Cub Scout pack first in area to go coed

Howard County Times

Cub Scout Pack 602 is proud to say that everyone is included. Its website states that they were “chartered for the express purpose of exploring the Cub Scouts' Family Scouting program, providing children of all genders with the opportunity to learn and grow through the unique experiences that Cub Scouts provides.”

The Boy Scouts of America instituted a policy change in October 2017 to include girls in packs and troops.

It is exciting to report that the first coed, family Cub Scout pack in our area was chartered on June 20.

Pack 602 meets at Emmanuel United Methodist Church on Scaggsville Road in North Laurel. It is an “open, welcoming, diverse and inclusive group, focused on developing life skills, civic engagement and personal responsibility in our children, while encouraging them to explore and experience the wonders of our world” according to its website.

Leader Lonnie Woodward has been involved with Scouting for many years and has lead four sons through Scouts. He is excited to have his daughter join the pack of 20 Scouts currently made up of nine girls and 11 boys.

The pack quickly jumped into activities and has been working hard to be an integral part of the community.

Its Summer Kick-Off party was on June 30, where they had an opportunity to see their meeting space at the church for the first time. They also enjoyed a nature hike, played games, had cool treats and made tie-dyed shirts. Scouts in Pack 602 marched in Laurel’s 4th of July Parade and were awarded first place for a Scouting group.

In August, they were invited to support the Laurel Police Department at National Night Out by participating in the Flag Ceremony but the event got rained out. They met for a Friday Flick in the Park at Laurel Gude Park and closed out the summer on Aug. 26 with a Letterbox Hike at Fairland Recreational Park which is like a scavenger hunt for hikers.

In September, the pack had its first den meeting, set up a table at the and started its popcorn fundraiser.

The first Pack Fall Family Camp Out was held recently at Watkins Regional Park in Upper Marlboro. Scouts and their families had an overnight camp out which included a visit to the Old Maryland Farm. There, they visited many farm animals and even got to tag and release a monarch butterfly that will be tracked on its travel to Mexico. They hiked over 1.5 miles, picked up garbage they found along the way, looked for traces of animals, followed the “Leave No Trace” principles and learned about local wildlife at the nature center. The evening was capped off with a campfire, songs, skits and s’mores.

The next big event is its Fall Campfire. The normal den meetingscheduled for Thursday, Oct. 25 conflicted with the Laurel Main Street Trick or Treat.

So instead, on Saturday, Oct. 27, Pack 602 members are inviting area children to meet behind Emmanuel United Methodist Church, which has nature trails and a bonfire pit for an evening that will include a Rain Gutter Regatta, where kids will make and race wind-powered boats in a rain gutter.

The theme for the meeting is “A Scout is Brave” so members of the Laurel Volunteer Fire Department and other special guests will discuss how they are brave doing their own job and how Scouts can be brave, too. They will conclude the evening with a campfire, campfire songs, skits and of course, s’mores.

Future plans for Pack 602 include adopting a park within the city of Laurel, a community creek clean up in Burtonsville, a Pinewood Derby, Scouting for food, Memorial Day flag placements, Christmas wreath laying and many more community service projects while having fun learning how Scouts can help build a better world. Hiking and camping promises to be a part of the fun, too.

According to Woodward, “there was some doubt by people about allowing girls into the program but in the USA, there are now over 50,000 female members that are showing that this is a very successful change.”

Pack 602 is “happy to be a part of this change. Opening up the Boy Scouts of America program to all youth is a great experience for everyone.”

Registration is now open for the 2018-2019 Savage Boys and Girls Club Basketball Season. Boys and Girls Leagues are available for players 9-18. Co-ed leagues are for ages 7 and 8. Go to savagebgc.org to register today and get additional information.

In addition, all high school boys and girls who may be looking to try out for their high basketball team will want to participate in the second annual Tryout Clinic with Reservoir Girls Coach Deb Taylor. For details and registration information, go to savagebgc.org.

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