Scout me in!
By Dan Whitaker, Cub Scouts Pack 3944 Committee Chair, with editing by Nick Yates, ISB Communications
The International School of Beijing (ISB) has always been a community of learning that extends beyond the classroom, strengthened by partnerships with many external groups. One of these is the Cub Scouts.
Campus access restrictions and other practical difficulties since February 2020 have challenged many of these ties. But now the community is starting to return to full vibrancy, and the Cub Scouts are back, offering additional opportunities in service learning, character building, personal fitness, and leadership.
A base for adventure
The Cub Scouts have been a global institution for over 100 years. Founded to serve elementary school-aged boys too young to be in the Boy Scouts, the Cub Scouts movement has flourished in the United States, and now operates worldwide under the umbrella of the Boy Scouts of America.
ISB is the chartered organization for Cub Scouts Pack 3944, meaning the school provides logistical support, event and meeting space, and storage facilities for the Pack. Those on campus recently may have noticed an impressive miniature racing track stored here in advance of the Pinewood Derby, a flagship event in which the Cub Scouts race model cars they have built (Members of Pack 3944 are pictured above with their model cars).
The Cub Scouts mission is to help young people learn to make ethical and moral choices throughout their lives. We do this by providing structured activities (called “adventures” in Cub Scouts parlance) involving fun, adventure, and skills for life. Cub Scouts experience the outdoors, interact with others, make friends, gain confidence, and reach their full potential. The Cub Scouts is an inclusive organization – our motto is “Do Your Best.”
Members of Pack 3944 racing in the Cub Scouts’ Pinewood Derby
Commitment to service
Cub Scouts Pack 3944 is open to foreign passport holders in Grades 1 to 5. We differ from many other non-school groups in that Scouting is not a “drop-off” activity – parents are expected to actively volunteer in helping organize outings and lead meetings. The adventures teach skills in safety, engineering, sports, science, team building, anti-bullying, and more.
Service is an important element. Cub Scouts learn about the concepts of service to each other, to the community, to their country, to a higher power if that is their family’s belief, and their responsibilities as a global citizen. Here in China and throughout the region, Scouts are planning and executing service programs. Examples include constructing library shelving and sourcing book donations for orphanages; even building entire playgrounds for local schools in remote regions of Nepal and Cambodia. This commitment to serving fellow global citizens is one reason why the Cub Scouts mission and the ISB mission feel similar – each reinforces the other and helps ensure members of Pack 3944 can be counted on in leadership in years to come.
On the trail again
The pack consists of students from ISB and other local international schools, and we are grateful to ISB for its continued support throughout what has been a tough year.
As the 2020-2021 school year got ready to begin last August, a small group of parents did their best to rebuild Pack 3944. We have been able to resume Pack activities with a November Great Wall hike, a December cave outing, winter cooking and stargazing, our Rain Gutter Regatta in the spring, and just this last weekend the world-famous Pinewood Derby!
Many ISB parents have “done their best,” and we are looking to add parents to our team who share a spirit of service and who want to volunteer to build global citizens of the future. For more information, please contact Pack3944@gmail.com and we will see you at ISB or on the hiking trail!
ISB is an extraordinary school, made so by a tradition of educational excellence spanning 40 years. Establishing, nurturing, and growing such an exceptional learning community has been and remains intentional; we work hard to build strong relationships so our learning is at its best.