A new school year means hundreds of students are seeing the installation for the first time, and those seeking adventure may find their place with one of the on-post Scouting organizations.
Families can learn more about the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts and Cub Scouts through Fort Campbell Scout Survival 101, a recruitment event scheduled 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Aug. 13 at 2114 Indiana Ave.
“They’re going to have information about Scouting, and the boys are working on demonstrations of different skills like first aid, knot tying and making shelters,” said Rosa Caviness, Fort Campbell Boy Scout Troop 101 committee chairperson. “We try to theme our recruitments based off the things we want to teach that year, and it helps the Scouts get more engaged in what they’re going to learn.”
Attendees can sign their children up for Scouts, apply for volunteer positions or ask questions about each unit. Caviness said it is important to give parents those opportunities at the start of the school year so they have plenty of time to get involved.
“We time our recruitment events during back to school because there’s a lot of membership turnover since we’re a Scouting unit on post,” she said. “I’ve seen a lot of people in my 12 years here who don’t realize that there is Scouting on Fort Campbell, and they think they have to go off post for that.”
Caviness said membership offers many benefits for the children involved, and parents are welcome to volunteer with the troop to make it a Family bonding experience.
“Scouting not only reinforces what parents are teaching their kids at home, but what they’re being taught in school,” she said. “They learn about basic life skills and being a good citizen, and a lot of the merit badges go hand-in-hand with what they’re learning in the classroom.”
Fort Campbell is home to three Scouting units: the Cub Scouts (boys K-5); Boy Scouts (boys grades 6-12); and Girl Scouts (girls K-12). Each one offers a similar experience to its members, from outdoor activities to service projects.
“Cub Scouts learn about working together, friendship and the basics of outdoor skills and camping,” Caviness said. “In the Boy Scouts we reinforce those skills, and it’s taught more in a way that lets them be self-sufficient. They just got back from doing a 25-mile kayaking trip where they camped along the river. We do hiking, rock climbing, and a lot of community service events not only on post but off post.”
Caviness also leads Fort Campbell’s Girl Scout troop, and she said they take on many of the same activities as the Boy Scouts.
“We go camping and hiking, and we’re trying to organize a kayaking trip,” she said. “We try to cater to what the girls want to do, and my girls vote in August on what they want to do through June of the following year. We also teach business etiquette, how to be a good citizen to your community and how to give back to the place where you live.”
No matter what each child is interested in, Caviness said the Scouting organizations on post are committed to creating a rewarding experience for its members.
“Each unit thrives on what the kids want to do and what their leaders are good at, and we try to mesh that into a good balance to give our youth more skills for when they’re ready to go out in the world,” Caviness said. “Scouting is the adventure that you make of it, and my biggest advice is to come check it out and talk to the leaders involved.”