Joliet-based Cub Scout pack has crafty idea to raise funds
BY DENISE M. BARAN-UNLAND Correspondent July 12, 2013 4:08PM
Wolf Cub Roman Cornejo, Cubmaster Tim Edwards, and Webelo Jeffrey Boyle-Sykes prepare to set their "ships" sailing at the pack's Raingutter Regatta event. | Supplied photo
Updated: August 15, 2013 6:11AM
Like his father before him, Tim Edwards of Joliet believes Scouting should be free, especially when one is leading a pack of young boys from low-income families.
So, again like his father before him, Edwards wants to host an arts and crafts fundraiser on Aug. 23 and 24 to help pay for pack expenses for the 14 boys in Cub Scout Pack 45. That includes things such as books, badges, uniforms and special events.
For artists and crafters, this marks an opportunity to sell their wares while making Scouting possible for families who can’t afford it. Edwards is hoping to attract 30 vendors.
Meanwhile, he and the boys are keeping busy.
“We’ve already camped out at Big Run Wolf Ranch in Lockport,” Edwards said, “and then we did the Slammer (baseball) camp out on the field. The boys really liked that.”
Thirty years ago, the late Gerald Edwards of Indiana initiated an annual arts and crafts fair to pay for the Scouting activities associated with Boy Scout Troop 264 in Griffith. That’s where Tim Edwards learned firsthand the joys and merits of Scouting.
“My father was into the ‘fun’ things. Another father did the ‘book’ work,” Edwards said. “Every other year, we’d go up to Median Lakes in Minnesota to canoe and camp, 50 miles from lake to lake. On the opposite years, the boys would go to summer camp and work on badges.”
Thirty boys now belong to Troop 264, and Gerald’s arts and crafts fair boasts 60 vendors. The money it earns still pays for all of the troops’ needs.
“The troop is very much alive,” Edwards said. “It outlasted him, 33 years now.”
Three years ago, Edwards returned to Scouting when his son Mack, now 9, was old enough to begin at the Tiger Cub level. Last year, Edwards began a Cub Scout pack at his church — Faith Bible Church in Joliet — at the suggestion of his pastor, Edwards said.
Having participated in a range of Scouting activities, from being a Scout to his current role as Cubmaster — Edwards still believes Scouting is a good choice, even for 21st century boys.
“Summer camp is still cool,” Edwards said. “There’s archery, BB guns, everything.”
The vendor fee for the event is $40 for one day and $65 for two days. No food vendors will be allowed, as the parents of the boys in Pack 45 will be running concessions those days. All profits will go straight to Scouting costs, Edwards said.
If the arts and crafts fair raises enough money, Edwards would like to take the boys to Starved Rock State Park in Utica and at least one Chicago museum. Edwards would also like to buy a Pinewood Derby track.
“We had one donated to us but it’s in pretty rough shape,” Edwards said.
Fair times are 2 to 8 p.m. Aug. 23, and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Aug. 24. Tables can be reserved by Aug. 1 by calling 815-727-0098.