Stone at karastone5@gmail.com.

Follow Meghan @IslanderMeghan on Twitter.