40-Year Scouting Tradition in Lebanon County


It was a week-long showcase for the fun and fraternity of scouting at the Lebanon Valley Mall at the 40th Annual Scout Expo, held last week at the Lebanon Valley Mall.  A close-up look at what the Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts offer young boys and their families.

“Scouting teaches you leadership and team work,” said expo chairperson Myrna Walker. “It teaches you to make friends and gets you to do things that you normally wouldn’t think of.”

This year’s expo theme was “Are you stronger than a Boy Scout?,”  which featured more than 500 Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts from throughout Lebanon County presenting scout-related challenges and informational programs at stations scattered throughout the mall.

“We’d like to make sure we get more kids interested in Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts,” said Walker. “It would be great to have more scouts coming out and being part of our unit.”

“Scouting has been a big part of the Lebanon County community for more than a century, with the expo a part of that tradition for the last 40 years.

15-year-old Brian Likes, Troop 440, Annville, says scouting has helped him learn skills he’ll use in and out of scouting.

“It’s helped me with public speaking and for future job interviews,” said Likes. “And, when I become an Eagle Scout, I can put that on my resume.”

Among the 23 displays and activities were traditional scout merit badge requirements such as knot tying and navigation. Friendly games involving good eye-hand coordination were also offered, as was the popular camp side competition, leg wrestling.

The biggest draw of the week were the nightly races in the Pinewood Derby.  Each race featured hand made gravity-powered miniature wooden cars running on slotted tracks.

“The kids are learning character and how to be a better person through scouting,” said Lew Mills, assistant Cub Master of Troop 456, Palmyra. “And, because it involves so many fun activities, they don’t even know they’re learning it.”

The scouts were comprised of units from the Horseshoe Trail District of the Pennsylvania Dutch Council.

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