by Jim Boyle
As local Cub Scouts are busy planning their summer camp schedule and Boy Scouts are dusting off from their most recent excursion, a local banker and former Cub Scout is preparing his speech for the eighth annual Boy Scout Leadership Breakfast.
Stewart Wilson, senior vice president with The Bank of Elk River, will give the keynote address at the fund-raising event, which is designed to inform the community about the Elk River scouting program.
The meal and program will be at 7 a.m. April 28 at the Elk River American Legion.
Wilson was a Cub Scout during the early 1960s as a youth growing up in Elk River. He was only a Scout for a short time, but as he reflects back he said he believes his experiences played a bigger role in his development than he may have once thought.
“I have vivid memories walking in Elk River’s Memorial Day parade,” Wilson says. “I remember marching with veterans and sitting down with my dad and grandfather (World War II and World War I veterans, respectively) out by the bandstand.”
Wilson plans to talk about how experiences as a scout help a person deal with the different trails a person travels along in the journey of life.
The Elk River program for Cub and Boy Scouts this past year was three boys shy of 400, and the class includes six new Eagle Scouts. They are Benjamin Alfveby, Jonathon Almen, Mackenzie Chamberlain, Jonathan Hanson, Stuart MacGregor and Zachary Hookom.
Cub Scouts is for individuals in grades one–five. It encourages character development, physical fitness, family unity and a spirit for learning.
Boy Scouts is for boys 11–18 years of age. They learn and experience leadership development, personal growth, responsibility, community involvement, and care and respect for the environment. Physical fitness, an outdoor program, and character are the core of the Boy Scouting program.
There’s a also Venturing offered in the Boy Scouts of America Program. This is for youth 14–21 years of age. It is co-ed. Youth experience hands-on hobby or high adventure interests. They learn leadership, self-reliance, survival and problem-solving skills while working with adult advisers.
The Central Minnesota Council that Elk River scouting is a part of serves 12 counties throughout central Minnesota: Aitkin, Benton, Cass, Crow Wing, Hubbard, Kanabec, Mille Lacs, Morrison, Sherburne, Stearns, Todd and Wadena.
In 2010 the total number of youth served was 5,257, including 3,352 Cub Scouts and 1,290 Boy Scouts.