Shamokin PA

Scout troop facing closure

MOUNT CARMEL — Mount Carmel’s sole Boy Scout troop is facing closure due to lack of participation.

Scoutmaster Sam Cimino said Troop 174 has just four members. The minimum troop size is five.

In addition to potentially losing the charter, the low participation has made organizing activities difficult.

“When we go camping, even with eight, nine kids, it’s a lot of fun,” Cimino said “When there’s only two or three kids they can’t have that much fun.”

Cimino has been active with Troop 174 since 1980. He recalled the troop size topping 45 kids at one point.

He credited competition from Internet-based activities with drawing potential scouts away from the troop. The troop’s activities trend toward the outdoors, like camping, hiking and fishing. Cimino said if the troop size is larger, he could organize trips like skiing and whitewater rafting.

He is also open to taking the troop on indoor activities, like movies or bowling. 

“The boys run the troop,” said Cimino. “I ask them what they want to do and they vote on it, then I get the people to go out with them.”

Participation in scout troops particularly waxes and wanes over periods of time. Cimino said Elysburg Troop 247 faced a similar predicament a few years ago, but participation has rebounded recently and the troop has more than 30 scouts.

Boys ages 11 to 18 are welcome to join Mount Carmel Troop 174, which meets at 7 p.m. Sundays at the Clover Hose Co., Sixth and Oak street.

A reorganizing meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sunday. Anyone interested in joining can attend or call Cimino at 570-339-5021..