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Last updated: June 04. 2014 10:17AM - 490 Views
By Ben Freda Abington Journal Correspondent



Aiden Gercken, age 7 from West Abington Twp. and Pack 160 of Clarks Summit, tries his hand at archery during Goose Pond Parent & Pal Family Camping Weekend May 31 to June 1 in Lake Ariel.
Aiden Gercken, age 7 from West Abington Twp. and Pack 160 of Clarks Summit, tries his hand at archery during Goose Pond Parent & Pal Family Camping Weekend May 31 to June 1 in Lake Ariel.
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Local cub scouts and their parents took part in the Goose Pond Parent & Pal Family Camping Weekend in Lake Ariel May 31 to June 1.


Pack 160 of Clarks Summit and Pack 251 of Clarks Green were two of the nine scout groups, which participated in the event.


Pat Gibbons, family camp administrator of Goose Pond and Camp Acahela in Blakeslee, and Dave Srebro, camp/program director of the Northeastern Pennsylvania Council, were the key organizers of the Parent & Pal weekend.


The goal was to introduce cub scouts to camp and its activities. The idea was to get the youngsters prepared in case they ever want to go on a longer camping trip. Forty-eight staff members of Goose Pond volunteered to work with the scouts.


“It’s a basis for campers to have fun,” Gibbons said. “We teach them (scouts and parents) to have fun again.”


The weekend began with an opening ceremony at Goose Pond’s Parade Field. The ceremony included the pledge of allegiance, the scout promise, and an orientation. Each pack enjoyed a round robin of activities. Each activity lasted one hour before the scouts and parents rotated to the next one.


“It’s fantastic,” said Brian Monahan, who accompanied his son Colin , a cub scout of Pack 251. “It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and have fun together.”


Nick Hannon, camp counselor of Camp Acahela and volunteer of Goose Pond taught scouts how to fish using a soda can and little marshmallows as bait.


The scouts and their parents also tried their hand at archery and slingshots. They shot arrows with bows at balloons, which were attached to targets’ Bull’s-eyes. They also shot little stones at plastic bottles and aluminum cake pans, which were hanging on a pole.


“My favorite thing is the blow darts,” said Aiden Gercken cub scout of Pack 160 (Clarks Summit) from West Abington Twp.


“The kids are having a great time here,” said Aiden’s father, Robert. “This is my son’s first time here.”


Other activities included games on a sand mound, crafts under the pavilion, shooting BB’s in a rifle range, and learning about nature at the amphitheater.


“It’s the best camp ever,” said 7-year-old Cathan Cornog, cub scout of Pack 251 (Clarks Green) from South Abington Twp.


On Saturday night, the scouts and their parents sang songs and performed skits around a campfire. They then had healthy snacks including fruits, vegetables, and cheese in the dining hall.


On Sunday morning, the scouts had a small, non-denominational service. Some of the scouts volunteered to be part of the service such as reading passages.


“It’s another way of teaching service to the scouts,” said Gibbons.


The scouts and parents had their closing ceremony at the dining hall after breakfast.


“The kids had a lot of fun doing the activities,” said Brian Sompel, cub master of Pack 251 (Clarks Green), parent of cub scout Nathan . “Some of the kids did things that they haven’t done before. Seeing the smiles on their faces is priceless.”


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