By Johnny Jackson
A new pack of scouts is in town, and is recruiting for new members to serve the Stockbridge community.
On May 25, Cub Scout Pack 1776 hosted an inauguration charter night ceremony, which made it an official charter cub scout member within the Tussahaw District of the Griffin-based Flint River Council, according to Hal Dayhuff, who helped create Pack 1776 earlier this spring.
"We've got eight little guys, now, for the pack," Dayhuff said. "We're going to be looking for 40 or 50 cubs to join the pack."
Dayhuff serves as the committee chairman for the cub scouts, which meets out of Red Oak Elementary School. He said the idea to create the Pack 1776 at the school sprang from a parent who commented, during a school council meeting, on the lack of a scout troop in Stockbridge.
Dayhuff, a retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel and Eagle Scout himself, said he was recruited by others with ties to the school -- Stockbridge residents, Lenny Vitale and Paul Grimes.
Vitale, who is retired from Delta Airlines, is Pack 1776 Cub Master and the Tussahaw District Commissioner for Boys Scouts. Grimes, a retired Chief Warrant Officer (W4) in the U.S. Coast Guard, has a grandson in Pack 1776.
Vitale's wife, Noel Vitale, is also involved with the newly created group. Noel Vitale said she was deeply involved in scouts many years ago, when their two sons were cub scouts in their native New York.
Dayhuff said he also had a son in the cub scouts, who achieved the rank of Eagle Scout several years back. He said the rank, much like military service, demonstrates dedication and leadership qualities for many people. "I tell people that the most important thing you can put on your resume is your name and the words, Eagle Scout," Dayhuff said. "Two of my grandsons are Eagle Scouts, and two others are in boy scouts -- one is about to achieve Eagle Scout. I have been in scouting for 65 years, and I have started a lot of packs," he continued. "What they do in scouting will last a lifetime."
Cubs and scouts learn several skills over the course of the scouting programs, including how to fish and cook, he added. Dayhuff said Vitale and Grimes have been actively scouting sites and pursuing activities for the group to participate in over the summer for enrichment and community services.
On June 8, for instance, pack members will take a field trip to Henry County Fire Station No. 3 in Stockbridge to learn about fire safety, and how firefighters train. Later this summer, they will take a fishing trip and will visit Noah's Ark Animal Rehabilitation Center and Children's Care Home, in Locust Grove.
Pack 1776 serves young males, ages 6 to 12, Dayuff said. The pack will graduate scouts to area Boy Scout Troops 65 and 168, both in Stockbridge.
Parents interested in signing their children up for Pack 1776, should contact Dayhuff at (404) 234-9724. He urges parents always to be active participants in the scout program.
"If the parents are interested and will help the little guy and little buddy do the activities in the cub scout book, they will remain a cub scout," he said. "That's how I work with all the parents. If they would work with the cub scout, that cub scout will remain in the program and be excited about it."