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Scouts seek members

MARQUETTE — Research reinforces interest expressed by families and girls nationwide as organization looks to offer programs that meet the needs of today’s families, according to a release from Bay-Lakes Council, Boy Scouts of America.

This fall, Cub Scout Packs in the Upper Peninsula are welcoming new families to join. Cub Scout enrollment now welcomes both boys and girls, kindergarten through fifth grade, to the program. The whole family, both children and parents/guardians, are invited to participate in Cub Scouts as a family.

District Director Patrick O’Brien said in the release: “Cub Scouts is that one activity that parents get to do with their children as a family. We’re inviting all families to attend one of our COVID friendly Join Nights in Marquette County to learn more about the program, get their questions answered, and register their sons and/or daughters for Cub Scouts.” Local Join Nights will mainly be in a drive-thru format and are happening at the following dates and locations:

≤ Marquette Pack 3308, 6 p.m. Thursday, Rippling River Resort, Marquette

≤ Negaunee Pack 3346, 10 a.m. Saturday, Negaunee Township Park Pavilion

≤ Marquette Pack 3395, 7-8 p.m. Tuesday, Messiah Lutheran Church, Marquette

≤ Gwinn Pack 3333, 5-6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 25, Gwinn United Methodist Church

≤ Greater Ishpeming Pack 3321, Formal recruiting date to occur in October. Check out this page for more information:

www.facebook.com/groups/joinpack321/

Girls started to join Cub Scouts two years ago. Cub Scout dad and leader Mike VanHandel said in the release: “Our daughter joined the Pack. She gets so excited about it and it’s fun to watch her doing the things that we haven’t been able to find the equivalent opportunity elsewhere.”

The main difference in Cub Scouts this year will be focused on outdoor activities as much as possible with social distancing and smaller groups. It’s expected the program have more activities that parents do with their children at home where all the resources are available online or made available to the families.

It is designed in a way like the schools to be flexible for families during the pandemic: All-in person, all at-home, or a hybrid of the two.

“We really want to make sure families know that we want our program to work for them and be flexible so they can participate comfortably as a family,” O’Brien said in the release.

A nationwide survey shows girls are joining for the same reasons as boys: Camping and the Pinewood Derby. More girls expressed they like hiking where boys are showing a preference for fishing as a reason for joining. Previous recruiting results show that 70% of girls are truly inspired to be able join Cub Scouts and Scouts, BSA, according to O’Brien.

There is one area pack who serve the boys in their communities:

≤ Harvey Pack 3361: Formal recruiting to occur in October.

Parents can also visit BeAScout.org for more information and register a child for Cub Scouts and to learn more about Scouting in the community and its programs, the benefits and experience. Local Scouts, BSA Troops for Boys and one for Girls are also accepting new members ages 11-17 years old. Locally, O’Brien can answer any questions parents have: email him at patrick.obrien@scouting.org.

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