Fishing, farming, and applying first aid are just some of the life skills children of the local Cub Scout Pack and Boy Scout Troop 79 have been learning for almost 63 years.
The local scouts are one of the oldest districts within the six districts in the Yucca Council. District commissioner Chuck Harkins and Unit commissioner Timothy Brown said the unique WSMR terrain, along with the scout’s strong mission statement; to instill values within youth members that will guide them to lead a more ethical and moral life, have been vital in the success of the local scouts.
“The whole idea is getting the boys outside, teaching them how to be self reliant, and to become better citizens,” Harkins said.
“New Mexico is just an ideal scouting environment for that,” Harkins added.
Harkins said the scouts host events like a Klondike Derby during the winter months that teaches scouts winter skills like how to construct a snow cave, and how to apply first aid to something like a broken leg in harsh conditions. Depending on the scout leaders, most scouts attend four trainings, one of which is usually an outdoor training event. Brown said the local area is home to essentially any outdoor activity that a scout could think of. Within the local area, scout leaders can find more than five of the known climates of the world. The local scout leaders will host activities around the area all the way up to Truth or Consequences.
“The environment here is scout friendly, a natural learning environment. It’s unbelievable,” Brown said.
Brown has been a member of the scouts since 1963 and Harkins has been a member since 1988. Both agree that their years in the scouts have taught them about self reliance, individuality, making good decisions, and how to function as an individual and as a member of a team.
“It teaches you all of the necessary foundational skills to be a part of society,” Brown said.
Harkins said they are currently accepting applications for scouts, troops, and leaders. There is a $24 annual fee to join and cub scouts fundraise for events like campouts or the Klondike Derby.
Harkins encouraged local adults to seek volunteer leader roles. Leaders must take online and in person training that will cost a total of $5. Ideally, the local scouts are looking for people who have longevity of service on the range. Military members who decide to volunteer are also eligible for military awards due to their volunteer efforts.
“What’s important is the adult leaders and their capabilities and knowledge,” Harkins said. “We’re looking for adults of good moral character who are interested in becoming leaders.”
For more information, please contact: Chuck Harkins at (575) 405-4361 or Timothy Brown at (575) 442-3567.