By Greg Hunt
The Isanti Community Center was filled the evening of Nov. 17 with the Isanti Cub Scout Pack 523 pack meeting held inside. There were many merit badges and other recognitions handed out that night, including four young men earning the Arrow of Light award– Cub Scouts’ top accomplishment.
But before the paper airplane contest could start and snacks devoured, there was one more big announcement: Trent Koukol was named the 2011 Cubmaster of the Year for the quite large Three Rivers District.
After starting out as a den leader in 2004, Koukol has been the Pack 523 Cubmaster since 2005. He is a difference maker for many families involved in Scouting in Isanti.
“I am very honored, flattered and humbled by all this. Just to see the smiles on the Scouts faces during all the different things we do, that’s why I do this,” said Koukol after the Cubmaster plaque was handed to him. “I’d like to thank my family for allowing me to put my time into Scouting. This whole program is strong in Isanti. Look at all the great volunteers we recognized at just tonight’s meeting who helped at our latest events. When we tell other Packs how many people show up for leader meetings, they’re floored.”
“Trent has wanted to make a difference, and he has,” spoke Brian Hammes, Pack 523 committee chair and Assistant Webelos Den Leader who had the honor of handing off the award to Koukol. “Some of the Scouts describe Trent as ‘generous,’ ‘caring,’ ‘helpful,’ and ‘comical.’ Some of the parents who have worked with him describe Trent as ‘devoted with an unsurpassed level of commitment.’”
Hammes continued, “Trent’s leadership encourages debate and problem solving, with decisions reached by the group. Everyone in the pack has a voice, every concern is important, and everything needs a resolution to have a successful pack. Having Trent as Cubmaster has been an important part of the pack’s success. He insists Scouts have fun, but he also encourages them to take it seriously by putting pride and effort into everything.
“He always encourages Scouts and leaders to do their best.”
During the past seven years, Isanti Pack 523 has grown from 30 Scout members to over 80, with more new members receiving their kerchiefs at Thursday’s meeting. Another neat thing Koukol brought was the galvanizing of a proud color guard team which carries out flag ceremonies at pack meetings and other events.
Extolled Scout leader Aaron Merwin who started with Scouts the same year Koukol began, “It’s that kind of patriotism, honor and respect for everything that Trent does that means a lot to me and to other parents in this pack.”