Cub Scout Pack 66 holds annual Blue and Gold Banquet

By Denise Coffey - Staff Writer
Thompson - posted Mon., Feb. 28, 2011
Leah Cutler and son Brayden, who came in third in the Pinewood Derby. Photos by Denise Coffey.
Leah Cutler and son Brayden, who came in third in the Pinewood Derby. Photos by Denise Coffey.

Thompson’s Cub Scout Pack 66 held its annual Blue and Gold Banquet on Sunday, Feb. 27, at the Valley Springs Sportsmans Club. The annual dinner is both a birthday celebration for the Cub Scouts and an awards night for the boys graduating from Cub Scouts and crossing over into the Boy Scout organization.

Cubmaster Larissa Benoit's son was graduating from the Webelo 2 level. He was going to cross over into the Boy Scouts during the evening program, after working through the ranks and reaching the end of his Cub Scout trail.

The term “Webelos” stands for “We be loyal scouts.” There were eight boys in the Webelos 2 level, but only seven were joining the Boy Scouts that day.

Wayne Tanson, secretary of the Jesse Hay Memorial Association, the sponsoring organization for Pack 66, was helping set tables for the dinner. He'd been through several annual Blue and Gold Banquets as a cubmaster with his two sons.

“Many of the boys will receive the Arrow of Light Award,” Tanson said. The award is the pinnacle of a Cub Scout’s career and is the only Cub Scout award or insignia that may be worn on the Boy Scout uniform. “They will cross over a bridge. Cub Scouts will be on one side of the bridge and Boy Scouts will be on the other,” he explained. “They will literally take off the blue epaulets on their uniforms and change them to red epaulets. They will get a handkerchief on their neck. We recognize the boys for their work in the organization.”

His boys are grown now, but Tanson participates in several Pack 66 events. “I would say the most important skill that a Cub Scout learns is leadership skills. They are set apart from any other kids. I can honestly tell, because I’m a teacher,” he said. “Boys - or girls that are Girl Scouts - when I have those kids in class, they actually step forward. They naturally take the leadership role. They know what to do. They volunteer when I ask. That’s really invaluable.”

Brayden Cutler and his mother, Leah, were helping out at the dinner. Brayden's favorite Cub Scout event is the Pinewood Derby, in which Scouts design their own model cars and build them for a race. Brayden's dad won first place one year when he was a Cub Scout, and Brayden came in third place last year. But more than the winning was the fun he had designing and building it from scratch, Brayden said.

Spencer Norton loved the physical and outdoor activities he's had the opportunity to participate in as a Cub Scout. He said he has really enjoyed the resident camp where Scouts can sleep over in tents. There, the boys can swim, fish, hike and practice archery skills.

Spencer's mother, Bonnie, was a Scout leader for eight years with her two sons. “There are skills I learned years ago that I still use,” she said, “like how to tie knots.”

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