Local pack has been growing

Published 9:44 am Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Some of the members of Pack 7. Back row from left are Colin Laurie, Zane Sadauskis and Brayden Boettcher. Front row from left are Blake and Cole Estes. -- Kelli Lageson/Albert Lea Tribune

A local Cub Scout pack has been steadily growing for the past three years. Pack 7 Leader Mike Boettcher said he likes to have lots of activities to keep the youngsters interested in scouting.

Members of Pack 7 learned about firefighting at Hayward Fire Department. -- Submitted photo

Cub Scouts are boys in first- through fifth-grade. After the fifth-grade they graduate to become Boy Scouts. Currently there are about 35 Cub Scouts in Pack 7, which is just one of the five Cub Scout packs in Freeborn County.

“A lot of stuff we do is to keep them active until the camps,” Boettcher said.

Because the boys like summer camps so much, Boettcher tries to find fun activities for the winter months. One such activity just took place — the Pinewood Derby Race. The boys made their own cars out of wood and raced them during one of their monthly meetings.

Other events include the Blue & Gold Banquet, which celebrates the pack’s anniversary.

Submitted photo

Members of Pack 7 said they enjoyed a cake decorating contest they had recently. Pack 7 also does a yearly fundraiser selling candy bars in the fall.

Boys also said they enjoy camps in the summer and spending a weekend at Norseland Scout Camp near St. Peter, where they can go sledding and get to help cook and clean.

“Also we get to go on nature walks,” Colin Laurie said.

The summer camps are full of activities like swimming, archery, and how to use slingshots and BB guns.

Also, in the summer months Cub Scouts often camp at local parks like Helmer-Myre State Park.

Submitted photo

All activities are geared toward helping the scouts get pins, badges, ribbons or beads. Boys of each age have their own book and different achievements to strive for.

During monthly meetings Boettcher tries to arrange for a speaker or other activity that helps the scouts learn. Past speakers include a firefighter, police officer and astronaut. Boettcher is looking forward to one of the next meetings where Alliant Energy workers will bring smaller-sized electrical lines and explain electricity to the boys.

Scouts also do service projects and must collect a certain number of hours. Pack 7 cleans up the stands at Hammer Field after soccer and football games as a service project.

Cub Scouts celebrated 100 years in 2010. -- Submitted photo

Other projects include going to St. John’s Lutheran home and caroling during the winter and planting gardens in the summer.

Boettcher said the pack is so large because of help from parents and local businesses who donate to various events.

Boettcher encouraged interested parents to call a pack leader and attend a meeting. Kids can be in any pack regardless of what school they attend.

Upcoming scouting events
• Leader training in Mankato on Feb. 19
• Sleeping with dinosaurs at the Minnesota Science Museum Feb. 26 and 27
• Scouting for Food on March 19 (bag drop-off) and March 26 (bag pickup)
• Edgewater Cub Camps June 23 and 24 (day camp) and June 24 and 25 Fun with Son overnighter
• Webelos Southern Shore overnighter July 8 and 9 near Fairmont at Cedar Point Scout Camp

Freeborn County Boy Scouting units
Unit Number        Town        Charter organization        Leader            Phone
Cub Scouts:
Pack 7,  Albert Lea, Halverson PTA, Mike Boettcher, 507-377-2638
Pack 11, Alden, Redeemer Lutheran Church, Ann Bryson, 507-874-3871
Pack 72, Albert Lea, Grace Lutheran Church, Steve Brownlow,  507-373-1332
Pack 90, New Richland, American Legion Post 75, Angela Dobberstein, 507-256-7401
Pack 105, Albert Lea ,Knights of Columbus ,Jan Stensrude, 507-373-4024

Boy Scouts:
Troop 7,  Albert Lea, Halverson Community, Doug Lind,  507-373-3501
Troop 11,  Alden, American Legion Post 404, Rich Lackey, 507-874-3157
Troop 105,  Albert Lea, Knights of Columbus, Robert Gade, 507-373-8411
Troop 219,  Clarks Grove, First Baptist Church, Mike Radau, 507-463-3683

Explorers:
Post No. 312, Albert Lea, A.L. Police,  Jacob Stockwell, 507-377-5194

Crews:
Crew 77, Albert Lea, Eagles Club No. 2258, Don Vanderploeg, 507-473-0254
Crew 11, Alden, American Legion Post 404, Rich Lackey,  507-440-5679