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New troop forms for Snoqualmie Ridge Boy Scouts
Given the Snoqualmie Ridge’s growing population of children, a new Boy Scout Troop to accommodate all the boys graduating from Cub Scout status was a necessity.
Boy Scout Troop 115 is the first such troop on the Snoqualmie Ridge.
“We really don’t have anything close,” said Kim Ferree, Ridge resident and president of the chartering organization, Outdoor Youth Association. “The growth is obviously building up in the schools and there’s an explosion of kids in the Cub Scout and troop level.”
Cub Scouts are boys in first through fifth grade, while Boy Scouts are boys ages 11 to 18.
Christa Ostrem, a Ridge resident and advancement chair for Boy Scout Troop 115, explained how her now 11-year-old son started as a Tiger Cub with a group of about 25 boys. Four years later, as he and his friends became Webelos, their pack numbered 86 boys.
“Scouting in the Valley exploded,” she said. “Last fall, we took our pack and split it into two different halves. Half went to Snoqualmie Elementary School and the other stayed on the Ridge.”
Boy Scout Troop 115 now has sponsorship from the Outdoor Youth Association, which is responsible for seeing that the unit has a meeting facility, proper goal leadership and is on the right financial track.
“We’re already set up,” said Ferree. “Our crew has been around for 25 years and we think they’re a perfect fit to make it happen. We’ll do everything we can to make this troop successful.”
As Boy Scout Troop 115 will start out small, with about nine boys from Ostrem’s son’s Cub troop. They expect a rise in membership next year.
“Troop 466 has about 54 registered,” said Christina Coonradt, Snoqualmie Ridge resident and Alpine District Executive from the Chief Seattle Council of Boy Scouts of America. “When a unit gets too large, the quality sometimes tends to go down because there are so many youth. You want to make sure none of them gets lost in the program.”
Of the roughly 3,000 boys in the Snoqualmie Valley School District, about five percent are in Scouts.
In the first few months of Troop 115’s existence, they will be shadowing North Bend’s Boy Scout Troop 466.
They will pair up with counterparts to help organize the troop and will learn their responsibilities and duties.
While Cub Scouts are predominantly run by parent volunteers, Boy Scouts are led by youth.
“The boys plan the program calendar and events and make it happen,” Coonradt said. “Parents are leaders to advise, help and do behind- the-scenes paperwork and make sure the boys get things done.”
Scoutmaster Jeff Young will help Troop 115 clear and sign its unit application and charter organization forms. Next, they’ll set up a meeting with Scouts and their parents to get the ball rolling.
“The need is great up here for scouting,” Coonradt said. “We want to make sure these kids are building their character, so when they’re older, they can be great citizens and leaders of tomorrow. We’re instilling values while they have fun.”