by Aaron Bachmann, Cubmaster
For several years, Pack 350 described itself as a “small but mighty” pack that always tried to do more with less. We have been sponsored by the Fairlington United Methodist Men’s group since our inception when a number of families in the Fairlington area were looking for a pack closer to home.
In my two plus years with Pack 350, we have grown exponentially. Despite the challenges that this growth has created for camping food prep, it is incredibly rewarding to see how much our Scouts enjoy the Pack 350 program. It is perhaps all the more special because the vast majority of our growth is through word of mouth – our Scouts share their experiences and invite their friends. After all, that’s the best form of advertisement you can have!
While we have had a handful of Arrow of Light Scouts transition in the past, last year was our first large group. These Scouts had been around for the beginnings of the pack, and the bond they shared from the Pack 350 experience was strong. As such, they wanted to transition to Boy Scouts together, and they wanted their Boy Scout life to match with the climate of Pack 350. Therefore, Tony Baker and Elina Erlendsson, along with the help of many other parents and our charter representative, Rolf Blank, created Troop 350. After getting off the ground with one former Pack 350 Scout and, of course, a bunch of friends he brought from soccer, Troop 350 doubled in size with the influx of last year’s Arrow of Light Scouts.
Pack 350 is excited to have a troop that is also associated with Fairlington United and a natural place to continue the positive and welcoming Scouting environment that we take pride in in Pack 350. It seems that the feeling is mutual – a couple of Troop 350’s Scouts came back to assist with Pack 350’s Join Scouting Night in early September. It is definitely a sign of the strong relationship that we hope to continue to forge with each generation of Scouts.
Of course, that was not the only milestone that Pack 350 saw at Join Scouting Night. After having the distinction of registering the very first girl in the Chain Bridge District, we were thrilled to welcome eleven (!) girls to Pack 350. Most were joining in the early years as Lions, Tigers, and Wolves, but we even have a Webelos. As I said above, Pack 350 prides itself on its inclusivity and welcoming environment; the addition of so many girls to the Cub Scouting program is a natural extension for us.