Pinewood Derby is Great!

Cub Scout Pack 614 began the New Year with another hotly contested Pinewood Derby. A hard-fought, double- elimination tournament culminated in Bear scout Brian Holmes of Den 5 beating out 72 other racers. Second place went to 1999 and 2000 champ Michael Nasland of Den 4. Third place was awarded to Chris Honeycutt of Den 5, and Brett Snow of Den 3 came in fourth. Brian will represent the Pack at the District-wide Pinewood Derby at the Scout Fair in April.

The judges praised the creativity, industry, and workmanship of the boys with the following “static” awards:

  • Best Effort Paint and Cut – Ryan Stock;
  • Most Confident – Evan Dunn;
  • Best Use of Weights – Bradley Furman;
  • Best Detail – Michael Pettit;
  • Most Futuristic – Brendan Mitchell;
  • Most Fun – Oliver Weber;
  • Most Humorous – Tendai Mukau;
  • Sportiest – Steven Jones;
  • Most Realistic – Dominic Thomas;
  • Most Rad – Brian Holmes;
  • Most Unusual – Max Thompson;
  • Most Unique – Max Anderson;
  • Most Colorful – Mike Robinette;
  • Strangest Shape – Steven Ilko;
  • Coolest Accessories – Nikolas Marino;
  • Most Modern – Bryce Caputo;
  • Smoothest Finish – Andrew Hansen;
  • Most Playful – Cory Nuffer;
  • Best Workmanship – Griffin King;
  • Judges Favorite – Kyle Hoffer;
  • Nicest Paint Job – Jonathan Gubler;
  • Best Use of Color – Matt Roberts; and
  • Fastest Looking – Jack Little.

Best of the Den awards were given to following scouts:

  • Kyle Grundmeyer (Tiger 1); Kevin Roberts (Tiger 2); Scott Siegel (Den 8); Alex Nelson (Den 7); Cody Mills (Den 6); Kyle Berzle (Den 5); Michael Nasland (Den 4); Brett Snow (Den 3); Tyler Heckendorn (Den 2); and Marwan Harb (Den 1).

We are grateful for the organization, planning, and preparation by the adult volunteers, led by retiring chair Eric Lighthart and incoming chair Judee DeJaco. You guys were great!

In February, we had a proud night for family and friends as we gathered for the annual Blue and Gold Dinner and Arrow of Light Ceremony at the MCAS Miramar Officers’ Club. R.J. Maus, dressed in full Native American ceremonial attire, led the 2nd year Webelos through the ceremony in his unique style. Fourteen boys received the Arrow of Light, the highest award in Cub Scouting. They are: Max Andersen, Justin Burr, Shea Duncan, Tyler Heckendorn, Jonathan Londerholm, Jared Mimms, Michael Robinette, Michael Huey, Ben Kromray, Matt Michalek, Gregory Moy, Alex Nelson, Nicholas Podimatis, and Daniel Silverstein. These same scouts were honored at a bridging ceremony held at the February Pack meeting, when they were welcomed into Boy Scouts by the Scoutmasters of Troops 616 and 663. We will miss you guys, but know that you are ready for the new responsibilities and opportunities ahead of you.

Dens 4 and 5 have completed the requirements for the rank of Bear, and badges were awarded to Kyle Berzle, Robert DeJaco, Alex Foster, Blake Hansen, Brian Holmes, Chris Honeycutt, Michael Hopkins, Jack Little, Matthew Roberts, Nicholas Batt, Chris Gallagher, Kyle Hoffer, Tendai Mukau, Michael Nasland, Taylor Stenman, Brandon Watson, and Ryan Weinberg.

Likewise, Dens 1 and 3 have completed their Wolf requirements and those badges were presented to Marwan Harb, Kevin Londerholm, Nickolas Marino, Brendan Mitchell, Derek Podimatis, Brent Rossin, Brian Balaoing, Darren Critchlow, Evan Critchlow, Bradley Furman, Steven Ilko, Andrew Lister, Markus Raimondi, Ryan Smurlo, Brett Snow, and Nick Stenman.

The 1st year Webelos of Dens 6 and 8 received their rank badges as well, including: Michael Adsit, Joren Anderson, Bryce Caputo, Kevin Cramp, Evan Dunn, Andrew Hansen, Forrest Lighthart, Colin McGuinness, Cody Mills, Steven Jones, Tyler Marzonie, Chris Meyer, Cory Nuffer, Scott Siegel, Ryan Stock, Max Thompson, and Simon Weber.

When we graduate a group of scouts, we have to say good-bye to not only a group of boys, but also to their parents, whose contributions of time and effort have helped provide a fantastic Cub Scout program. The Cub Scouts and the families of Pack 614 would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the following adult volunteers for their dedication, hard work, and friendships, which have contributed so much to our Pack.

  • Ruth and Ralph Burr – Activities Chair;
  • Jane Foster – Membership Chair;
  • Sue Stock – Cans for Cubs;
  • Betty Nelson- Popcorn Chair;
  • Eric Lighthart -Pinewood Derby;
  • Ruth Burr – Blue and Gold Chair and Den Leader;
  • Gary Moy – Den Leader;
  • Stelios Podimatis – Den Leader; and
  • Sue Londerholm – Den Leader.

Family Camping in April

Our annual Pinewood Derby took place last month at our pack meeting. We commend all of you for the creativity and sportsmanship shown throughout the evening. We had 68 out of 74 scouts participate in this year’s race, which was a record turnout. Special “congratulations” go to our four winners:

  • 1st place: Hunter Heck, Wolf Den 3;
  • 2nd place: Brett Kerigan, Webelos Den 9;
  • 3rd place: Jesse Ignell, Webelos Den 8; and
  • 4th place: Kameron Kubis, Wolf Den 7.

Good Luck to Hunter Heck as he prepares to race his award-winning car against other Cub Scout winners at this year’s Scout Fair San Diego 500 event on Saturday, April 28, at the Del Mar Fairgrounds!

Happy Birthday Boy Scouts of America and thank you for your many years of service to our community. In honor of your birthday, Pack 613 threw a special celebration! Our annual “Blue and Gold Dinner” was held at the Officer’s Club located at the Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar. This year’s theme “Up, Up, and Away” is dedicated to our second-year Webelos scouts upon their successful completion of the Cub Scout program.

The second-year Webelos who received their Arrow of Light at our Blue and Gold dinner and graduated onto Boy Scouts are Kevin Barber, Matthew Heuss, Ben Koppelman, Brian Perkins, Kevin Truitt, Erik Bratlien, Alex Johnston, Evan Khoury, Eric Popien, Matthew MacFarlane, Evan Sayer, and John Michael Steiger. Congratulations to these boys and their families! Den leaders Kathy MacFarlane and Elissa Barber have done a wonderful job and should be very proud of their accomplishments.

As the weather begins to warm up, we look forward to all sorts of fun outdoor activities. Call 619-298-6121 to see if they are still registering for family camping at Mataguay scout reservation for the weekend of April 20-22 This is a family camping event with outdoor adventure and activities for the whole family. There are shooting ranges, canoeing, fishing, hiking, crafts, and games. Be keeping an eye out for upcoming information about our participation in this year’s 4th of July parade as well as another camping trip in July. Visit Pack 613 on the web at [].

Jewish Scouting Underway

The year is getting off to a great start with the cubs fulfilling the necessary requirements to earn their Athletic and Wilderness pins. Achievement awards were given out at our monthly pack meeting held at Chula Vista Nature Preserve. After a tour, the cubs and their families ate a picnic lunch among the beautiful trees. February was filled with arts and crafts projects, learning about animals, and participating in a variety of athletic skills and charting improvements in ability over the course of several weeks.

Nationally, February is Heart Health month so all snacks were delicious and healthy. March activities will include the opportunity to earn a belt loop in marbles and prizes for bringing a friend to try out scouting. Fishing also is on the agenda with our monthly pack meeting held at Poway Lake to put our fishing skills to the test and to enjoy a family picnic.

April welcomes in baseball, and the cubs will have the opportunity to learn about, practice, and play the game while fulfilling requirements to earn a belt loop. Each cub will be giving a presentation on a famous Jewish sports hero. A tailgate party held at Qualcomm Stadium will culminate the month’s baseball theme as we practice “Take me out to the ballgame,” and root for the home team at a professional game.

Any boy who is interested in Jewish scouting is encouraged to contact Julia Carson at Chabad Hebrew Academy at 566-1996 where weekly scout meetings are held.

Building Rad Birdhouses

February was a big month for Cub Scout Pack 616, our annual Pinewood Derby Race! All the boys worked hard on their cars. Their creativity, skill, and luck all played a role. Everyone is working hard toward their advancements which culminate at our Blue and Gold Banquet in March. Good luck boys and have lots of fun!

Den 5 has been busy! The boys–Colin Anning, Ryan Carden, Grant Collins, Blake Friedman, Ben Meis, Thomas Valente, and Billy Watson–worked hard to get their Bobcat patch early on. In working toward their Wolf patch, they built and painted unique and colorful birdhouses. They’ve earned Sports belt loops in soccer, swimming, and bicycling. This month was highlighted with a trip to Qualcomm, to learn about the Global Star satellite communication system. A special thanks to Mr. Collins for setting that up… it was great!

BMXing `R US

Cub Scout Pack 1216 had a busy December with an outing to Kearny Moto Park for BMXing. The boys were lucky to have shirts, hats, and bikes signed by pro-biker Todd Henry. The outing was combined with a canned food drive for St. Vincent de Paul.

January was our annual Pinewood Derby. It was held at the Scripps Ranch Library. Dave Frederickson once again chaired the event. Thanks, Dave, and also to the rest of the volunteers who contributed to the success of this event including Ted Hoffman, Steve and Valerie Ranum, Charlie Glass, Tom and Debbie Gibb, Steve Doyle, Craig and Kim Blower, Louis Weiner, and the scouts from Troop 616: Ronnie Lewis, Andrew Frederickson, and Sam Moreau.

First place this year went to a Tiger–Jordan Weiner! Kyle Glass came in second and third went to Matthew Weiner. The boys enjoyed racing their cars, eating cookies and drinking soda, and racing themselves around the courtyard.

Den 3 has been busy completing the requirements for the Webelos badge. They’ve also been having a lot of fun. They had 100% participation in the Pinewood Derby race, and they worked with their parents building model rockets. In February, they launched their rockets and had a real “blast”! Some rockets traveled several miles before coming back to earth.

The boys from Den 4 spent a meeting engaged in spirited discussion over what their contribution would be to entertainment at the Blue and Gold dinner. Their biggest requirement in a skit appeared to be that it must enable them to be upside down, or to roll on the floor.

The Scorpion Den, second year Webelos, also has been hard at work on their entertainment for the Blue and Gold. Without giving too much away, you can be assured they are going to reprise their audience pleasing, rocking performance of last year. The boys also are getting in their Boy Scout visits in preparation for the upcoming Arrow of Light ceremony.

Camping in the Snow

On Sunday, January 14 a group of 18 scouts and 3 adults went to the First Presbyterian Church in downtown San Diego to help feed the homeless in the Ladle soup kitchen. Scouts helped in the preparation of the meal, set up trays, and monitored the ticketing process. They ladled soup, handed out bread, fruit, dessert, and drinks. All in all, 500 meals were served that afternoon to people from all walks of life. Cleaning up also was part of the project, and some scouts became very proficient at working the automated dishwashing equipment, wiping down tables and chairs, and sweeping floors (take note Moms!). It was great to be involved with a project from beginning to end.

Thanks for a job well done go to Matt Thompson, Mike Cramp, Zach and Jeff Edwards, Greg Golko, Arthur and Sam Moreau, Jared and Joshua Fernandez, Ryan Huffman, William Wood, T.J. MacFarlane and his mom Kathy, Alex Smith, Bryce Schallhorn, Matt Price and his mom Sandy, Andrew Frederickson, Brian Gurriell and his mom Susan, and Robert Zablit. We hope to repeat the service project again soon.

On January 20-21, Troop 616 went winter camping at the Paso Picacho campground in the Cuyamaca Rancho State Park, 40 miles east of San Diego. About 30 scouts and 7 adults attended the outing. The senior scout in charge was Life Scout Kevin Mahaffey. This was a true winter camping experience, with several inches of snow still on the ground from recent storms.

After caravaning from Scripps Ranch to the campground, scouts began their outing with snow play, including sledding and makeshift snowboarding. The entire outing was punctuated by vigorous snowball fights. Scouts pitched their tents on the snow-covered group campsite, nestled in the prodigious oak and pine forest.

The evening meal was a cooking contest with the Venture patrol, headed by Kevin Mahaffey, declared the winners with their tasty bean soup. Plenty of firewood hauled from Scripps Ranch (eucalyptus of course) made a roaring fire to chase away the evening chill, as did plenty of laughter from the skits put on by each patrol. Although there was plenty of complaining about the “seven layers of clothing” each scout was required to wear, no one complained about getting cold. Two scouts, Elliott Spaulding and Alex Higgins, made an expert snow cave and slept in it instead of their tent. They claim it kept them just as warm!

The troop would like to say farewell to two families who have actively participated in its activities over the past five years or so. Alex Higgins is transferring to a troop in Poway; good luck on the road to Eagle Alex, and many thanks to Alan and Rebecca Higgins for all their help. Farewell to John and Julie Crawford and their sons, Charles and David; we will miss Julie’s secretarial skills, John’s help with the outdoor program, and the leadership of Charles and David. Good luck to you all!

Camping in the Palms

Boy Scout Troop 663 began the year by changing our leadership positions, ending the six-month terms of several patrol leaders, and instituting some new troop positions as well. The long-awaited troop meeting began with the replacement of Senior Patrol Leader (SPL) Bradley Markano, who was ready to step down. The new SPL Josh Gilman already has served as assistant to leaders twice, and is more than capable of taking our troop to new heights. After careful consideration, he chose first-class scout Alex Nunn as his assistant.

It was a quick matter to continue and elect the new patrol leaders. Our patrols will now be led by Ryan Mulvey for the Mighty Moose, Sky D. for the Wacky Wolves, Deuce Williams for the Traildogs, and Scott Green for the Boxing Kangaroos. Other new troop positions include Eric Thornton as new Historian, Steven Markano as Librarian, and Bradley Markano as Troop Scribe.

Scoutmaster James introduced to the troop the new position of instructor. Instead of being voted on by the troop, these special teachers are appointed by the scoutmaster. Our new instructors are Wes Mitchell for pioneering, Bobby James for first-aid, and Dane Lighthart as aquatics instructor.

The troop went on their second campout to Palm Canyon in Borrego Springs. It was an enjoyable trip and included rock climbing and a short hike. The weather, pleasant here, was even warmer there–a pleasant change from recent cold winter trips.