March 28, 2013 at 11:07 a.m.
Young Cub Scouts in Pack 141 and Pack 11 witnessed a crime last week, and then methodically went about solving the case as part of a unique hands on exercise, made possible through a partnership with area law enforcement and scouting leaders.
It all started when the scouts arrived at Lent Township Hall for a special Thursday evening get-together, including family members. They learned immediately that someone had stolen the cookies stored in the town hall kitchen for snacks. They were shown shaded outlines (silhouettes) of six possible “suspects.”
The kitchen started out being the crime scene, but as the scouts were being divided into investigation units the Cubmaster was “mugged” by an individual who made off with his wallet. The plot thickened. Scouts were then led through crime scene processing practices under the guidance of Sgt. Wessell and Cliff Sheppeck of the Chisago County Sheriff’s Department, and Sgt. Tracy Armistead explained to the kids DNA “prints” which were attached to evidence cards for each scout to use. Deputy Chad Stenson and Sgt. Scott Berg also helped out at the event. Fingerprinting was demonstrated for each scout, who was given a print to compare to the six “suspects” under investigation.
This station was staffed by North Branch Police Officer Tim Olsen. North Branch Sgt. Rick Sapp handled information provided at the line-up station. North Branch’s Ron Rollins took charge of the statements station. The cub scouts rotated through six stations in total learning aspects of crime scene investigation. By the end of the evening scouts were gathered together to announce their findings out of the six silhouetted suspects on the suspect info cards they were given. They were successful in picking “B” as the culprit who took the cookies, none other than the assistant cubmaster Matthew Withers. Cub Master for Pack 141 Justin Larson said the groups wants to thank the North Branch P.D. and sheriff’s personnel for “...their enthusiastic willingness to participate in this activity night.
It is through efforts like this that we are able to fulfill our mission of helping youth learn about the world around them in a safe, positive and fun way.” As for the wallet thief; the cub scouts were asked to describe the suspect’s clothing and document his appearance. The information that was written down and submitted surprised everybody on the differences in their answers. Some didn’t see facial hair, some did, some didn’t get the color of the “mugger’s” shirt correct. Learn about scouting at www.adventurescalling.org.
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