"Strong boys of today are the strength of tomorrow," say leaders of Cub Power, a drug abuse prevention program sponsored by the Great Salt Lake Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Scheduled Jan. 21-28 in Salt Lake, south Davis, Tooele and Summit counties, the program was announced at a gathering Saturday of dozens of Cub Scouts, their parents and youth leaders in the State Capitol rotunda.Gov. Norm Bangerter, Utah first lady Colleen Bangerter and a military honor guard participated in the program, along with the Cub Power Boys Chorus.

Hart Bullock, the Scout council's top executive, said Cub Power is an ongoing program to help Cub Scouts remain drug free.

"By building boys' self-esteem and teaching them to take responsibility for their own actions, Cub Scouting can help give boys the strength to resist drugs," he said.

Mike Smoot, Cub Power public relations director, said the program is a series of activities designed to build confidence and self-esteem in boys.

"Even though we don't necessarily believe that young boys this age (8 to 10) get on drugs, we're interested in working to build boys so they will take responsibility for their own actions, feel better about themselves and not lean toward drugs at a later age," Smoot said.

Billie Dawn Clark, co-chairman of the council's Cub Power Committee, said the council serves about 25,000 Cub Scouts in 1,000 packs.

"The Cub Power program is scouting in action. If leaders will help to give boys the confidence, self-esteem and responsibilities outlined in the Cub Scout program, boys would be fortified to feel good about themselves and avoid drugs," Clark said.

Smoot said the Cub Power program details will be outlined at a conference from 9 a.m. to noon Jan. 21 in the Murray North LDS Stake Center, 5200 S. Seventh West. About 300 Cub Scout leaders are expected to attend.

During the following week a number of activities are planned, including a traveling display that will be taken to malls in the Salt Lake Valley. A snow sculpture contest is scheduled Jan. 28, and council and district-level programs will be held throughout the year.