[Written by Stephen Wright]
The Hamilton Lions Club has launched the island’s first Cubs Programme, which teaches youngsters the joy of volunteering and the importance of helping others.
The programme is for youngsters aged four to 12, with 12 of the 14 members inducted into the initiative at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club this month.
Lana Woods, the programme leader, said she was introduced to the Cubs concept when she and her seven-year-old granddaughter, Novi Butler, visited the 105th Lions Clubs International Convention in Boston in July.
“The programme aims to encourage kids and adults to serve together and create a lifelong dedication to service by volunteering and understanding the importance of helping those in need,” Ms Woods told Bernews.
“It’s a way for children, parents and grandparents to get together and give back to the community.”
The Cubs members are due to participate in their first environmental service project, picking up litter in Paget, on November 4.
Ms Woods said she hopes the Cubs will move up to the Leo Lions Programme for 13 to 18-year-olds before becoming fully-fledged adult Lions.
Jeffrey Trott, president of the Hamilton Lions Club, said the programme is the first in the entire Bermuda-New York [MD-20] district. Bermuda has three Lions Clubs – Hamilton Lions, Eastern Lions and Paget Lions.
“It’s important for us to reach out to youngsters at this tender age so they can learn how to become well-rounded adults,” Mr Trott said.
“Both Lana and I have been Scars trained, so we know what to look for, and each Cub will always have an adult within their environment with them.”
Lions International has served communities worldwide since 1917, with more than 1.4 million members in more than 20 countries and regions.
The organisation is looking to increase its membership to 1.5 million by 2027 and has provided its clubs with a growth toolkit to help attract new volunteers.
“Hopefully, the Cub Programme can assist in increasing Lions International membership worldwide – we want to be a part of that change,” Ms Woods added.
The Cub Programme vests, which the youngsters will wear with pride, were donated by Jeff P Trott Painting.