Happy 2014 – Welcome back!

We had a long holiday season, and it was great. We got a couple of weeks off from school, lots of snow for Christmas, and an awesome time at SkyZone! This Wednesday is our first Den Meeting since the holiday, and we’ll see you at 6:30.

It’s time to start thinking about scouting in the New Year, and it’s going to be a busy winter and spring. We have a lot of activities coming up and I’m grateful that we have such a great group of scouters with us at Pack 529.

Winter Campout

Our next Pack activity, of course, is the Winter Campout. Every several years we go to the Beaver Meadow Audubon Center, in Java, NY (http://www.buffaloaudubon.org/beavermeadow.php) . This is indeed one of those years, and it’s always a huge hit, since there are so many things to see and do in the facility. We typically have several docents available to teach the scouts about the outdoors; we’ve seen firebuilding classes, basic survival preparedness, animal prints, and an awesome introduction to the reptiles that stay downstairs in the reptile room. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they come up with this year.

The Winter Campout is this month, from Friday January 24 (in the evening) until Sunday January 26 (after breakfast). We’ll have the signup sheet out this Wednesday for everyone – this is an event that all of the Scouts love to attend and is always a HUGE hit.

Additionally, since this is a Winter activity, we’ll have a special training session to prepare the scouts for dealing with all of their outdoor time, and will have a gear list to make sure that everyone brings what they need for the event.
Scout Sunday/Pinewood Derby

Scout Sunday falls on the Sunday that falls before February 8th, which this year is on February 2nd, so we’re going to be pretty busy in just a couple of weeks. Scout Sunday is our opportunity to recognize the “Duty to God” part of Scouting, and to acknowledge that contribution that St. Paul’s has given us in sharing their space with both the Pack and the Troop.

Scout Sunday starts with attending 10:00 services at St. Paul’s. We then invite members of the parish to coffee and doughnuts downstairs in the Gym, and use that time to get ourselves ready for the second part of the day – the Pinewood Derby!

Everyone who was a Cub Scout remembers their cars that they built for their Pinewood Derby as a kid, and we’ve handed out most of the cars to our scouts. We’ll use the Pack meeting on January 22 to have our Pinewood Derby Workshop for anyone who doesn’t have a basement full of power tools. At 12:00 on Sunday January 2 we’ll start weighing in cars and getting them in line for our first fully electronic Pinewood Derby – actually made and donated by one of our Scouting Dads, Mike Pengally! Races start around 12:30 and we’ll have Pizza and snacks for everyone – families are definitely invited, and there will be plenty available for all.