Darien Scouts remain active during pandemic

Cub Scouts in Pack 55, 56, and 161 held their Pinewood Derby on Saturday, July 18.

The original derby day was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but pack leaders were eager to reschedule the favorite annual event as soon as it was possible to hold it outside.

Scouts who took part followed mask and social distancing regulations. Darien Scouting is grateful to Koons lot for providing the space.

Despite the pandemic restrictions, Darien Scouts have remained active throughout the past months, holding virtual weekly meetings through the school year and recently starting to meet in person while following all social distancing procedures.

Troops 219, 35, and 53 got creative early on, organizing virtual campouts, where Scouts camped in their backyards and connected online to share opening and closing ceremonies and campfire stories. Service to the community remains a priority as the troops created and distributed over 2,000 face shields to healthcare workers in the spring, placed flags at the veterans cemetery and created online tributes for Memorial Day, and have been moving forward on numerous Eagle projects for local benefactors.

Summer highlights for Scouts usually include spending a week at Camp Sequassen in Litchfield County, where Scouts earn merit badges and participate in fun outdoor activities with their troop and other Scouts from around Connecticut.

While overnight camp was canceled this year, Scouts are still able to participate in a virtual camp week through the Connecticut Yankee Council, with online merit badge instruction and outdoor activities they can engage in with their families.

As restrictions on gathering were lifted, our troops have begun to host campouts in small groups, using individual tents and maintaining social distancing requirements. Weekly bike rides are scheduled on Saturdays through July and August. Merit badge instruction and rank requirements are being conducted online or small groups, allowing Scouts to build skills and work towards rank advancement even while much else is on hold.

Darien Scouting has continued to work through unprecedented challenges to provide Scouts with fun activities and community service opportunities while keeping them on track to meet leadership goals. This was without the benefit of funding usually provided by the annual giant tag sale fundraiser. In its place, to give back to the community and to raise funds for this year’s programs, a smaller online benefit auction was recently conducted.

Visit www.darienscouts.org to learn more about joining Darien Scouting programs for boys and girls grades K-12 or to make a donation to Darien Scouting. They also accept cars, boats, or other vehicles in any condition.