Leaders of three Boy Scout troops are working together to attract more members to the youth organization.
"We've formed the Solanco Scout Council to work together to bring more boys to scouting," organizer Becky Guhl said last week. "Our purpose is to recruit more members."
Three troops, 91 at Chestnut Level, 76 in New Providence, and 87 at Green Tree, are members of the council. Cub Scout packs 91 and 76 are also members, and leaders are planning to restart Cub Scout Pack 87.
Two of the troops, 87 and 76, have about 10 members each. Chestnut Level has about 21.
Scouting offers boys a place to learn responsibility and respect, Guhl said. It also provides a range of activities.
The old image of scouts as boys who spend their time camping in the wilderness, making fires by rubbing two sticks together, and helping old ladies across the street is still accurate, Guhl said.
Members of Troop 91, Chestnut Level, go camping once a month, heading to nearby Drumore Township Park or to camps along the Chesapeake Bay, the Jersey shore, or the Pocono mountains.
"But scouting is much more today," she said. "We now have STEM activities. We've taken trips to the Air and Space Museum in D.C. and we have engineering merit badges as well as badges for conservation, automotive, robotics, and astronomy."
The council is working to make these activities available to more boys in the Southern End.
"We have different meeting days so families can choose the date and time that suits their schedules," Guhl said. "There's a misconception that boys can't play sports and be in scouts. That's just not so."
All troops and packs meet only during the school year. Each troop and pack has its own meeting day and time.
Troop 76 meets every Tuesday at 7:15 p.m., in the Providence Elementary School cafeteria, 137 Truce Rd. For information, call Fritz Knerr at 717-687-0686.
Pack 76 meets every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at the New Providence Baptist Church, 2411 Beaver Valley Pike (Rt. 222). For information, call Casey Bridwell at 717-826-3355.
Troop 87 meets every Monday at 7 p.m. at Middle Octorara Presbyterian Church, 1199 Valley Rd. (Rt. 372). Pack 87 will meet at the same location, time, and date. For information about the troop or the pack, call Mike Herzler at 717-951-2239
Troop 91 meets at 7 p.m. every Thursday at Chestnut Level Presbyterian Church's Family Life Center, 1068 Chestnut Level Rd. For information, call Tom Guhl at 717-419-9268.
Pack 91 meets at 6:30 p.m. every Monday at the church's Family Life Center. For information, call Leroy Booth at 717-490-1334.
Cub packs are open to boys who are in kindergarten through age 10; troops are open to boys age 11 through 18.
The council will hold an open house at Quarryville's Huffnagle Park, 20 Oak Ln., at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 26. The open house will be at the park rain or shine. Parents, leaders, and scouts will be at the open house to answer questions.
All troops and packs will offer a free six-month trial for new members.