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Southwest Daily News - Sulphur, LA
  • Cub Scouts looking for new members

  • Chamblee is Senior District Executive in the Cypress Knee District, which serves West Calcasieu and Cameron parishes. She was guest speaker at the Aug. 29 meeting of the Westlake Rotary Club.
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  • The start of a new school year marks the beginning of the Cub Scouts' recruiting season.
    "We go to schools, and we recruit from first to fifth grade," said Shawn Chamblee with the Calcasieu Area Boys Scouts of America. "We tell them all the fun things we do in Cub Scouts."
    Chamblee is Senior District Executive in the Cypress Knee District, which serves West Calcasieu and Cameron parishes. She was guest speaker at the Aug. 29 meeting of the Westlake Rotary Club.
    "There are many opportunities for these kids to have a good experience, especially with the outdoors. We want to try and turn these kids back to the woods, back to the outdoors and nature," she said.
    Some of the activities that the Cub Scouts do within the area include a 'Cub Haunted Weekend' for their families; a 'Mom and Me Weekend' in the fall; 'Cub Dad' in the spring; and a Cub family campout, which is also in the spring.
    And then there is the campout on the McNeese State University football field after the last home game. Before the campout, the boys make the rounds of the tailgate parties, participate in activities and watch the game.
    "After the game, they let the field clear, and we haul our equipment down there. We litter the field with our tents – end zone to end zone," said Chamblee, "We stay overnight, watch a movie on the Jumbotron. We get up in the morning. McDonald's provides breakfast. We clean up and then go home."
    Depending on age and rank, boys can become eligible to attend one of the Scout-owned adventure sites. The BSA High Adventure Bases are Philmount Scout Ranch in New Mexico; Northern Tier in Minnesota bordering on Canada; and Florida Sea Base at Islamorada in the Florida Keys.
    "Each place is a lot of fun," said Chamblee, "They do things that some kids in sports never do."
    But being a Scout is more than having fun and being outdoors, emphasized Chamblee. It is also about learning skills. The Cub Scouts' 12 core values include citizenship; compassion; cooperation; courage; faith; health and fitness; honesty; perseverance; positive attitude; resourcefulness; respect; and responsibility.
    "I think every boy should be engaged in scouting at some point in their lives because it just offers so much," she said.
    For example, Chamblee spoke about the Eagle-required merit badge for Personal Management.
    "Personal Management is detailed. They have to learn how to run a household, a family budget and that type of thing. It really gives them information about money and money management."
    As for the youth served by the local BSA organization, Chamblee stated that the group is looking to expand their program for at-risk children.
    Page 2 of 2 - "We have at-risk youth from throughout our five-parish area and not just from one geographical location. Our at-risk Scouts are from everywhere. Every unit has at-risk youth," she said, pointing out that the organization has "27 percent at-risk youth that we serve."
    Chamblee emphasized that many people outside of the organization are unaware of the number of at-risk youth in their organization as many of the needs of these children are often handled by their own unit.
    "We handle it from within," said Chamblee.
    The Calcasieu Area BSA can be contacted at 337-436-3376. Their website is located at http://www.calcasieubsa.org.

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