Cub Scouts offers family oriented ‘packs’

WESTFIELD-Recruitment drives for families considering Cub Scouts for their girls and boys are welcome to attend local gatherings in June.

“If you have a child entering grades K-5 and are interested in finding out more about Cub Scouts, join us for a fun family event on June 7 at the Frog Pond at Stanley Park,” said Melanie McNamara, who serves as cub master for Pack 820.

The 6:30-7:30 p.m. event will observe one of the organization’s most formal ceremonies, “our crossing over,” notes McNamara.

“This is when a scout transitions from one den to another,” said McNamara, adding a kickball game for all scouts and prospective scouts will immediately follow the ceremony. “While this is happening, parents will be able to meet with myself, leaders and other parents.”

In the event of rain, canopies will be provided for the ceremonies and the games will be conducted in the pavilion.

“Anyone in Westfield and surrounding towns are welcome to participate in our pack,” said McNamara. 

There are several “dens” to Cub Scouts, ranging from the Lions for children in kindergarten, progressing to Tigers for first graders, Wolves for second grade, Bears for third grade, Webelos for fourth grade, and Arrow of Light for fifth grade.

For McNamara, who has served as cub master for approximately six years, she noted Pack 820 has a “very dedicated” committee chair, Gina Crossetti, and several “amazing leaders” including Matt Deacon, Julie Colon and Lynn Koenig.

Cub Scouts Pack 820 members Tony Crossetti, Spencer McNamara, and Ryan Deacon, led by Webelos den leader Matt Deacon, are seen participating in a cast iron chef adventure. Completing the cast iron chef is required for the Webelos badge which includes meal planning, budgeting, shopping, and preparing a nutritious meal, as well as making a cooking fire. (MELANIE MCNAMARA PHOTO)

“We invite all family members to participate at whatever level they are comfortable with and we plan many family events and activities throughout the year,” said McNamara.

Parents will be able to register their children on June 7 and paperwork on financial assistance will also be available.

“I have really enjoyed all of the families I have met along the way,” said McNamara. “Myself and my children have made many lifelong friends. My children have learned some wonderful values and skills. I couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Greg Stoltzfus, cub master for Pack 108 since 2015, shared a similar sentiment.

“I enjoy working with the scouts as they learn and develop new skills and gain confidence,” said Stoltzfus, noting Pack 108 has planned a pack gathering on June 11 from 6-8 p.m. at Stanley Park at the pavilion near the playground.

“This is our annual end of the school year celebration,” said Stoltzfus. “We will be celebrating our scouts that are moving to the next rank and then have some time for games and activities.”

Stoltzfus encourages parents to consider Cub Scouts for their children.

“Through scouting my children have developed camping and outdoor skills, made new friendships, and developed a sense of community,” he said.

Patrick Crowley, cub master for Pack 109 for six years, concurred.

“I love watching our kids have fun, use their imaginations, and watching them grow together as a group,” said Crowley, adding, “My daughter was the first girl to join in the history of our pack.”

Crowley is still in the process of planning a public event and welcomes inquiries about his pack by sending an email to him at [email protected].

“My son was a member of our pack, and we have some amazing memories together,” said Crowley. “He grew from both our pack activities – camping, hiking, cooking – and then the scouting program itself.”

For more information on dues and financial assistance, visit wmascouting.org or call Boy Scouts of America, Western Massachusetts Council, at (413) 594-9196. 

For more details on Pack 820, email McNamara at [email protected] or call (413) 575-0202. For information on Pack 109, contact Crowley via email at [email protected] or call (413) 875-5700, or contact Stoltzfus for Pack 108 via email to [email protected] or call (413) 887-9724.

Pack 820 meets Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at the Highland Elementary School; Pack 109 meets Thursdays at 6 p.m. at Stanley Park by the children’s playground, and Pack 108 meets the first Thursday of the month at 6 p.m. at St. John’s Lutheran Church.

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