Boy Scouts of America

Scouting Tradition Alive and Well in Historic Brookhaven

If you’ve ever received a flyer for the Scout Pinestraw Sale or been asked to buy Scout popcorn, likely the request came from a member of St. James United Methodist’s Cub Scout Pack or one of its Scout BSA troops. St. James has a long history of scouting that dates back over 40 years. Today, hundreds of boys and girls participate in the programs, many from Historic Brookhaven.
Boy Scouts of America offers several scouting programs, three of which exist at St. James: Cub Scouts (grades K through five), Scouts BSA (ages 11-17), and Venturing (ages 14-20). Originally a group for boys only, Cub Scouts opened to girl dens in 2018. A year later, Boy Scouts became Scouts BSA and girls became eligible to earn their Eagle Scout rank.
SUBHEAD = Cub Scouts and the Pinewood Derby
The Cub Scouts are organized into a pack at St. James, which is then divided into dens of six to 10 children. Dens are gender- and grade-specific, and often made up of children from the same elementary school. Cubmaster Michael Kelly says St. James Pack 370 has 13-14 dens, 80% of which are boys and about two-thirds from Sarah Smith Elementary.
In addition to earning badges and camping, Cub Scouts annually participate in the Pinewood Derby, a race of homemade wooden cars on an indoor metal track. Pack 370 recently hosted its annual derby, with about 100 kids participating. Each child receives a standard Pinewood Derby car kit, and then within Scout-set standards personalizes the car.
“In our pack, you have to use the wood, wheels, and axels we give you,” says Michael. “Each car must weigh under 5 ounces and has to fit on the track. We actually do a weigh-in the night before the race.” Races are arranged by grade level, with a winner for each as well as an overall Pack winner and award for the best car design.
St. James Cub Scout Pack 370 no longer sells popcorn (although older Scouts do – see more on that below). Members’ dues support programs. If you’d like to support Cub Scouts in general, you can donate to the Atlanta Area Council at You can also designate your donation go to Scoutreach, which provides extra resources to support scouting in underprivileged areas.
SUBHEAD = Scout BSA Troops 370 and 372
Also run out of St. James is Scout BSA Troop 370, one of the strongest Scout troops in the southeast with about 120 members. Within Troop 370 are 12 smaller groups called patrols, many made up of boys that were Cub Scouts together. Scout BSA Troop 372 for girls was chartered in 2019.
What does a Scout BSA do? “Some favorite activities include the monthly camp outs and Summer Camp at Woodruff Scout Camp in Blairsville,” says William Schoeffler, parent of Troop 370 members Whit and Sam. Scouts work on and earn merit badges that teach them about sports, science, business, future careers, and more. Scouts also participate in high adventure camps, the most famous of which is probably Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
The highest rank a Scout can earn is Eagle Scout. To do so, members must earn at least 21 merit badges, meet leadership requirements and exhibit outdoor skills, serve by example the Scout Oath and Law, and complete a comprehensive service project. Scout Troop 370 has produced many Eagle Scouts, including from Historic Brookhaven. Vermont Park has been the beneficiary of Eagle Scout projects.
Current Historic Brookhaven Scouts include Whit and Sam Schoeffler, Wes Hanna, John David Linch, Lucy Linch, Kate Fair, and Charlie Stovin.
HEAD = Troop 370 Spring Pinestraw Sales and Popcorn!!
If you’d like to support St. James United Methodist’s Troop 370 Scouts BSA, you can do so by purchasing pinestraw or popcorn. Proceeds go directly to supporting camping, summer camp, and adventuring camps for troop members.
Spring Pinestraw Orders: 
Price: $5.50/bale plus $10 delivery fee (see site for other options, including installation)
Deadline: Order by March 11 for delivery on March 18
Popcorn: Historic Brookhaven residents Whit and Sam Schoeffler are selling White Cheddar, Salted Carmel, Sweet and Salty Kettle Corn, and Unbelievable Butter Microwave popcorn. If you’d like to order some for immediate delivery, contact Whit or Sam at