Giving cubs a den
First Presbyterian awarded as district charter of the year
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.”