On the Trail Again

Boy Scouts in Troop 616 accomplished a lot this past month. They helped on Webelos Day and went hiking on the Mormon Trail in Blair Valley.

All of the Scouts had a fun time helping the Webelos learn different skills that they would need to know when they become Boy Scouts. There many stations, including one for fire safety and how to make a safe fire. They learned how to make a lean-to, a log cabin, and a teepee. There was a station where the Webelos had to go on a route using a compass.

There was a station to learn about ax handling. The Webelos learned about safety with sharp tools and the equipment that they needed to wear while they were using these tools. They got to try using an ax and the hatchet to chop wood. At another station they learned the correct way to pack a backpack and all about the different types of backpacks.

The Mormon Trail backpacking outing had two different parts. One was stationary camping, and the other was going on a backpacking hike. The stationary campers played cards and went climbing for a couple of hours. Once the sun had set, it was very cold. This made it hard to make dinner because it was only about 30 degrees Fahrenheit. The backpackers took a 2-mile hike and then set up camp. The backpackers also played cards and then went on a hike to look at Indian pictographs. The backpackers climb was to the top of the nearest mountain, which was about 500 or 600 feet high. There was a really weird word that the backpackers said on their trip. When one person said “MUG” all of the other Scouts would yell back “MUG.” Everyone thought that this was hysterical. The Scouts had a great at time backpacking and stationary camping. Thank you for leading us, Mr. Hinck.

Our Scouts had a great time in the month of December. In January we are headed to Joshua Tree and the troop will be having a Court of Honor at the end of the month.

Joys of Community Service

The eighth grade girls of Girl Scout Cadet Troop 8385, pictured above, are enjoying their winter by helping others. In December, they volunteered at the San Diego Wild Animal Park, painting faces for the Festival of Lights. The girls showed off their artistic talents by painting holiday themes like santas, snowmen, snowflakes, and Christmas trees as well as tigers, rhinos and lions. They enjoyed spreading holiday cheer!

The girls are working on a special interest project called “Paper Works.” They have learned the art of embossing paper. Using their new talent, they prepared note cards for the firefighters at fire station 37. Their next interest project is “An invitation to the Dance,” which will involve volunteer hours helping Brownie Troop 8135 earn their “Dancersize” Try-it. Then we will move on to our “Creative Cooking” project in which we will prepare dinner for the families at the Ronald McDonald House.

Not everything we do is community service. We are attending an archery workshop and planning a three-day ski trip as well as selling our famous Girl Scout cookies! We hope you will support Girl Scouts when we knock on your door.

Derby and Dinner

The highlight of last month for Cub Scout Pack 613 was the Pinewood Car Derby. Thanks once again to Holt Mebane for his expertise and support. The workshop, weigh in, and races went off without a hitch for another year and we congratulate our winners and the good sportsmanship shown by all of our scouts.

Our Cub Scouts are looking forward to our traditional Blue and Gold dinner, which is just around the corner. On this night, our celebration is two-fold. First, we are celebrating the birthday of the Boy Scouts of America. We are proud to be a part of this fun-filled program which provides strong values, outstanding leadership, and a truly enriching experience for our sons.

Then we also honor our second-year Webelos and their families for their successful completion of the Cub Scout program. Join us for a truly special evening as we witness the highest Cub Scout award, the Arrow of Light, bestowed upon these fine boys. Keep an eye out for further details in your Pack Tracks newsletter.

Due to the Blue and Gold dinner, we will not have a Cans for Cubs collection for the month of February. Please save up those rinsed and bagged cans and plastic bottles and bring them to our March Pack meeting to get free cake raffle tickets.

We appreciate feedback from the community as well as Den reports from our scouts at our email address [[email protected]].

A 3-Hour Tour

On November 3, Den 3 and Den 5 Tiger Cubs of Cub Scout Pack 616 took to the San Diego Bay in search of adventure. Thanks to the generosity of Harbor Police Lieutenant Ken Franke, the Tiger Cubs were able to board a Harbor Police vessel. The den learned about boating safety, the buddy system, marine life, and what to do in certain emergencies.

Conner and Brandon Dyte, Jack Greener, Michael Russell, Austin Sarbacker, Gregory Seda, Luke Totah, Grayson Boyer, John Buron, Michael Franke, Cody Gadberry, Justin Travis, and some very lucky siblings were able to take a ride in the police boat around the harbor.

The den discovered sixty seals sunning themselves on a remote dock, and two dolphins showing off their ability to jump out of the water! They also witnessed water being shot 80 feet into the air from the ship’s hose. Once on dry land the boys toured a squad car and the dispatch office of the police station. To complete the tour of the station, officer Franke treated the boys to “the best donuts around.”

Cubs and Gypsies

The Scouts and leaders of Cub Scout Pack 1216 started the year 2002 off with several successful projects and events. Pastor Darrell Dunlap of Northstar Church, our pack’s chartering organization, had spent time visiting a gypsy village in Sofia, Bulgaria. While working in a soup kitchen there, he was in contact with many poor children who were in need of some simple, basic things.

Last month, he was invited to travel to Bulgaria again to speak at a conference. This time he wanted to pack an extra suitcase filled to gloves and hats to give to these children. Approximately 25 of our cub scouts helped Pastor Dunlap reach his goal by donating these items. Thank you, cubs!

Big “Kudos” to Dave Frederickson for being the Pinewood Derby chairperson and for hosting the mini “how-to- build” classes. Thank you, Dave! The Cub Scouts along with their families really look forward to this annual event.

The Cub Scouts also spent a Saturday morning at the San Diego Ice Arena. They got a mini-training session from a former ice hockey player and Pack 1216 father himself, Mr. Kevin Tucker.

We are thankful for such a nice group of boys in Pack 1216. All of us are looking forward to another great year!

Joy of Giving

In December, Girl Scout Troop #8495 worked on a community service project by adopting two families from EYE family services. The girls and their families shopped for gifts the families had on their wish lists. The troop also bought food for the families to enjoy a Christmas meal. Some of the girls and their leaders, Lisa Smith and Diana Hilber, delivered the food to the families. The girls learned the importance of giving back to the community and helping others in need.

The girls also did their patriotic duty and made cookies with their families and donated them to the “Cookie Crusade.” The cookie crusade was a program ran by the Military Welfare and Morale Office, which gave out cookies to the men and women standing guard to protect our country on Christmas eve and Christmas. The girls gave 10 dozen cookies to the crusade.

Rolling on the River

Now Christmas has come to pass: the presents are opened, the tree dried up, the turkey is gone, and the boys of Boy Scout Troop 663 are content with their loot. However, these are not the boys that like to sit idle with nothing to do. Oh no, my friends! December 26th brought about the long-awaited Colorado River Canoe Trip.

Bright and early with lingering thoughts of sugarplums in their heads, a group of ten scouts loaded up their cars and drove off to the Grand Canyon State of Arizona. After a long three-hour drive through the desert, we came upon the little community of Fishers Landing, set up camp, and enjoyed the last traces of humanity we would see for the next three days.

Early in the morning, boys and adults both grumbling about the time, we loaded up onto the Yuma Tours river boat and began the one and one-half hour long trip upriver. Believe it or not, this was actually the most miserable part of the entire trip as the already cold air along with the wind-chill factor provided us with a truly frigid experience.

So once we were a good thirty miles upriver, the boat dumped us onto a sandbar and finally we were on our own. Thus began the first Colorado canoe trip of Troop 663. Our five canoes left the little sandbar in the highest of hopes. However, once we got to our first stop, Draper Cabin, our hopes sunk as the little beach had only enough room for two canoes. It came to be that two landed on the beach, two had to ram through the toulee reeds to get to the beach, while the another tied up near a near cliff and climbed out of the canoe to join us. Much to our dismay, the rest of the river tended to share the lack of beach space.

The first night came to pass, with our congregation huddled first around a lantern, then a buddy burner, then the stove. No campfires were allowed. That night as we lay in our tents, we could hear not the mournful howl of the coyote, but the ridiculous bray of a wild donkey. The next day brought excitement and mystery. One canoe (mine) was so incredibly fast that we got out of earshot of the others. We arrived at our camp without knowing where the rest of our group was. So one half-hour later they came paddling down the river. Without informing us, they had paddled into a backwater lake. Alas, so will things go.

The afternoon gave us time to explore some of the mountains around our camp. So we hiked a good five miles away, but that was okay. The next day was our last. We stopped by a site containing ancient petroglyphs, so that our trip was at least a little academic. This time, however, two canoes had to make a cliff docking. This time there were cacti on the side of the cliff. But that’s beside the point. By three o’clock we were back at Fishers Landing and home by seven. It was a trip to remember!

Elections were last week! Congratulations to Steven Markano, the new Senior Patrol Leader. He will be leading the troop for the next six months. January will bring about our most anticipated campout, the trip to Joshua Tree National Park. Stay tuned!

New Year 5762

Jewish scouting began after the Jewish New Year 5762, and we are pleased to have added eight new scouts to our program. Welcome new Tiger Cub Yisrael Kramsky; new Wolf Cubs Mendel Dinerman, Seth Kaufman, David Kramsky, and Eliyahu Pearlman; new Bear Cub Alex Greenfield and new Webelos Bryce Greenfield and Barak Paz. Welcome back Mitchell Vakis Kutchuk, Joshua Lampert, Sean Simhon, Zachary Smith, Samuel Carson, and Asher Eliefja. Maxwell Tintle Lightman and Russell Greenfield, both boy scouts, will be assistants to our pack.

With so many new members we immediately got the boys off and running on earning their Bobcat badges. Our efforts were then concentrated on working toward our two goals, physical and mental improvement. This was accomplished by earning a belt loop and pin in Chess and earning a belt loop in Ultimate Frisbee. December Jewish scouting was dedicated to the celebration of Chanukah. Chanukah themed arts and crafts and learning the significance of this historical event was emphasized. In addition, Bears and Webelos will now embark on earning their Aleph religious emblem.

Throughout the coming months our scouts will be diligently working on progressing through the scouting program to earn their den badges. Advancement has been a top priority for our leaders and cubs. A fundraising project, rain gutter regatta, Blue and Gold dinner, and lots of other fun scouting and Jewish activities will take us through to June 2002. Pack 645 hopes that everyone enjoyed their Chanukah and had a safe and Happy New Year.