Jun 29

Declan and Owen went to their first Cub Scout Fun Day last month.  This is a day when Camp Munhacke is open to the Cubs and their families.  There are lots of things for them to do.  The usual shooting sports stations are open as well as crafts, sports, and Minute To Win It games!

Walking Down the Back Road

The boys walking down the back road. Still early and a little chilly.

Obstacle Course Hurdle

Owen’s already over and Declan is about to clear the hurdle on the obstacle course

Obstacle Course Hoops

They had to put their whole body through the hoops.

Obstacle Course Wall

Climb the wall, and try to not fall down the other side!

On Their Way To Another Adventure

They’re on their way to the next adventure. Can Dad keep up?


Their first try at archery using real bows and arrows. Neither of them were that impressed this time.

Owen At BB Guns

Owen enjoyed the BB Guns. He hit the pie plate target a couple of times!

Declan At BB Guns

Declan also hit the target a couple of times. A very successful first attempt!

Stick the Landing Game

Kieran and the other Boy Scouts from Troop 240 were running the Minute To Win It game station during fun day. We finally got there by mid-day. Stick the Landing involves tossing a half full plastic water bottle and trying to get it to land upright on the table.

Apple Stacking

This Minute To Win It game involved stacking five apples on top of each other. All in one minute. Without them falling.

Declan's Wrist Rocket

Declan’s favorite station of the day was the wrist rockets. He shot a whole lot of dog food!

Owen's Wrist Rocket

Owen is really pulling that slingshot back.

It was a very fun day.  My compliments to the volunteers who made Cub Scout Fun Day happen.  My boys and I really appreciate how much effort you put into making our day memorable.

Jun 19

After a few months of getting ready, the new scouts in Troop 240 went out for their first weekend campout June 4-6. Kane wasn’t able to make it, but Kieran, Zack, and Matthew did.  They were joined by Cody and Colin who have been in the Troop longer, but still wanted to camp.  Casey and Christian were the senior scouts and served as our Senior Patrol Leader and Assistant Senior Patrol Leader.  Our adult leadership consisted of Brian Coleman, the Scoutmaster, and Gregg Blossom and I, Assistant Scoutmasters.

We met at St. John’s at 5:30 Friday and loaded everything up.  Then we headed out to Camp Munhacke.

These new scouts hadn’t done much tent setup before so it took a while to get them up properly.  However, everything did get setup before there was any rain.  After things were setup we needed to focus on dinner.  We made spaghetti.  We had propane stoves on the picnic table under the easy-up canopy.  It came out quite good with plenty for everyone.  There was even some for the raccoon that fished it out of the trash while we were cleaning up.

Kieran, Zack, and Matthew were in a tent together.  They were probably the last ones to fall asleep.  At least they were the last voices I heard before I fell asleep.

Saturday morning dawned bright and early.  We were up at 7am.  Pancakes and sausage were cooked up for breakfast.  Everybody helped and it didn’t go too bad.

Cooking Breakfast

Pancakes and sausage for breakfast Saturday morning

After filling up on breakfast and cleaning up it was time for our five mile hike on the Bill Baker Trail.  There is some history to this particular hike.  When last year’s new scouts went out on this hike it became known as the “Death March” because the trail was washed out at one point.  That led to a huge detour through the wilderness and everybody was completely exhausted by the time they got back to camp.  This year the hike went quite well for most of the way.  Then we hit the same place that it was washed out last year, and it was washed out again.  Oh dear.  Casey remembered that it was the exact same place that they encountered trouble last year.  Mr. Blossom and I thought about the situation briefly and decided that our best course of action would be to double back to the road that we crossed most recently and take it back to camp.  It wasn’t quite as adventurous as last year, but given our circumstances it seemed like the best thing to do.

Almost Done Hiking

All the hiking scouts as we approach the end of our trek

Once we made it back to camp it was time for lunch.  We fixed Hobo meals on the camp fire.  Hamburger, diced vegetables, butter, and seasonings wrapped in foil and cooked on the grates over the camp fire.  They were easy and delicious!

Matthew Prepares the Grates

Matthew used aluminum foil to clean the grates before they went on the fire

Preparing Hobo Meals

The scouts are working on the hobo meal ingredients

Hobo Meals Are Cooking

Colin, Kieran, and Matthew keep an eye on the hobo meals

Casey and Christian spent some time after lunch working through T-2-1 requirements with the guys.  They made some good progress.  In fact, everybody should be ready to earn Tenderfoot rank very soon.

Kieran and Mr. Coleman Review His Book

Mr. Coleman is reviewing Kieran's achievements with him

Manchester Troop 426 stopped over to invite us over for skits and songs in the evening.  So all the guys got together and decided what skits and songs to perform.  Then they practiced them.

Practicing Bubblegum Song

Casey taught everyone the bubble gum song for skit time

Christian brought some helicopter-launched-with-rubber-band contraptions that quickly became a hit with all the scouts.  In between other things they would shoot them way up into the air and as they helicoptered back down they’d battle for position to be the one who caught it.

Everyone's Favorite Toy

Christian brought these helicopter sort of toys that were a hit with everyone

Working on Lashings

Casey and Christian showing the new scouts how to do lashings

Dinner was corned beef and vegetables.  It was all boiled on the stoves.  It turned out great and was a pretty easy camp meal.

Sitting Around the Campfire

The boys and leaders taking a break around the campfire while dinner cooks

It started to rain during dinner and continued to rain throughout the evening.  That made dinner cleanup a little more challenging than usual and it took a long time.  Finally it was done and everybody headed over the Troop 426’s campsite to join them for skits and songs.  It was a lot of fun.  They had a pavilion in their campsite so we were able to stay dry during the show even though the rain was pretty heavy.

After the show we headed back to our camp and retired to our tents because the rain prevented much of anything else.  Everybody managed to stay dry throughout the night.  The scouts didn’t know it but we had some pretty severe weather passing over us.  There were tornado warnings issued for some parts of the county, but not where we were.  Dundee was hit by a major tornado during the storm, but that’s quite a bit south of where we were.  Having our tents setup in the tree line as we did provided us with some shelter from the worst of the weather.  The moms and dads back at home were having a worse time worrying about us than we were having being out in the weather.  Mr. Coleman was keeping track of the weather via NOAA weather radio as were the folks in the camp office.  So we knew what was happening.

Sunday morning we woke up to much better weather.  It’s always nice to be able to pack up in dry conditions.  Of course the tents were wet, but the sun was out so we pulled them out into the center of the campsite to dry off for a little while before packing them up.  Breakfast was cereal because we needed to be heading back to the church early.  We weren’t quite as early as we planned, but we were hitting the road for home around 12:15.

This was a great camping experience for the new guys.  Casey and Christian did a great job showing them how its done as well as helping them get a large number of T-2-1 requirements signed off.  They’re well on their way to their next Court of Honor!

Tagged with:
May 16

Beginning in September 2008 I became the Den Leader for a great group of Webelos Scouts.  Webelos is the name of the scouting rank that is technically part of Cub Scouts, but is focused more on getting the boys ready to be Boy Scouts.

We set about working our way through the Webelos program and earning the highest award a Cub Scout can achieve, The Arrow of Light.  Along the way I always had the support of a wonderful group of parents.  No matter what I needed, I know I could count on them.  So I want to thank Kathy, Nancy, Gregg, Christine, and Jackie.  You made it possible to give the guys a good Webelos experience.

Over the year and a half we earned some activity pins, belt loops, and patches.  We spent some time at Camp Munhacke for Resident Camp, Haunted Munhacke, and several other events.  We tried to make our way through a corn maze with a GPS.  We did woodworking projects in my garage in the cold months.  (Perhaps not my best planning effort, that.)  We raced Pinewood Derby cars.  We raced up and down the sidewalk.

In the second year we had to figure out which Boy Scout Troop we wanted to join.  The four boys knew they wanted to stick together and join a troop together.  There are three Troops in Ypsilanti.  They all invited us to attend their troop meetings.  They planned campouts and hikes for us to join too.  They each gave us a feel for how they work and how their existing scouts work together.  In the end all of the boys and us parents agreed that we felt the most comfortable with Troop 240.

So on February 8th Pack 295 has their annual Blue and Gold banquet.  All four of the boys in my den earned their Arrow of Light and received it at the banquet awards ceremony.  After the awards ceremony the folks from Troop 240 joined us up on stage for the Crossover.  I was proud to see the four boys Kane, Zack, Matthew, and Kieran walk across the bridge from the Cub Scout Pack to the Boy Scout Troop.  The Troop even surprised me by having me walk over the bridge too.  They switched my uniform from Cub Scout blue to Boy Scout green as well.  Pretty sneaky those Boy Scouts.  It worked, as I’m now an Assistant Scoutmaster in the Troop.

Starting Arrow of Light Ceremony

Kane, Matthew, Zack, and Kieran starting the Arrow of Light award ceremony

Holding Up the Arrow of Light

Kieran holds up the Arrow of Light

Cub Scout Den Family

Everybody's parents joined them for the big award presentation

The Crossover is Complete

Here are the new Boy Scouts with the other representatives of Troop 240

preload preload preload