Two Connecticut shooting victims were Tiger Cubs; here’s how to help

It breaks my heart to report that the horrendous school shooting in Connecticut has hit the Scouting family.

The Boy Scouts of America learned that two of the victims, 7-year-old Chase Kowalski and 6-year-old Benjamin Wheeler, were new Tiger Cub Scouts with Pack 170 in the Connecticut Yankee Council.

Three other families in Pack 170 lost children at the school, and Tiger Cub Den Leader Peter Baressi was a first responder hero who stayed with the families throughout the ordeal.

Victoria Soto, one of the heroic teachers who was killed, was an Explorer as a youth in Stratford EMS Post 4911.

When you live several states away from those in pain, it’s easy to feel helpless. In addition to keeping the families in your thoughts and prayers, I’ve learned of an opportunity to send cards, letters and donations to those in mourning.

The Pack 170 leadership has asked Connecticut Yankee Council to set up a Memorial Fund to support the five families. Donations can be made out to “Pack 170 Memorial Fund” c/o Connecticut Yankee Council, P.O. Box 32, Milford, CT 06461.

Your family or your Scout unit may wish to send condolence cards and letters. Those can also be addressed to “Pack 170″ c/o the Connecticut Yankee Council, P.O. Box 32, Milford, CT 06461.

After the jump, a letter from Wayne Brock. 

Letter from Wayne Brock, Chief Scout Executive

To: National Board, Advisory Council, and our BSA family:

We are all struggling to come to grips with the tragic school shooting in Connecticut. I have the sad responsibility to report that this tragedy has also struck within the Scouting family.

We’ve been informed two of the young victims, 7-year-old Chase Kowalski and 6-year-old Benjamin Wheeler, were new Tiger Cub Scouts with Pack 170 in the Connecticut Yankee Council. In addition, three of the victims were siblings of other boys in Pack 170. Victoria Soto, one of the hero teachers, was an Explorer as a youth.

Please join me in remembering these victims and families in your prayers.

We have been in touch with council leadership. The National Council is offering any support possible during this difficult time.

Working with the leadership of Pack 170, the Connecticut Yankee Council has established a memorial fund in support of the five families. If interested, donations, cards, and letters can be sent to the Pack 170 Memorial Fund, c/o Connecticut Yankee Council, P.O. Box 32, Milford, CT 06460

God bless everyone as we take a step back and think about the safety and well-being of our own families and loved ones in the midst of this national time of mourning.

Wayne Brock

97 thoughts on “Two Connecticut shooting victims were Tiger Cubs; here’s how to help

    • The innocent lost are in our thoughts and prayers . Our son is an Eagle Scout from Troop 61. God Bless you and hold you in his arms.

    • So should Victoria Soto (if it can be given to a female or some award). Soto secured her first graders in the closets of her classroom. When the gunman came, she said they were in the gym. The gunman killed her and left. All those babies are safe because of her quick thinking. May she rest in peace and her courage not be forgotten.

      • I agree with you Leanna. It would seem that Victoria is deserving of recognition for her selfless heroism. As long as she was a scouter in good standing, I think it should be given consideration. She certainly loved her students, that is without question.

    • Joe: Perfect response. What a great idea. I can’t think of a more fitting way for the Pack to honor the Wheeler and Kowalski families in their time of grief.

      For those who have never heard of this award: The Boy Scouts of America created the Spirit of the Eagle Award as an honorary, posthumous special recognition for a registered youth member who has lost his or her life in an accident or through illness. The intention is to help heal and comfort the youth member’s family, loved ones, and friends with their loss.

      Jeffrey W. Dronenburg Sr.
      Advancement and Recognition Committee Chairman
      Western Shore District, National Capital Area Council

      • I would also like to recommend the Spirit of the Eagle awards for both Chase and Benjamin. I also agree that Victoria should receive the LifeSaving Honor with Cross Palms award.

        From Pack 415 residing in Cornwall PA, I would like to send our sympathies to not only the scouts but also to the entire community of NewTown. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

        Michael Carpenter
        Committee Chair
        Cub Pack 415 – Cornwall PA.

  1. Our prayers go out to Pack 170 from Troop 104 and Pack 104 from Chattahoochee Council. Also from Crew 95 of Flint River Council.

  2. May God’s loving Peace fall around the families and members of Pack 170 at this time. May God Almighty’s strong and loving arms hold each family member, sibling, classmate, and Cubscout brother tight this very hour. Pack 1302 from New Bern is praying for you all. In Scouting, Laura Wiggs, Cubmaster

  3. I’m so terribly sorry for your lose! The heart of all American’s our breaking for you and reaching out with you with our prayers. God be with you all! Pack 651

  4. My heart goes out to all the families and 2 young Tigers.
    - William Boothe
    Eagle Scout and Unit Commissioner, Tualaty District- Cascade Pacific Council

  5. Our thoughts are with all the families affected. God Speed Chase, Benjamin, Victoria and all the victims of this horrific tragedy. Unable to really know what you are going through right now but know that scouting is a family and we are grieving with you. Pack 604 / Troop 58 Heart of America Council.

  6. RIP little tigers you are God’s little angels. My deepest sorrow goes out to these families. May peace and love surround you during this time.

  7. May God with those families and Pack 107, give them strength and extra comfort Our thought and prayers are with you. Swee Ng, Tiger Den Leader Pack 883, Tall Timbers District, Sam Houston Council

  8. These tragic news have become a world-wide cause for sorrow. Tartu district scouttroops in Estonia join in thoughts with all well-wishers.

    God give streght to the families.

  9. Our hearts go out to all the families in Newtown. RIP little Tigers and brave Venturer. You will not be forgotten. Troop 618, Santa Cruz – Monterey Bay Area Coundil

  10. We are sorry for your loss and our prayers go with you. Pack 141, California Inland Empire Council, Mt. Rubidoux District.

  11. “And He will raise you up on eagle’s wings, bear you on the breath of dawn, make you to shine like the sun, and hold you in the palm of His hands”. Rest in peace Victoria, Chase, Benjamin and all Sandy Hook victims. Sending prayers your way Pack 170 from Troop 64, Norwela Council, Bossier City, LA.

  12. Troop and Pack 454 Cedar Hill Tn.Warioto District , Middle Tn. Council. Sends our condolenses .We will try harder to be better Scouts and better people in the memory of Chase and Benjamin. We ask God to give us the courage of Victoria.
    Fly High Tiger Cubs Fly high.

  13. My heart and prayers go out to all these little hearts who have been taken from their families much too soon! May you find peace and comfort knowing they are all safe in Gods arms!

  14. I speak for Troop 90, Marathon NY, Our hearts and prayers go out to all these little hearts who have been taken from their families much too soon! May you find peace and comfort knowing they are all safe in Gods arms!

  15. Prayers go out for my fellow Scouts and all the other victims.Scouter and Akela Chuck(RET.)St.Thomas,Ontario,Canada

  16. Pack 3025 Montpelier oh send our deepest sympathy. we have an idea to make the para cord bracelets for all the scouts in the pack… is there anyone out there they may have an idea on this number? thank you you can email me at thanks again and you are all in our prayers

  17. The nation’s heart stopped on Friday morning. The grief and sorrow will remain with us forever. Heaven is enriched with the Lords newest angels. Our prayers go out to all of the families and the community who will need all of the support we can offer.
    Troop 157. Deer Park, NY

  18. I am a tiger cub den leader of my sons den pack 330 black warrior river breaks my heart to here this news..we r praying for all of these families..

  19. Houston, TX: Sam Houston Area Council – Pack 1115, Den 4 Tigers: Our thoughts and prayers to these little, fellow tiger cubs and their families. A cub scout salute to Chase and Benjamin.

    God bless.

  20. Our prayers are with the families of Chase, Benjamin, Victoria, and so many others who have been affected by the tragedy in Newtown. Thankfully, as scouts, we affirm that God provides us with strength, faith, and courage each day, especially when we face times of darkness and despair. I’m also thankful that there are many who now embrace those who are hurting with our compassion and care.
    Brad Simpson
    Pastor, Wytheville Presbyterian Church (VA)
    Scouter, Blue Ridge Mountains Council

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