Bears Den-Pack 526 Receives Special Award

xxxxxxMonday, April 25th, 2005, 4 Cub Scouts representing the Bears Den of Pack 526 of Iron Mountain, in a surprise ceramony held at the First United Presbitarian Church in Kingsford, were presented with the first sanctioned Cub Scout Rank Of Lion Patches, since 1975, moreover, it was the first time since 1967 that this particular patch has been issued to an entire Cub Scout Den.
xxxxxxArea 3rd graders Austin Cram(age 9), Thomas Hagen(age 9), Jonathan Lauzon(age 9), and Thomis Mannebach(age 8), all belonged to the Bears Den, which for several weeks in November of 2004, were almost "sent home", which is a term in Cub Scouting that means, no available adult volunteer to act as Den Leader. Pack Cub Master Cathy Tomassoni solicited Todd Mannebach who had spent nearly six years in Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts in several Escanaba Units, and was in fact the last scout in the country to have recieved the Lion Patch back in 1975.
xxxxxxSeeking assistance from the parents, Mannebach, and Assistant Den Leader Lisa Cram, set about trying to aid these four boys to catch up, as they were 13 weeks behind other Cub Scout Units, over the next 5 months, the activity hungry boys would all go on to earn, or re-earn the Bobcat Patch, the Wolf Patch with Gold arrow, and silver Arrow, Bear Patch with Gold arrow, and an average of 11 silver arrows each. Dewey Jones, Chief Executive Scout for the Hiawathaland Council, which covers Upper Michigan and some parts of Northern Wisconsin, who presented the scouts with thier certificates of Advancement, pointed out that "normally a cub scout may go on too earn 1-3 Silver arrow points, and to have scouts with 10, 11, or in one case 13 silver arrow points was astounding."
xxxxxxAdditionally, all 4 scouts earned the World Conservation Patch, The Leave No Trace Patch, the Whittlers Card, all 4 have served at least one term as Den Leaders Assistant, and Thomis Mannebach received his 2nd perfect Attendance Pin. having completed over 90% of the bear Books Achievments by February, and running out of activities which could be completed in the winter months, the boys turned thier attention to a 48 year old copy of the Cub Scout Lion Book on thier Den Leaders shelf, the Den Leader told the boys that if they completed the requirements, he would locate Lion Patches, but that they could not be worn on the uniform, as this particular rank was no longer used by cub scouts.
xxxxxxQuoting Den Leader Todd Mannebach, "I started poking around the Cub Scouting organization to locate 4 Lion Patches for the boys, working my way all the way up to the Cub Scout National Committee, and at each step I expected someone to say no, stop that, you cant do that, but I was floored by the support I got, I think 7 states, and hundreds of people were involved in this presentation at one point or another. In the spirit of cooperation from all levels, this became the Unit(The Bears Den), chosen to represent not just the future of Cub Scouting in its 75th year, but of the past as well."
xxxxxxThis Den did a lot more than just earn awards, Iron Mountain Mayor Ken Tousignant, who presented the 4 scouts with the sashes that bore the Lion Patch, Gold and Silver Arrows, World Conservation Patch, and Leave No Trace Patch, mentioned just a few of thier accomplishments,"Not just one cleanup project, but 9 clean up projects throughout the city, which removed 8,200 cans, and an estimated 2,250 pounds of litter from the streets of Iron Mountain, the planting of a tree in the city park, visiting the deer refuge at the city park, field trips to the Police and Fire departments, Frog Country Radio station, and the Fumee Creek Falls, they spread 750 pounds of salt and sand (donated by Country Kitchen) during the cold snap of January at the street access points of Country Kitchen, Premier center, Little ceasers, and Super One."
xxxxxxOther items noted by Mannebach were, "When the boys found out a 12 year girl scouts troop had dissolved, they took her in as one of thier own, even to the point that they stole my Bear patch off my vest when I did not give her a patch at the Blue and Gold banquette. When they found out that we did not have a Pack Flag like other packs in the area, they started collecting change and cans, this fund raiser was so successfulm, that they not only raised the money for the pack flag, but individual den unit Flags for all 5 Dens in pack 526."
xxxxxxKristen D'Agostino, age 12, the afore mentioned Girl Scout who now belongs to Girl Scout Troop 213, was singled out by Mayor Tousignant, Scout Executive Jones, and Den Leader Mannebach, as being the key to the success of this unit, which is often referred to as 'Goldilocks, and the 4 Bears', and in a surprise last moment presentation, was presented with a vest which bore all the awards she would have recieved had she truly been a registered member of the pack, as Mannebach turned to the boys, he said, "The Bears Den is now Disbanded, and you are now the Lions Den till the end of June, and as this is the only Lions Den in the country, there are no rules covering us, and my first duty is to make Kristen D'Agostino the Lions den Co- Assistant Den Leader."
xxxxxxThe Lions Den was then presented with a Lions Den Unit Flag paid for by Laura Jackson, which at the end of the Scouting year, shall be donated to the Scouting Museum.
xxxxxxMannebach's closing comments were, "I can't take the credit for this, this was the result of first and foremost, boys who were active, then almost as important, the amount of time the parents, Kristen, and the Babbs of Pack 524 in Quinnisec, spent with these boys, making it possible to give them one to one, or better supervision. This is what happens when the parents get involved, and I wish every den leader had this kind of support."
xxxxxxAt this same meeting, 16 people including 5 scouts were presented with a US Flag Pin for thier involvement with the flag fund raiser, the 5th Scout being Anthony Cazola of The Webelos den in Pack 526. Also the entire pack earned the Ultimate Belt Loop Athletic Award. Also, there was an emotional moment of silence at the request by three visiting Boy Scouts to mark last weeks passing of Robert Peterson, who had served in Scouting for the last 54 years.

UPDATE ON THIS UNIT

June 11th, 2005, Lions Den I, Pack 526, Hiawathaland Council, while camping with the rest of Pack 526 at Lake Antoine on the North side of Iron Mountain, Michigan, was hit by not just one, but by two tornadoes, an F1, and an F2, injuries included 2 civilian youths, 1 boy scout(6th Grader), 2 members of the Webelos II Den(5th Graders), 1 member of the Lions Den(3rd Grader, Thomis Mannebach-the blonde boy between the two females in the above photo), and 1 Den Leader(above, red vest, blue shirt). Den Leader Mannebach, dispite 2 cracked ribs, and severe burns to his leg, was noted for life saving during the ordeal by the Govornor of the state of Michigan.

In the last 2 years, the 'Lions Den', which is now a Webelos II Den, has lost two of its members, Thomis, and Jonathan. But before they left, the 4 Lions formed the 'Lions Den Recycling Project'.

What started as a fundraiser to buy one Cub Scout Unit a Pack Flag, has now evolved into a project to keep the City of Iron Mountain, and it's neighboring communities clean. Having removed over 220,000 pounds of refuse via almost field 300 clean-ups. Now known simply as 'The Project', it has grown into an organization of over 40 individuals, and exists as a mirror organization next to the Scouting organizations. It's mission statement is "To help other people, and leave the world a better place."

How can a recycling project leave the world a better place? To date the Project has donated uniforms, or uniform parts to 134 Youth Group Memebers (Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Venture Crew, Awanas, 4-H, or thier adult staff), made donations to three schools, a church, St. Vincent De Paul, Salvation Army, Katrina's Relief Effort, Ronald McDonald House, Dickinson County Air Life Line, Cub Scout Packs 510, 526, 559, 578, Girl Scout Troops 213, 224, Boy Scout Troops 510, 526, MIR District 5, Hiawathaland Council, Norway senior Community service center, and...well, you get the picture.

This project has always been considered a 'thorn in the side of the council', as it is not quite a scout project, yet supports scouting, whether the scouts like it or not.

It should be noted that 12 members of the Project have recieved 26 Presidential Volunteer Service Awards.

The Project, which is curently run by 10 year old Austin Cram as Executive Director, and Todd Mannebach (Currently the Cubmaster of Pack 526) as Project Manager, has always maintained, that if you let the kids run things, they will do the right thing.

If you would like to become involved in the Lions Den Recycling Project, please contact:

coindude1@charter.net

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