Blog Archives

Bell Ringing Ceremony

There is an event that happens at the Downtown Apex Fire Station on the First Saturday of each month that is good for Scouts and Scouters alike to participate in.  It is a Bell Ringing Ceremony that is put together by the Apex American Legion Post 124.  It is a somber affair that honors our fallen Soldiers for the preceding month. 

Day:  1st Saturday of each month

Time:  12:00pm – 12:15 pm

Where:  Downtown Apex Fire Station (Salem Street)

The flag is lowered to half-staff while the brave are honored in prayer.  Following the flag ceremony, the bell is rung for each fallen soldier.

This is an event that could be of interest to Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts or Girl Scouts.  I would highly suggest being in full Uniform for this event.  Below is a video of the event.  This particular one was during the peak fest so there are quite a few more people around than there are typically but it gives you an idea of the type of event.  As you can see there are a few scouts at this event. 

Feel free to just show up to the event or you can contact the Apex American Legion Post 124 beforehand.  Contact information is on their webpage. 

YIS,
Warren

Characteristics of the scout

Today, I want to share with you a quote with a book I am reading. It is the boy scouts handbook but not from this year but from 1911. I really like reading this old handbook as it gives me more of an idea of how scouting in America came to be.

All these things were characteristics of the old-time American scouts and of the King Arthur knights. Their honor was sacred. They were courteous and polite to women and children, especially to the aged, protected the weak, and helped others to live better. They taught themselves to be strong, so as to be able to protect their country against enemies. They kept themselves strong and healthy, so that they might be prepared to do all of these things at a moment’s notice, and do them well.

So the boy scout of to-day must be chivalrous, manly, and gentlemanly.

Rock Climbing Event

Here’s a great summertime (or any other time) event for your Packs and Troops.  Rock Climbing!  There is a great rock climbing facility right in Morrisville.  It is the Triangle Rock Club.  They have special times on Saturday mornings to accommodate a reserved Scout activity. 

Our pack just had an event at this location this past Saturday from 8-10am.  The scouts (and parents alike) absolutely loved it.  It gave everyone a chance to try out rock climbing and to be successful at it.  They have many different climbing paths appropriate for beginners and experts.  They provide all the equipment necessary for climbing.  The facility has auto belays as well to allow you to climb on your own if you are not skilled in belaying.

The cost for the event is $10 per person and can be scheduled through the Triangle Rock Club.  They are super helpful and friendly. 

Their location and phone:

102 Pheasant Wood Court
Morrisville, NC 27560
Phone: 919.463.7625(ROCK)

Camping in Apex

We are very fortunate to have some good group camping facilities in the nearby area.  One that I want to metion is Jordan Lake Campground which is right down US HWY 64 in Apex.  They actually have two nice group camping facilities.  One is in the Parker’s Creek campground and the other is in Vista point campground.  These are great sites for Cub Scout Packs that are looking for somewhere close to camp for the newbie scouts and parents.  This gives the families an opportunity to experience scouting without leaving the immediate area. 

Each campsite is equipped with picnic tables, fire rings and are close to the bath houses.  These are full bath houses with showers and flush toilets (also good for new campers).

Nearby these campgrounds is the Lake, Jordan Lake that is.  The scouts can bring their fishing poles and fish on the bank of the Lake during the event.  Also, there are hiking trails located near the campsites.

The campsites are wooded and there are plenty of spots that are already packed down to setup tents.  I do advise to try to stay out of the more natural wooded areas and not camp in areas that have vegetation.  Additionally, the rangers do not want any vehicles parked on the grass.  All vehicles should be parked in the parking lot provided.  It can be a little tight if there are multiple groups present, so try to carpool where feasible.

The campsites hold about 30 persons.  Reservations are requried and are necessary months in advance.  Reservations can be made on-line or by calling 1-877-CAMP-NC.  The cost is $48/day for the campsites.

Online:  http://northcarolinastateparks.reserveamerica.com/

Our pack visits this campground annually and always has a great time!

Round ’em up!

It’s that time of year again!  It’s time to bring in the new boys for a fun year in scouting.  This is sometimes called “Round-ups” in our area.  However, the ground work for recruiting should be laid down all year round.  The boys in the unit should be encouraged to invite their friends to scouting.  This is probably the best and most effective way of getting folks to join.  The boy gets his friends’ interest and their parent can follow up.  It is also the best way to keep boys interested in scouting.  When they go to meeting and events with their friends, they are more likely to stay involved.

The other ways of recruiting involve getting the unit’s name out there.  You are basically ‘marketing’ your units brand.  I think good ways to do this is by having the unit participate in service projects in full uniform or otherwise able to be identified.  For instance, the scouting for food service is a good way, helping out a school with grounds-keeping or some other needed service is another.

Of course, there is the Internet.  These days it is important if not required to have an internet presence.  Basically, if you have no website, you don’t exist.  The website beascout.org is also good to have updated when prospective parents search for your information.  This can be done through access to the myscouting.org website.

Other ways are taking a pack event and publicizing it to families in the area.  This could be through the Chartered Organization (in the case of a church) or through a local school.  Invite folks to come out to a bike rodeo, picnic, rock climbing or some other event that you already have scheduled.

Anything else that you may have used to round ’em up?

– Warren

Be Prepared!

So, the Boy Scout Motto is “Be Prepared”. But, be prepared for what? When Baden-Powell, the founder of the scouting movement, was asked this question his replay was “Well, for any old thing”.

Scouting, in its purest form, isn’t just being prepared for a camping trip or being prepared for a hike but being prepared for life. It is doubtful that most scouts will ever use their orienteering skills in everyday life. It is good to know and cool to show off to your buddies. However, it is not really something to put on your resume.

Scouting does more than just build on your scouting skills. It is meant to also build on your confidence that you can do these things and do anything you put your mind and will to do. Scouting can be as challenging as you make it.

It isn’t always the lifesaving skills, but it could be.

I will share one event that ‘may’ have been shaped by scouting. One day when I was a boy, my sister and I were playing at a community pool. It was fully lifeguarded, lots of folks there. We were both jumping off the diving board. (Well, I have never been much of a diver but was doing some cool belly flops.) Well, she was right after me and after I got out of the pool, she jumped of the board and hit her head on the way down. At that moment, a decision must be made. Do I wait for her to come up or assume the worst? As I noted, there were lifeguards. There was one in the diving area. But, she did not see my sister. So, I jumped in and pulled her out using the skills I learned at scout camp. Would I have done the same thing if not a scout? Hard to say.

Not too long ago my older son, then 4, was eating a taco at a fast food establishment. Not one for chewing, he started choking. Another decision. You could have learned the Heimlich anywhere. I happened to have learned it at scout camp. I was quite a bit older but still remembered my training from then. He could not speak and his face was turning red. Of course, my wife is freaking out. But, thankfully knowing this lifesaving maneuver helped me to know what to do. Within a few seconds (felt like forever), the tortilla was dislodged from his throat and he was breathing again. Tears of joy!

Final example. This one was on a camp-o-ree with my scout troop. It was a hiking themed camp-o-ree. Using the Buddy System, four of us went off on one of the Hikes that we were supposed to do that day. Well, one of the scouts decided it would be a good idea to jog through the hike and get done faster. So we did. It turned into a run. Something you must realize about these scout camps is that they used to be used for other purposes. This one apparently was used to keep animals in or wanted to keep animals out. They thought they had removed the old barbed wire from the trail and area but a piece running across two trees was missed. It was not directly in the ‘path’ but right off the path. Imagine 3 trees. The two on the left were the borders of the actual path, the two on the left were the ones that had the barbed wire. Well, guess which way I went. Yes, I ran smack dab into two rusty old barbs. As soon as I hit it, instant pain ran through my legs. And then the blood. I was wearing shorts so the barbs went right through my skin with some pretty bad gashes. I fell on the ground. Thankfully, the scout that was behind me stopped and helped to stop the bleeding using his shirt. Then the other two came back to see what was going on. Two then went off to find help as I was unable to walk. (I get very lightheaded at the sight of blood) They brought back more scouts. Being that I was unable to walk any long distance and it was quite a ways out of the woods, they fashioned a stretcher out of small poplar trees that they cut down and their shirts. It was a pretty cool makeshift stretcher. They then lugged me out of the woods and up to the nearest road where I was sent to the ER for stiches and a tetanus shot. It was good to be with scouts that day.

Just a few examples on how I believe I have been prepared or have been with others that are prepared because of scouting.

– Warren

Peak of Good Scouting

So what’s going on for Scouting in Apex?  Lots!! 

We are a growing town and that being said, we are a growing pack.  We hear about units losing scouts but for whatever reason, it isn’t happening here.  Scouting is alive and well!!

For one reason, Apex has some great Cub Scout Packs and some great Cub Scout leaders.  Our unit, Pack 226, has some awesome leadership right now.  Lots of parents that are involved and excited about scouting.  There are truly reasons to be thankful for this as once there is a spark and a few good folks for the ful, there is the a roaring fire.

It only takes a few good folks to make a difference.  Fire up the parents to make a little extra time.  It only takes a couple hours a week.  A few hours with a few folks can make the difference between a mediocre pack and an awesome pack.  What I usually ask folks to do is to do what you are good at.  Scouting is life.  It isn’t just camping.  It isn’t just advancements.  It isn’t just den meetings.  It is a way of life.  It includes soccer.  It includes school.  It includes everything you do ‘outside’ of den meetings.  The program is built for that. 

You have a parent that loves to work with wood.  Awesome!  Work in our Pinewood Derby committee!

You have a parent that likes numbers?  Awesome!  Work as our pack treasurer.

You have a parent that likes to work with kids?  Awesome!  Den Leader, Cubmaster, Assistant!

You like to organize a party?  Awesome!  Blue and Gold Committee!

You have a certain niche interest?  Biking?  Soccer? Geocaching?  Rockets?  Excellent!  Lead an event for the boys!

If I can offer you one encouragement is to be the ‘spark’.  Light the fire under your pack and watch it glow!

– Warren

Hello fellow Scouters

Hi Fellow Scouters!

Starting a blog on, well, scouting of course.  But focused on Cub Scouting and more specifically Cub Scouting the the Raleigh-Durham area.  My local unit is based out of Apex, NC in the Occoneechee Council. 

I am currently a Webelos Leader in a Cub Scout Pack.  However, I have been through scouting as a boy.  I started in Wolf (1st rank then), when through and received the Arrow of Light award and bridged over into a Troop.  I then went on to join the Order of the Arrow and later receive the Eagle Scout Honor.

After a few years out of scouting, I am back at it again with my boys.  I have been a Wolf Den Leader, Assistant Cubmaster, Cubmaster and now a Webelos Leader.  Four years of fun and it has only just begun.  I am finally feeling like I understand the program, its goals and mission.  So, my hope is to share that with others.