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Not for Profit: Cub Scouts

Dec. 8, 2006 — Enjoy the clean streets from the Winston Wells ballpark bandstand to the waterfront? Like the baby palm trees growing up along Cruz Bay Beach?
Well, thank St. John's Cub Scout Pack 30. The members spent hours of their time sprucing up Cruz Bay as part of their scouting program — "so the island won't be dirty anymore," says William Smith, 9.
When asked his favorite Cub Scout activity, Smith immediately picks fishing, with swimming, fishing tournaments, hiking and biking next on the list.
"We get to know the island more and meet people too," he says. Bubbling with enthusiasm, he describes a hiking trip where he saw trees new to him. "We found a bamboo forest," he says.
Another fan of hiking and fishing: 10-year-old Richard Penn III.
"Last time we went on a boat, I got a kingfish and my mother cooked it," he says. Penn says he also ate the doctor fish he caught.
As for the hiking, Penn says he has seen deer and hawks while trekking around St. John. The scouts also go snorkeling so they can pick up bottles they find on the ocean floor, he says.
"We clean out the area," Penn says.
While all those activities are fun, Penn had one more favorite activity on his list.
"Sometimes we go get lunch at Subway," he says. "I like getting the seafood sandwich."
This Cub Scout pack is also on hand for every parade that marches down St. John streets.
Smith and Penn are two of seven Cub Scouts in Pack 30, which is led by Smith's father, Brian Smith. The elder Smith says he tries to come up with wholesome activities for the boys, who range in age from six to 10.
"And it gives them wholesome family values," he says.
Through scouting, children learn good citizenship and respect for their community — attributes that stay with them for the rest of their lives, Smith says. But, he notes, the Cub Scout program on St. John can only expand if there are more leaders, with parental involvement also important.
"We stress that parents need to show up with their kids," he says.
Even so, Smith acknowledges that leadership is a time-consuming pursuit that puts many demands on parents. He takes care in requiring what parents must spend to outfit their children for Cub Scouts. A full uniform runs about $150 by the time the boys get their hats, scarves, shirts, slacks, shorts, backpacks and official scout socks, he says. But the boys can start with a scout T-shirt that does fine for all activities, including parades.
To become a Cub Scout leader, call Smith at 693-7421.
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