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Local Cub Scout Packs participate in Thursday’s national informational night

Local Cub Scouts participate in last year’s spring membership drive with “Cub mobiles,” which were brought to Red Wing by Rochester Cub Scouts. Local Cub Master Hal Johnson said he is looking forward to building the mobiles with the packs as one of their upcoming projects. (Photo courtesy of Hal Johnson)

Local boys are invited to be part of a nationwide event Thursday. And they’re invited to join an international mainstay: the Boy Scouts.

Two local Cub Scout troops will be hosting one-hour informational meetings as part of a national recruitment night for the program. The sessions will be 7 to 8 p.m. at Sunnyside, Burnside and Twin Bluff schools.

Families of boys in first through fifth grades are welcome to attend "Rocket Into Scouting" to find out more information.

“It is one hour, one night in the whole nation,” Cub Master Hal Johnson said. “This year there is a national recruitment drive. … In Red Wing, we have a great group of Scouts and leaders, but we do face competition with sports and other activities.”

Thus, Johnson encourages parents and interested students to come learn more about the program and the opportunities available.

“It is really, really a neat thing,” he said. “There is something to be said about being greater than yourself. They put on the uniform and become part of a pack. And there are aspects of scouting that reach worldwide. I always tell (the scouts) that when they are saluting and saying the Pledge of Allegiance they are doing so with others all across the nation.”

Being a Cub Scout

“Scouting has a long history in Red Wing,” Johnson said.

Highlighting the different aspects of the program, he said Cub Scouts focus on citizenship, emphasize community service, enhance personal growth and advancement and offer outdoors and camping components.

The program runs throughout the school year with three meetings per month.

Meetings are 7 p.m. Mondays at designated locations for each pack. Johnson said that location does not have to be a deciding factor in which pack to join.

“There are two packs to provide the boy and his parents the options for the best fit. Each pack offers a different flavor,” he said. “We encourage those interested to try one and try the other and to pick the best fit for them.”

Both packs use the same Cub Scout handbooks and work through the same ranks and pins.

The program offers goal-setting and achievement opportunities as each Cub Scout works toward earning the next rank by the end of the school year.

“It gives the students a responsibility of working toward something and then gives them the accomplishment of achieving that rank. There are also individual things that they can do with parents or sibling to earn arrow points (bonus points), different activities or skills,” Johnson said.

Along with meeting, the packs also focus on community service, enjoy group activities and compete in different derbies —pinewood, rain gutter and space derbies.

Scouts also have had the opportunity to get involved in the community with service projects and “do some things at ArtReach and tour the fire station,” he said.

Johnson was a Cub and Boy Scout growing up. His two sons have been involved in the program along with participating in extra-curricular school activities.

About the packs

Johnson leads Pack 40, and Nathan Odman is the master of Pack 32.

Cub scouts is a prequel, so to speak, of the Boy Scouts, which is for boys from grade 6 through age 18.

There are also two Boy Scout troops in Red Wing.

Johnson said that the family-oriented program always invites parental involvement.

“We get a lot of enthusiasm from parents,” he said.

Parents can help as the Scouts earn their different pins, providing real-world experience, knowledge and encouragement.

Any parent of a student interested in joining a Cub Scout pack can contact Johnson at 651-503-9149 or Odman at 651-380-1927.

For more information, visit www.BeAScout.org or attend one of Thursday night’s open houses.

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