Area youth benefit from camping program

Posted: May 9, 2012 in The Philadelphia Tribune

Philadelphia-area first- through fifth-grade boys are getting excited — and not because the school year is drawing to a close.Youth from all over the Philadelphia region are set to participate in the annual Philadelphia Cub Scouts citywide camping experience known as the Cuboree.

This weekend-long event is scheduled to take place at the Boys Scouts Camp Hart from May 18-20. Last year, uniformed parent volunteers and scouts from the Triune District of West, Southwest, South, Center City and North Philadelphia, partnered with the Northern District representing Germantown, Mt. Airy, Roxborough and Chestnut Hill. Both groups made plans to attend the historic camping trip.

Nearly 200 youth and parent volunteers participated a year ago. New to the roster, the Roosevelt District will join the Cuboree family at Camp Hart.

The tent camp adventure weekend will include nature hikes, archery, first aid lessons, camp fires, skit performances, games and songs. All scouts will practice “Leave No Trace” principles as they depart from the campsite on Sunday.

Newly appointed Triune District Chairman Joel Wilson vividly recalls being a cub scout in his youth.

“I remember the blue uniform, meetings at a church in Center City and going on camping trips,” Wilson said.

For the past several years, Wilson has enjoyed being a parent and uniformed volunteer leader with the Cub Scouts Pack 133. This pack currently has nearly 50 cub scouts ranging from Tigers to Webelos II.

“Four of our Webelos are about to earn the Arrow of Light award, the highest recognition for any cub scout preparing to advance to boy scout,” he said. “This will be a great achievement for them to share with so many.”

This event symbolizes that there are positive outlets for youth in Philadelphia, according to Wilson.

“I love watching our young men grow in their abilities and confidence,” he said. “Seeing them have fun is very reminiscent of my own youth.”

Not having participated in any scouting activities as a youth is something Sam Fichera regrets today. However, he is quickly making up for lost time.

In the five years Fichera has been involved with the cub scouts, he has spent the last 3 years as South Philadelphia’s Pack 147 Cub Scout Master.

“I see all that our boys do and they really have fun. I sometimes think that could have been me,” he said.

It is in his role working with youth that Fichera is able spend time with all three of his children, including his nine-year-old daughter, Angelina.

“We try to promote family interest in all we do,” he said. “If a sibling wants to participate, then we welcome them to join and have fun.”

Parents are most impressed with the how easily their children mature and learn.

“Watching the boys grow and realize that they were able to do things on their own puts a real purpose to the things we do,” Fichera said. “If I or any one of my fellow leaders made a good impression on any male we worked with, I feel that we have done our jobs.”


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