BLOOMFIELD, NJ - Pack 22 hosted their first pasta dinner Saturday evening at St. Thomas the Apostle Roman Catholic church. The event included pasta, and all the usual accompaniments plus large helping of information about scouting most people probably don't know.TAPinto Bloomfield sat down with Cub Master John Davitt to discover that there is a lot more to scouting than tying knots and taking long hikes in the woods.
The pasta dinner, a first for the pack, brought together the scouts, leaders, and parent volunteers to pull together the meal. Scouts served the food and cleaned up afterward. Adults worked in the kitchen, with scouts lending a helping hand. The main reason adults cooked is the size of the pots. Although we could not get a scout to verify, the pots do appear large enough to hold a "heaping scoutful" of cubs.
From the kitchen food was moved to the serving line were scouts plated pasta, ladeled sauce, and added bread and salads to the meal. Scouts even delivered the plated dinners to guests. During our visit, one scout walked from table to table with a large block of Parmesan cheese and planed it over the plates of dinner guests.
Over the course of the evening, about 36 pounds (weight before cooking) of pasta were served. In the spring a pancake breakfast wll take place. The date for that event is not yet set.
Davitt explained that Pack 22 is cub scouts. The cub scouts feed into Boy Scout Troop 22 which consists of older boys. Pack 22 just celebrated their 25 year anniversary, Troop 22 is getting ready for their 75 year celebration.
Davitt explained that one of the things that scouts does really well is that it gets them off of their screens and outdoors. 'It gets them out of the virtual world and into the real word," where they can learn and put the Scout Law into action. Cub scouting exposes kids in the Kindergarten to Fifth Grade age range to many different topics including music, science and art.
In the last year, Pack 22 scouts 'camped' under the blue whale at the Museum of Natual History, camped on the Intrepid, and will be camping overnight at Camp Glen Grey. The pack will also be marching in Belleville's Veteran's Day parade. In December they will be caroling at area nursing homes. The new year starts with the scouts waiting for the checkered flag at the annual Pinewood Derby on the Saturday of MLK weekend. February brings bowling on Presidents' Day and in the Spring there will be a camp out at Jackals Stadium
Fundraisers like the pasta dinner make scouting possible. Davitt explained that they like to keep the dues low to make scouting within reach of every kid in the area. Approximately 30% of the troop budget comes from fundraising.
Pack 22 has kids from Bloomfield, Nutley, and Clifton. In the last few years, the pack has experienced tremendous growth. Davitt credits the growth with the number of parents who want to get their kids off of screens.
Fundraisers like the pasta dinner and pancake breakfast are open to the entire community, not just scouts. They provide an opportunity for neighbors to get together and have fun while providing resouces for kids.