Although this may be just the first Christmas of Cub Scout Troop 622, the scouts already exhibited characteristics of seasoned scouts when they chose to share their Christmas with others.
Tuesday night Troop 622 visited the residents of Pruitt Health to present Christmas cards it had made. Cub Master Joni Cheek explained, “I asked them what nice thing they wanted to do for someone else. They decided they wanted to make Christmas cards for the elderly.”
“I think it’s absolutely wonderful to see the younger generation come to be a part of the older generation,” said Pruitt Health Administrator Linda Reece. “I think it’s wonderful for them to come to the shut-ins to spread some cheer. Patients who don’t really respond to much will respond to a child.”
In addition to serving the community through the residents of Pruitt Health, Troop 622 also has chosen to help youths from the Salvation Army Angel Tree. Instead of using money from their fundraisers on themselves, the scouts and their families voted to adopt boys and girls from the tree. They will take some of the proceeds from their fundraisers as well as donations from the families to purchase gifts for these children in need.
They will continue their consideration for the community in February with their annual food drive. The first Saturday of the month, they will distribute bags to be filled and pick them up on the second Saturday.
Although their favorite activity has been building and launching a rocket and the Raven Knob Camp, Bear Cub Bryce Caldwell, a third-grader, said he also enjoys “being good to others and being helpful.”
Webelo Weston Kratz, a fourth-grader, agreed saying he thought the residents felt happy at receiving the cards.
These students from C.B. Eller, Mountain Park and Traphill elementary schools have been an inspiration to Cheek, who had no previous experience with Boy Scouts. “I was nervous to begin with. I said I don’t know the first thing (about Scouts) but I will try,” expounded Cheek. “My boys have really showed me what it’s like.”
Cheek was anxious about the inexperience of her troop as various activities have come up. “I was concerned about the popcorn sales, but they did over $2,800,” said Cheek. “We took them to Camp Raven Knob. They minded really well and did what they were supposed to do.”
Cheek had had a lot of help and encouragement from others. Each troop is divided by grade into packs that have their own leaders as well. Wolf Den leader Brian Hartman, who leads the second-graders, had been involved with scouts when he was younger. “I wasn’t very good at sports,” Hartman explained, “you don’t have to be athletic to be a scout.”
Cheek got involved because of her brother-in-law Kevin, who is the Laurel District director for the Old Hickory Council of the Boy Scouts. Kevin Cheek recommended Joni because, “we were looking for leadership within the community. Joni loves children.”
This district includes all of Alleghany and Yadkin counties as well as Elkin, Mountain Park, Traphill East and Ronda. There are 12 Cub Packs serving 345 scouts. According to Kevin Cheek, there has been a 12.4 percent growth in scouting in this area with 22 of those being in Pack 622.
To find out more about joining or volunteering for the Boy Scouts of America, go to www.scouting.org.
Beanie Taylor can be reached at 336-258-4058 or on Twitter @TBeanieTaylor.