Dean Corbin of Cortland has no problem having two daughters in the Boy Scouts.
“It’s awesome,” Dean Corbin said. “I am an Eagle Scout. I think it’s great.”
Anelia, 11, and Elizabeth, 7, are members of the All Girl Cub Scout Pack 1 in Homer.
On Wednesday, the eve of Earth Day, Pack 1 girls and their parents were roving around the Homer village, picking up trash in a nod for conservation. The wind was blowing and it was snowing.
Beforehand, the girls were darting around the Village Green, most in hats and snow pants, before a quick ceremony, pledging allegiance to the flag, reciting Boy Scout pledges and getting badges for work done previously.
The pack meets every other week, 6 p.m. Wednesdays at the Homer Congregational Church on the village green.
“Next year, we’ll meet weekly,” said Brian Cornwell of Cortland, assistant cub master of Pack 1, father of twin girls, Amelia and Evelyn, both 7.
The Cub Scouts, ages kindergarten to fifth grade, will be having a sign-up night of interested children 6 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at Lime Hollow Nature Center Pavilion at 338 McLean Road, Cortland.
The Boy Scouts started accepting girl members in 2018. Packs are organized as all girl, all boy or mixed. The mixed groups are called family cub scout packs.
In the Cortland, Homer area, there are four packs that are active: Pack 1 All Girl out of Homer, Pack 80 Family Cub Scout Pack in Cortland, Pack 85 All Boy Cub Scout Pack in Homer and Pack 52 Family Scout Pack in Cortland.
Cornwell planned for his group to hit Newton Park and other areas in Homer to do trash pick up.
“I was in the Cub Scouts from when I was their age (7), all the way through Boy Scouts,” he said of his girls. “Since they opened up to girls, I decided to get them involved. It’s such a great program.”
“Cub Scout and (Boy Scouts) bring life skills and challenges alike to kids at all ages — involvement in the community to hiking and backpacking while learning about nature,” Cornwell said. “It also teaches youth leadership skills. Events such as the famous Pinewood derby where children build cars using imagination and hands-on tools bring families together and spend time together with an end result of watching their cars go down a track. With the decision of allowing girls in cub scouting it will allow more of an impact on girls’ life skills,” Cornwell said.
Cornwell is in his second year as a Scout leader for Pack 1. He was a leader of Troop 42 in Candor for three years.
“Girls are equal to boys, if not better,” he said, when asked how girls measure up in cub scouts. “They are engaged, they are focused. They seem to enjoy the program really well,” he said.
Cornwell said the April 17 food drive in Cortland, a Scout project by all the groups, yielded some 550 items for Catholic Charities. “When we went into that food pantry, it was bare,” he said. “It definitely did justice … That’s a big accomplishment,” he told the girls and parents. Thirteen had gathered for the Earth Day event.
Corbin said his daughter, Anelia, made the decision to join the Cub Scouts, after considering Girl Scouts.
“It was more in line with the activities she wanted to do. And then her little sister does what she wants to do.”
The Corbins were at Newton Park and Dean Corbin made sure his girls separated five-cent returnables from the rest of the trash.
Anelia said of the Cub Scouts:
“I like it because it’s fun. And you get to go on camping trips,” she said. “I like the Pinewood Derby.”
The girls made polar bear and shark themed cars, gearing up for this year’s event.
“That was my favorite part,” said Dean Corbin.