Cub Scouts adjust to COVID, will have den meetings this fall
Like so many aspects of everyday life, COVID-19 has affected how Cub Scouts in Versailles are able to meet and what types of activities they can do, according to Jeff Danford, leader of Pack No. 32. “So like a lot of the schools and a lot of the (youth) activities,” he said, “we came to a sudden halt in March … and are really just starting to pick it back up now.” Because Woodford County Public Schools are currently not having in-person classes, the Cub Scouts cannot attend their open houses and hand out invites to informational meetings, Danford explained. He said Cub Scout Pack No. 32 will host a question and answer event Thursday, Sept. 10, from 6:30 to 8 p.m., at the large outdoor pavilion near the youth ball field complex at Falling Springs. “Scouting is kind of a way of life,” said Danford, who has three sons in scouting. “And I think it’s very complimentary to any other activities that a child might be involved in.” He said scouting has a mission to instill values so kids can make ethical and moral decisions throughout their lives. “We want them to have a sense of responsibility to the community, their country, their family,” Danford said. “We want them to know about the world that they live in. We’re definitely an outdoor-focused program” that teaches them “respect for their world.” “It has valuable lessons to teach everybody,” added Danford, who like his granddad earned his Eagle. Cub Scout Pack No. 32 (kindergarten through fifth grade) is planning to begin meeting on a semi-regular basis in its dens – Lions, Tigers, Wolves, Bears and Webelos – to keep group sizes small, Danford explained. He said each den will meet outdoors, most likely at park pavilions, and temp checks will be conducted at all meetings. “And of course we ask the parents to help us out,” Danford. “If your kids feel sick, please stay home.” If a family travels to a state with high case counts, they are asked to self-quarantine as recommended by the governor, he said. “We are wearing safe masks at our meetings and we’re trying to meet outside,” said Danford. “So we hopefully will have fairly regular meetings in the fall. “I’m sure once we get into winter, meeting outside will be less-feasible. So we’ll probably meet less-frequently and we’ll probably give the kids some activities that they can work on at home so they can keep up with their advancements” in scouting. “The good news,” he added, “… is we have time to prepare for that.” Danford said small group and social distancing guidelines led to no campouts this summer. “In fact,” he said, “most of our spring programming was cancelled.” An end-of-year banquet was also cancelled and an annual advancement ceremony at the end of July was held in an outdoor pavilion, he said. It took about three hours for the ceremony with small groups in masks coming at staggered times. Visit cubscoutpack32.net/start-scouting on the web for more information about the Sept. 10 Q & A session and scouting.