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Tuesday, June 12th, 2007

Grand Lake area fathers and sons bond through Cub Scouting

By William Kincaid

Boy Scout leaders from St. Henry - most whom are fathers of Scouts - help severa. . .

Cub Scouting is a great way to build a strong father-son relationship, according to St. Henry Cub Scout Den Leader Bob Stammen.
"The bottom line is spending time with your child," Stammen said. "It's a wonderful place to build core values in boys as well as parents."
Stammen, who leads his son, Paul, and eight other third-graders, said there are different dens for grade levels 1-5. His den focuses on two primary philosophies: The Law of the Pack and The Cub Scout Promise.
Stammen said The Law of the Pack establishes authority figures.
"It's young boys learning to listen to authority, teaching the Cub Scout to follow that lead figure in their lives," he said.
The law also states that each Scout will give goodwill to others.
"It's the little things that make a difference," Stammen said about the goodwill clause, which his den practices by visiting nursing homes, singing Christmas carols, marching in the Memorial Day parade, collecting for the poor and other activities.
Under the Cub Scout Promise, each Scout makes a pledge of allegiance to God first, followed by country, other people and The Law of The Pack.
"Which isn't easy to do," Stammen said about placing others' needs above one's own.
Cub Scouts have allowed many St. Henry fathers to become closer with their sons, Stammen said, as they work together to accomplish tasks - such as building and racing pinewood derby cars and acquiring merit badges. He also said the Scout's parents are actively encouraged to attend each month's pack meeting, in which Scouts from all dens gather.
Stammen, who admitted he was hesitant about becoming a leader at first, said the St. Henry Cub Scout atmosphere is quite flexible. Fathers shouldn't be intimidated about attending every meeting or finishing every activity with their child, he said.
Stammen said many times the fathers learn just as much as their sons. For example, he said he developed a greater appreciation for the volunteer firefighters after taking a trip to the local fire station.
He also believes the Cub Scout fathers become better role models by participating with their sons.
"You have to behave in a certain manner," he said.
Stammen said Scouting has had a direct impact on himself as a father, role model and leader.
"All those little eyes watching .... kids soak in everything," he said.
Stammen also said Cub Scouts help boys keep a balanced perspective on the priorities in their lives, including academics and sports.
"Always remember everything you have is a gift from God," he said.
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