Rebuilding: Local Cub Scout Pack hopes to grow numbers

Kyleen Olson helps Trevor DeSchepper (left) and Carter Zens set up to decorate their pinewood derby cars last week.
By Per Peterson

When Kyleen Olson attended a Cub Scouts meeting last fall to get Pack 31 up and running again, her main intention was to get her son, Shaw, involved. As it turns out, he wasn’t the only one who would become a part of the group.
Olson told the members at the meeting that if leading the pack was the only way to revitalize Scouts, she would do it.
“The meeting was to just get a head count to see who was interested and if we could get Pack 31 going again in town,” Olson said. “I said right there that if I had to be a leader to keep it going, then I would. I wanted it to work that bad. Well, that’s what happened.”
Olson has been a Girl Scout her whole life, and he sister, mother and grandmother were all involved in Scouts, she said. That family history — and her involvement as a child — has left an indelible mark on Olson. She said she knew when she had children of her own that she would want them to be involved just like she was.
“ learned so much about myself during that time (as a child) and made so many friends that I still keep in touch with to this day,” she said. “I was given opportunities that I would never have been able to do otherwise, like staying a week on Mackinac Island as an Honor Guard for three summers — it was a highlight of my high school years for sure. When I had kids, I knew I would want them in scouting.”
Olson said Scouting gives kids new opportunities they would otherwise miss out on. And it gets them outside, away from the “screens” that so dominate the lives of today’s children.
“Especially now in today’s society when children aren’t outside as much, and more involved in electronics, I wanted my children outside learning life skills that will help them later in life,” she said. “The nice thing about this program are that parents are involved. This isn’t a ‘drop-them-off-and-go’ type deal. We work with the kids, not just at meetings, but at home, too. It is a very family-orientated program.”

For more on this article, see this week’s Headlight-Herald.