Local leaders in the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) will be rallying the troops, so to speak, in the first weeks of the new school year by organizing recruitment rallies at local elementary schools.
Those rallies aim to get kids excited about all that the Cub Scouts has to offer, and take the first steps towards informing parents on how to get their kids involved.
According to Delaney Stephens, the district executive for the Lake Cumberland District for BSA, the schools will then host School Night For Scouting sign-up events. A list of days and times for each school accompanies this article.
Stephens said that any child can join a Cub Scout or Boy Scout Troop at any time of the year, and activities take place year-round. August and September just happen to be the best time to make their main recruitment push, he said.
It helps get to the word out that scouting is very relevant and teaches skills like character development, all while having fun, he said.
Pulaski County has three Cub Scout packs, and while each school tends to focus on one particular pack, any child from anywhere in the county can join any of the three packs, Stephens said.
Those packs are Pack 184, chartered through First United Methodist Church; Pack 170, chartered through Oak Hill Elementary; and Pack 134, chartered through East Somerset Baptist Church. Meetings usually take place at those buildings.
All three of Pulaski's Cub Scout packs are "family packs" open to all kids - girls and boys alike. Stephens said that after BSA opened up the organization last year to allow girls to join, their packs took in a "decent number" of girls.
This benefits both kids and the parents, as Stephens points out that many siblings join one single pack, meaning parents can take their kids to a single meeting.
"We've had a lot of positive feedback," he said.
Cub Scouts are open to children ages 5 to 10 (kindergarten through fifth grades). When they reach age 11, or sixth grade, they can move up to a BSA troop. Currently, the Pulaski County troop consists of boys, but Stephens said that if there is a demand, then a girl-centered group may start up.
BSA has several other programs under its umbrella that are available in Pulaski, all open to both boys and girls and all aimed at ages 14 through 20.
Stephens said Learning for Life health career exploration, hosted through the Lake Cumberland Regional Hospital, allows youths to get hands-on information and training of medical careers, while a law enforcement exploration, chartered through the Somerset Police Department, does the same with those interested in law enforcement careers.
The organization also has a Venture Crew program, which gives the opportunity to learn life skills and leadership skills through outdoor adventures and activities, such as kayaking.
Anyone with questions can contact Stephens at Delaney.Stephens@scouting.org.