A group photo with Plymouth State mascot Pemi the Panther, forming a “high five tunnel” to welcome hockey competitors, and behind-the-scenes locker room visits were among the highlights for area scouts during Scouts’ Day in January. The annual PSU event welcomed all Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, and Boy Scouts in uniform to a pair of Men’s and Women’s Hockey games, with free admission for the youths and discounts for accompanying adults.
“Scouts’ Day is one of many ways that we give back to the community,” notes Director of Athletics Kim Bownes ’07G. “We invite the public to join us throughout the year through a range of programs such as the ALLWell North Striders, which provides free access to the University’s indoor track for runners and walkers, and free and discounted admission to many of our games and events.”
Kate Mausolf ’02, ’04G and Steve Troiano both live in Campton, NH, and are leaders of Cub Scout Pack 58, which includes members from Campton, Lincoln, Thornton, Waterville Valley, and Woodstock, NH. The pack has taken part in the event every year since it began during the 2017–2018 season.
Cub Scouting offers family-friendly programming and is open to both boys and girls. “Everything we do encourages family togetherness, involvement in our community, a respect for nature, and the development of character,” says Mausolf.
The organization’s goals dovetail well with the Scouts’ Day program, which represents more than just fun and hockey games. Cub Scouts have various requirements that they need to fulfill at different grade levels, and attending a public sporting event is a requirement for some of the scouts.
“Everyone really enjoys it,” says Steve Troiano, “It’s really great for the kids to see older kids—college kids—and to see them enjoy the scouts being there too.”
Mausolf earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and has stayed home the past several years to raise sons, William, age eight, and Pip, age five. She returned to teaching this year as a substitute in local elementary schools and plans to return full-time in March, when she will assume a second grade position at Campton Elementary.
She and her young family are frequent visitors to PSU’s Hanaway Rink. “We appreciate how it offers accessible, affordable skating opportunities for young families. Both of my boys have learned to skate at PSU and it is an activity we are able to enjoy all the seasons of the year thanks to PSU.” (The Hanaway Rink remains open for recreational skating even during the hottest days of summer.)
“Attending the hockey games is something we look forward to,” she continues. “It is such a thrill for my two boys to observe college-level skating up close with the knowledge that they get to share the same ice, and high fiving the Zamboni driver is a highlight for our five-year-old!”
The Panthers split the two Scouts’ Day games this year, with the men’s team coming up short against Westfield State after the women shut out New England College. Learning to be good winners as well as losers is an important lesson, which Plymouth State student athletes model for younger fans.
“An event like this allows our scouting families the opportunity to engage with their community and to see the value of hard work, teamwork, and commitment demonstrated by both teams,” says Mausolf.
“I think it’s great that the university puts something like this on and includes the area Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts,” adds Troiano. “We have a great program and the University is putting the effort into recognizing the service that the scouts do.”
“It’s a great thing for our athletes as well,” notes Bownes. “We’re proud to be a part of this community and to share our love of athletics with the upcoming generation.”