Friday November 16, 2012

DAWSON RASPUZZI

Staff Writer

POWNAL -- A group of parents is interested in reviving a Cub Scout pack in Pownal, although they are still seeking a charter organization to oversee it.

The Pownal School District board unanimously agreed to allow a future Cub Scout pack, which would include children in grades 1 through 5 to use the school gymnasium.

"Cub scouting, I think, would be a great fit here in the school because it basically parallels what you folks are trying to do," Erik Tanney, the Southern Vermont district director of Boy Scouts of America’s Green Mountain Council, told the school board Wednesday. "We have some of the same goals where we want the boys to grow and be productive, engaged members of the community. It’s a family oriented program that encourages parental participation."

While the board supported the program and its use of the school for evening meetings, it tabled a decision of whether to be the local pack’s charter organization. Tanney’s request of the board was for it to be that oversight body, although he said there are no public schools that act as charter organizations to any of the other approximate 200 Cub Scout, Boy Scout and Venturing crews in the state.

It has been years since the Cub Scout group in Pownal fell by the wayside, but following a recent informational meeting held at the school, a number of parents and children embraced reviving it, Tanney said.

Tanney said there are already parent volunteers to be den leaders for a first grade group and a combined second and third grade group, which would likely use the gymnasium for evening meetings.

With volunteers, and now a place to meet, Tanney said the group is just in need of a charter organization to be responsible to approve the adult volunteer leaders. Those leaders would then undergo background checks done by the Boy Scouts of America. The oversight group is also responsible to secure a meeting place, which is likely already done with the school board’s approval, and designate one member of the charter organization to be involved in the group and represent it at statewide council meetings.

"The charter organization is the organization that owns the program. They oversee the leadership of the program," Tanney told the school board.

Tanney said charter groups are generally community organizations such as churches, Rotary clubs, Masons, American Legion posts, or parent-teacher organizations. Prior to approaching the school board, Tanney spoke with Pownal’s parent-teacher group, which declined becoming the group’s charter organization due to the commitment which could be expected over multiple years.

If any organizations, or group of people, are interested in finding out more about becoming a charter organization they may contact Tanney at 244-5189 or email him through the website, www.scoutingvermont.org.

Contact Dawson Raspuzzi at draspuzzi@benningtonbanner.com or follow on Twitter @DawsonRaspuzzi