I was talking to a friend recently and while I’ve never been a Scout, I do carry a Swiss Army knife and a bandana at all times, I also recognize that community needs groups like the Scouts. In-person community, friends, skills all matter, and the more off-screen interaction we can foster and encourage, the better.
Learn more at beascout.org, enter their zip code, and find the unit closest to them.
From Adam Sowers, Cubmaster, Pack 79:
Just to give you a little background on Scouting in the area, I am the Cubmaster for Pack 79 in Crozet. We are a full-family Cub Pack, meaning we have had girls and boys from age 5-11 in the pack ever since the BSA allowed girls into the program in 2017. We are a fairly large pack, with 64 currently on our roster after crossing over 14 scouts into troops last month. We meet monthly as a pack and the kids are further divided into dens by year in school. We go camping a few times per year and also have annual events like the Pinewood Derby and Blue and Gold banquet. We march in the Crozet Independence Day and Christmas parades, and perform community service throughout the area.
After Cub Scouts, those continuing on to Scouts BSA (what we used to call Boy Scouts) will find a troop to join. Troop 79 (boys age 11-17) is also active in Crozet with around 40 boys. Up until recently, Pack/Troop 79 were chartered with Crozet United Methodist Church. Because of the fallout from the recent bankruptcy/reorganization plan for national BSA, the UMC has decided to cease chartering units nationwide, although CUMC has graciously still allowed us to meet there. The Pack has also been meeting regularly at Crozet Park since the pandemic began. The park has been a great partner in giving us space to meet under the pavilions, where we were able to meet outside and practice social distancing at a time where anywhere inside wasn’t really an option.
There are a few other Scouting units in the area as well: Pack 114 meets at Ivy Elementary (former Meriwether Lewis) and Troop 114 at St. Paul’s Episcopal church in Ivy with over 50 active youth. We now have an all-girl BSA troop (3125) that was founded when girls from our pack crossed over from Cub Scouting into Scouts BSA. They have exploded in number from 4 to 16 (or maybe more– every meeting there seems to be a new face) in one year. They meet alongside Troop 114 in Ivy.
Youth aged 14-20 are able to join an older Scouting program called Venturing. Over the mountain in Waynesboro, a new Venturing Crew has formed and many of the older Scouts in Western Albemarle have joined the Crew. Venturing is less about advancement and more about high adventure and leadership.
As you can see, Scouting is very much alive and well in our area!
I am happy to explain more or answer any questions you may have. On a somewhat related note, I recently featured some of our camp staff from nearby Camp Shenandoah on our council podcast. I was captivated by the stories they had to tell, and the dedication they have to carrying the program forward for other youth to enjoy.