Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day

I wrote this post for last year's observance and it serves as a genuinely poignant reminder of the freedoms we take for granted and the sacrifice so many have made to our country.  I wanted to reshare it with you all.  Happy Memorial Day.

While many Americans will celebrate Memorial Day with hot dogs, hamburgers and a day off... let us not forget what this day is really all about.  Memorial Day is not about 20% off sales and lounging by the pool.  Memorial Day is a day of honor and respect for our fallen... and sometimes forgotten.  

Photo source
Price of Freedom
Photo source
From the US Memorial Day website, Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in service of the United States of America. Over two dozen cities and towns claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day. While Waterloo N.Y. was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it’s difficult to prove conclusively the origins of the day.

Regardless of the exact date or location of its origins, one thing is clear – Memorial Day was borne out of the Civil War and a desire to honor our dead. It was officially proclaimed on 5 May 1868 by General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic, in his General Order No. 11. “The 30th of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers, or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land,” he proclaimed. The date of Decoration Day, as he called it, was chosen because it wasn’t the anniversary of any particular battle.

On the first Decoration Day, General James Garfield made a speech at Arlington National Cemetery, and 5,000 participants decorated the graves of the 20,000 Union and Confederate soldiers buried there.  

I encourage all Pack 1910 families to engage in something meaningful this weekend to help instill in our Cubs a purpose for this day.  Let's raise a generation that doesn't forget. Why not join the Virtual Boots On The Ground.  Let your children create a virtual avatar and join with others across the country for in the National Memorial Day Parade.  They will have a live feed on the site this day.  The parade is at 2pm EST.  More on the parade can be found here.

Unfortunately, the Mt. Gilead Cemetery on Keller-Smithfield Road that hosts the annual annual memorial day celebration and flag retirement has had to cancel their event due to the field conditions.  

We have added to our Pack Calendar a special entry on Memorial Day.  At 3pm -- no matter where you are, what you are doing or whose company you are sharing -- please stop and take a moment to gather your family and friends together to remember those who have fallen in service to our great nation.  Memorial Day is more than a cookout, it's a time to be in thought for those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice as well as their families.  The National Moment of Remembrance is at 3pm.  Unite with Americans everywhere to show that we have not forgotten that freedom isn't free.  We are the home of the free BECAUSE of the brave!  

Here is a Memorial Day Tribute you could watch with your family.  

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Den Challenge!

Do you wish to accept this challenge?

One way that it has been proven time and again is to give a team, a group, a den if you will, an identity, a flag... something that is theirs and theirs alone.  Is stands to show a solidarity of that den of boys!  

So, leaders ----> this challenge is now being issued to YOU for the purpose of your den!

The Challenge is:  By our FIRST PACK MEETING IN SEPTEMBER be sure you have a NEW RANK SPECIFIC 2015-2016 Den Flags and the best part -- I want them to help you make them over the summer!  The challenge is ON!  We are going to have a den introduction by DEN

Some samples I've found online consist of the following images below.  You can do better!.  Enjoy the process and include the boys!  Bring this to all Pack meetings.  

Image result for cub scout den flag

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Transition to Scoutbook

Last year we beta tested an up-and-coming advancement software program called ScoutBook.  At the time it still lacked some of the key features that we desired (and used) as a Pack.  Fortunately, in the past year, ScoutBook has not only made all of those features part of their software package, but they are continuing to add more features and enhancements that make all of our jobs easier!  Yay!

scoutbook logoApparently, we weren't the only ones who noticed how remarkable this program was going to be -- the BSA actually bought ScoutBook in April of this year.  If you'd like to read a real-time review of a Pack who transitioned to the program, click {HERE}.

SO, please note that once we have had our bridging ceremony at the end of this month, that will be the END of ScoutTrack recording and advancement within our Pack.  

During the month of June we will have a full software migration to ScoutBook.  Rest assured that all of your son's advancements, achievements and awards will be uploaded into ScoutBook for their official record.  You will start receiving notifications once your son's profile has been imported and activated into the Pack's records.

Change is hard.  Software learning curves can be frustrating.  Plus, I know that we are all accustomed to our current method of advancement, messaging and calendar notifications, but trust me when I tell you that you will LOVE all of the features that ScoutBook has to offer!

In the meantime, I encourage you to visit the site (please don't create an account so that we do not duplicate your son's records within the system) to just see all of the amazing features ScoutBook will provide to our Pack!

Friday, May 15, 2015

May's Core Value

Along with introducing you to this month's theme of Health & Fitness, I would like to also take time to tell you about an initiative directed by the Boy Scouts of America to challenge our Scouts -- the ScoutStrong PALA program.

  • PALA stands for the Presidential Active Lifestyle Award, a program of the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition (PCFSN).  
  • PALA is designed to motivate participants to be physically active on a regular basis by allowing them to participate in activities they enjoy, as well as improving their eating habits. Earning a PALA is definitely doable by anyone at any fitness level. 

What is the SCOUTStrong™ PALA challenge?
In 2011, the Boy Scouts of America aligned with the PCFSN with the shared goal of together promoting good health for America’s youth. The SCOUTStrong™ PALA Challenge, a Scout-specific PALA challenge, is one of the results of this alliance.

Who Can Participate in the SCOUTStrong™ PALA Challenge?
This challenge is for anyone, from students to seniors, but it’s geared towards everyone associated with Scouting from Cub Scouts to parents and just about anyone in between.

How Does the SCOUTStrong™ PALA Challenge Work?
  • To earn the SCOUTStrong™ PALA Challenge award, a participant is required to meet a daily activity goal of 30 minutes per day for adults and 60 minutes a day for kids under 18 for at least five days a week, for a total of six weeks. Participants can take up to eight weeks to complete the program.
  • The participants pick their activities and strive to reach their goals, logging their physical activity along the way. 
  • More than 100 indoor and outdoor activities count toward the daily requirement, including walking, running, aerobics, gardening, and canoeing, as long as major muscle groups are engaged at a moderate to vigorous activity level.
  • Also, each week the participants will focus on a healthy eating goal. Each week participants should add a new goal while continuing with their previous goals.
  1. Make ½ your plate fruits and vegetables.
  2. Choose lean sources of protein.
  3. Consume more whole grains.
  4. Consume less salt.
  5. Choose low- or no-fat dairy.
  6. Eat more seafood.
  7. Drink water instead of sugary drinks.
  8. Eat smaller portions.

Starting the SCOUTStrong™ PALA Challenge will help participants:
  • Commit to daily physical activity—and stick with it.
  • Commit to making healthier food choices—one goal at a time.
  • Set realistic goals to encourage fitness and healthy eating habits for a lifetime.
  • Track their progress with either a paper Personal Activity Log (PDF) or by accessing the Online Activity Tracker after creating an individual account.

How do I get started with the SCOUTStrong™ PALA Challenge?
Participants can enroll and track their progress either online with a free Online Activity Tracker or on a paper

Active Lifestyle Activity Log

  • Begin by visiting 
  • Use the appropriate dropdown menu to pick the state that the council/organization he or she wants to be affiliated with is located in.
  • Use the appropriate dropdown menu to pick the council/organization with which he or she wants to be affiliated.  It should take you HERE.
  • The participant should now be at the PALA page of the affiliated council/organization. They should click CREATE AN ACCOUNT.
  • Complete the required fields and click REGISTER.
  • Participants will now arrive on their activity tracker home page, which they will see each time they log into their account. From this screen, they can track their activities, join a group, see their award progress, and adjust their account preferences. 
  • Upon completion of the six-week program, participants will receive a congratulatory email from the President’s Challenge. Participants should print and submit this email to their Scout leader.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Start Saving These Items!

We will discuss this further at the bridging picnic, but to kick-start our fall program, I'm asking for donations of clean, used items.  Click {HERE} to access a printable list.  We are seeking your help in gathering the listed items.  I will need multiples of them so the more we can get, the bigger and better the projects!  


We are asking for things like cereal boxes, empty pill bottles, rubber bands, egg cartons, corks, etc. Feel free to drop them as you collect them at April's house (leave on the porch) or bring them to any of the summer events.  These are needed by early September.  We distribute a kit to each Scout at the September Pack meeting to create SOMETHING (anything) and display it at the October Pack meeting.  The creativity of these boys is MIND NUMBING!!!  You'll be impressed!  So, help 'em out!  start saving today!

Your help is greatly appreciated!!

Pack 1910 Summer Adventures

Last year we polled the scouts to ask them what kind of activities they wanted for their Cub Scout program.  We asked... they answered and thus, our four-year summer rotation of activities was born.

We set up a specific four-year schedule of different activities so that, for your Scout's entire Cub Scout career, he wouldn't be participating in the same thing summer after summer.  

Cub Scouts is a year-round program and our Pack makes the most of each summer to bring opportunities for our Scouts to stay engaged and involved all year long!

We will be utilizing the Sign-up Genius to track RSVP's for these events.  This helps the adult coordinators know which Scouts to expect so that no one is left behind.  Also, a few of these event require advance deposits.  Once you RSVP, you will be contacted to confirm how you wish to pay.  PayPal invoices can be sent via e-mail or checks mailed to the treasurer.  

One important thing to note -- Please be sure you are RSVPing -- even if it is a "no" -- so that we know you received the invitation information.  The courtesy of a reply is greatly appreciated.  

Please understand that many of these programs we are planning on require not only a minimum number of participants and as stated previously, a deposit.  If you RSVP and are not able to attend, you will still need to pay your portion as it likely has already been covered by the Pack or, alternatively, find a family to go in your place and have them reimburse you. Most of these events do not allow refunds.  Thank you for your understanding.

The Sign-Up Genius will have all the information for each specific activity.  This is merely for you to save the date!

Pack 1910 Summer Program 2015:

8-12:  Mustang District Day Camp.  See THIS PAGE on our website that is dedicated to all things Day Camp.
27:  Stargazing Party at the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History. 
28:  Burger's Lake picnic and swimming.

**Did your scout register for Day Camp?  If so, they're on their way to earning the Outdoor Activity Award.  Read all about the requirements for this awesome award here. Please note, however, that since the ENTIRE Cub Scout program is changing at the end of this month, the new requirements for this award to coincide with the new achievements can be found on THIS document.  Scroll to Page 3.  ANY Scout can earn this... You would be working on the requirements for the rank they are advancing to.

12-15:  Cub Scout Resident Camp, Sid Richardson
15-18:  Cub Scout Resident Camp, Sid Richardson
25:  Stargazing Party at the Fort Worth Museum of Science & History.
31:  Overnighter at the Perot Museum 

8:  Horseback trail ride around Lake Grapevine
22:  Annual Raingutter Regatta, pizza party and ice cream back to school bash 

...that by joining us for just one event a month, your scout is eligible for the National Summertime Achievement Award?  These are rank specific, color-coordinated very cool special pins to place on their uniform to show off their involvement.

If enough of his den participates, they will earn the Summertime Award for their DEN! And, collectively, if enough of our Scouts participate all summer long, our PACK earns the National Summertime Pack Award!  How cool is THAT?  Awards will be presented at the Scout level during the September Pack meeting.  

End of Year Picnic and Bridging Ceremony

The culmination and celebration of a year of hard work is something Pack 1910 scouts look forward to.  Our annual bridging celebration and picnic is definitely one of our do-no-miss events!  The Scouts will have a BLAST with our water activities, and we all get to enjoy a casual meal together then watch our boys bridge to the next rank in their journey.  This will also serve as the last official Pack Meeting until September.  Another post will be made on the fun summer events we have in store!  Be sure to save the date for those!

So, be sure to check your e-mail (and/or spam folder) for the Sign-up Genius that went out today. In order to make this great event EVEN BETTER, we need a little help from everyone.  So, thank you in advance for stepping up and helping the Pack go!

More reminders will be sent before the event but, in short:
  • Sunday, May 31 at 3pm
  • First United Methodist Church Hallelujah Center
  • have your scout show up in a sun shirt and swim shorts (and shoes that can get wet) -- a towel would be a great idea too!
  • bring your scout's full uniform to change into for the bridging ceremony
  • sign up for one or more of the slots to cover needed items for the picnic
  • bring chairs
  • bring drinks for your family
  • bring your cameras
If you have any questions, please contact April or your den leaders.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the Akela Moms out there in Pack 1910!  We owe you so much for putting up with the stinky, smoke laden camp out clothes, for the sewing of patches, the finding of lost whatchamacallits, the rides back and forth to den and Pack meetings, the planning, the selling of popcorn and chocolates, the volunteering, the smiles of support, the mentoring, the snacks, the collecting, the leading.  We just couldn't do it without you!  May your day be blessed!