Ask any Cubmaster or Scouting volunteer: keeping tech-loving, dynamic kids engaged is a challenge! But the rewards are tenfold when you nail down a creative, authentic adventure for children. While Cub Scouts get to experience these kinds of kid-approved activities regularly, sometimes a standout event leaves a BIG impression on Scouts. One pack overnight brought Scouts and their parents to a location like few others. In fact, it’s the only one of its kind in the U.S. Parsippany, NJ, Cub Scouts staked out at America’s oldest zoo in Philadelphia. Surrounded by the 100 Scouters and families in attendance, the boys even got to sleep in the “Treehouse,” an indoor playground where the zoo used to house giraffes. “My favorite part was sleeping in the Treehouse and seeing the penguins,” Cub Scout Davey explained.
The pack explored exhibits, met with zoo keepers, hiked, and played games over the course of their zoo stay. Cub Scout Matthew said, “Big Cat Falls was really cool when some of the cats were walking above us in the cat walk and hissing at other cats in their exhibits down below.” Matthew’s brother David took away something different. “I really liked getting up close with the birds wandering around the avian center and the peacocks walking freely around the zoo,” David said. While the memories may be varied, the distinctiveness of the event is a common theme for the Cub Scouts. And according to pack leadership, that’s the goal of their annual indoor overnighters. Giving their Scouts a one-of-a-kind adventure is a priority. “Each year, we select a different venue for the boys in the NJ/NY Metro area so that any Scout attending all five years of the program will not repeat a trip to the same location,” Cubmaster Mirek Bondarowicz said. “This keeps everything fresh and exciting from year to year. Previous trips included the Franklin Institute (Philadelphia), the Battleship New Jersey, Liberty Science Center, and the Teterboro Airport Museum.”