BY GABE LICHT
DELANO, MN It was March 1, 1950, when Delano Cub Scout Pack 273 met for the first time.
More than 150 people gathered Sunday at the Delano Intermediate School to commemorate that date.
“It spanned generations,” said Cubmaster Rob Gruba, who organized the event as one of five projects required by the Wood Badge leadership training program in which he participated. “We had Scout leaders from the ‘70s and ‘80s there . . . One gentleman who was there was Scoutmaster in Delano for 27.”
That included the founder of the famous cake auctions the Scouts host each April. While looking into the history of the Pack leading up to the event, Gruba also met someone involved with starting wreath sales for the Pack.
“Meeting people who were a part of the organization early on and getting things started was kind of cool,” Gruba said.
As part of the celebration, some people donated scouting memorabilia to be displayed, some of which was available just for the day, while other items will be on display at the Delano Franklin Township Historical Society in the future.
A time capsule, to be opened on the Pack’s 100th anniversary, will also be on display there.
“We’re going to have the Scouts provide a picture of them doing something they like about scouting and put their information on it,” Gruba said.
Another component the reunion included was a timeline.
“People who had been a part of the organization were able to fill out a sticker and put it on the wall where they fell in line,” Gruba said.
The event also included a presentation.
Mayor Dale Graunke read a proclamation declaring March 1, 2020, as Cub Scout Day in Delano.
Northern Star Scouting CEO and Scout Executive John Andrews also spoke.
“He talked a little bit about it being 70 years and what a strong organization Delano has with scouting and the relationship with the council,” Gruba said.
He also played a video featuring images and a voiceover of Paul Harvey talking about how scouting began.
“Even the kids were pretty intrigued by how scouting started in America,” Gruba said. “The other thing I did for parents, I found a sound bite from the founder saying what scouting is about and how our organization dovetails with schools and what we offer kids to supplement what schools offer to teach them life skills and morals and values.”
The event concluded with the presentation of pinewood derby trophies, which typically happens in February, but that meeting was merged with the reunion.
“I said, ‘I know you’ve been sitting there patiently waiting and staring at the table of trophies,’” Gruba said.
Leading up to the event, the Scouts grew progressively more excited.
“I’ve been talking to them over the past few months about this event and getting them psyched up for it: ‘You’re a part of the 70th year of scouting in Delano and that’s pretty cool,’” Gruba said.
Every Scout and former Scout received patches commemorating the anniversary.
The event received high marks.
“Overall, I heard a lot of positive feedback from Scout leaders who came back for the event,” Gruba said. “They thought it was a great opportunity to come back and celebrate our history.”