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by cy nthia hanson photogr aphs by andrew kornylak down to Showtime


Planning a night at a drive-in theater takes more than just popping in for popcorn. Here’s how Pennsylvania’s Trexler District prepared to pump up a bunch of Cub Scouts for camping and Scouting.


Warrington says. “Young Scouts need the chance to learn camping hands- on—and this is the place to do it.”


THAT’S EXACTLY WHAT DAVID KIES and his team of 10 organizers had in mind when they developed Drive-In Cub Camping in 2005. “Scouting is all about the outdoors, but before then we weren’t offering that experi- ence to our Cub Scout packs,” says Kies, former Cub Scout activities chairman for the Trexler District. “We mainly had day activities, and we thought it was important to make a change.”


Staging a Cub Scout campout


presents challenges. First, the plan- ning committee needs to find a local venue because parents must


accompany the boys on overnight trips. “You won’t get a big atten- dance if you take them out of town,” Kies explains. The venue has to be large enough


to fit dozens of packs, but it can’t be too sprawling—otherwise, adults won’t be able to effectively supervise the boys. It also has to be confined and protected to ensure safety. Finally, the logistics must be easy for the parents and unique enough to keep the boys excited about Scouting, says Ned Huber, now a member of the activities committee for the Trexler District. The answer? Family camping


at Shankweiler’s, a popular local attraction since 1934. Kies and the other baby-boom organizers grew up in the heyday of drive-ins— there were 4,063 theatres across the country in 1958—and for them, watching movies from the back seat of the family’s station wagon was a ritual of boyhood summers long ago. But boys today don’t have the same opportunity because only some 378 drive-ins remain. And that makes Drive-In Cub Camping a special experience among Scouting events nationwide.


january•february 2012 ¿ S COUTING 31


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