The Scout Leaders, Scouts and Scouting Families of Pack 142 have been safely conducting outdoor Scouting adventures since the pandemic began. Despite the challenges of the last year, Pack 142 serves as a great example to others of what Lord Baden-Powell, the Founder of Scouting, said about the great classroom of the outdoors: “A week of camp life is worth six months of theoretical teaching in the meeting room.”
For instance, last summer, Pack events included their annual Fishing Derby, socially-distanced hiking (all Scouts had 6-foot long styrofoam pool noodles to help remind fellow Scouts and adults when anyone was getting too close), and a geo-caching adventure. As Baden-Powell reminds us: “A [Scout] is not a sitting-down animal.”
Among the many highlights for 2020 was having the whole Pack participate in the annual Stafford Christmas Parade. The Scouts turned out to celebrate life! This was their way of putting the horrible year 2020 behind by “celebrating” some of the disasters we have survived and are overcoming – COVID, wildfires, hurricanes, toilet paper shortages, etc. This year, the Pack’s participation in the Stafford Christmas Parade was motivated, in part, because the Scouts and their Scouting Families wanted to remind the community that while things are currently challenging, they are not hopeless.
Their cheerful attitude brought cheer to others in exactly the way Baden-Powell meant when he said: “A Scout smiles and whistles under all circumstances.” Scouts should set the example always, but especially when things are not going well. The Scouts’ positive and fun-loving, goofy attitudes were infectious – leading to their parade float and team being recognized as the Overall Winners of the 2020 Parade! This followed the Scouts’ memorable participation in the 2019 Stafford Christmas Parade, where they were awarded 2nd place, and did a silly skit themed with flying cardboard airplanes, since the parade was held at the Stafford Airport.
Lord Baden-Powell, the Founder of Scouting, liked to say: “The most worthwhile thing is to try to put happiness into the lives of others.” And the Scouts from Pack 142 are certainly bringing cheer to the world around them, despite being few in numbers and only in their fifth year as a Pack. Pack 142 is chartered by the Stafford Izaak Walton League of America (IWLA). The IWLA supports the Pack with plenty of outdoor resources including multiple fishing ponds, campgrounds, open fields for rocket launches (which the Pack does at many campouts because the Scouts just love it!), lots of hiking trails, and a clubhouse with amenities.
Typically, the Pack meets on Thursdays 6:30-7:30pm at the IWLA Clubhouse, but since there’s an on-going COVID-induced hiatus from indoor activities, they have been meeting individually as Dens or doing outdoor activities until restrictions are relaxed.
Pack 142 is a very small and tight-knit Pack with Scouting Families who want to keep their Scouts involved in outdoor activities as well as “Helping Other People at All Times” by doing plenty of community service projects. Since the pandemic began, the Pack has successfully recruited new Scouts, due in part to word-of-mouth that the Pack continues to keep Scouts engaged with fun outdoor events. Despite all the challenges this past year, Pack 142 is certainly keeping faith with the idea that “Scouting is Outing and Outing is Fun!”