By Nicole Davis
Cub Scout Pack 610 is preparing to sleep outside in the middle of winter as an effort to raise awareness and funds for the homeless.
While the Scouts are the only ones permitted to camp out, they are hosting a chili cook-off, foot golf and blanket donation event beforehand this Saturday at Woodside Community Church in Greenwood.
“We try in the Cub Scouts to teach children to give back to society and to do what they can to help people that are less fortunate than them,” said Nathan Tompkins, cubmaster. “We hope they are encouraged by these type of events. Not only is it fun, but they get to see other people who tell them that what they’re doing is for a worthy cause.”
Cub Scout Pack 610 is comprised of 28 boys and girls from Center Grove and Walnut Grove Elementary. Previously, the group held a chili cook-off and a Polar Bear blanket drive as separate events, but decided to combine the two this year and open it up to the public.
The event was supposed to occur in December, but got rescheduled due to COVID-19 restrictions combined with the weather not being cold enough for the Scouts to earn their Polar Bear Patch. The temperature needs to be below freezing during the campout for them to earn the patch.
They still held the blanket drive portion in December. Cub Scouts and their families took turns collecting blankets for the homeless at a drive-thru-style event. Tompkins said they had a stack of blankets going from floor to ceiling.
The pack has already raised $324 to give to the homeless. Seventeen of the children visited uPaint Pottery Studio in Greenwood where they made ceramic bowls for the chili. The children had the option to purchase their bowls for $20 to keep them, or donate their time making the bowls which will be for sale at the event. Thirteen children purchased their bowls, uPaint donated $2 per bowl to the cause and another individual made a cash donation. Bowls made by the Scouts will also be for sale for $20 at the event.
All of the proceeds from the chili cook-off and blanket donations go directly to the homeless, Tompkins said.