Helping 9-year-old Justin Madden on a rope course during Pack 178's trip to Payson are Marc Conkle, left, and Jim Neuman.
Special to AFN

As the new school year gears up, so does recruitment time for local scouting troops.

Ahwatukee Cub Scout Pack 178 is the latest local troop to schedule a recruitment drive for boys in kindergarten through fifth grade.

It’s had a lot of experience with the annual recruitment drive: Pack 178 was Ahwtaukee’s first Cub pack, established in 1980.

The pack is holding an open house and ice cream social at 6 p.m. Monday, Aug. 14, for new and returning scouts at Mountain View Lutheran Church, 11022 S. 48th St., Ahwatukee.

While boys can join anytime, pack leaders say now is the best time to register and avoid missing a full year of activities.

“Cub Scout Pack 178 of Ahwatukee recently completed a multi-day camping trip to the Grand Canyon,” said assistant Cubmaster Joey Boyer, who works with Cubmaster Baron Smith.

“The Pack has also gone to Mukutu’s Island and had a pool party over the summer,” Boyer added. “This year, the Pack will be camping several times in the Payson area and is working on plans for another large summer camp.”

Cub packs are part of the Boy Scouts of America, whose mission “is to help young people build character, learn citizenship, develop personal fitness, become effective leaders and have fun in the outdoors,” Boyer said.

Last year, he and his pack started a Lion Pack for boys who are 5 years old by Sept. 30 but under age 7. That group is aimed at helping boys explore scouting’s value with a parent or guardian.

“Lion is a family-oriented program,” Boyer explained. “A boy and his parent or caring adult partner join scouting together. A group of six to eight boys and their adult partners meet together in a group called a den. Dens will meet approximately twice per month.

“They have fun participating in den meetings and outings while making memories together.”

Pack 178 meets the second Monday of the month.

Information: Boyer, 803-984-2767; Smith, 480-428-1228,

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