Battle of San Pasqual

In December, the troop’s campout was to Lake Dixon, north of Escondido. The camp was high on the hills overlooking the valley. The weekend brought a “cold Santa Ana” with 60 mile-per-hour gusts Friday and Saturday. Friday, the winds were so high that the ranger requested that our campfire program be suspended.

Undaunted, many of the scouts continued their tradition of sleeping out under the stars; the clear, but blustery night was moonless and great for star gazing. The winds tested the scouts lashing skills too, but all the knots held and nothing was lost to the winds.

Saturday, the scouts fished, by sacrificing copious amounts of bait and tackle to the lake gods, competed in ultimate Frisbee, and enjoyed free time. Breakfast with Moose and Bobcats being joint winners, skits with all patrols in a first place tie, and story competitions with the Moose triumphing–plenty of great things to do.

The scouts also offered to do a service project. The rangers sent them out to collect trash which is especially bad during fishing season. The scouts worked at this for 45 minutes collecting 48 pounds of trash and cleaning most of one side of the lake.

Later, our foil dinners turned out perfectly. That night the winds abated, but the temperature dropped into the 30s. Interestingly, more of the scouts slept out under the stars than the previous night. These guys seem prepared for anything.

The scouts also spent time learning about the Battle of San Pasqual that took place close by on Dec. 6, 1846. There’s plenty of great information on this local event and related mysteries on the Inernet. This was an important component in the scouts pursuit of a special scouting achievement, the National Historic Trails award. In addition to research on the event, the scouts participated in the battle re-enactment–on Dec. 5, just east of the Wild Animal Park–starting off the event by leading the flag-raising ceremony.

There were sample encampments, demonstrations of early California life, and of course the unexpected when one of the horses dumped its cannon then went on a car-ramming rampage with the caisson still attached, a bizarre spectacle and realistic demonstration of another era. While the scouts were a little disappointed that the Californios only pretended to spear the 1st U.S. Dragoons, the re-enactment was thrilling and the scouts got close to a part of our state and community history.

December also marked Sash Catanzarite stepping down as Senior Patrol leader. This meant an election and several of the scouts stepped up to the challenge, giving impressive speeches. Congratulations to John-Henry Ainsworth, the new Senior Patrol Leader, and to Josh Gillman, his appointed Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. Thanks Sash for you leadership and example that have been so important to getting the troop off to a smashing start.

Filling Josh’s spot as Quartermaster will be William Christianson. Adam Kiezun is filling an opening as Troop Historian.

Racing in the Pinewood Derby is Just Too Much Fun

The Cub Scouts of Pack 614 have been having a busy and fun-filled winter. Boys of all levels and ranks have been working on achievements in several areas, including citizenship, sports, and outdoor skills. The pack participated in an important community-service project in December by decorating treat bags and donating canned goods for the San Diego Homeless Coalition Children’s Christmas party.

January’s big event is the Pack 614 Pine2K (Pinewood) Derby, under the direction of Eric Lighthart and his panel of judges. As this article is being written, the Cubs are excitedly building, sanding, painting, and polishing their cars for race night in the Jerabek auditorium.

The annual Blue and Gold Dinner will be held Friday, Feb. 11, at the MCAS Miramar Officer’s Club. Second-year Webelos Michael Cramp, Andrew Danskin, Jonathan Dotson, Warren Howe, Ryan Huffman, Jeffery Silva, and Jonathan Wood of Den 1, led by Kim Cramp, and Brian Barrett, Tyler Branning, Kenneth Crooks, Matthew Foster, Brian Furman, Andrew Gabele, Thomas Halldorson, Joey Iacovera, and Kevin Nolan of Den 3, led by Trina Furman, will be honored at the Arrow of Light ceremony. We congratulate these boys on their achievement and wish them well as they move on to Boy Scouts. Many thanks to the parent volunteers, led by Kim Cramp and Danielle Duncan, for putting together this fine event.

Pack 614 would like to acknowledge and thank the adult volunteers and leaders who will be “retiring” as their sons graduate, including Kim Cramp (Blue and Gold Dinner and Publicity chair) and Lissa Huffman (Awards chair). We extend a warm welcome also to Karen Olson who will be picking up the reins as Awards Chair.

Anza Borrego in Winter

Last December in Troop 616, we didn’t have an outing. But we had a great paper drive thanks to all the people who donated their papers. In January, we had a campout to Anza Borrego desert. It was a blast! We got to see mud caves and lots of other neat stuff. It was even good for the younger scouts who experienced rain for the first time on a campout. There were about 20 people who attended.

In February, we will go to Snow Valley. We will try to earn the “winter sports” merit badge either on skis or on a snowboard. It will be a lot of fun and hopefully everyone will come home with their badges.

In March, we will be going to the International Camporee. It is a place where scouts from all over the world gather to compete and trade, but are mainly all out to have fun.

Please help a little extra with our newspaper drive the next few months, because soon all of Scripps Ranch will have city-sponsored recycling. Our newspaper drive is our major source of funding. All we ask is that for those of you who live south of Pomerado Road, please put your newspapers out on the curb by 9 am, the first Saturday of each month. We will take them away. Other residents can drop off newspapers at the pickup site at the end of Willow Creek Road.

This will be my last Newsletter article, so thanks for reading the ones I’ve written in the past.

Visit to an Aircraft Carrier

Den 2 wolves shared their collections at Darren Kuliscgak’s house. Pokemon, Pokemon, everywhere! They also had a fun picnic and volleyball game at the newest Scripps Ranch park on Blue Cypress Dr. Timothy Stewart’s house was the place to be to help cook a great cheese fondue. The scouts used bread and vegetables as dippers. They each made a Santa Claus candy jar filled with Hershey kisses. In true holiday spirit and scout tradition, they gave their jars as gifts.

Scouts in Den 6 were flying high after their tour of the aircraft carrier Constellation. Timmy Wadzita’s dad hosted the tour. They saw the control tower, crew quarters, workstations, and the deck. They were quite impressed. At their previous meeting, they earned their Webelos badge and had a delicious cookie exchange at Evan Sayer’s house. They also earned their water conservation patch by learning about the water cycle. Ideas on how to conserve our precious water resources were flowing.

Sawdust was flying in January as the scouts readied their race cars for the Pinewood Derby, which has been a Cub Scout tradition and memory-maker since 1953. The winner will compete at the Scout Fair at the Del Mar fairgrounds on Saturday, May 13. Holt Mebane was once again the driving force behind the derby. He held a derby workshop as well as the final weigh-in and registration at his home. Thank goodness his son Will is just a Tiger Cub!

The Blue and Gold Dinner, chaired by Janet Schweiger, is Friday, Feb. 2. The theme, “3,2,1 … Blast-off” will have decorations representing planets, stars, and rockets made by each den. Each den also will need to turn in individual photos of members for a fantastic slide show set to music as well as a group photo for the evening’s program. What a way to congratulate graduating Webelos in Dens 3 and 5.

Cans for Cubs next pick-up date is Saturday, Feb. 5. Thanks to Ben Koppelman, Keith Hirsch, Erik Bratlien, Alex Lipkis, and Alex Robinson for covering their routes. Call Pat Johnston at 577-0216 with questions or problems. Mark your calendars for the next Fun with Son, family camping weekend on April 14-16, at Camp Mataguay.