Tiger and Cub Scouts spending week at day camp having fun and learning
By Shavonne Potts
Howls and screams were heard around the gym as Bob Pendergrass brought out a giant snake for a group of Cub Scouts to see.
The 50 children weren’t afraid of several animals paraded before them, just amazed. Pendergrass, who is supervisor of the Nature Center and Wildlife Adventures at Dan Nicholas Park, told the Scouts about the animals.
The Tiger and Cub Scouts were from several Rowan County packs who are participating in a weeklong day camp. Monday was the first day of the 2008 Central N.C. Council Cub Scout Day Camp.
“Is anybody afraid of rats?” asked Camp Director Scott Teeter.
“No” was the reply from the group of boys.
“Is anybody afraid of tigers?” Teeter asked them. “No!” came the yells.
There weren’t rats or tigers on display, but there was a hawk, a tarantula and an iguana, as well as snakes: a python, coral and albino black snake.
Pendergrass spoke about each animal and even let Scouts pet a few. Probably the most fascinating animal introduced was the blue-tongued skink, a lizard that defends itself against predators by tricking them into thinking its tongue is poisonous.
The campers also talked about fire and emergency safety and learned how to make terrariums, tie a proper knot, shoot BB guns and arrows from bows.
“It’s about having fun more than anything else,” Teeter said about the camp. “It’s also to get them outside and keep them active.”
The group isn’t focused on earning badges, but on having fun and learning teamwork, he said.
Although Dante Gibbons likes to play with BB guns, he admits his parents won’t let him have one yet.
“Not anytime soon. Not until I’m 16,” he said.
“I have seven years,” he added.
While he must wait until he gets his own BB gun, Gibbons enjoyed shooting at targets Monday morning.
Gibbons was also fond of the python.
“I like big snakes,” he said.
He likes many animals and has two dogs, Pippen and Maggie, at home, Gibbons said.
The 9-year-old talked about his two long-haired Chihuahuas ó the one that hops around like a kangaroo and the “fat one.”
Mason White, 8, was also a fan of the snakes because he just likes them, he said.
He also liked the hawk and python because he’s interested in how the animals kill their prey.
Anthony Ferguson, 7, said he enjoyed the snakes, especially the poisonous ones.
Pendergrass, however, did not bring out any poisonous snakes.
Anthony also enjoyed the BB guns.
“I liked the BBs. Shooting them was fun,” he said.
Cassady Hopkins Teeter, 9, recalled the last time he saw an animal presentation, there weren’t as many animals.
The best animal was the albino black snake, “because it says in the name black, but in the beginning he says albino. It’s just weird and it’s also a pretty cool looking animal,” Cassady said.
He really liked all of the animals in general saying they were a bunch of cool animals.
Whispering as if to draw you in, Cassady talked about the snakes with enthusiasm saying he just liked the way they looked, felt, the way they moved.
Bailey Corriher, 7, liked the snakes most of all, simply because they slither, he said.
Andrew Lindsay, 8, not only liked shooting the BB gun, also the archery and the hawk and tarantula were his favorite animals.
Lindsay said he already knew what he was doing with the archery.
“It’s pretty fun,” he said.
The Rowan District ó Central North Carolina Council is a Rowan County United Way supported organization and is also supported by the Friends of Scouting.
For more information, visit the organization’s Web site at www.rowandistrictbsa.com.