The numbers may be down but not the enthusiasm of the five scouts and one cub on hand for the regular get-together Jan. 7 at the Robson Community Hall.
In years gone by the outfit has included a bit larger turnout but the half dozen on this night were clearly happy to be part of the proceedings.
The intentions of scouting don’t appear to have changed any since years gone by when Lord Baden Powell founded the movement. Being resourceful, capable, reliable and cooperative are key qualities among the youth and their mentors.
Dean Christianson, ably assisted by Rhonda Shears, is the leader of the Robson group and has been so involved for seven years.
“I really like scouting for the youth opportunities,” says 14-year-old Alyssa Christianson who has a mentoring role with younger members. “There’s a lot of positions that used to be just for adults, but now youth can take over some of them. They’ve given youth the opportunity to show they can be a leader.”
Teaching the younger scouts is something valuable to Alyssa, over and above the always popular camping and other traditional activities synonymous with scouting. She plans to stick with the program for the foreseeable future.
Also having a parent at the head of the troop, 11-year-old Evan Shears needed no coaxing to described his fondness for scouting.
“I was in cubs last year and this is my first year in scouts,” the Castlegar resident said during a break in the action.
What has attracted and kept his interest to this point?
“Just the things we learn… the fun stuff we get to do, like camping. There’s Canadian jamborees where most of the cubs and scouts have a week-long camp-out. We go hiking and learn a lot of stuff… sing campfire songs.”
Having earned permits for the responsible use of fire and stoves, plus knives and axes, Evan is an example of a young man gaining worthwhile skills and attitudes and having a great time doing it.
Dean Christianson spent a year in cubs as a young boy, and wishes it could have been more. He said he remembers friends who had gone multiple years in the program, graduating from level to level along with a core group who remained close over the years. Dean is well aware of the overall drop-off in membership, but he believes in the principles behind scouting and is doing all he can to keep the option alive for interested local youth.
Dean would be happy to answer any questions you may have regarding cubs and scouts. His number is 250-365-7136.