"Fun with purpose" is the scouting mantra, according to Peter Kawa, assistant cub scout master for Avon Pack 122.
Based out of , the pack has seen steady growth in the past few years, its enrollment jumping from mid-50s to low-70s three years ago.
"This past school year, we had 70 scouts in Pack 122 in grades one to five based out of Pine Grove School," Kawa wrote in an email to Avon Patch, noting that 70 is average membership. "This is about 20 percent of all boys at Pine Grove."
His son, Alex is one of them, ranked Webelos. It's his last year as a cub scout before crossing over to Boy Scouts. He has been involved in the program since the Tiger Cub level in first grade.
Being a scout fuses "learning outdoor skills, hiking, independence and respect of nature," Peter Kawa wrote. The boys also earn badges for completing different tasks and have the opportunity advance in rank. The pack goes on camping trips in the fall, spring and spring at scout campgrounds. Hiking trips are offered monthly.
Community involvement is key to being a cub scout. The pack helps collect donations for around Christmas time so that families in need can give each other presents.
"This has been a long standing tradition and we easily get 70 to 100 presents," Kawa said.
While "Scouting for Food" is a means for survival, it is also the name of a drive the pack does in March for the Avon Food Bank.
Have you noticed how Avon trails and parks look cleaner in early April? The pack, along with the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, have participated in Avon Cleanup Day for many years, also tidying up library and church grounds.
In November, pack members will stay over in Quincy, MA and tour the USS Salem as their "big trip." They've visited the Norwalk Aquarium, Boston Museum of Science and Project Oceanology in Groton before.
But perhaps the most popular event is the Annual Pinewood Derby in January, Kawa said. The scouts build their own cars and race them.
As fun as being a Cub Scout is for the boys, it's also fun for their parents. There is high parent involvement in the pack, which was established 50 years ago. Kawa became Tiger Den leader in 2007, rising to assistant cubmaster in 2009. After cubmaster Rob Schwarzhaupt retires in June 2013, Kawa will fill the position.
If all of this sounds like a fit for your son, more information will be available at a "joining night" at the Pine Grove cafeteria on Sept. 13 at 6:30 p.m. The pack will meet on Sept. 19 at the same location and time. You can also contact Rob Schwarzhaupt at 860- 977-2620 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Peter Kawa at 860-997-2897 or email@example.com if you have questions.
Pine Grove School is located at 151 Scoville Rd. in Avon.