Under the leadership of Chris Piro (Cubmaster), Cub Scouts Pack 224 officially welcomed its first female Cub Scout, 2nd grader Emma Raphel (pictured front row, second from the left with some den leaders and some of the Pack 224 Scouts) at the October pack meeting at Riley School.  The Boy Scouts of America in 2019 changed its name to Scouts BSA, in an effort to respond to the drive to recognize and enhance the family component of scouting.  The BSA values and curriculum remain the same, as they are relevant and important for both young men and women:  being “trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent”. 

Emma’s mom, Emily Raphel, is the Den leader for the all-girl den as well as the grade 4 Webelos boy den.   While Cub Scouts embraces family participation at the pack level, the dens remain single-gender with female den leadership for the all-girl den so that the benefit of the single-gender program remains intact.  Emily did not hesitate to volunteer as leader when Emma asked to join the Cub Scouts.  “I’ve been a den leader with Pack 224 since my son was a Tiger in grade 1 when he attended Riley School.  For us, when we have Pack-wide activities, outings, meetings, or even den meetings in my experience, so often siblings are present and participate with the Scouts.  It gives my kids an awesome shared experience and yet provides them with their own individual involvement as well.”  When asked why she wanted to join Cub Scouts, Emma said, “It seems interesting.  I go to the [pack] meetings anyway, and some of the trips too.  I just like doing it with my family.” 

Chris Piro, is also excited for the Pack to develop a multi-grade girl den.  “My own family is a Scouting family.  Our son Chris is in the Webelos den.  Our daughter Kaitlyn is an assistant den leader and is already involved in the North Plainfield Venturing pack herself.”  Girls in the Cub Scout program will participate in the same activities as the boy, experiencing everything from outdoor activities to hands-on projects to STEM learning to social-emotional development.  “Emma was great tonight,” Chris adds, “She came in saying that she did not think that she wanted to participate in the den skits and then decided to go up with her brother’s den and she was a natural!”

For more information about Pack 224, please contact Chris Prio at cjpiro07@gmail.com