Saturday, June 13, 2009

Meet Katy Schrope, Kinnelon Cub Master For Scout Pack 277

This guest post comes from Sunita Narma, Smoke Rise resident and Cub Scout den leader, who recently interviewed Katy Schrope, Kinnelon NJ's Cub Scout Pack 277 Cub Master.

Sunita has lived in Smoke Rise almost 12 years. She moved in the week of her oldest son's first birthday. Prior to moving, she and her husband lived in Jersey City right by the waterfront -- just a block from her husband's current office location! Despite that level of commuting convenience and easy access to NYC, both wanted better schools and a back yard for their -now- three boys to play in.

What does Sunita love about Kinnelon? "The open spaces, the green trees and old fashioned summers at the beach for the kids. It's great to be minutes from a major highway that connects to anywhere you want to go to and yet you feel a world away from the hustle bustle of a big city. It's quiet and peaceful, earth friendly and just a wonderful community for the kids to grow up in."

Sunita recently launched her own blog: the Flower Car Lady's Blog.

Here follows her post about Kinnelon's Cub Master, Katy Schrope.

Meet Kinnelon Cub Scout Pack 277’s Cub Master.

Kinnelon Cub Scout Troop 277 has a new Cub master and SHE is a woman. Our own Smoke Rise’s Katy Schrope has taken on the role of pack leader for the local Cub Scout pack and is leading the boys on their scouting adventure for the coming year.

When you think of boy scouts, don't you immediately picture campfires and boys fishing and doing outdoor activities with their dads? While all of those images are true, turns out women play an increasingly important and hands on role.

I have been a Den leader with the troop since 2003 & have met several moms and dads who volunteer for the pack as leaders, Cub masters and committee members. Katy Schrope is the first female Cub master that we have had since I've been involved. Recently, I sat down with Katy to get her perspective on Kinnelon Cub Pack 277.

SN: How did your son get involved with the scouting program?

Katy: My husband is an Eagle Scout, and he uses his scouting skills just about every day. We thought that scouting would be a great opportunity for both of our boys.

SN: What made you decide to step into the role of Cub Master for Pack 277?

Katy: The Cub Master before me was moving on with his son to the Boy Scout Troop. I saw what a great job he did with the Pack, and I felt like I wanted to continue that tradition. I like to work with young children. They have a great interest level for just about anything.

SN: What is the role of the Cub Master?

Katy: The Cub Master plans the yearly program for the Cub Scout Pack. This means that I get to plan out the monthly meetings that we have with all our Cub Scout Dens. That's nearly 200 boys! We have one of the biggest, if not the biggest Pack in our Council.

SN: What has the reaction been from the parents in the pack when they see a woman as the pack leader?

Katy: I don't think they see me as a "woman Cub Master," just as "Cub Master," which is great! That's the role I would like to fill. For this role, there are advantages to both being a woman or a man. Either way, it's really all about the boys!

SN: What are some of the activities you have coming up for the troop?

We have an outing to Skyland’s Ice World, an outing to Raceway Park, and we are hoping to have an overnight campout at a local college baseball game. I would also like to plan a real campfire and a Raingutter Regatta for our Welcome Back Picnic in the fall. I am trying to establish a Leader Reference Library for the pack at the Kinnelon Public Library, and I would like to document/commemorate the history of Pack 277 in Kinnelon by creating a memorabilia/scrapbook with photos, certificates, interviews of prior pack leaders, etc.

SN: What other groups are you involved with in Kinnelon?

Katy: I am a religious education teacher in the Summer Program at Our Lady of the Magnificat church (my 6th summer!). I also co-chair the Children's Liturgy Ministry at OLM with my good friend, Tonia Ramirez. I am a class parent for my 1st grade and 5th grade sons, and I am the Publicity Chairperson for KEHSA [Kinnelon Elementary Home and School Association] at Stonybrook School. I am also the Secretary of the Smoke Rise Stingrays Swim Team Parent Board.

[Note: see Swim for a Cure event caps holiday weekend for Katy's role in the 2008 event.]

Cub Scout Information

If your son (1st through 4th grade) is interested in joining the Cub Scouts, here is the link to the Kinnelon Cub Pack 277 website. It has all the information you need regarding scouting and the activities of Cub Pack 277.

You can join at any time, but typically they follow the school calendar September through June. They recently held a recruitment night at Kiel school and, as of now, have 28 new scouts signed up for the upcoming year. New dens are being formed as we speak so contact them if you are interested in joining.

If you son is older, 5th grade and onwards, you may want to check out the Kinnelon Troop 277 website and join the action there.

Here are additional links if you want to explore further.
Here is a link to an interesting article talking about the changing role of women in cub scouting.

There is always so much to do with the scouting program in town -- camping, summer camp, hikes, pinewood derby car racing just to name a few. My oldest one just went kayaking two weekends ago in the Pine Barrens of New Jersey and loved every minute of it. This past weekend the boy scouts went on a trip to Gettysburg. Last fall they slept on the battle ship New Jersey. In the past they have had scout sleepovers at the Liberty Science Center and the NJ Aquarium in Camden.

All three of my boys got involved with the BSA program starting in first grade and they continue to enjoy, learn and grow with all that the program has to offer.

Thank you Katy and all the volunteer dads and moms to help run the scout programs for our kids and help shape them into wonderful young men. See you at the next pack meeting!

And, Sunita, many thanks for introducing us to Katy Schrope and to the Kinnelon Cub Scouts Pack 277!

If any of you have questions about the Cub Scouts program, please don't hesitate to ask as I know that both Sunita and Katy would be delighted to respond.

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