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WHAT I’VE LEARNED By Mar k R ay


Maureen Riley This Cub Scouter is a big deal in the Big Apple.


FactSheet Maureen Riley


YEARS AS A SCOUT VOLUNTEER: 32


CURRENT CITY: New York City CURRENT POSITIONS:


Cubmaster, Tiger leader and treasurer, Pack 422; district committee member


DAY JOB: Bookkeeper, SMP Digital Graphics


FAVORITE CAMP: Alpine Scout Camp in Alpine, N.J., on the Palisades. “The campsite is kept so beautiful, and the programming is amazing. The staff is top-notch. It’s also really convenient; it takes us about 20 minutes by car to get to the camp.”


PROUDEST MOMENT IN SCOUTING: Watching one of her former Cub Scouts become an Eagle Scout despite having muscular dystrophy. “He had everything against him, and nothing stopped him. It was just amazing.”


MANY CUB SCOUT LEADERS move on to Boy Scouting the minute their sons do. Maureen Riley might have done that, too, but her four sons were born across a span of 13 years. Since she always had another son coming into Pack 422, she never leſt the pack. Now, 12 years aſt er her youngest son crossed over, she remains with the pack she fi rst joined in 1982. For her fi rst decade or


so in Pack 422, Riley served behind the scenes, helping with tasks like transportation and fundraisers. But around 1994, she began taking on bigger roles: den leader, trea- surer and — for most of her tenure — Cubmaster. Since the pack boasts a membership of 105, that’s no small task.


HOW DO YOU KEEP UP WITH A PACK OF 100-PLUS BOYS? Almost every day, I will spend at least one to two hours just reminding people of upcoming events. Also, Facebook is won- derful. I have two dads who handle the Facebook page.


YOU DIDN’T HAVE FACEBOOK IN THE ’80S AND ’90S. I had to type letters — it sounds like a dinosaur era now — and it was phone calls, phone calls, phone calls. The computer is an amazing, amazing thing.


14 S COUTING ¿ SEPTEMBER•OCTOBER 2014


IT STILL MUST BE HARD TO KEEP UP WITH ADVANCE- MENT, ESPECIALLY WHEN BOYS MISS MEETINGS. When boys miss, I send out an email to the parents: “This is what your son missed. If you want your son to get this pin, you have to complete it and let me know you completed it.”


HOW DO YOU SUPPORT DEN LEADERS? I do the entire den meeting pro- gramming, and then I email it to the den leaders. I just fi nd that people don’t want to take on that responsibil- ity. I have parents that don’t actually get home from work before they walk in our door at 7 o’clock.


YOU TRY HARD TO HAVE ENGAGING DEN MEETINGS. WHY IS THAT? If you’re not creative and you don’t think diff er- ently, you just won’t retain the kids.


WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DO SCOUTING IN AMERICA’S MOST COSMOPOLITAN CITY? We’re only 20 blocks from the United Nations, so we get a lot of families that come from there. In every single rank, there’s something about cultures. It’s really nice because the boys can talk about how life was in the country that they came from. But when it comes down to it, they’re just another little boy.


I ASSUME YOU HAVE PLENTY OF PROGRAM OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM. We do. We have done the Intrepid sleepover, the American Museum of Natural History sleepover and the Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk sleepover. We have annual camping trips. We participate in a food drive to benefi t City Harvest. We conduct a toy drive for The New York Foundling. We participate in planting and clean- ing at our local park. I even found an amazing restaurant owner who spon- sors us. The kids go in and learn how to cook; each Scout gets two hours and memories that will last forever.


THAT’S A LOT OF ACTIVITIES! The variety gives families the choice to maybe participate in one or two of the trips instead of being pressured from their sons to participate in the only outing on the calendar.


BARRY WILLIAMS


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