When Maybell residents David and Vicky Miller moved to the area in January from northwestern Ohio, they were mostly pleased with what they found, but something was missing.
A local Boy Scout troop.
“We want our boys to continue with the Boy Scouting experience, and there was no troop in Craig that fit our needs,” Vicky said. “So we decided to start our own (troop) with the boys out this way.”
In mid-summer, Vicky and David began the process of starting a new troop for their two sons, David Jr., 16, and Corey, 12, to join. The two were active scouts in Troop 72 in northwestern Ohio, and David was an advisor for the troop.
So far, the Millers have secured a troop sponsor, the Maybell Community Center, and have four youths interested in joining, David said.
However, the troop needs at least five boys and four leaders to be an official troop, and the Millers are currently one leader short, he said.
They also have a troop number picked out — 172, Vicky said.
Recently, the Millers have also been working with a regional recruiter to get more area boys involved, putting up fliers around town and spreading the word about the developing troop.
They hope to get as many youths and parent leaders involved with the troop as possible, David said.
“If it is a small group, that’s fine; if it is a big group, that’s fine,” he said. “There are pros and cons both ways. A small group is easier to finance. A big group is a little harder to finance, but you can do more stuff.”
The Millers have also been talking with Craig resident Randy Looper about having a group of Cub Scouts transition into their future Boy Scout troop.
Looper, co-Cubmaster of Pack 166, said he has six second-year Webelos ready to bridge into Boy Scouts in the first part of 2011. Looper said he wants to transition with the boys in his Cub Scout pack and become a Boy Scout leader with the new troop.
“Cub Scouting is fun, but Boy Scouting is a kick,” said Looper, an Eagle Scout. “It is just a great time and, yeah, I definitely want to be in Boy Scouting.”
Looper said he considered starting his own troop before he heard of the Millers’ interest in forming one.
Looper is also excited about having a troop to bridge into with other scouts and leaders already in place, he said.
“The more people we have — if the Millers are there and we can join them and we can pick up other leaders, and you’ve got six or seven adults involved — it’s great,” he said. “If you have three of us doing everything, it is just a lot of time.”
Looper said having the new Boy Scout troop in the area would be good for the rural community.
“In order to get them involved, you need that organization — whether it is in Maybell or whether it is in Craig — to give them the advantage of Boy Scouts,” he said. “The problem in rural areas (is that) you are looking at one kid here, two kids there, and so they miss out.
“Whereas if you can get a … rural troop, then you grab those … individuals along with the troop from the town and combine them.”
“I think it would help bring the community a little bit more together,” she said of starting a new troop. “There is not a lot of stuff out here for the kids to do.”
Moreover, David said Boy Scouting values would have a positive effect in the community by shaping youths into “good citizens.”
“It teaches you how to respect other people and their things properly,” he said. “(It teaches) how to help people, even when you are not asked for, to help for the sake of helping instead of helping for the hope of a reward.”
Cindy Looper, co-Cubmaster with her husband, Randy, said Boy Scouting values are “what we want in all of our citizens.”
“So, why would you not teach that to the kids?” she said. “It teaches them to do community service. It teaches them to take care of their environment. It teaches them all the things, I hope, we would want our youth to learn.”
For David, Jr., the benefit of his time in the Boy Scouts is clear.
“It teaches you organization, gets you ready for the outdoors and teaches you life skills,” he said. “It teaches you to be a good person and (about) responsibility.”
The Millers said they have their eyes on a couple of specific things they are hoping to bring to the new troop — the first of which is exploring Moffat County’s open space.
“Would like to spend a lot more time outdoors,” David said. “They’ve got probably 100 times more opportunity out here than they did in Ohio as far as enjoying the outdoors and learning things.”
The Millers also hope to promote community service projects through the new troop.
“That is something that a lot of young people don’t know enough about is doing anything to give back,” David said.
To get involved with the Millers’ new troop, e-mail Vicky at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (419) 217-5934.