SIOUX CITY | Sports, food and fun mixed with community service in the annual Sioux City Bandits Cub Scouts Lock In on Saturday and Sunday at the Tyson Events Center.
About 340 Cub Scouts and their families from 52 tri-state area Scout packs attended the event, said Sioux City Bandits activities person Diane Ruden.
After the Scouts watched the Bandits, Sioux City's indoor football team, play the Salina Bombers, they then picked up garbage in the arena.
“We make it an all-event deal and also help out the community by cleaning up the Tyson Events Center,” Ruden said.
After the cleanup, there was a pizza party, a prayer service and then movies before bedtime.
For most of the Scouts, Sunday morning was to be the highlight because they were able to meet the Bandits players, who also were to conduct a football clinic, said Angie Shanks, an event volunteer with her husband, Bill Shanks from Pack 275 in Emerson, Neb.
The Scouts also get a private autograph session with Bandits players.
“I think their favorite part is in the morning when the players come back because they get to interact with them one-on-one,” Shanks said. “They’re like celebrities in a small town like this.”
The Shanks have worked at the sleepover for 12 years. They said they love that the Scouts can have fun while learning lessons and giving back to the community.
“The scout motto is ‘Do a Good Turn Daily,’ so (the post-game cleanup) is our good turn for the camp,” said Bill Shanks. “We always preach, 'leave it better than we found it.'”
Some Scout leaders view the event as a chance for both the Scouts and the players to influence each other.
Skip Trout, cubmaster from Pack 208, likes that the Scouts "can meet some of their role models."
“But I know Scouts (the Cub Scouts) end up being role models for those people as well," Trout said.
For many of the Scouts, while it was their first lock in, they were already Bandits fans. Aaron Quillen, 9, of Pack 208 said he enjoys games at the Tyson Events Center.
“The concessions are great,” Quillen said. “A lot of popcorn.”
Hunter Gamble, 9, also of Pack 208 said he was most looking forward to meeting his favorite player, Jaydrick Declouet (No. 8), the next morning.
“Because he’s really good,” said Hunter.