By Art Haddaway in the Owasso Reporter
Dozens of young trailblazers gathered for an evening of adventure this week.
Owasso Boy Scout Pack 888 hosted its Day of Scouting at First United Methodist Church on Monday, which served as the group’s first recruiting event of its kind amid the COVID-19 pandemic (see photo gallery).
It was a unique but fun-filled affair for many, including Pack 888 Cubmaster Matt Polson, whose drafting experience for the scouts has been limited to visiting school sites, which is currently prohibited due to coronavirus complications.
“We’ve never done anything like this before,” Polson said. “We’ve opened it up as kind of a small demonstration … just to see these different stations and see the stuff that we’re going to do through the year, kind of get them enticed into joining the pack.”
Attendees were welcomed with camping and firemaking tutorials, pinewood derby rallies and even drone flights and miniature rocket launches throughout the evening.
Around 80 area youth — including potential candidates like 9-year-old Sophia Caldwell — showed up to participate and get a glimpse of what a day in the life of a scout looks like.
“I love the outdoors, all the activities you can do,” said Caldwell, whose attention was drawn more toward the pack’s tent-pitching endeavors. “Camping, I just like it.”
If recruited, Caldwell would join a growing number of female scouts who have joined the Boy Scouts of America since the organization starting offering various co-ed programs, focused on building character and life skills, in 2018.
Jackson Vickers, 14, with Troop 98, was also among the many faces in the crowd to take part in the evening’s activities. He said the event was a welcome change to inducting newcomers.
“Our troop is in desperate need of members … It’s been awhile since we’ve had new members,” Vickers said. “It’s kind of nice to be around people especially since we’re in the middle of a pandemic.”
Olivia Edgington, 17, guide for Troop 84G, added, “I personally missed my last opportunity to do summer camp this last year, so I think it’s important that we get to be able to come back and keep doing stuff.”
Boy Scout leaders said they will consider continuing to host the outdoor recruiting event at Owasso FUMC in the years to come, making it a new annual tradition for the organization.
Pack 888 has turned out many Eagle Scouts over the last several years who have contributed to Owasso and Collinsville through their outbound community improvement projects.