The first annual Day of Service on November 14 was a big success for Pack 6 and other Cub Scouts throughout Arizona. The event was created by the local BSA Grand Canyon Council to combine Scouting’s service outreach with cities and other community partners, to help others with recovery due to the Coronavirus.
Arcadia’s Pack 6 aims to encourage young boys and girls to become responsible citizens and good leaders through various community engagement activities and special projects. The Day of Service was one of their recent initiatives, with a group of about 60 Scouts from first through fifth grades hitting the trails to hike and pick up trash in Papago Park.
The Scouts come from local schools, including Hopi, Tavan, Christ Lutheran School and Veritas. Throughout the Cub Scouts program, kids are given opportunities to make the world a better place through community service. Cleaning up litter in a local Valley park helped the Scouts understand the importance of respecting the environment.
The Day of Service was established after a group of Valley Scouting leaders completed a Wood Badge leadership training program. The adult group (called the Fox Patrol) worked with the Grand Canyon Council, a nonprofit organization chartered by Boy Scouts to deliver Scouting programs across central and northern Arizona. Together they spread the word and shared inspiration for service projects, which is how Pack 6 came up with the idea to pick up litter in Papago Park.
“Pack 6 loves to serve, so we looked at the needs of our community and balanced that with finding an activity that did not pose a risk to our kids,” Youn said. In years past, we would work with food banks, but this year an outdoor activity seemed like a wise choice.”
Working outside proved to be a great idea, as the Cub Scouts thoroughly enjoyed two hours of fresh air along Papago Park’s winding trails.
“With trash bags, rubber gloves, and grabber claws in hand, the Scouts spread out in every direction,” Youn said. “When the work was done, the kids had collected 15 large bags of trash!”
Helpful, clean and reverent are included in the 12 points of Scout Law, and all Scouts promise to adhere to the BSA’s “Outdoor Code,” which includes being clean, careful, considerate and conservation-minded in the outdoors.
The Cub Scouts continue to learn about good ethical and moral choices through their projects. Kyla, a 2nd grade Wolf Scout, embraces all the fun Cub Scout activities, especially the Day of Service.
“I felt excited because I like helping the community,” Kyla said. “People can enjoy the park without seeing trash on the ground.”
Liam, a 5th grade Webelos II Scout, also embraced the project.
“It was fun, and I got to spend time with my den,” Liam said. “Cleaning up the park makes me feel good because I did something for the community.”
Pack 6 will continue giving back in the future, whether it be cleaning up their campsites on camping trips or eventually, food bank service projects.
“Now that Covid-19 forced us to find a socially distant project, we have found that cleaning public parks is both a great opportunity for kids to grow and also a great benefit to all those that use Papago Park,” Youn said. “We plan to do a similar project again next year.”