Cub Scouts bring Family Scouting to Shelburne, Charlotte

Photo by David Buley
Members of Cub Scout Pack 607 take a break Sunday on a hike at Five Tree Hill in Williston. The pack will soon expand to welcome girls in grades kindergarten through five.

By David Buley

Cub Scout Pack 607, serving the youth of Shelburne and Charlotte, is preparing for an exciting new chapter – the addition of girls – via the new Boy Scouts of America program called “Family Scouting” starting this fall.

What is Family Scouting? At the Cub Scout level, it represents that the established program for youth in grades K-5 has been expanded and adapted to serve both boys and girls.

Research showed families asking for this change for two main reasons: The first was a strong desire expressed by families to be able to provide the same program focused on the scouting core principles of leadership, outdoor skills, adventure, and citizenship for girls as well as boys; the second was an acknowledgement that time demands on families with children are increasing and being able to have both sons and daughters in a common program was seen as highly desirable by 90 percent of the families surveyed nationally.

Announced by the Boy Scouts of America in November, the Green Mountain Council of Vermont has been preparing for this change since the start of the year. With the support of our charter organization, the Rotary Club of Charlotte Shelburne and Hinesburg, Pack 607 has been working on what this means for our local Cub Scout unit. Most importantly, we are looking at how we can prepare to make the program as dynamic, challenging and rewarding for girls as it has been for the boys that have been served thus far in our communities.

The Pack will be ready to shift from the traditional “boys only” model to Family Scouting for the start of the 2018-2019 school year, although all events from June 1 on through the summer will be open to all prospective families with both boys and girls.

Since the announcement at the national level, there has been both significant local interest and questions expressed about what the new Cub Scout program will look like. (Spoiler alert: Almost identical to the well-developed and established program of today) Specifically, people are asking what it will mean to add girls to Cub Scouts in our towns.

Pack 607 is hosting an information night on Thursday, May 31 at 6:30 p.m. in the Shelburne Town Offices to address this exciting change. While the focus of this information night will be on Family Scouting for grades K-5, all prospective families who are interested in joining Cub Scouts are welcome to attend.

If you have questions in advance of the meeting, please feel free to contact me at packcomchairpack607@gmail.com.

David Buley is Pack Committee chair of Cub Scout Pack 607.

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