The local Boy Scouts of America district has scheduled its annual School Nights to Join Scouting, and a few local scout packs will continue a pilot program for kindergarten-age boys that began last year.
School Nights to Join Scouting is set for Sept. 7. The event is an occasion for prospective Cub and Boy Scouts in kindergarten through 12th grade to sign up at local locations.
The full list of times and locations for all scout districts within the Great Rivers Council is available at bsa-grc.org/join-scouts/, through the link of "Here is a master list of all of the School Nights to Join Scouting."
The GRC's Five Rivers District includes Cole, Osage, Gasconade, Moniteau and Maries counties.
These are the posted School Night times, locations and contact information in Jefferson City for Sept. 7:
Pack 3 at 6:30 p.m. at the Pioneer Trail Elementary School cafeteria. The pack is led by Pam Harlan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pack 4 at 3 p.m. at the Fr. Ahrens room of St. Peter Catholic Church; pack leader is Ali Vassos, email@example.com. Paul Vassos is also listed as a primary contact for the pack, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pack 11 at 6:30 p.m. at the Moreau Heights Elementary School gym; pack leader is Bryan Stevens, email@example.com.
Pack 105 at 6 p.m. at the Cedar Hill Elementary School cafeteria; pack leader is Daniel Weitkamp, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pack 333 at 6 p.m. at Lawson Elementary School cafeteria; pack leader is Sheila Schaeffer, email@example.com.
Additionally, Wardsville's Pack 332 is hosting its registration night at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 6 at the Blair Oaks Elementary School gym; pack leader is Jason Joiner, firstname.lastname@example.org.
California's Pack 120's registration event is at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Lions Club Pavillion at Proctor Park; pack leader is Josh Hoskins, email@example.com.
Fulton's Pack 50 and Pack 52 have registration events at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday; Pack 50 at the splashpad in Fulton's Memorial Park and Pack 52 at Bartley Elementary School. The primary contact listed for Pack 50 is Ariel Van Doorne, firstname.lastname@example.org, and for Pack 52 is Misty Maupin, email@example.com.
Registration information for Packs 134 in Ashland, 17 in Linn, 14 in Eldon and Tuscumbia, and 96 in Russellville are available in the full listing.
The Fulton, Jefferson City and Wardsville packs offer online registration at bsa-grc.org/join-scout.
Great Rivers Council Field Director Bryon Haverstick said School Nights to Join Scouting provide people with a targeted date to focus and plan on, but people can sign their boys up at any time.
A new opportunity started last year and will continue this year is Boy Scouts of America's national Lion program. Lion is a pilot program designed to introduce kindergarten-age boys to the scouting, and it's open to boys 5 years old or in the year before first grade.
Haverstick said Packs 3 and 333 in Jefferson City are among those that instituted the program locally last year and will continue it again this year.
The two Jefferson City packs were among the 4,373 nationally with Lion dens last year.
Haverstick's own son enrolled in kindergarten last fall; and though his school did not offer a Lion program, he was able to join the pack Haverstick leads in Columbia.
In areas with more than one pack, like Jefferson City, boys don't have to join the pack at the school they attend.
"I really wanted him to be able to participate," Haverstick said, adding the first year for his son went well. His son went to camp and raced his Pinewood Derby car. His den had 12 boys in it last year.
The Pinewood Derby is open to Lions if a pack so chooses, a change to the program from last year. Lion families also can choose to participate in more than the required number of pack meetings. Another change from last year is fundraising and mandatory levels are not required.
Registration for Boy Scouts costs $32, which will cover new scouts for the rest of this year and all of 2018, according to a news release. The cost will be collected at registration. An optional annual subscription to "Boys' Life" magazine costs $16.
Families who register online will pay a prorated fee for 2017 and will pay for 2018 later.
Fees go to Boy Scouts of America's headquarters in Irving, Texas. Additional fees for pack operations may be collected at School Nights to Join Scouting. However, no one will be denied registration for inability to pay; on-site financial assistance is available.
For more information, Haverstick can be reached at 573-449-2561, ext. 203 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Parents interested in registering their daughters in Girl Scouts can call 877-312-4764 to find a local sign-up location.