Blog Archives

(k)Nights of the Roundtable

So, maybe you’ve heard about this thing called “Roundtable”. Maybe you haven’t. But, what is it? It is a little bit of everything. It happens once every month, except July, on the 3rd Thursday of every month. For our district, Crosswinds, it happens at the Cary LDS church off of Cary parkway.

Roundtable starts at 6:30pm with 30 minutes of jibber jabbering with fellow scouters about whatever you like. At 7pm, the combined district Roundtable begins with announcements and what-not about the goings on of what is going on in the district. If you want to be ‘in the know’, this is where you should be.

At 7:30, the cub leaders break off to discuss cub related activities and ideas for our packs or district events. This is a good opportunity to discuss any ideas or concerns that you may be having with your den or pack and to get help from experienced leaders. The more folks that are there, the better the discussions.

So, if you are a leader, leader wannabe or just an interested parent, come on out!

Oh yeah, don’t forget to stay for the meeting after the meeting….

Who: Scouters and parents
What: Roundtable
When: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Where: Cary LDS church, 1811 Seabrook Ave, Cary, NC
Why: To help grow the scouting movement and meet fellow scouters

YIS,
Warren

Lion Scouts

I do want to put out a quick post on this for those of you that have had questions about the Lions program for boys in Kindergarten. Please note that this information pertains only to the Crosswinds District.

Personally, I think it is a great idea and could be part of an expansion of the Tigers program. They have done it for years in girl scouts (aka Daisies). The Y Guides also start in Kindergarten. So, why not Cub Scouts?

Officially for our district, the Lions program is not part of the Cub Scout program. However, Packs are welcome to bring in visitors to the pack with a few restrictions.
– The boy can be a sibling of a current scout
– if the boy does not have a sibling in scouting, the boy’s parent will need to sign up to be a leader in the Pack
– Lions can only meet at the meeting place that other dens are meeting at the same time

Lions may:
– attend all pack events
– join other dens with their activities
– have their own meetings in the same location and time as other dens
– have their own ‘uniform’. We used t-shirts and a hat last year
– have lots of fun!

Hope this info is useful if you want to start a Lions program in your pack. I hope to post more on what they did last year soon.

YIS,
Warren

Snakes & Spiders!!

Today, we had a presentation given to us from the Museum of Natural Sciences at our normal meeting location in Apex, NC.  This was part of the museum’s outreach program for small groups.  We had about 45 scouts show up to this event which is really high for a summertime scouting event for us.  This comprises about half of the cub scout pack. 

Learning about animals and about nature are parts of many rank requirements or electives.  Having an experienced and knowledgeable museum staff come to Apex and bring in live SNAKES is definitely a big pull for these young boys.

If you are looking for a good summertime or any other time activity, consider the involvement of the Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh.  Of course, there is always the outing to this museum which has expanded with the new science wing.  And best of all a visit to the museum in Raleigh is FREE!

However, if you want to spice up an event such as a pack meeting or summertime event in Apex, $90 will get them out to your site.  The Snakes & Spiders presentation is a good one where they go over the venomous snakes and spiders in the Apex area.  The staff member that visited us today brought 4 live snakes for the scouts to see and touch.  These were all non-venomous, of course. 

There are many other presentations for small groups that you can have for your group including ‘rocks and minerals’, ‘Terrific Turtles’, ‘Animal Tracks and Signs’ and ‘Birds of a Feather’ that would be great for Cub Scout Packs.  These would also seem to satisfy rank requirements and electives for many of the scouts.

More information on these programs can be found of the Museum of Natural Sciences website.

YIS,
Warren

Gearing back up!

It’s almost time to get back in gear for the new scouts coming into your Cub Scout Packs!  Time for planning meetings and communicating with parents on what is next and how they can become involved in their sons’ scouting career.

There are many opportunities for scout leaders in the Apex area to become better prepared for the new year.  This includes training and roundtables.

Crosswinds district roundtables meet on the 3rd Thursday of every month, except July.

When:  7:00pm – 8:30pm

Where: Cultural Hall of LDS Church, 1811Seabrook Ave., Cary, NC

Who:  All Scout Leaders

What: Meet with other scout leaders in the district to discuss Cub Scouts!

How else can a Cub Scout Leader get better prepared? 

  • BALOO training.  This is training on how to take your pack on outings and on camping trips.  It is required that at least one leader on a trip have BALOO.
  • OLSWL (Outdoor Leader Skills for Webelos Leaders) – This course is good for both Webelos Leaders and future Webelos Leaders.  It is a great course to take if you want a quality outdoor program for your Webelos

Both of these courses (and more) are being offered the weekend of August 24th through 26th at Camp Durant.  Consult the Occoneechee Council Website calendar for additional information on contacts and how to register.

These courses are great, not only to prepare you for the scouting year, but to meet new folks involved in scouting.

YIS,
Warren

Take a Hike at Raven Rock

It’s always good to get your scouting group out in nature on a hike.  One good park that we visited last year was Raven Rock State Park in Lillington, NC.  About 1 hour drive away, this park offers great hikes and spectacular views.  There are a few options on hiking.  If you want a 2-3 hour hike, choose the raven rock loop trail.  This takes you down to, well, the Raven Rock.  Come into the state park and park off to the right before you get to the Welcome Center.   There is a picnic shelter there which is right next to the path.  Be sure to go to the restrooms before you leave as there are not any facilities along the way.

Before you leave on the hike, it is a good idea to go over the buddy system and the 10 essential items needed for hiking.

There is a stop about half way to the rock where you can sit and take a break and discuss things you have seen, use of a compass or whatever you want to give the scouts a break.  Then onto the rock.  

After the rock, there is another overlook where you can see the great Cape Fear River.  Take a break here for some photos.

There are other trails if you have moretime (and energy) that include a overlook for the Lanier Falls.  This is on the Cambell Creek Loop Trail which is described as a Moderate Trail.  All other Trails in the park are described as Easy. 

In addition to Hiking Trails, you can fish in the Cape Fear River (with NC Fishing License) and there are additional primative group hike-in camping that is good for Boy Scout Troops.  They even have a canoe-in campsites.

Visit the Raven Rock Website for more details on this beautiful park and great hiking destination.

Requirements Met:

Tiger 5G

Bear 25 a, b

Outdoorsman: 9

Time:  1 hr from Apex, NC

YIS,
Warren

Take me out to the ballgame…

Another good scouting event that we, as a cub scout pack, have done for the past few years is the Durham Bulls Scout Night.  The Boy Scout night is very popular.  So popular that they have added another event during the summer.  There are now two Boy Scout Nights, which includes the Cub Scouts.  These are fun events for the scouts and their families.  However, the good seats go really fast.  These are the seats under the awning so plan early and plan often.

The event itself starts with a parade around the base line of the field.  We will typically bring our Pack 226 banner and Cub Scout Pack Flag.  The Scouts then line up at the grounds crew area of the field near the end of the right field base line. 

After the parade, grab some peanuts and cracker jacks and take a seat in the super nice DBAP.  Wool E. Bull is always a great source of entertainment for the young ones and young at heart.  He entertains before the game and in-between innings.

Be sure to keep an eye on the game and bring your glove if seated outside of the netted area.  There is sure to be a few fly foul balls coming your way.  Maybe you’ll even get a chance to catch one. 

With summertime storms, the game can be delayed.  If it looks like storms are possible, you can call the Durham Bulls Rain Hotline at 919.687.6556 to find out if there is a delay and how long the delay is expected.  If the game is cancelled, tickets can be used for a game later in the season.

There is an optional sleepover on the field after the game.  I would not recommend this for Cub Scout Packs as games usually last well past normal kid’s bedtime.  (11pm or later)  However, after the game and after the fireworks, the stadium is emptied.  The Scout Troops and Packs are then allowed back in once they have their gear to camp in the outfield.  Please note all the rules for this including NO STAKES.

And….there’s a patch for attending either the game or the game/sleepover!

This event counts as a summertime pack activity towards the summertime activity award.  It also meets requirements at each rank for going to a sporting event with your family, den or pack.  See you there!

YIS,
Warren

Requirements met:

Tiger 3G

Bear: 23e

Wolf: 23a (if camping)

Bear 25d (if camping)

Distance/Time to Destination: 40 minutes.

Apex Community Park

Apex has quite a few parks in the area.  Many of which are good for Scout events.  One in particular is the Apex Community Park.  This Park has many features that make it a good fit for a scout unit event.  It has two shelters that may be reserved for a fee which are located right next to each other.  There are also small charcoal grills located next to both shelters.  If your event involves cooking for more than just a few, plan to bring your own grill.  There are also restroom facilities in the vicinity of the shelters.  In addition, there is water to the site of the shelters as well as electricity.

The shelters are equipped with picnic tables and according to the Town of Apex can accommodate up to 100 or 50 people.  The larger shelter rents for $70 for Apex residents, the smaller for $50 for residents.  This reserves the shelters for a 4 hour block.

The shelter is also located right next to a 50+ acre lake that is stocked for fishing.  If fishing is part of the event, an additional fishing license will need to be purchased from the Town of Apex for non-residents.  Licenses are Free to residents of the town but the license will still need to be applied for.  Anglers ages 16 and older will also need to have an NC Fishing License and will need to abide by regulations set by the NC wildlife commission.  For more information on fishing licenses visit www.ncwildlife.org.  There is a fishing dock that can be used for fishing in the lake.

In addition, there are over 3 miles of trails.  One of which runs around the lake and leads to/from the picnic shelters.  The trail around the lake is paved.

Another good feature is a playground which may be good for the younger siblings of a Cub Scout Pack.

Apex Community Park Playground

Therefore, this park is great for Cub Scout packs looking to venture out for an outing that could involve a picnic, hiking, biking (on the trails) and fishing.  The Hiking, Biking and Fishing Belt Loops could definitely be worked in at the Apex Community Park.

For more information on the Park, visit the Apex Community Park Website.

 

Visit to USS North Carolina

 

Image

Here’s a possibility for a Cub Scout day trip from Apex.  It is a little over 2 hours away in Wilmington, NC.  Located on the Cape Fear River the USS North Carolina Battleship makes a great place to visit for scouts.  The Battleship is open every day of the year.  However, I would recommend cooler days of the Fall, Winter or Spring as there is no A/C on the ship and it is quite hot during the Summer.  Our family just visited here on our recent visit to the NC Coast. 

I would recommend this visit in-particular to the older scouts as there are many narrow stairs within the decks of the ship.  The ship is in no way wheelchair accessible except for the top deck.  Plan to wear good shoes as there is a lot of walking and of course the stairs. 

Taking your time on the ship, the tour should last around 2 hours.  There are a few working mechanisms on the ship that the boys can spent quite some time on.  This includes the gun turrets on the port side of the ship.  (Left side facing the bow of the ship).

More info can be found on the USS North Carolina Website including admission prices.  Today, they are $12 for 12 and up, $6 for 6 through 11, 5 and under free.

They would like to eventually open the ship up to overnight camping but the ship is in need of restoration and repairs before that can actually happen.