Archive for the ‘Cub Scout’ Category


IMG_0148This year marked the eighth year that the Boy Scouts of Melrose Troop 68 have handed out 4″ x 6″ United States flags before the Riverfest parade in Melrose. Once again the Scouts walked along the parade route and gave away 1250 flags, curtesy of the Melrose American Legion. People love receiving them, from the youngest toddler to the oldest senior citizen. And they are better for you than all the Tootsie Rolls that are thrown out during the parade, don’t you agree?

Last year we had a shortage of Boy Scouts attend the service project so this year we invited the Cub Scout to help out, hoping we would get enough Scouts to break up into four teams. The plan was to have two teams start on each end of the parade route, each team taking one side of the street, and meet up somewhere in the middle. Hopefully, by the time we would meet, we would be out of flags.

We ended up with plenty of Scouts. Six Cub Scouts and five Boy Scouts showed up for the project, in addition to five parents and Scout leaders. About 30 minutes before the parade was scheduled to begin, we split up and began handing out the flags. My team consisted of three Cub Scout brothers who were excited to participate in such a project. They were all smiles as they handed out the flags one by one, receiving smiles in return from the people who accepted them.

My team was starting to run low on flags by the time we met up with the Scouts who had started at the other end of the route. They still had a few hundred flags due to many people not being seated yet for the parade as they walked by. I had noticed a lot of people coming in after we had walked by a our route so my team took the extra flags and started retracing our steps, handing out flags to people who had recently arrived along the parade route. We even had a couple kids run across the street to get flags from us.

By the time we got to the spot were the Cub Scout’s parents were sitting for watching the parade, we had handed out all the flags. And just in time. The honor guard that was leading the parade was marching only a few blocks away from us. The parade had started. The only thing the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts, and leadership had left to do was to sit back and enjoy the parade. And eat the Tootsie Rolls thrown to us, of course.

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    CubScoutComicsI have just finished my second year as the cubmaster for Melrose Pack 68. It was fun and I enjoyed it. The Cubs have such a different view of life then Boy Scouts. I am still getting used to working with them. I must be doing a decent job because the committee wants me to stick around for another year.

    As the cubmaster, I try to talk to, and listen to, each of the boys when they come to me during a meeting. I try to give each of them at least a couple minutes of my time, which I fell is quite important. A year ago, I caught a quick comment by one Cub Scout who mentioned that he has never had a comic book. I collect comic books so the next time I went to the nearest comic book store I asked the owner if he could give me a good deal on some comic books I could give to the Cubs at the next pack meeting. He gave me enough for the pack free of charge, of a few varieties. The Cub Scouts thought they were great.

    I decided to do it again this year at the end of the May pack meeting and graduations. The first Saturday in May is free comic book day. I went back to the store a few days later and talked to the owner about doing the same thing again this year with the Cub Scouts. He still hand some comic books left over from Saturday. We went through which ones would be appropriate for the age group, and once again he gave me enough to hand out to the Cub Scouts. The Cub Scouts were quite excited to pick out their choice of five different books I had brought to the meeting, which included SpongeBob, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Captain America.

    What kind of extra little things have you done in your pack to make things more fun and special for your Cub Scouts? Leave a comment and let us know about them.

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      PackBridgeI am constantly amazed by Cub Scouts and the way they look at life. I love the way everything seems to bring a sense of wonderment and excitement to them. The are full of energy and fun, always looking for a good time. And they seem to have a hard time standing still for more then 15 seconds.

      A month ago, I talked to one of the Cub Scout fathers about building a small bridge for the May graduation ceremony. We took a quick look through Pinterest for a few ideas before settling on a nice simple clean design (seen in the picture.) The rail boards for the rope railing store inside the bottom of the bridge when not in use. We left it unfinished for now because we have an idea for later. He was able to finish building it in time for the pack meeting. The cost of materials was only about $40.00.

      When they Cub Scouts arrived at the May meeting it did not take them long to notice the bridge. In fact, they all wanted to walk across the new bridge. I had to tell them that no one crosses the bridge until the graduation ceremony. You could just see the anticipation build in their eyes.

      When the time came for each to cross the bridge all 17 Cub Scouts seemed excited. Yes, they were graduating into their next level of Cub Scouting, but they also were able to walk across this new construction which had not been part of previous graduations. The boys were grinning ear to ear as our committee chairperson removed their old neckerchiefs, turned to me (who was standing on the other side of the stage), and walked across the bridge for the first time to receive their next neckerchief . It may have been a small bridge, but it was a big thing to these Cub Scouts as they moved on to the next phase of their Scouting careers.

      Next fall we plan to remove 12 of the 14 floorboards of the bridge. Each den will receive two boards, along with two points of the Scout Law. The dens will decorate their boards based on their two points of the Law and return them next April in time to be added back to the bridge frame. I know we are going to end up with a very unique bridge design. And the best part is that the Cub Scouts will have a stake in the final design, making the bridge truly theirs.

      Does your Pack use a bridge in its graduation ceremonies? Leave a comment and let us know if it adds to their excitement like our bridge did for the Cub Scouts of Pack 68.

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        CubScoutDrapeAs I stated in the last post to A Scoutmaster’s Blog, Boy Scout Troop 68 owns a Boy Scout drape that it has used for many years. When I became the Pack 68 cubmaster I noticed very quickly that the pack did not own a flag or anything decorative for its pack meetings. It did not take long for the pack committee to approve the purchase of a Cub Scout flag. I had an extra U.S.A. flag in my house and two old flag poles. The Cub Scout dens love taking turns at being the honor guard and presenting the flags at the beginning of the pack meeting.

        The flags added a little color to the meetings but I wanted more to decorate the ceremonies. I recently talked to the commander of the Melrose American Legion, the sponsor of the Cub Scout Pack, and asked him if it might be possible for the Legion to buy an eight foot long Cub Scout drape for the pack meetings. He liked the idea and told me to write a letter requesting the purchase. I need to do that one of these nights.

        I really wanted to have this drape for this month’s graduation ceremony, so even though the Legion will probably pay for the drape after they approve it, I already went out and bought one. Yeah, I know I may have bought it a bit early, but I really did not want to wait until next month. If the Legion decides not to reimburse me for it, well, I just hope they do.

        Does your Cub Scout Pack use one of these for its pack meetings? How do you display it?

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          cardisplayThe Cub Scouts of Melrose Pack 68 recently had fun making a project during the March 21st pack meeting. They boys constructed display stands for their Pinewood Derby cars. Each stand is able to display five cars, enough from 1st Grade Tiger Cubs through 5th grade Webelos Scouts. With their parents help, the Cub Scouts completed their stand during the meeting. They will be bringing them back to the April pack meeting to show how they decorated them.
          The pack would like to give a special shout out to committee member Matt H. who cut the pieces and prepped them ahead of the pack meeting.
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            blueandgold13The Cub Scouts and families of Melrose Pack 68 held their annual Blue and Gold Banquet on Monday, February 15th at the Melrose American Legion. Sixteen of the eighteen Cub Scouts attended the event. I was quite happy with the turnout.

            The Central Minnesota Council sent a representative to talk about Friends of Scouting, the yearly fundraiser for the council. If the pack met its goal of about $650 it would receive free rank patches for the year. I was very surprised when the pack not only met the goal but surpassed it by collecting over $1000 in donation and pledges. It was great to see the parents demonstrating how they value the Scouting program.

            After the meal we began the award ceremony. The commander of the American Legion gave a short talk and stated the Legion was proud to be the sponsor for the Cub Scout Pack. The Legion allows us the use of their facility for both the banquet and the Pinewood Derby. It is great to have a charter sponsor that is more than just a signature on the recharter once a year.

            The award ceremony began with each of the Cub Scouts receiving a patch for attending the Blue and Gold Banquet. A few dozen belt loops were presented to the Tigers, Wolves, and Bears. It was the most belt loops I have ever had the pleasure of awarding the Scouts. The boys were quite excited as they stepped up to the stage, by den, to receive their achievements. The first year Webelos Scouts also did quite well. Each of them received two activity pins to add to their shoulder colors. Those strips will look very sharp by the end of the year of they keep this up, as will the belts of the younger Scouts.

            As the meeting drew to an end I had a little surprise for the Scouts. Last year I presented each of the boys a comic book donated by a local comic book store. This year, in a nod to the new movie, each Cub Scout received a Star Wars: The Force Awakens trading card. Each card had been inserted back into a wrapper so the boys did not know which one they received until they returned to their seat. They Scouts seemed quite excited about receiving a trading card.

            I had enough Star Wars cards left over so I invited each of the siblings who had attended the banquet to come up and choose one for themselves. Their grins were ear to ear, just like the Cub Scouts, as they stepped up to the stage to collect one. Ever the older siblings seemed to appreciate receiving a card.

            After the families had gone homeI stayed around for awhile talking to the Legion Commander and the caretaker of the facility. Both people expressed how pleased they were of the Cub Scouts and their families. The pack had cleaned the tables and stacked the chairs without being asked to do so. I think they were even a little proud of this Cub Scout pack they sponsored.

            The pack’s next activity will be a trip to the St. John University climbing wall. It will be fun to watch the boys test their skills, and courage, and they scale the 30 foot walls. It should be quite an interesting afternoon.

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              2016DerbyCars - 1I realize that many packs have completed their Pinewood Derbies, but I recently found this in my archives and thought it would be fun to share it again. Maybe these could be read during your council Pinewood Derby.

              In December of 2008, Len of Pack 15 sent out a mailing to those of us in the Yahoo “Cub Scout Talk” group that included a couple of poems about Pinewood derbies. I thought they were pretty good and thought you might enjoy reading them.

              NIGHT BEFORE PINEWOOD
              (A Poem)

              ‘Twas the night before Pinewood,
              His car still needed lead,
              He had done his very best,
              When his mom yelled “Get to bed!”
              He climbed under his blanket,
              His car wasn’t ready to race,
              The pinewood derby was tomorrow,
              There was a frown on his face.
              Just as his eyes closed, He heard something spin,
              It was Scout Saint Nick, coming to help him win!
              As he peeked from under the covers,
              Scout Saint Nick started to drill,
              To help his car speed, On its way down the hill.
              He splashed on some paint,
              And stuck on some wheels,
              He put the car on its stand,
              And clicked his boot heels.
              This woke the young scout,
              A happy Pinewood to all,
              And to all a good race!

              A PINEWOOD DERBY READING

              When I make my car, I hope that I can win.
              Everything is ready, the weight & shine & spin.
              The first race is the real test, to see how good it is.
              My helper is happy too, you’d think the car is his!
              Eventually I lose a race, and it is hard to take,
              But my helper and I sure had fun,
              Pinewood Derby car to make!

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                P68Christmas - 1I am currently serving as the cubmaster of Melrose Pack 68. I am into my second year of holding this position. While it was not a position I was looking for when I joined the Cub Scout pack committee, I have been having fun. I tell you, Cub Scouts are a lot different than Boy Scouts. And I am not just talking about the size difference.

                I wanted to do something a little different for the December Pack Meeting this year. I had bought each of the Cub Scouts a little gift (a Star Wars tote bag and play pack) and wanted to do something more fun than just handing them out. After a couple of days of thinking I came up with a plan to be Scouter Claus!

                Scouter Claus would be similar to Santa Claus but not quite the same. I did not want the boys and other children to actually think I was the jolly old man. I bought a red Santa hat and a cheap four dollar beard that I thought would not put me in the league of the real Santa. Instead of a red suit, I would wear my Scouting uniform with my red wool Scout jacket. No one should mistake me for Santa Claus but we should still be able to have fun with it.

                The evening began with the Cub Scouts making Christmas cards for the residents of Pine Villa nursing home. Then we began the pack meeting to recognize the Scouts who had earned awards. As the Scouts and families had cookies and juice after the pack meeting, I left the room to become Scouter Claus.

                Most of the Cub Scouts recognized me right away as I walk into the room in my costume, but I think a couple of the younger children were not quite sure what was going on for a moment or two. A few of the Scouts wanted to pull my beard but of course, Scouter Claus could not let that happen. The boys enjoyed the Scouter Claus idea. Even the parents where smiling and seemed to be enjoying it.

                The Cub Scouts were quite excited to receive the Star Wars items, especially since that little movie had just been released. All eighteen Scouts were in attendance. There were about six different designs on the tote bags so I had handed them out right down the line and told the boys they would swap with each other if they liked, and swapped they did. The boys were having a blast.

                Each of the Scouts also received a dvd of slideshows featuring photos from pack meetings and activities during the 2015 year, along with a disc of photos for their computers. I have done this for several years with the Boy Scout troop and decided to also do it for the Pack this year since I had taken a lot of photos during the year. I also gave a box of chocolates to each of the three committee members who have done a great during the year and, with tongue in cheek, told them not to share the candies with the Cub Scouts.

                Did your Pack do anything special to celebrate the Christmas season?

                P68Christmas - 2

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