Middleburg Gets Its Own Boy Scout Troop


(Wednesday, April 16, 2008 4:15 PM EDT)

Crossing over from Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts can be very exciting for the young men involved in the program, but what if there's no Boy Scout Troop to join?

Until recently, this was a problem for the Cub Scouts who meet at Middleburg Elementary School. The closest Boy Scout Troops they could join were a considerable drive away in Leesburg and Purcellville, but now there's one right in Middleburg.

“It was time for Middleburg to have a Boy Scout Troop of its own,” said assistant troop leader Ned Mamula. “There's a changing demographic here in Middleburg.”

Led by Paul Davies, who was involved with scouting in his native England for about 17 years, the new troop held its first meeting at American Legion Post 295 about two months ago.

With six scouts so far, ranging in age from 11 to 16 and from schools such as the Hill School, Notre Dame Academy and the Wakefield School, the troop has been learning hiking skills, as well as the scout meeting routine.

Other skills scouts will learn include camping, reading a map, reading a compass and cooking - ranging from a three-course meal at home to a campfire dinner.

Because younger scouts tend to listen more intently to a senior scout than to an adult, Davies said his goal is to have a more boy-led troop rather than one that is adult-led.

Using this troop model, scouts will have a greater chance of developing their leadership skills and may even teach the adult leaders a thing or two.

“This past week, we had a campfire get together and although I taught the scouts how to start a fire, they taught me how to make s'mores,” Davies said.

But why should boys ages 11-17 get involved in the Boy Scouts?

“These times, there are more things that compete for a child's time, nut not all have an enduring value or build character [like the Boy Scouts does],” Mamula said.

“The Boy Scouts help [boys] gain knowledge and skills that will guide them through life,” Davies said.

The scout leaders are very thankful that the American Legion has volunteered its space for the troop's meetings, and they hope the community will follow their example and help make the Middleburg Boy Scouts a success.

Whether someone is a trained EMT who can teach the scouts CPR, or a geologist who can show them how the local rocks and soil evolved, the troop's leaders welcome parents and community members who want to share their specialities with the scouts.

“And most important for us is to get the word out,” Mamula said. “If you know a young man who would like the Boy Scouts, let him know about our troop.”

Mamula also hopes the Boy Scout troop might help get a local Girl Scout troop off the ground.

“If the Boy Scouts are here, the Girl Scouts can't be too far behind,” he said.

Boy Scout Troop 2950 meets every Monday from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at American Legion Post 295. For more information, call Paul Davies at (540) 222-6267.

Members of Boy Scout Troop 2950 meet Mondays at American Legion Post 295. The troop recently was formed.

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