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

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

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.

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.

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!