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INSPIRE The Count


ON A CHILLY, DRIZZLY FRIDAY, Shankweiler’s Drive-In Theatre in rural Orefield, Pa., slowly fills up. But not with cars. On this night, America’s oldest


working drive-in has opened to a select group of customers: more than 300 Cub Scouts, parents, and leaders. They’ve come from across the Lehigh Valley—and some as far as Reading to the southwest and Philadelphia to the southeast—for the annual “Shankweiler’s Drive-In Cub Camping,” an overnight event hosted by the Trexler District of the Minsi Trails Council that aims to keep Cub Scouts excited about camping and Scouting. At 5:30 p.m., parents park their vehicles in a field across from


30 SCOUTING ¿  


Shankweiler’s and unload their gear onto waiting lawn tractors, courtesy of volunteers from Troop 5, who will ferry the gear into the theater. Wearing rain slickers and waterproof boots, the boys and their families enter the grounds on foot and stop at the registration table for safety instructions, their campsite assign- ment, and an event patch. Some boys head straight for


the inflatable Moon Bounce and Gladiator Pit; others stop to play Frisbee or try their luck at a plastic egg-toss game. Parents stroll through the grounds, greeting one another with handshakes and smiles and sur- veying the three acres of muddy grass and gravel paths. “The Doppler radar says the


weather isn’t going to get worse,” Steve Mehl, Trexler’s then-district


commissioner says optimistically. He’s dressed in his field uniform and carries a walking stick. “But we’re Boy Scouts. We’re always prepared!” Eventually, the boys and their


parents get down to business and set up their tents in direct view of the movie screen, where they’ll watch the Disney films G-Force and Up after dark. “Nicholas, don’t pound the


stakes in any harder or we won’t get them out of the ground in the morning,” says Nancy Warrington, a Webelos den leader from Pack 12, to Nicholas Glassic, a first-time camper. Warrington, her son, Sean, and Nicholas were determined to show up despite the weather. For the past two years, the drive-in event sold out before she was able to get a spot. “The boys don’t care about the rain; they want to see the movies, eat popcorn, and sleep outside,”


IMAGE FROM UP COURTESY OF EVERETT COLLECTION


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