An older cousin who was an Eagle Scout inspired Nathan Carmon to join the Cub Scouts, the program for first through fifth graders that precedes becoming a Boy Scout.
On Sept. 19, 2015, after years of Cub Scout and Boy Scout meetings, activities and merit badges, Carmon completed the project that would allow him to reach the prestigious rank of Eagle Scout. He built wooden dugout fences and painted the ceiling of the dugouts for Kentucky Wesleyan College’s softball field.
“I wanted to be an Eagle Scout to reach the final end step of Boy Scouts in general and to see if I could do it – make a challenge for me,” said Carmon, an Owensboro Catholic High School graduate who will attend Brescia University in the fall. “It looks good on a resume, and it looks good on a college application.”
Carmon was a member of Cub Scout Pack 120 and Boy Scout Troop 120 at St. Pius X Catholic Church, which are part of the Lincoln Heritage Council’s Audubon District.
“I recommend getting involved with scouting because of the good leadership roles you receive,” Carmon said. “You can receive leadership roles in sports and other extracurriculars, but in scouting, you learn how to cook, clean, be more independent for yourself. … I think it’s just a great program to get involved with.”
The Audubon District covers Daviess, Hancock, Henderson, Ohio and McLean counties.
The district also offers two co-ed Boy Scouts of America programs: Venturing, a youth-led program for ages 14 to 21 using the ALPS model (Adventure, Leadership, Personal Growth, and Service, according to Venturing.org, and Exploring for children in middle school to age 20 that teaches important life and career skills through career experiences and mentorship, according to Exploring.org.
Those programs allow youths to learn about the mission of the Boy Scouts, said Randy Mayfield, senior district executive for the Audubon District.
“We think every child will benefit from it, male or female,” he said.
Most scout packs and troops meet in some capacity throughout the year, whether at weekly meetings during the school year or camps during the summer. Cost is $25 per year to cover registration and insurance as well as additional expenses for things such as equipment and uniforms.
“It’s probably, especially in the cub scouting, there’s no better activity out there to bring family members together to participate in activities and events,” Mayfield said. “ … Boy Scouts of America is the premier leadership development program in our nation. They are required to hold leadership positions for a certain amount of time, complete community service hours for advancement – it’s all of the qualities that we often instill in our youth today because they are going to be our future.”
The Audubon District is piloting a Cub Scout program for kindergartners. Cub Scouts are promoted to Boy Scouts after they reach the rank of Arrow of Light, have turned 11, or are at least 10 and completed the fifth grade, according to the Boy Scouts of America’s website.
Boys don’t have to have been a Cub Scout to become a Boy Scout – if interested, they can join a Boy Scout troop once they have turned 11 or are at least 10 and completed the fifth grade.
“We try to keep them entertained as much as possible,” said Jared Haynes, den master for Cub Scout Pack 120. “… You watch them learn and find new things. … They make friends and learn. It’s all worth it.”
Cub Scouts are led by a den master, and Boy Scouts are led by members of the troop with the guidance of the scoutmaster.
“It’s really an amazing journey to see these boys go from 6-year-olds to teenagers,” said Rob Nash, scoutmaster for Troop 120. “The development, the way they do things, they step up to be the leader in the troop. It’s exciting for me to see. … It’s really up to the scouts to decide what direction the troop is going to go. You put the responsibility on the scouts. … It’s exciting to see the maturity grow in these guys. It’s been fun to watch.”
Haynes recommends scouting because members are constantly engaged in something new.
“They might learn cooking one week in their den,” he said. “They might learn fishing the next week. They get a wide range of educational experiences. … It just kind of sparks them. You learn things about your kids and your family that you probably wouldn’t have learned otherwise.”
If you are interested in learning more about the Boy Scouts of America and the programs available in the Audubon District of the Lincoln Heritage Council, call Randy Mayfield at 270-316-0727 or visit lhcbsa.org. To learn more about Cub Scout Troop 120, contact Jared Haynes at 270-314-3775.