Scouting Provides Youth A Place To Learn About Being A Good Person -- And It's Fun


Volunteering as a scout leader pays well. "Just look into the faces of a scout," said Girl Scout volunteer Shannon Romberger, who has been active for four years in the organization.

"All of the Scouting organizations (Girls, Cubs, Boys) are a wonderful place for our kids to learn to be a better person to themselves, to their families, to the community, to God and our country," she added.


Stephanie Barwick of the Arizona Cactus-Pine Council Payson Neighborhood Girl Scouts dresses for flying in an open cockpit, during the first Payson Girl Scout Aviation Day.

Without troop leaders, all the fun things Boy Scouts and Girls Scouts get to do and the service projects they participate in would leave a gap in the community.

"I love everything about Scouts," Girl Scout Hailey Lootans said at the 2007 holiday party.

"You get to help people," Bethany Blanchard added.

I love all the outdoor stuff and it's a great way to socialize with people," Girl Scout Keith Williams said.

Scouts shoot off rockets made from empty plastic soda bottles, they sing carols to care facility residents, they take hikes, they pick up trash on Main Street in Payson and they roast weenies at camp.

There are 14 Boy Scouts of America and six Girls Scouts of America active in the Rim Country for a combined membership of approximately 200 youths.


Rim Country Girl Scouts took part in an aviation day at the airport as part of their many activities during the past year. Area Girl Scouts will travel to a camp northeast of Payson the weekend of April 18. Brownies through Seniors get to stay the weekend. Daisies come up for the day Saturday.

"What a great way to teach our children good strong values, to have fun learning new things, make new friends and hopefully make the world a better place for everyone," Romberger said.

"Girl Scouts teaches girls how to interact. There is a fellowship, a sisterhood around it. It helps girls know that they can do and be anything," Cathy Stearns said. Her daughter, Taurean is a Girl Scout.

At the annual Klondike winter camp-out atop the Mogollon Rim, Payson Scouts joined scouts from Camp Verde and Prescott. Adults guided the young men as they constructed a snow shelter and built a fire in wet conditions.

This past summer Scoutmaster Dan Utz, Assistant Scout Masters Tim Williams and Jeff Leonard, committee member Dan Nyhus and volunteer Dave Mittleider took 11 boys on a Colorado hike as part of their backpack merit badges.

Area Girl Scouts will travel to a camp northeast of Payson the weekend of April 18. Brownies through Seniors get to stay the weekend. Daisies come up for the day Saturday.

Leaders in the troop committee plan camp and cookout activities for the girls to execute.

There is an old homestead house on the camp property where the girls learn about history. One year the girls tested their hand at churning milk to butter.


During the session on Pilot Navigation Tools, Diana Vidas and Sandra Butler taught the Girl Scouts how to read aeronautical charts, how to use air-to-air communications and how to land on a simulated airport.

Boy Scouts head off to camp in the summertime. They also have several other activities planned: a hand cart trek, independent camps and day camp for Cub Scouts.

John Swenson has been involved in Boy Scouts since he was a child. He continued as a leader when his two sons were children and did not stop volunteering after his boys grew up. Swenson is the district training person for all units in the district and serves on several unit committees.

When asked why Boy Scouts was the volunteer organization he chose, Swenson said: "I believe Scouts is a good program to teach youths to be outstanding citizens."

Swenson is beginning his sixth decade of scouting.

Boy Scouts of America

Payson area scouts are part of the Zane Grey District under the Grand Canyon Council.

Founded: William D. Boyce, a Chicago publisher, incorporated the Boy Scouts of America in 1910.

Active in Rim Country: The earliest records the district has are from 1936. However, it is likely Scouts were active as much as 20 years earlier, for instance, Prescott began the first Arizona troop in 1912.

Purpose: The Scouting program has three specific objectives, commonly referred to as the "Aims of Scouting." They are character development, citizenship training, and personal fitness.

Mission statement: To prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Cub Scout Promise and Core Values.

Contact to become an adult leader: John Swenson (928) 472-3331 or any troop leader.

Web site:

The troops are organized: six to 11-year-old Cub Scouts or a 12 to 18-year-old Scout and 14 to 20-year-old Venturing Crew (co-ed.)

Contributions to community / major projects: The leaders supervise their troops when doing community service or Eagle Scout projects such as working on the trail system and building animal shelters at Whispering Hope Ranch. A scout in pursuit of his Eagle badge built an erosion control wall on McLane near the Taylor Pool.

District chairman: Kenny Evans; Milo Durfee, district commissioner; Lenore White, Cub Scouts.

Girl Scouts of America

Founded nationally: 1912

Purpose: Girl Scouting builds girls of courage, confidence and character, who make the world a better place.

Contact information: Shannon Romberger, Payson Neighborhood Manager at (928) 970-4864


Scouts had fun during their jamboree at Green Valley Park last summer learning about rockets, above, along with other activities. They used compressed water to shoot the rockets into the air. Other scouts, above left, perfected their skills with a bow and arrow.

Web site for the Arizona Cactus Pine Council:

The troops are organized into different levels for regular scout meetings. The groups are Daisies, ages five to six, Brownies, ages six to eight, Juniors, ages eight to 11, and young girls, ages 11 to 17, experience Girl Scouting through STUDIO 2B.

Contributions to community / major projects: Adult leaders assist scouts with the One Warm Coat project -- winter coat collections, canned food drives, caroling and giving greeting cards to seniors, cookie sales plus many other good deeds and fund raisers in the community.

Troop leaders:

Monica Enriquez, Andrea Christianson, Kristina Thomas (Daisies-kindergarten).

Susi Carr, Kristy Dillon, Windy Willbanks


Marcia Olson, Amber Ernst, Cathy Stearns, Melissa Clark, Patti Wortman, Rene Brumbaugh, Joyce Cambier, Dianne Martell-Williams, Sue Becker, Margaret Peters (Juniors- 4-6th).

Traci Bishop, Kim Clark, Jeri Shepard, Shannon Romberger (Cadets/Seniors). Chris Rothenbach(IGM leader).

Diane Jackson, Rhonda Evans (trainers).

All of the above are also volunteers as well as the girls' parents, grandparents, or relatives.

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