American Legion honors Cub Scout Pack 10’s Cubmaster
By Linda Competillo | on October 28, 2020 (from Tompkins Weekly)
(From left to right) 6th District Scouting Chairman Carl L. Griffith, 6th District Commander Leo Mackin Jr., Shana Snyder, Truth Snyder, Noble Snyder and Post 800 Commander Frank Heine at the “Scouter of the Year” award ceremony at the Groton American Legion Post 800. Photo by Linda Competillo.
When Shana Snyder left her home in the Philadelphia area to go on a bicycling excursion around the Finger Lakes in 2007, she loved the area. When she cycled through Groton, she remembered thinking to herself, “I just love this quaint little town. It’s just the kind of place I’d like to live in someday.”
As circumstances would have it, by 2008, Snyder had taken a position as a math specialist at Randall Middle School in Cortland, her husband, Stephen Snyder, starting working as a chef at Cornell University, and the Snyders had moved from Pennsylvania. They made their home right here in Groton, where they have been living and loving it ever since.
Along the way, the Snyders added their son, Noble, and their daughter, Truth, to the family. Noble is now a sixth-grader and Truth is in third grade at Groton Central School.
In 2015, Noble was in first grade and wanted to join a Cub Scout pack. They were waiting and watching for some information to come home from the school about scouting, but nothing ever came. So, Shana began asking around, only to find that the once very active program in Groton had been in a virtual drought for a number of years and had essentially “dried up completely.”
Determined to have Cub Scouts in her town, Shana revitalized the program with a small group of other parents and became the Tiger den leader. The following fall, she took on the role of Cubmaster, and the unit doubled in size. The following year, it doubled again.
Shana is still proudly serving as Cubmaster of Groton’s Cub Scout Pack 10 today. She worked to create one of the first co-ed cub packs in the area. Pack 10 officially welcomed its first girls in June 2018, and the pack is now made up of roughly 30% girls, including Shana’s daughter, Truth.
Chartered by the Groton American Legion Carrington-Fuller Post 800, there is a great deal of collaboration that goes on between the Legion and Pack 10.
Groton American Legion Commander Frank Heine had been so inspired by all that Shana has done for the program over the past five years that he spearheaded the Legion’s nomination of Shana for “Scouter of the Year 2020.”
Heine outlined so many of Shana’s accomplishments that there is simply not enough space in this column to list them. Over the course of her tenure, she has served as advancement chair, planned major events such as the Pinewood Derby and “Bridging Over” ceremonies, supported the other den leaders and scouts in the program and helped pilot a Lions’ Program (kindergarten).
She has also worked to ensure successful fundraising, managed the Pack 10 Facebook page, acclimated new members, networked with other area unit leaders, kept positive ties in the community, looked for and responded to service project ideas, and worked to foster a feeling and sense of “family” among the scouts, siblings and parents, just to name a few.
“Shana is an Ironman Triathlete and works to inspire everyone who knows her and illustrates the belief that ‘anything is possible,’” Heine said.
This year, Shana was selected as the American Legion’s 6th District “Scouter of the Year 2020” and was also awarded a meritorious honor by the American Legion Department of New York “in recognition for meeting department standards in the scouting program and service to the American Legion” as a result of Heine’s nomination.
Under normal circumstances, these awards would have been presented to Shana at the New York State American Legion’s annual convention, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that event was not held this year.
Nonetheless, Shana was honored and received her awards at a very intimate ceremony Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Groton American Legion.
Commander Heine began the program and introduced the visiting American Legion dignitaries, 6th District Commander Leo Mackin Jr. and 6th District Scouting Chairman Carl L. Griffith, who presented the awards to Shana.
Griffith, who has been involved in scouting for the past 70 years, said that Shana was one of the most impressive scout leaders he has ever encountered.
Other officers present to represent the Groton American Legion were 1st Vice Commander Fred Youngs Jr. and 2nd Vice Commander Paul Koekebacker.
“This is my 16th year as an educator, but these past five years of scouting have been the most satisfying,” Shana said. “Serving as Cubmaster of this fine group of young people has been one of the most important and rewarding achievements of my life. I am very proud of what I worked to build, but I have to attribute most of the success of the pack to the fine scouts and scouters who have joined us over the years and the support of our local American Legion and our amazing community. They have all given me far, far more than I have given them.”
Shana attributes the real success of Pack 10 to three main objectives: 1) Give back to the community, 2) acquire skills and 3) have fun.
“I make sure everything we do is in equal measures of all three,” Shana said.
Shana also made the point that having relocated to Groton means that all the Snyder’s extended family still live in Pennsylvania.
“We have no family here, so the pack is like a family to us,” Shana said. “We don’t ever feel lonely. I love this town and feel like I’ve lived here all my life. I feel so connected, and I love scouting for our family because there are always things to do. This is home and where I always want to be.”
Groton on the Inside appears weekly. Submit news ideas to Linda Competillo, firstname.lastname@example.org or 607-227-4922.
Support for the Boy Scout movement came at The American Legion's first National Convention in 1919. Today, there are more than 2,500 Boy Scout units sponsored by Legion Posts throughout the country.
Supporting Boy Scout activities is natural for Legionnaires, who bring their service-learned skills and experiences as Veterans to bear to help build character and positive traits in "Young America." Few other Post activities generate more goodwill from the community.
In Groton, Post 800 is pleased to have sponsored Cub Scout Pack 10 for many years and has assisted the pack with its annual Pinewood Derby, providing official judges and prizes for the winners. Fortunately, Pack 10 is a very active pack, thanks to the commitment of some very dedicated parents in the community and the interest of their sons. If you are the parent of a boy or girl in the Groton area from 7 to 10 years of age who has some interest in this program, please contact Ms. Shana Snyder at 898-3670. Also, check them out on Facebook.
Learn more about the Cub Scouts here: