‘Scouting Has Served Generations’

By John Whitford

This year marks the 112th Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America (and February is BSA anniversary month).

While the legal name is still Boy Scouts of America, all levels of program are open to both male and female youths.

Why do kids like Cubs and Scouts? Simple answer: FUN. Kids like the activities, games, advancement, and recognition – and being part of a group.

Why do parents like Cubs and Scouts? The program teaches character, citizenship, and personal fitness, while the members are having FUN! The programs are full of family values and positive life lessons. No kid joins to have their character developed in Cubs and Scouts, it just happens as a natural part of the program experience.

What do Cubs do? Cubs, grades K-5, is broken into six program levels (based on grade) for advancement. Each level has ‘adventures’ as part of the advancement. There are opportunities for field trips, games, skill development, outdoor activities, camping, and much more. Involvement in service projects teaches children about the value of helping others.

What about Scouts? Cubs graduate to Scouts or join at age 11 or older. Scouts actually do much the same as Cubs, except on a much higher level that requires more skill and maturity. They still have a lot of fun. Camping, outdoor adventures, recognition and growing in leadership skills are all part of the Scout program. Scouts learn to make moral choices and decisions, and grow in character to become responsible adults. Scouts build friendships and learn life lessons that will stay with them for the rest of their lives.

The local council program also offers youth ages 10-18 a unique opportunity to earn the Erie Canal Historic Trails Award. This encourages young people to learn about the history and impact of the canal system. For specifics click here. This award is available to both members of Scouting and to the general public. The public is welcome to visit the William Hillcourt Museum at Camp Woodland. The museum is free and open Saturdays from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (except holiday weekends), with over 100 years’ worth of local and national Scout memorabilia.

Guided by the Scout Oath and Law, and overseen by trained adult leaders, Scouting has served generations. All registered leaders are required to update their Youth Protection Training every two years. All parents are welcome and encouraged to take the Youth Protection module, too. Keeping kids safe is a priority. A Guide to Safe Scouting and a guide to age-appropriate activities are also available online.

There are few programs that have the potential impact of Scouting in almost all aspects of personal growth. An impressive resume can result from active participation in scouting, including awards like Eagle Scout, participation in leadership training and leadership experiences, along with all of the opportunities afforded in the merit badge program.

Each pack and troop plans its own program, but they often participate in district and council events and activities. Here are a few of the events for the coming months:

March: Wilderness first aid rally/training.

April: Pinewood Derby runoffs.

May: Spring camporee; adult leader outdoor training; Erie Canal Historic Trail/Canalways Hike/Bike Day events (May 13 & 27*); Chittenango Landing free open admission for Cubs/Scouts/leaders in uniform (May 13 & 27*).

June: Spring camporee.

July and August: Scout long-term camping, Sabattis; Cub day camps; merit badge day camp; Cub resident camp; National Jamboree.

September: School night signups; adult leader training.

October: Fall Scout Camporee; Cub Spooktackular.
* in planning stage

To sum it all up, Scouting has a track record of building character and citizenship and instilling a sense of personal responsibility and accountability in young people through a program that is designed to be fun, challenging and that teaches lessons that will last a lifetime. To find a Cub or Scout program near you, visit, beascout.scouting.org.

Destiny USA Brings Back Winter Fun Pass

The Winter Fun Pass is now available at Destiny USA.

The pass, which costs $60 for kids and $65 for adults, can be used at four of the mall’s participating businesses, including Apex Entertainment, GlowGolf, RPM Raceway, WonderWorks, Get Air, and the Canyon Climb.

“The Winter Fun Pass offers our guests extreme value for their one-time purchase at a time when our community needs it most,” said Alannah Gallagher, director of marketing, in a press release. “Our continued partnerships with other major attractions like the Crunch and Syracuse University make the Winter Fun Pass a must-have this winter season.”

For more information, visit destinyusa.com/winter.


Adirondack Railroad Offers Cabin Fever Train Rides

Is your family tired of being stuck indoors?

The Adirondack Railroad is offering a cabin fever train on select Saturdays and Sundays through April 2, where families can enjoy a roundtrip ride from Utica to Remsen. Hot chocolate and s’mores are also included. Tickets start at $25.

For more information, visit adirondackrr.com/cabin-fever-limited.


Syracuse Auto Expo Returns for 114th Year

A popular event is returning to the Oncenter this month. The Syracuse Auto Expo will be held from Feb. 16-19.

The expo will open with free admission for first responders, veterans and military members (Feb. 16), and include a Family Fun Day, with a magic and balloon show and a family four pack of tickets for $20 (Feb. 19).

For more information, visit autoexposyracuse.com.


For more community news, visit communityguide.familytimescny.com/article. To submit a news item, email courtneyk@familytimescny.com.




Check out the full February issue below!

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