Cub Scout Pack 7 offers skills, friendship and leadershipJul 25, 2022 08:59PM ● By Rachel Aubrey
A new experience for most, Cub Scout Pack 7 participated in the parade at the South Jordan Summerfest in early June. (Photo courtesy of Mark Henrichsen)
Rachel Aubrey | [email protected]
“Do your best.” That’s the motto of the Cub Scouts, the group of children ages 5 to 11, who attend weekly pack meetings and learn new skills and gain new experiences with others their age. But it’s more than just learning to tie knots and how to pitch tents. It’s also about making friends, helping others and reinforcing positive attributes. That is why South Jordan residents Kevin and Vivian Nichol have continued to be involved in scouting for more than 20 years. Their most recent effort has been concentrated on the Cub Scout level, specifically Pack 7, which they formed in January 2021.
“During the Cub period is when they begin to comprehend that they are part of something bigger,” Vivian Nichol said.
Often times scouting is associated with all things outdoors, camping, hiking, fishing and so on. While all these outdoor activities are a big part of scouting, they are not the main focus, rather a means by which characteristics may be instilled, such as being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent.
Currently there are 22 registered Cub Scouts in Pack 7, ranging in ages from kindergarten to fifth grade. The pack is also divided into “dens,” which are smaller groups based on age. Those den meetings have their own adult/parent leadership and they have been able to meet at the Daybreak Community Center weekly on Thursdays at 5:30 p.m. As the scout motto suggests, "do your best" is meant to be taken into any activity or skill the kids learn, especially when it comes to leadership.
“The children that we work with are really the future leaders of tomorrow,” Nichol said.
The Nichol’s have confidence in the kids and in their potential and that confidence has been met enthusiastically by the parents of the Cub Scouts, some of whom have started to take on leadership roles themselves. The parental involvement has made all the difference for the Nichol’s, as more hands make for light work.
“We’ve got great parents,” Nichol said. “It’s important for the leaders to set the expectation upfront that it’s a family organization and that the families are very much involved.”
Audrey Burrie and her 7-year-old son Jonathan began attending Pack meetings in March. After searching on the scouting.org website for a Pack in their zip code, they were able to find the Nichols and Pack 7.
“We were looking for some activity or place that our son could learn and experience new things that he might not have had the opportunity to otherwise,” Burrie said.
Although she started off as a parent bystander, offering parental support of her son during weekly activities, Burrie applied to be a full-on scout volunteer at the beginning of July. She is now an assistant den leader.
“We love how the program is structured and our son gets to see how hard work and effort can pay off by earning patches and belt loops,” Burrie said.
Daybreak resident Lance Butler also wanted something for his 5-year-old son Henderson to be a part of where he could make friends in his area and experience new things. He too found Pack 7 through the scouting.org website and connected with the Nichols. Avid fans of the outdoors, Butler said that he and Henderson had monthly camping trips prior to joining scouts. In early July, Pack 7 attended a two-day family camp at Camp Fife outside of Collinston, Utah, that included all the things one might expect at a scouting camp: hiking, archery, bb gun shooting and older Scouts lending a hand to the younger Cubs. Butler plans to add himself to the adult leadership in the future.
“It was really fun, just all the different activities and also having the positive role models in the 15- and 16-year-old scouts,” Butler said.
Henderson Butler indeed has older kids in the pack to look up to. Ten-year-old Alex VanLeuven has been in the Pack for the past eight months. His mother, Jamie VanLeuven, is an assistant den leader, a role she shares with her husband and one other parent. Alex doesn’t attend school in his immediate area, and joining the Pack has helped him get to know more of the kids his age who live close to him. VanLeuven said working with the Nichols has been great and that Vivian will step in to help in a variety of ways.
“She’s got something good going on,” VanLeuven said. “The kids know her so well.”
The VanLeuvens also attended family camp and it was by far the favorite activity that Alex has participated in with Pack 7.
Pack 7 is set to host an event on July 28 at 5:30 p.m. on the green space just east of the Daybreak Community Center. All children and families are invited to come and participate in the games, such as rain gutter regatta and water bottle rockets, and activities such as stilt walking. The Cub Scouts are also looking forward to the Pinewood Derby event on Oct. 1. For more information about finding a Cub Scout pack visit www.beascout.org.