Invasive Species Removal Community Service

This past weekend, the Cub Scouts along with other members of the community, helped remove invasive species from Kings Point Park. Under the direction of William McGirr of Great Neck Park District, the scout learned about invasive species and how to identity two types of species: Garlic Mustard Weed and Japanese Knotweed. The Scouts had a lot of fun while doing a great thing for the local ecosystem.

Thank you to the Great Neck Park District for hosting us.

Annual Pinewood Derby 2021

The sound of kids running around Parkwood pool was plentiful at Parkwood Aquatic Center as the Great Neck Cub Scout Pack 178 recently put on their annual Pinewood Derby. With the help of the Great Neck Park District, the Great Neck Library and the Great Neck Public School’s Elementary Remote Program (ERP) program, a day of racing was enjoyed by all.

Though this year was a bit different this exciting event was successfully executed through community cooperation which symbolized what’s great about Great Neck.

Adhering to all safety precautions and guidelines, the cub scouts completed the Pinewood Derby and Bear Carnival. This much anticipated day of scouting and racing involved 20 volunteers and more than 40 scouts and 40 ERP children competing in races with their handmade wooden cars. The scouts were competing against one another in two sessions followed by two sessions involving children attending the Great Neck public schools remotely. The event included the remote children to show community awareness as people are still facing the pandemic.

The Cub Scouts, Bear Den, provided games for the children to compete in when they were not racing their cars. The games included paper airplane contests, an obstacle course, and a scavenger hunt. The Bear carnival is annual requirement that the bear den most complete. The obstacle course was the imagination of John and Larisssa Pschenica, who put together balance beams and other fun obstacles that adhered to the outdoor nature of the scouts.

The building of the Pinewood Derby cars involves starting with a wooden block then cutting the block and adding a car design. The cars are then painted and weighted. Separate sessions were held for ERP families to construct their cars. With the help of South High School teacher, John Motchkavitz, the wood blocks were cut. The Great Neck library stem lab participated by holding computer aided design sessions for the children to design car spoilers and other fun items. This was courtesy of Great Neck Library Youth Services Coordinator, Adam Hinz, and Emerging Technologies Librarian, Chris Van Wickler.

Pack leaders Sewell Tang and Julienne Kawai made sure the event was a smashing success handing out prizes each session for the fastest car while special guest, legislature representative Ellen Birnbaum, picked the “most creative car design”. Additionally, the parks commissioners, and several library trustees attended the event to show support for the community outreach.

Special thanks to all for showing your commitment to the Cub Scouts. Cub Scout volunteers at this event included Seth Kurpiel, Jennifer Murphy, Tal Sarraf, Steven Chen, Wen Wu, Liz Tang, Mary Park, Wei Chen, Chin Tang, Ronen Sarraf, Stephen Perrault and Craig Cutler.

Kate Goldberg coordinated the ERP effort with help from the ERP committee (Rachel Doppelt and Julie Lam-Leong). As part of the event, Goldberg handed out milkweed seeds to highlight efforts to protect the Monarch Butterflies. While Pat Blaha provided logistical support from the Great Neck Parks.

AOL Klondike Derby 2021

The sound of footsteps crunching through the leaves could be heard throughout the grounds of Schiff Scout Reservation on a late Saturday in January. Adhering to all safety precautions and guidelines, the Arrow of Light cub scouts (fifth graders), who are part of Great Neck Cub Scout Pack 178, recently completed the Klondike Derby. The host of this event is the Shelter Rock District of the Theodore Roosevelt Council of BSA. This much anticipated day of scouting and skills demonstration was completed at Schiff, a dedicated Scout camping site in Wading River. On this chilly yet sunny day, eight cub scouts pulled their handmade wooden sled, which had been mounted atop skis, throughout the park’s grounds. The scouts were asked by the “mayors” of various “cities” to demonstrate a multitude of cub scout skills—with no adult help allowed. Eventually, once these skills were successfully completed, the scouts finished their day at the “North Pole.”

The Cub Scouts completed many important life skills such as building a fire using only two matches, correctly answering many First Aid questions, demonstrating how to stop severe bleeding from an arm wound and building a makeshift stretcher, which they then would use to carry a fellow Scout down a path. Teamwork and communication were other areas of focus that day. These were demonstrated with a game of direction whereby a blindfolded Cub Scout was given instructions to pick up a bean bag while avoiding dangerous obstacles (tennis balls and hula hoops) by another Scout. Scoring for events was heavily based on outstanding teamwork, leadership and sportsmanship. There were four other Cub Scout packs from Nassau in attendance.

Prior to the Klondike Derby, throughout the cold months of December and January, the Cub Scouts held many safe outdoor meetings at various parks, such as Muttontown Preserve.

Here the Scouts practiced skills training under the guidance of their den leaders, Seth Kurpiel and John Pschenica. Some topics that were covered included first aid, trail signs and blazes, fire building, knot tying and lashings, map and compass orienteering, pace and distance measurements, Bear Bag preparation for camping, and folding the U.S. Flag. The Scouts also proudly put fresh coats of blue and gold paint the cub scout colors on the sled that was used; a sled which was actually built a few years prior by former Pack 178 Cub Scouts for the Klondike Derby and passed down for future generations of scouts to use.
Cub Scouts that participated hail from all four Great Neck public elementary schools: Elizabeth Guan, Sahil Gupta, Riley Kurpiel, Ethan Pschenica, John Rowles, Max Stolove, Caden Young and Charlie Yu.