Fishing skills

Cub Scout Pack 7 offers skills, friendship and leadership

Rachel Aubrey | [email protected]

“Do your best.” This is the motto of the Cub Scouts, the group of children aged 5-11, who attend weekly pack meetings and learn new skills and gain new experiences with others their own age. But it’s not just about learning how to tie knots and pitch tents. It’s also about making friends, helping others, and reinforcing positive attributes. This is why Southern Jordanians Kevin and Vivian Nichol have continued to be involved in Scouting for over 20 years. Their most recent effort has focused on the Cub Scout tier, specifically Pack 7, which they formed in January 2021.

“During the Cub era is when they start to realize that they’re part of something bigger,” Vivian Nichol said.

Often Scouting is associated with anything outdoors, camping, hiking, fishing, etc. While all of these outdoor pursuits are a big part of Scouting, they are not the primary goal, but rather a means by which characteristics can be instilled, such as being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, courageous, clean and respectful.

Currently, there are 22 registered Cubs in Pack 7, ranging in age from kindergarten through fifth grade. The pack is also divided into “dens”, which are smaller groups based on age. These den meetings have their own adult/parent leadership and they were able to meet at the Daybreak Community Center each week on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. As the Scout motto suggests, “do your best” is meant to be built into any activity or skill children learn, especially leadership.

“The kids we work with are truly the future leaders of tomorrow,” Nichol said.

The Nichols have confidence in the children and their potential and this confidence has been enthusiastically received by the Cubs’ parents, some of whom have begun to take on leadership roles themselves. Parental involvement has made all the difference for the Nichols, as more hands are doing light work.

“We have wonderful parents,” Nichol said. “It is important that leaders expect from the start that this is a family organization and that families are very involved.

Audrey Burrie and her 7-year-old son, Jonathan, started attending Pack meetings in March. After searching the scouting.org website for a Pack in their zip code, they were able to find the Nichols and Pack 7.

“We were looking for an activity or a place where our son could learn and experience new things that he might not have had the opportunity to do otherwise,” Burrie said.

Although she started out as a spectator mother, providing parental support for her son during weekly activities, Burrie applied to be a full-fledged volunteer scout in early July. She is now an assistant den leader.

“We love how the program is structured and our son can see how hard work and effort can be rewarded with earning patches and belt loops,” Burrie said.

Daybreak resident Lance Butler also wanted his 5-year-old son, Henderson, to be a part of where he could make friends in his area and experience new things. He too found Pack 7 through the scouting.org website and connected with the Nichols. Outdoor enthusiasts, Butler said he and Henderson had monthly camping trips before joining the Boy Scouts. In early July, Pack 7 took part in a two-day family camp at Camp Fife, outside of Collinston, Utah, which included everything you would expect from a Scouting camp: hiking, archery, bb gun shooting and older scouts lending a helping hand to younger Cubs. Butler plans to add to adult management in the future.

“It was really fun, just all the different activities and also having positive role models in the 15 and 16 year old Scouts,” Butler said.

Henderson Butler does indeed have some older kids in the peloton to look up to. Ten-year-old Alex VanLeuven has been in the peloton for eight months. Her mother, Jamie VanLeuven, is an assistant den leader, a role she shares with her husband and another relative. Alex doesn’t go to school in his immediate area and joining the pack has helped him get to know the kids his age who live near him better. VanLeuven said working with the Nichols has been great and Vivian will step in to help in a number of ways.

“She’s got something good,” VanLeuven said. “The kids know her so well.”

The VanLeuvens also participated in the family camp and this was by far the favorite activity that Alex participated in with Pack 7.

Pack 7 is set to hold an event on July 28 at 5:30 p.m. on the green space just east of the Daybreak Community Center. All children and families are welcome to participate in games such as the gutter regatta and water bottle rockets, as well as activities such as stilt walking. Cub Scouts are also looking forward to the Pinewood Derby event on October 1st. For more information on finding a Cub Scout pack, visit www.beascout.org.