New things to come in 2021 for Scout troops and packs

| January 28, 2021 | 0 Comments

WOLF DEN Cub Scouts from Pack 16 put together their own Raingutter Regatta with the help of leader Andy Fiedler.

Despite the novel coronavirus pandemic, Boy and Cub Scouts still meet (albeit via Zoom), participate in activities together (outdoors and socially distanced), and explore new territory (though maybe closer to home).

Cub Scouts Pack 16

Cubmaster Alexandra Liston of Cub Scouts Pack 16 (for grades kindergarten to 5th), which meets through St. Brendan School, said that she and Pack 16 scout leaders have been doing their best to keep kids engaged.

The Wolf Den (2nd grade), part of Pack 16, led by Andy Fiedler, had its own private Raingutter Regatta — the sailboat equivalent of the Pinewood Derby.

Meanwhile, the Bears Den (3rd grade), also part of Pack 16 and led by Jan Huybrechs, kept busy making Mason Bee habitats. The den also participated in a pocketknife tutorial and carved objects from soap bars.

Pack 16 also made a video for the St. Brendan’s Zoom Veterans’ Day assembly.

If COVID restrictions lift enough this spring, Liston hopes the pack can participate in the annual Blue and Gold banquet and Pinewood Derby, but that remains to be determined.

Troop 621 Scouts

Pre-pandemic, Troop 621 Scouts (for ages 11 to 18, based out of Third Street Elementary School) started off 2020 with a trip to Wrightwood for a snow outing, where 20 scouts based out of Hancock Park had a weekend of skiing and snowboarding, says Scoutmaster Alan-Michael Graves.

In February, the troop began planning the Summer Supertrip to the East Coast, where stops were planned in New York, Philadelphia and Wash. D.C. However, in March, the summer trip was canceled. Instead, the Scouts worked with Herb Wesson, then Council District 10 councilmember, to learn about local and state government.

Traditionally, Troop 621 has campouts every month, which also hasn’t happened over the past year. Instead of going on a total hiatus, Graves said the troop met weekly over Zoom and has participated in virtual volunteer opportunities, such as collecting personal hygiene items for retirement homes and helping local community nonprofits organize and distribute face masks and cleaning products, as well as helping out at food distribution events.

In June, when things were looking a little better, the troop took hikes through Griffith Park, Pan Pacific Park and Kenneth Hahn Park.

Graves added that the troop also helped with Daniel Han’s Eagle Project at Del Aire Baptist Church by remodeling the storage shed for receiving the church’s weekly donations.

Overall the members of Troop 621 have kept positive. The Supertrip is on still hold, but the members hope it will be back on schedule soon, and that they can resume their monthly camping trips.

Troop 10 Scouts

FIVE SCOUTS from Troop 10 hiked in the High Sierra in August.

Scouts housed at St. James’ Church are in Troop 10, and they helped deep-clean the food pantry at the church at the beginning of March before the COVID-19 shutdown. They also teamed up this past Christmas Eve to make sandwiches to be delivered on call, says Diane Gilmore, who works with the troop, and who added that the Scouts look for safe action steps that they can take to help make the world a better place.

In addition, Troop 10 members help with Shower of Hope, which posts four portable shower trucks at St. James’ Church on Saturday mornings. The Scouts collected barrels of socks, soaps and other toiletries to give out to people at the showers.

Life Scout Scott Hanna created an Eagle project benefitting both Shower of Hope patrons and church locals, added Gilmore. Hanna was able to take an old shed, build out shelves, organize clothing containers and create a removable picket fence to surround the shed.

The picket fence created a safety barrier for volunteers to be able to work in the current COVID-19 environment. It also turned a parking lot into a friendly home for folks who may not have a home of their own.

Troop 10 Scoutmaster Matt Rauchberg said the troop participated in the last CicLAvia event at the end of February 2020.

Through Zoom meetings, the troop has had live cooking demonstrations, physical fitness challenges, games and skills development.

Over the summer, Troop 10 held a virtual campout, telling stories and playing games before pitching tents and camping out in their own backyards.

Scouts also gathered in pods (as “patrols”) for socially distanced day hikes, including a full moon hike.

Many of Troop 10’s Scouts have been focused on merit badges during the pandemic, said Rauchberg, with over 100 badges earned in the Troop since last March.

In August, five scouts who were working on obtaining a Backpack Merit Badge took a three-night, 20-mile backpacking trip in the High Sierra.

In addition, in the past 12 months, seven Troop 10 scouts advanced to the rank of Eagle Scout. Justin Byun built garden boxes and other improvements at the Korean Community Center. James D’Atri built benches and completed other playground improvements at Van Ness Elementary School. Nicolas Ghaffrey planted a drought tolerant garden at the American Legion Post in Hollywood.

Edgardo (EJ) Maliksi-Clark built benches and completed other playground improvements at Van Ness Elementary School. George Phillips designed and built a media room at his church. Max Rauchberg constructed 10 nesting boxes for endangered raptors (kestrels) and placed them in Griffith Park in coordination with Friends of Griffith Park and the Parks Dept. Finally, Nathan Yang built garden boxes for the kindergarten yard at St. Brendon School.

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