WARREN - Once a week, elementary age students in Warren City Schools get a glimpse of what Scouting is like as part of an outreach program.
Bud Bower and Suzanne Sapic, Scoutreach coordinators with the Greater Western Reserve Boy Scout Council, travel each week to Willard, Jefferson and McGuffey K-8 schools where they offer first- to fourth-grade boys a chance to see what Cub Scouting is about.
The students spend a half-hour after lunch once a week taking part in the program.
"The program is designed to reach boys in the inner city areas," Sapic said.
Bower said often there are fewer Cub Scout packs in the inner city compared to suburban and rural areas.
"We do this as a way to bring Cub Scouting to the boys. They take part in learning about Scouting activities which helps raise awareness," he said.
Bower said the program is offered from October to May with specific activities including Pine-wood Derby, raingutter regattas, water bottle rockets, flag raising, and such traditional Scouting skills such as tying knots.
Sapic said the program tries to show the students opportunities available in Scouting and different things to be part of.
"Some of the activities may be something that they have not been part of before," she said.
Bower said while most of the activities are held indoor, there are plans for outside activities such as a cleanup event in the spring, and plans for the fourth-graders to have an overnighter at the YMCA in Warren.
Sapic said 10 percent of the boys are in Scouting in the inner city outside of what is being offered through the outreach.
"We want to introduce them to Scouting and hopefully they will continue on with Cub Scouts and then Boy Scouts. This shows them what Scouting groups may be available for them," she said.
Sapic said most of the students have been very receptive to the Scouting activities and look forward to the weekly program.
"We are hoping to make a difference in their lives through the enrichment program, " she said.
The program was started 14 years ago, and since then troops have formed in Warren. Troop 215 meets at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Warren.
Bower said two days are spent at Willard and one each at Jefferson and McGuffey.
Sapic said the cleanup day will serve as a community service project.
Camerie Evans, third-grader at Willard K-8, said he enjoys the boys getting together to have fun and make things.
Chase Gabriel, a third grader, said he has learned a lot about scouting and what the flag means and how to properly display and fold the flag.