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Scouts enjoy Winter Cub Fun Day

February 11, 2016
By Katrina Fuller ( , Westfield Republican

Of all the things Cub Scouts enjoy, they proved spending time together is high on the list.

Camp Merz was filled to the brim with the laughter of Scouts ringing in the weekend with excitement during the annual Winter Cub Fun Day, Saturday.

Taking advantage of the snow, the camp held by the Allegheny Highlands Council of the Boy Scouts of America focused on cold-weather activities with stations such as a Boy Scout-led hiking trail, Klondike sledding, a Cabela's shooting range, bird feeder garland creation and more. The American Red Cross, ALSTAR Services and Eagle Dreams Rehabilitation Center were also on hand to provide demonstrations and hands-on activities throughout the event. Hundreds of Scouts converged on the camp at 8 a.m. to register and proceeded to fill the day with activities.

Article Photos

Photo by Katrina Fuller
A pack of Cub Scouts is pictured taking the Klondike sleds for a run over the ice and snow at the annual Winter Cub Fun Day Saturday morning at Camp Merz. From sled runs, archery, sleigh rides and more, hundreds of eager Cub Scouts enjoyed a variety of activities throughout the day.

Joe Pillittieri, district activities chairman for the council, said the event is one of his favorite to organize.

"It's an annual cub scout event that has been happening for many years. It's a winter day of fun, but it's still educational," Pillittieri said. "We have a record-breaking attendance today. There are just over 300 scouts, leaders and parents coming together for a day of winter activities and learning today."

Approximately 12 groups toured through each of the 12 stations available on Saturday, including a session with live birds of prey held by Eagle Dreams Rehabilitation Center in Olean.

Mark Baker gave the groups a presentation about the birds of prey he had brought with him, including a turkey vulture, barred owl, screech owl and a red tail hawk.

"Vultures are a family animal," Baker said during the lesson. "You'll see anywhere from two to 15 together."

Another adventure of the day was the Klondike sled activity.

Pillittieri explained the sleds are generally reserved for the Boy Scouts, so the younger scouts were glad to spend time riding them across the field.

"We bring them down here to play with them," he said, adding the boys seemed to love it.

He said events such as the fun day foster a sense of community among the Cub Scout packs that wouldn't normally be achieved.

"It just brings the scouts together from other areas and their families," Pillittieri said.

Wayne Schuver, district executive, said the day is a great opportunity for the scouts, leaders and families.

"Not all the cub packs can run a program of this size. As a district, we can provide more leadership and we can aid what the units are doing," Schuver said, adding the cub scouts also have the chance to get to know the camp before they enter it as boy scouts. "That will give some plusses to the cub scouts when they turn 12."

He said the next big event for the Boy Scouts will occur next weekend from Feb. 12-14 at Long Point State Park.

The Inaugural Allegheny Highlands Two Lakes District Ice Camp will allow scouts to camp at the site and spend time with United States Army soldiers, Schuver added.

"There is no way that the units could (run) the Ice Camp," Schuver said, adding the district is glad to offer these larger events for local Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts.

The Allegheny Highland Council serves both Chautauqua and Cattaraugus counties with units in Randolph, Jamestown, Panama, Mayville, Frewsburg, Falconer, Celoron, Westfield, Brocton, Cassadaga, Gowanda and Cattaraugus, which includes members from Little Valley.

For more information on upcoming programming, joining the Boy Scouts and more, visit or call 665-BOYS.



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