After a run of cold and dreary weather, Philadelphia finally got a sunny and pleasant Saturday, and our local Cub Scouts didn’t waste it.
Nine Bear Cubs and two Wolf Cubs from Pack 334, led by their Den Leader — and supported by one of their Assistant Den Leaders, two parents, and a grandparent — dusted off their hiking boots and hit the trails.
Our Bear Cubs were working on their Fur, Feathers, and Ferns Adventure, while our Wolf Cubs were working on their Paws On The Path Adventure. We assigned Buddies, reviewed the Center’s Visitor Rules and Guidelines, as well as the Scout Oath and the Scout Law. We checked our gear, filled up our water bottles, and reviewed the map.
And we had a quick chat about how some days we are better at listening and following directions than others, and that this day needed to be one of the better days.
Then, with high spirits, beautiful weather, and after a quick stop to explore the Visitor Center, our Scouts set out to tackle the Center’s most challenging trail: the Ravine Loop.
The Ravine Loop is 1.0 miles long and is estimated to take 60 minutes to complete. It is known for crisscrossing a spring-fed stream with several rustic bridges… as well as for some steep slopes and tricky climbs. The loop also passes several ponds, the wetlands, Penn’s Native Acres, and the Center’s oldest sections of forest.
Our Scouts found several freshwater aquatic insects, some frogs, some tadpoles, and even a brave little dragonfly.
The descent into the ravine sure was fun and led to several breathtaking spaces that felt as far from urban city life as you could get. Ascending, on the other hand, was a littler more strenuous than some of our Scouts expected. Everyone just cinched up their backpacks, took a deep breath, found a smile, and kept putting one foot in front of the other.
After all, a Scout is Cheerful… so long as there are enough breaks for snacks and water.
And some more breaks…
There was no rush; the goal was to experience as much of the old woods as we could. After discovering some homesteader ruins from the 1890s, our Cubs climbed a long, steep run of roughly hewn stone steps, and just like that they were back at the start point! One mile completed, wilderness explored, memories made.
Although Pack 334 kept busy during the winter months, it is a Saturday like this one that reminds us just how unique Scouting is, how fortunate we are to live in a city full of hidden natural treasures, and how breaking a sweat and physically challenging yourself with friends can build bonds that last a lifetime.
Three cheers for our intrepid Bear and Wolf Cubs!
Cub Scouting with Philadelphia’s Pack 334 is for boys in the first through fifth grades or 7 to 10 years of age. Our Cub Scouts usually meet every Friday at 7:00 pm. You are welcome to stop by and visit during a meeting, talk with our leadership, and have your son experience a night of Scouting. If you are interested in learning more about our program in person, just let us know when you’d like to stop by.