Archive for the ‘Cub Scout’ Category

derbyBoyScouts(I just found this article on my desk. I guess I forgot to post it. It might be a little late, but what the heck.)

Cub Scout Pack 68 of Melrose held its 2015 Pinewood Derby on Sunday, January 25th. As the current cubmaster I asked the Boy Scouts of Troop 68 if any of them would be able to help with the event. Five of them took me up on the offer.

Adrian was the first Boy Scout to arrive. His brother is a Cub Scout. Since he was the first I gave him my camera and made him the official photographer. His job was to take pictures of the Cub Scouts holding their derby cars before they turned them in. I also took him to take plenty of pictures during the event and of the award presentation at the end. I am not sure if he had ever been a photographer before, but he had plenty of practice during the derby.

Alex and Daniel were the next Boy Scout to arrive. They also happened to be the troop’s senior patrol leader and assistant senior patrol leader. I had Alex work with the two Tiger Cubs who were to do the flag presentation. The Tigers would count this toward one of their Tiger Cub requirements.

I put Daniel to work as our official time keeper. He would keep the time of each car in each race. Each “race” would actually consist of two races so each car would race on each of the two lanes. If a car did not win both races we would take the average time from the two races to declare a winner. Unfortunately for Daniel, we did not need to check the race times but his job would have been critical if the races would have been closer.

Jacob and Carter were the other Boy Scouts to help during the event. They became out derby car handlers. Their job was to take the cars from the table and place them on the track. They would then receive the cars from the end of the track and replace them on the table, or the track again for the second heat. These two guys definitely had the most exercise of the five Boy Scouts.

All five Scouts did an excellent job with their assigned duties. Each participating Cub Scout received a derby patch. Since we had purchased enough of them we also gave each Boy Scout a patch for their help.

After the award presentation, we opened the track for exhibition racing, or what we called “racing for the fun of it”. Three of the Boy Scouts had brought their derby cars with them. The Cub Scouts had a blast racing the Boy Scouts and the other Cub Scouts they did not get to race against during the competition.

As the event came to an end and the track was packed away for the next year I think I can honestly say that everyone had a good time; the families, the Cub Scouts, and the Boy Scouts.

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    IMG_2470Monday night will be my first Blue and Gold Banquet as the Cubmaster of Pack 68 in Melrose. And maybe my only one. After all, I would like to see someone else step forward to take over as cubmaster next fall. But this year it is my turn to try to make a Blue and Gold Banquet a little special for the boys and their families. At last week’s committee meeting we planned the agenda. I need to find a good sing-along song for the evening. I still have two days to think of a good one the Cub should like.

    I have also decided to put together a little display featuring the history of B.S.A.’s Cub Scouting program. I have several old Cub Scout and leader handbooks I plan to use. I wish I had more stuff but I was a scoutmaster for three decades and did not do a whole lot on the Cub Scouting front. The Cub Scouts may not be overly impressed with the collection I am putting together but I hope it adds a little more of a Cub Scouting atmosphere to the room.

    I tried to have some special guests show up for the evening but no one from the local 501st Legion (a Star Wars costume group) was able to make it. I understand that week nights are tough for these volunteers to make, especially when Melrose is not very close to any of the members. Maybe the pack can plan a different evening next year so we could have a few stormtroopers escort the Cub Scouts to the stage to receive their awards.

    What is your pack planning for this year’s Blue and Gold Banquet?




















    What do you think of these displays?

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      2015carsCub Scout Pack 68 held their annual Pinewood Derby on Sunday, January 25th, at the Melrose American Legion. Ten Cub Scouts and their families attended along with friends a several Boy Scouts. Everyone seemed to have a good time.

      I have been to several derbies through the last few decades, usually as an observer. Back in the 1980’s, before their was electronic timers, I was asked to be a judge for a derby. In the last couple years I showed up with my camera and acted as the unofficial photographer. I took lots of photos that I shared with the Cub Scout families.

      This year was a little different. Since I am the cubmaster this year I had a few more derby duties than I have ever had in the past. Not only did I learn how to assemble an aluminum Pinewood Derby track but I acted as the master of ceremonies for the event.

      I am sure our derby was just like many derbies held around the council and the nation. There were the fast cars and the cars that did not quite make it to the finish line. There were the fancy looking cars that had a look of work applied to them and a couple that did not. In fact, there was a nice variety of car designs. A few races were extremely close that added to the afternoon’s excitement. In fact, one race was one thousands of a second difference between the two cars.

      Every Cub Scout who participated received a patch. The three fastest cars received trophies. A trophy was also given to the “best of show” car which was given to a car that featured Mario from the video game. It was cool to see the Cub Scout of the Mario car grinning from ear to ear as he accepted his trophy because his car did not do very well in the races.

      Next on the Cub Scout Pack agenda is the Blue and Gold Banquet in February. I am working on a special surprise for the pack but I am not sure if I will be able to pull it off. If I do, it will be a Blue and Gold the Cub Scouts and their families will not soon forget.

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        JTE-White1I would like to see Cub Scout Pack 68 earn the 2015 Journey To Excellence (JTE) award because I think we can do it. I made this statement during last night’s pack committee meeting, and than reviewed the requirements. By the time I finished I believe the committee was in agreement with me.

        Pack 68 of Melrose went into a reboot this fall. We have a brand new committee and a new cubmaster (me). We are all learning the Cub Scout program as we move forward and I would say we are making good strides. As we attempt to earn the 2015 JTE it will help us to provide a better blueprint for the program as we enter the new year.

        There are three levels a pack could attain when qualifying for the Journey To Excellence award. It starts with a Bronze Level. Silver is the next step up. Gold is the highest level a pack may earn. So which level could Pack 68 earn?

        The pack’s 2014 program year did not qualify for the JTE award. There are a number of factors why but I think it really came down to the pack did not know about the challenge and what requirements needed to be met. As this year’s cubmaster I want the pack to try to achieve it.

        After looking over the requirements for the 2015 Journey To Excellence, and reviewing them with the pack committee, we agree that this is attainable. While the Gold Level will be out of our reach we should be able to reach the Bronze Level by adding to and revising our program a little. There is a slight chance we could even achieve the Silver Level.

        The pack should be able to reach the Bronze or Silver Level of the first four objectives without too much problem. We feel that if we provide a good program and promote the pack more during the year we should see an increase in membership this fall, while retaining most of our current membership. I also plan to invite the Boy Scouts to attend a few pack activities to assist with making the Cub Scouts feel comfortable about graduating into the Boy Scout program.

        The Program objectives is where we need to do the most work. There has not been an emphasis on advancement so we need to promote more of that during the next year. We are planning to add more outdoor activities for the 2015 schedule, and promote the district’s day and resident camps. We will be planning 3, maybe 4, service projects, including one conservation project. We already plan to have 8 or 9 pack meetings, but having dens meet twice a month will probably not happen this year.

        The Leadership objectives will present a challenge. We should be able to attain the Bronze Level easily. We might be able to attain the Silver Level but it will take some work. The Gold Level will be out of our reach for the coming year, but you never know. Maybe the parents will surprise me before this fall.

        I did a quick estimate of each of the 2015 objectives. I did not check a Gold Level for any of them, but did mark a Bronze or Silver Level for each one. When I added up the score I discovered we should be able to make the Bronze Level. The Silver Level is within our reach if we work a little harder and plan a little better.

        My goal is to present a revised plan for the 2015 program to the pack committee at their January meeting. If they agree to it, and the pack gets behind it, the Cub Scouts will receive a new patch during the 2015 December pack meeting to add to their uniforms. That would be awesome.

        The requirements for the 2015 Journey To Excellence award can be seen at:

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          CubmasterTis the season for all units… in the Central Minnesota Council to complete their recharters. Begin the caroling and pass the eggnog. The new committee of Cub Scout Pack 68 is about to learn how it is done.

          The recharter was one of the things on the agenda at last Monday night’s Pack committee meeting. Fortunately, our district executive was on hand to explain how to complete the online registration and answer questions. Unfortunately, our new treasurer announced that he is stepping down from the position because he has accepted a new pastoral position in another part of the state. His family is moving this week.

          Although surprised, the pack committee did not panic but started talking about possible parents in the pack who could be recruited as the treasurer and other positions that still needed to be filled. We currently of a great group of parents so the committee plans to speak to them for several minutes during this Monday’s Pack Meeting while I take the Cub Scouts in the next room and work with them on a skit to perform for the parents.

          There is also one other key three position that the Pack need to fill, the Cubmaster. Although I am registered as a pack committee member this year I have been been the acting cubmaster this fall since no one has stepped up to the plate yet. It is not a position I have sought, but after 30 years as a scoutmaster I thought I could run a few pack meetings until we find someone to take over.

          There is only a couple weeks left to complete the recharter. It is down to crunch time. Some of the committee thought they had a candidate to become the cubmaster but he had to decline due to commitments in other organizations to which he already belonged. Where were we to find a cubmaster?

          I have been acting as the cubmaster. Notice the word “acting”. After a short discussion with the committee I agreed to take on the role of cubmaster, but I would only accept the role for this program year, with the condition that that the pack finds an assistant cubmaster this year who would step into the cubmaster role in May of next year. The committee has a lot to talk to the parents about at Monday’s pack meeting.

          I have had fun as the acting cubmaster these pass few months, and it has been a pleasure working with the new committee members. I do actually look forward to being the cubmaster for the rest of this program year, this one term. I do not plan to become the permanent cubmaster. I still intend to continue working with the Boy Scout troop. My goal is to be the liaison between the pack and the troop.

          Hopefully, Santa will bring us a few more committee members, den leaders, and an assistant cubmaster this month. “Deck the Pack with lots of leaders, fa la la la la, la la la la.”

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            committeepatchIt has been an interesting fall as we work to reorganize the leadership of Cub Scout Pack 68 and carry out the new program. It has also been fun and rewarding. The boys have been telling their parents they are having fun. The parents are commenting that they like they way things are going.

            At Monday night’s pack committee meeting, I took the next step toward a better Pack by inviting the commander of the local American Legion Post to attend. The Legion has been the charter organization of the Cub Scout Pack for several years but the two groups really have not done much together. Since the Pack has new leadership I felt this was a good opportunity to try to get the committee and charter organization to get to know each other and possibly work together to create a great Cub Scout program.

            The Legion Commander arrived at my home, the site of the meeting, a little early, before any of the Pack committee had arrived. He surprised me by bringing along two other members of the Legion. By being a bit early, it gave us a few minutes to chat and a chance to introduce them to Bob, our district executive, who had also arrived and was going to attend the meeting.

            Once the meeting started, after introductions around the table, we had some good discussions about the Pack program, the responsibilities of the charter organization, and how the Legion and the Pack could would together on some service projects during the year. I think we now have a very good chance of getting a charter representative who would attend the committee meetings and be the liaison between the Cub Scout Pack and the American Legion.

            The three members of the Legion stuck around for most of the committee meeting and got a good look at the inner workings of the Cub Scout Pack. All three men fully support the Scouting program and look forward to helping the Pack provide a great program for the boys.

            All in all, I think the meeting went very well. I look forward toward Cub Scout Pack 68 and the Melrose American Legion working together during this coming year and beyond.

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              cubscoutpackmeetingI was a little nervous before that meeting on Monday, September 29th. It was to be my first time as acting as a cubmaster. Being a scoutmaster was no problem. I did that for 30 years. But this was a whole different age group, and a new set of parents and family members. Could I keep the interest of these 6 through 10 year olds during the meeting, and keep them and their families entertained? I was about to find out.

              We began the evening at 6:30 by breaking the pack into their dens to create posters representing their group. Then, about 7:00, we began the pack meeting. The three Webelos Scouts lead the opening by acting as the honor guard and bring the flags forward. Well, the one flag forward. And an empty pole. We had a United States flag but we have not been able to find the old pack flag yet. The Webelos Scouts decided they wanted to march the empty flag pole as a symbol for the missing pack flag. It confused a few parents who did not know what was going on until the end of the meeting when I explained it. Once the flags had been posted we said the Pledge of Allegiance and repeated the Cub Scout Promise.

              The first order of business was to have each den of Scouts bring up their poster and explain what they had drawn. I had the Webelos Scouts go first so they could set an example for the younger dens. This went quite well and the boys were happy to explain their posters. Unfortunately, anyone sitting more than two rows away from the front probably did not hear the Tigers and Wolves very well.

              It was time for a song, time for these boys and their parents to make some noise. It was a chance to test their singing voices and to see if they could keep up with me. What was the song? The Hole in the Ground song. Repeat after me. As verses were added the song got longer and faster. And louder. We had a good time. Too bad it did not get recorded.

              Fifteen boys were in attendance that evening. Five returned from last season, and ten were new to the program. I asked the new Scouts to come forward so the committee and I could present them with patches for their uniforms. We gave them the troop numbers, the council shoulder patch, and the World Crest patch. Before handing out each of the patches I explained the meaning of the patches to the Cub Scouts and their parents. From the smiles on the boys’ faces it seemed as if we were presenting them with their first awards.

              Since their were no real awards or beads to hand out during this first pack meeting of the season the committee had decided to hand out neckerchiefs and slides to the Scouts. I started with the Tiger Den and moved through them all to the Webelos Den. I think a few of the Bear Scouts were already eyeing up those fancy Webelos neckerchiefs. Once again, the boys were grinning from ear to ear as they received their neckerchiefs. It was another “award” of recognition for them.

              The meeting ended with the three Webelos Scouts retiring the colors, followed by announcements from the pack committee.

              I had a great time. The boys told me they had a great time and gave me a thumbs up. I guess I did pretty well. The committee talked to me afterwards and offered me the position of cubmaster. I tuned them down stating that Monday nights is still Boy Scout night night for me. Maybe if they would have left the meeting on Tuesday nights….

              They asked me why I did not say something before they had created their schedule for the year. I just smiled. Inside I really wanted them to find a cubmaster. To my surprise, one of the committee members sent an email out two days later to say she may have found someone to take the job.

              I did have fun as the cubmaster for that one night. And to tell the truth, I began thinking to myself that maybe I should have accepted the position, but my heart still lies with the Boy Scouts. But you know, maybe I could do both. No, I should just continue helping out on the committee level and being the liaison between the troop and the pack.

              But I did have fun that night as the cubmaster of Pack 68.


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                Cub_Scout_CharactersAs I mentioned in the last post to A Scoutmaster’s Blog, I have been helping to reorganize the pack leadership. We now have what I feel is a strong committee of four committed parents. I also plan to stay on the pack committee to lend my assistance and support during this program year. I guess that means we have a committee of five.

                Last night we held a pack committee meeting to prepare for next Monday’s pack meeting, the first one of the new year, and the first one featuring the new leadership. Unfortunately, one adult leadership position is still unfilled. While we were planning the pack meeting agenda one of the committee members asked who was going to be running this meeting. After all, we still do not have a Cubmaster.

                I raised my hand and said I would act as Cubmaster for this first pack meeting. I also explained that was the reason I was trying to get the committee to come up with a detailed agenda. If I was going to be the acting cubmaster I wanted to know exactly what I needed to prepare for. We all know what the Boy Scout Motto is, correct?

                I could see a sigh of relief go through the committee when I offered to be the face of the pack meeting. I think we have a good agenda planned. Something patriotic. Something Cub Scouting. Something about the dens. Something to recognize the new Scouts. Something to present to every Cub Scout. And even a couple of loud songs for the boys and families to sign along.

                This is going to be completely different for me. I am used to working with 11-18 year old boys. I have noticed that  Cub Scout age boys are a completely different breed of cat. I will admit that I am a bit nervous. Can I do a good job of pulling this off? I think I can, but we will all find out on September 29th.

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