Even at times with no snow on the ground, the town of Holliston, Mass., has snowmen, thanks to Pack 2. For three weeks this month, a dozen wooden decorations, each standing 7 feet tall, invite residents to get in a festive spirit and learn more about Cub Scouting.
Cubmaster Mike Hebert saw a photo of a snowman decoration made from a single wooden pallet. That gave him an idea, which he brought forth during a committee meeting in June. The pack committee decided to create a snowman-themed scavenger hunt. Each decoration would be adorned with a neckerchief, a point of the Scout Law and a QR code.
The QR code takes those who scan it to a game page. There, people can submit their email address, and then they’re sent a clue to where the next “Snow Scout” might be. Find all the decorations, and they’re entered to win a $50 gift card to a local general store. The game page also features links to get more information about the pack and Scouting.
On the windy, rainy second weekend of December, the pack set up the snowmen at popular places around town, like the library, police department and town hall.
“In our opening weekend, we had 25 families find at least one “Snow Scout,” and seven families have already found all 12,” says Melissa Cataldo, Pack 2 committee chair.
Those numbers included both Scouting and non-Scouting families.
Do you want to build a snowman?
Hebert cut the pallets into three different-sized circles, then fastened them with screws and painted them white. Each Cub Scout den picked up one or two “Snow Scout” decorations and installed the eyes, nose and buttons, which Hebert created from leftover pallet wood.
Plywood was used to create the snowmen’s hats and signs that highlighted the Scout Law and a social media hashtag the pack is using: #SnowScoutsHolliston
In all, the project cost about $100, since the pallets were salvaged from local companies over the course of six weeks. The scrap plywood was donated by Scout families, and the white paint came from a family that had recently finished a home project.
Most of the cost came from buying fabric for the neckerchiefs, PVC pipe for the neckerchief slides, colored spray paint, a heavy-duty marker for writing, several boxes of wood screws and white paracord to help install the snowmen.
Fun way to recruit
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the pack committee chose to place the decorations outdoors: two at community organizations on private property and the rest at public places. Scouters got permission from the private property owners and submitted a proposal to the town select board for approval to use town land.
The pack agreed to install, maintain and remove the decorations. Each snowman was secured to a bicycle rack, railing, tree or post to ensure it stayed in place.
Former committee chair Dennis Payne set up the website pages, and the pack began promoting the game on its Facebook page as well as posting on the town’s Facebook bulletin boards, attracting almost 3,000 views.
Scout leaders hope this will be a fun challenge for families in the town of about 15,000 residents. It will also raise awareness about the pack.