The Aquia District of the National Capital Area Council (NCAC) kicked off the 2023-24 Scouting year with resounding success. This Northern Virginia (NOVA) Boy Scouts of America (BSA) District orchestrated a series of remarkable events in September and October, showcasing their Scout leaders’ commitment to creating a robust, engaging Scouting program that fosters the growth and development of young Scouts & Scouting Families.
First on the list was an Americanism Merit Badge Workshop hosted at the Howell Branch Library in Fredericksburg, VA on 9 September. The workshop was made possible with sponsorship from the Colonel Fielding Lewis (CFL) Chapter of the Sons of the American Revolution and Merit Badge Counselors Dee Callender, Trip Wiggins, and Steve Sabo. This 8-hour workshop attracted 50 Scouts from Aquia District and three other BSA Districts in NOVA, as well as Scouts from the Heart of VA Council, all of whom eagerly pursued Merit Badges in Citizenship in the Nation, American Heritage, Law, and Genealogy. Remarkably, over 20 Scouts successfully completed all four badges, earning themselves the prestigious CFL Americanism Award and deepening their understanding of American history and values.
Following the American Merit Badge Workshop, the District organized the Lion’s ROAR event, a thrilling experience for new kindergarten-aged Scouts, held at the Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA) in Stafford, VA on 16 September. This 5-hour event, made possible (and safe) with key help from Marty Brown and Howard Myatt on the ranges, welcomed 20 young Cubs from Aquia District and a Scouting Family from the Shenandoah Area Council! This introduction to the KISMIF (“Keep It Safe, Make It Fun!”) Scouting world included such activities as archery, slingshots, creative crafts, and an exhilarating floor-is-lava themed obstacle course. These engaging activities not only introduced young Scouts to the fundamentals of Scouting but also filled their day with fun and adventure!
The next event was an overnight Cuboree, from 30 September – 1 October, attracting participation from over 160 Cubs hailing from various corners of NOVA, including Aquia and Old Dominion Districts! This was a true Scouting extravaganza made possible with help from Scout Leaders Kristy Freeman, Dan Pare, David Star, Nik Gilenast, and Ben Allegretti.
This 1-day whirlwind event featured a rock wall obstacle course, a variety of games, a bee feeder craft, a STEM class focused on simple machines, invigorating hikes, a mouthwatering cooking competition, a captivating campfire program, an interfaith worship service, and a memorable overnight camping experience. It was a whirlwind of activities that allowed these young Scouts to bond, learn, and create lasting memories.
And finally, Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Scouts Lab 239 (grades 3-5) officially opened its doors at Rocky Run Elementary in October, sponsored by a new Chartering Organization, The Rotary Club of Stafford. With support from Scouters Dan Pare, Candie Shegogue and Trisha Dalal, seven Scouts embarked on a fascinating afternoon’s journey into the world of science, particularly polymers. They explored the science behind slime and bouncing balls, gaining hands-on experience that ignited their curiosity and passion for STEM. A middle school lab may be opening in the future!
The Aquia District’s impressive start to the Scouting year in 2023-24 reflects their unwavering commitment to nurturing the next generation of leaders, adventurers, and community-conscious individuals. With these enriching experiences, young Scouts have embarked on a path of learning, camaraderie, and personal growth that will undoubtedly leave a lasting impact on their lives.
Time for your family to explore such challenges and have fun adventures too? To join BSA, please go to www.beascout.org to find a BSA Scout unit near you – Cub Scouting serves families with children in Kindergarten through 5th Grade; Scouts BSA serves families with children ages 11-18. There are BSA programs for families with older Youths, ages 14 – 20, including Venturing, Exploring or Sea Scouting.
The mission of the BSA is to prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Aquia District includes Stafford County and Marine Corps Base Quantico. For more information on Scouting in Stafford/Fredericksburg area, including how to donate, join or volunteer, contact Kristy Freeman, Aquia District Executive.