Chelsea Cub Scouts share learning, fun

Published 3:22 pm Monday, September 12, 2011

Tiger Den Leader Joy Roche, Cubmaster and Bear Den Leader Douglas Reinsch, Wolf Den Leader Charlie Roche, and Assistant Cubmaster and Webelos Den Leader Jeff Arney with some of the ward winners at Chelsea’s Pact 617 Aug. 30 meeting. (Contributed)

By SHELBA NIVENS / Community Columnist

A new academic year has begun for Chelsea’s Cub Scout Pack 617. But this does not mean that the boys gather and sit with little noses to the grindstone.

“We have a very active pack,” said Cubmaster Douglas Reinsch. “They go camping, hiking and fishing…participate in district and council events where the boys can shoot BB guns and archery. (They) can learn all sorts of crafts and outdoor skills.”

The boys also learn practical things for home, like computers and first aid. They study things like astronomy and geography, but “in a way that is often more fun than school,” he said.

They have gone to television studios, fire stations and vet offices, bowling alleys and baseball games, been aboard the USS Alabama battleship and spent the night at McWane Science Center.

“Every month, we have one or more events or go-see-its,” the cubmaster said. “All of it is intended to broaden the boys’ experiences in a safe atmosphere and have fun while they are learning.”

Each year, the pact conducts a Pinewood Derby where Cub Scouts and their parents build wooden cars to race. “We are less concerned about who wins than with the process of design, construction and following guidelines,” Reinsch said. “We also hold bike rodeos and water bottle rocket launches.”

At one pact meeting each month, leaders usually follow a theme — such as airplanes or pirates — and award badges the boys earned during the past month. Other regular weekly meetings are reserved for den meetings where boys work and play with others their own age, he said.

Pact 617 has 67 members. Twenty-three new recruits were added over the summer and 35 boys earned 287 awards. Among themwere awards and/or belt loops for archery and BB shooting, several team sports, art, hiking, World Conservation. Some fourth- and fifth-graders earned Activity Pins for engineer, forester, naturalist and geologist.

Both Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts (serving boys and their families in Chelsea and surrounding communities) are chartered by Chelsea Church of God. Regular Cub Scout meetings are held at the church on County Road 39 each Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.

Den leaders are Joy Roche, Charlie Roche, Douglas Reinsch and Jeff Arney. Other parents also help with the pact.

“All of our events are family oriented,” Reinsch said, “so mom, dad and siblings are welcome and encouraged to join in.”

Contact Cub Master Reinsch at 585-2252 or Website:

Shelba Nivens can be reached by email at