Mar 26

Today was Declan and Owen’s first Pinewood Derby.  It’s their first year as Cub Scouts and the Derby is one of the highlights of the year.  They picked out their car designs from a book mom brought home from the library.  It wasn’t much of a plan, just a shape.  So we improvised the rest.

The cars from all the dens were raced in various heats.  When it was all said and done only the scouts from a particular den competed against each other.  There are eight other boys in the Tiger Den with Declan and Owen.  In the end Owen took first place and Declan took second place!  They were both incredibly excited.

Here are the boys and their cars and their winners trophies. They had to take a serious picture first.


After the serious picture it was time to get goofy!

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May 18

Boy Scout Troop 240 helped run a Pinewood Derby during the Ypsi Area Street Rods Show & Shine on May 2.  Kieran and I were there helping out.  Well, Kieran did much more than me.  There were two tracks with two lanes each.  There were no electronic timers so the Boy Scouts had to spot the finish line and call which car won each race.  They also helped setup the track and tear it all down afterwards.

It looked like it might rain the whole time we were there, but it held out and we had a fun time.  I hadn’t heard of the Ypsi Area Street Rods before, but they seem like a nice group of people doing good things.

Tracks Are Ready

The two tracks are ready for racing

Waiting For The Finish

Kieran awaits the race so he can spot the finish


Some very handsome trophies were donated for the winners

Most of Troop 240

When it was all done the scouts posed for a group photo

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

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