Giv­ing cubs a den

First Pres­by­te­rian awarded as dis­trict char­ter of the year

The Covington News - - SCHOOL - By Jenny Thompson

Mem­bers of the Boy Scouts of Amer­ica Yel­low River Dis­trict re­cently awarded First Pres­by­te­rian Church of Cov­ing­ton with the dis­trict’s Char­ter Or­ga­ni­za­tion of the Year Award.

“ They’re very im­por­tant not only in pro­vid­ing a place to meet, but also pro­vid­ing lead­ers,” said Kelly Meacham, dis­trict ex­ec­u­tive.

Ev­ery scout troop has a “ char­ter or­ga­ni­za­tion” which pro­vides meet­ing space and other things the scouts may need. The Yel­low River Dis­trict has ap­prox­i­mately 50 char­ter or­ga­ni­za­tions.

First Pres­by­te­rian Church al­lows Rick Gunter, cub mas­ter of Cub Scout Pack 4511, and his scouts to meet in the church build­ing.

“ I sent in a nom­i­na­tion for all the church does for the Scouts,” Gunter said.

Gunter ex­plained the church does much more for the scouts than sim­ply pro­vid­ing a meet­ing place, such as host­ing and cook­ing for scout award cer­e­monies and invit­ing com­mu­nity mem­bers to wor­ship on “ Scout Sun­day.”

“ The church re­ally has helped a lot,” Gunter said. He ex­plained how con­gre­ga­tion mem­bers of­ten help young men with projects as they work to­ward Ea­gle Scout sta­tus.

First Pres­by­te­rian Pas­tor Billy Wade said the church’s con­gre­ga­tion has an over­whelm­ing num­ber of adult parish­ioners who were once scouts or were in­volved with the or­ga­ni­za­tion when their chil­dren par­tic­i­pated.

Wade re­mem­bered work­ing at First Pres­by­te­rian Church in Decatur straight­en­ing up af­ter ser­vices for his Boy Scout God and Coun­try Award.

He added that al­low­ing non- profit groups to use the space for meet­ing pur­poses was a part of any truly com­mu­nity- minded church’s mis­sion of stew­ard­ship.

“ We do al­low a num­ber of groups to use the build­ing,” Wade said. “ Oth­er­wise the build­ing would sit empty most of the time.”

He said the scouts have in turn helped stock and work at the food pantry the church man­ages as well as per­formed ba­sic grounds main­te­nance for the church’s hos­pi­tal­ity. They are cur­rently help­ing the church with a new re­cy­cling pro­gram.

Scouts of­ten part­ner with churches be­cause faith is a large part of the scouts’ cur­ricu­lum, ac­cord­ing to Wade.

Meacham said Wade is ex­tremely valu­able to Pack 4511 be­cause he al­ways makes sure they have ev­ery­thing they need.

“ Grow­ing boys need pos­i­tive adult role mod­els,” Meacham said. “ It’s im­por­tant for char­ac­ter de­vel­op­ment.”

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