Cub Scout Campfire Night Friday

Submitted photoLocal Cub Scouts are all smiles after an afternoon of fun, games and exercise at Liberty Park in Batesville this past May.

This fall Batesville area kids are invited to say, “Scout Me In” as they join the fun, adventure and character-building opportunities found in Cub Scouts.

Batesville Cub Scout Pack 636 leaders are kicking off their annual recruitment efforts and presenting an energizing Scouting experience that really speaks to kids by putting them in the middle of the action – from camping, hiking and outdoor fun to STEM-based learning activities and the annual favorite Pinewood Derby. The pack also hopes to engage parents who are looking for ways to make the most of the time they have with their kids and help them to be “Prepared. For Life.”

The local pack, sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Batesville, is hosting a Campfire Night Friday, Aug. 16, from 6:30-8 p.m. at Camp Mesty, located on Columbus Avenue just west of Mulberry Street and north of Batesville Middle School.

All kids in grades K-5 are invited to attend with their families. Groups will have fun exploring the Camp Mesty grounds while they get passports stamped at a number of fun, hands-on stations. The stations give a great sampling of some of the scouts’ favorite activities and include supervised BB gun shooting, fire-starting, campfire cooking, storytelling, flag etiquette, tent and gear demos, knot-tying and tug-o-war. Leaders and older BSA scouts will be on hand to help guide the kids and provide information to families.

Batesville is fortunate that the older scout boys play a very active role in helping with the younger Cub Scouts and serving as positive role models. Co-ed Cub Scouts progress through the ranks to earn the Arrow of Light in fifth grade, then advance into either an all-boy or all-girl troop.

Boy Scouts of America Troop 634 has upheld the scouting tradition for boys in Batesville for many generations. If enough interest is out there, local leaders are ready to start up a girls’ troop. Interested BSA Scouts ages 11-18 are also welcome to come out to Camp Mesty Aug. 16 and meet the group.

“Cub Scouts is a lot of fun, and now it’s available to all kids,” points out Stephen Medlicott, Boy Scouts of America national marketing group director. “That’s why we love ‘Scout Me In’ – because it speaks to girls and boys and tells them, ‘This is for you. We want you to join.’”

Pack 636 Cubmaster Chris Rudolf agrees, “We have a place for everyone!”

The Scout Me In campaign celebrates the BSA’s expansion to serve families and welcome girls and boys into scouting in communities across the country. It reinforces that the mission and core values in the Scout Oath and Scout Law are welcoming, inclusive and foundational for both young men and women.

Since announcing the BSA’s historic decision to welcome girls into scouting last year, more than 8,000 girls across the nation are participating in Cub Scouts.

Locally, the Batesville pack has welcomed many girls into all ranks of the Cub Scout program with great success. 10-year-old Grace Saner joined because she was originally drawn to the traditional outdoor scouting activities that would get her out in nature. She found just this, and so much more. “I like that I get to make new friends while trying new activities. Some of my favorite things that we did last year were learning first aid from Batesville EMTs, talking to our police officers about their jobs, learning flag etiquette, creating personal exercise plans and designing our Pinewood Derby cars.”

Siblings Cayden, Nicholas and Ross Lieland were three of the Batesville Cub Scouts who participated in an overnight campout with the pack at Clifty Falls State Park over the summer. Cayden shares that he “liked to go on the nature hikes.” Nicholas adds, “My favorite part was being able to play with my friends.” Like most Scouts, Ross was certain that “making s’mores over the campfire” was his favorite part of the weekend.

Jane Lieland, the boys’ mom and a den leader, explains, "Cub Scout events like the campouts include the whole family and are really great opportunities to experience quality time together, enjoy time outdoors, and help our kids grow strong relationships and leadership skills.”

The cubmaster notes, “We’re helping bring families together, making it easier for them to have all of their children participate in the same character-building fun and adventure programs.” Before, girl siblings could participate in all of the activities alongside their brothers, but they were never able to earn any merit badges. “Today, the whole family can learn new skills and be rewarded for their achievement. This upholds the high traditions of scouting in a more profound and fair way.”

Parents can visit BeAScout.org to learn more about scouting and its programs, the benefits and experience.

Interested families who cannot attend the campfire may contact Rudolf at 812-363-0174 or oxrudolf@gmail.com.