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Crossover and Arrow of Light Ceremonies

posted Mar 2, 2010, 6:10 AM by Unknown user

Come one, come all!

Our Webelo II’s will be crossing over to Boy Scouting this Saturday, March 6. Everyone in Pack 565 is invited to attend, have a free chili dinner, watch a truly special ceremony, and even camp out if you want to. The night-time ceremony includes a rope bridge and actual flaming arrows. When Erik was a Wolf, we attended, and he has insisted on coming back every year.

We already signed up a bunch of people at the Blue and Gold, but if you’d like to add your names, get back to Jeter (email above in the cc area). Let him know by Thursday so that our host Boy Scout Troop knows how much chili to make. If you already signed up, no need to let us know.

Here are the details:

It occurs at McFarlane Park. From the intersection of Paper Mill Road and Johnson Ferry, go 0.4 miles West and turn left onto Gateside Place. Take an immediate right onto Farm Road. Follow that dirt road to the end.

You can arrive anytime after 4:30 PM on Saturday. Dinner will be at 5:30 PM. The ceremony will begin at 6:15 PM, after which there will be a campfire, and dessert will be served. Everything will be over by about 8:30 to 9:00 PM (except for the usual hooting and hollering that goes on until lights out).

There is also a field for camping if you choose. This is an easy one. Think of it this way: If anything goes wrong in the middle of the night, you can just get in your car and go home. Then come back Sunday morning and get your stuff.

A continental breakfast will also be served on Sunday morning, so let Jeter know if you’ll be camping out, too.

We’ll see you there!

Dress warmly....when the sun goes down, it can be pretty chilly, hats, gloves, and a lap blanket are recommended for us "thin skinned" folks!


Very Scary Pack Meeting

posted Oct 27, 2009, 6:29 AM by cub leader

Pack 565 Families,

Our next Pack meeting is tomorrow night – Tuesday at 6:30 at Eastminster Presbyterian! Show up early and try to find some brain-eating bugs.

Wear your Halloween costume tomorrow night. Siblings can wear a costume, too. We’ll be having our second annual costume competition. We’ll also have a little pie throwing that you don’t want to miss.

If you’ve told me your boy is ready for his Bobcat badge, have him wear his dress Blue uniform (Class A) and then he can put his costume on afterwards.

See you there!


October Service Projects

posted Oct 9, 2009, 5:41 AM by cub leader   [ updated Oct 9, 2009, 12:49 PM ]

Saturday, Oct 10th
The Kennesaw Mountain Trail Club is holding their monthly workday this Saturday, Oct 10th. We meet the KMTC at 8:15 am at the maintenance center, entrance is on the right, near the beginning of the road mountain to the mountain top. Work starts at 8:30 am and finished about 12:30 pm. 
The following is recommended for the workday.
Wear long pants
bring gloves
bring extra water
The workday will be canceled if the temperature is 40 degrees or below in the morning, rain is forecast for the day, or heavy rain the night before.
All volunteers are welcome. Please let Todd know if you, scouts, or others plan to attend, toddp0@gmail.com.
Saturday, Oct 18th
"Playground work day" for Eastvalley school on Saturday, October 17th, between 8:30 and noon. For those not participating Fall Family camping this is perfect opportunity.
Saturday, Oct 24th
The Rivers Alive Annual Waterway Clean-Up has been re-scheduled for Saturday, October 24 from 8am-10am at Riverside Park.  
This will be a scaled back version of the normal event. There will not be a festival, but everyone is invited to help remove litter and debris from the Chattahoochee and surrounding tributaries.
All participants MUST pre-register by contacting Janet Liberman jliberman@roswellgov.com

Tents, Pads, and Sleeping Bags

posted Sep 28, 2009, 9:39 PM by cub leader

New campers,

A few people have asked me to recommend a tent. Here are a few examples and pointers. More experienced family campers, feel free to chip in with your own advice, too.

There are basically three kinds of tents: 1) tents that will fit on the wooden platforms at Bert Adams or Woodruff; 2) family (motel)-size tents, and 3) small light-weight backpacking tents. Don’t buy a backpacking tent; save that for when your son is a Boy Scout.

Don’t figure the size using the number of persons that the manufacturer tells you. For example, a 4-person tent will only fit 3 persons with a little bit of space left over for your things. It will fit 2 very comfortably. A 7-person tent is probably very comfortable for 2 adults and 3 kids.

The advantage of using a platform is that they are level with no bumps and there is no danger of rainwater running into your tent. The platforms are about 8 feet by 9 feet. If the tent is any bigger, it won’t fit. Even with an 8x9 foot tent, the poles may hang off the sides. That’s probably okay. That means that you will probably only be able to fit a 4-person tent on a platform. If you’ve been paying attention, that means that you probably shouldn’t plan on fitting two adults, a Scout, and a sibling with any room to spare. Platforms are good for one adult, a Scout, and maybe another sibling. [Experienced platform campers, chime in; the Larsens have never used a platform.]

Here are a couple Wal-Mart tents that are probably pretty good for a platform. (Wal-Mart isn’t the only place to go; you can buy a used one or find one on sale at any another store like Target or Dick’s Sporting Goods. If you just like to spend a lot, go to REI.) Here is an incredibly good buy at $30. There seem to be more complaints about moisture with this brand, but see the comment below. Also, there are no windows, so ventilation might be an issue if it’s warm.


Here is one at Target for $50.


Here is an 8x8 foot Eureka “4-person” tent for $100.


If you are bringing the whole family (which we highly encourage; it is so much fun watching your kids have fun!), you will probably want the motel-size tent. That doesn’t mean you need to spend a ton of money. Wal-Mart sells these two motel-size tents for $69 and $99.



You can stand up in the middle of the tent above if you’re about 6 foot or less. If you have a little more money, you’re tall, and you want to be able to walk around inside the tent, here is a bigger tent for $149:
But, maybe standing up is over-rated. Bring a small plastic stool to sit on while you’re putting your socks on. A rule of thumb is that the more poles a tent has, the longer it will take to set up. The tent above will probably take about 20 minutes to set up, whereas the 4-person tents will go up in 5 or 10 minutes.
Don’t feel that the tents I listed are the specific ones I recommend. They are just examples. Look for sales. Buy used. Look on CraigsList. We bought our mega-tent from Target on sale for about $110. The same tent would sell at Dick’s Sporting Goods for well over $200.
If you read the reviews, a number of people had trouble with water leaking through the seams with some brands. On the other hand, many didn’t, even with the same brand. Here is what one reviewer says about that:
Instructions with the tent recommend sealing the seams, which any smart camper would do anyway, regardless of the tent they buy. I sealed the seams 3 times, and sprayed it down twice with silicone spray before my trip. Just came back from camping with the family...2 days of rain, and constant 15-20 mph winds........We had a good time, but camping was a pain in the rain and wind. The one bright spot was the tent. It handled the wind well, and not a drop inside, which surprised me after reading a lot of reviews, and my own experience with the tent set-up at home prior to the trip, and prior to sealing seams. YOU MUST SEAL THE SEAMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Its $4 a bottle, and takes an hour or 2. It’s well worth the effort considering the consequences.
I haven’t done that with our Coleman tent and never had a problem, but it couldn’t hurt, that’s for sure. Another issue is tent stakes. Here is another reviewer comment:
I know the stakes they provide with tents these days are usually puny, but these are incredibly puny. About a third the thickness of the provided stakes with our last tent. I bought plenty of new stakes to keep this puppy staked down.
Again, we have used the stakes that came with our tent. With the poles keeping it taut and all the extra stuff we bring put inside, there was no danger of it moving around. On the other hand, they sell better stakes at Wal-Mart, other sporting good stores, and Home Depot.
Erect your new tent in your back yard before you go camping. It is a lot easier to learn to do it in a friendly environment without feeling rushed (and hopefully in the daytime). You’ll verify you have all the parts you need. You can cut the ground cover to the right size, and you can put the seam sealer on at the same time.
Now a word about pads: Many people go with the blow-up air mattresses. If you use these, you will need an air pump. Make sure it is a battery-powered pump and that it is charged. Your car will be nowhere nearby, so you can’t use the power-point in your car. You will also need a patch kit.
We swear by the foam pads. Thick foam pads are light, don’t leak, and don’t bounce around when someone rolls over or bumps it. Air mattresses can also feel very cold if it is cold out. The foam pads keep the ground cold away. They are sold at Hodges Army Surplus, which is just South of the South Loop on Cobb Parkway. 2 or 3 inches is thick enough for an adult and 1 inch is good for a child. I’d advise getting the single width for tent floor arranging flexibility. These are not as cheap as you might think, but for the extra money they are worth it. They are light enough to carry backpacking, too, so they will serve your boy for many years.
Sleeping bags: I would buy as thin a sleeping bag as you can. It’s easier to get warm using extra old blankets or comforters than it is to get cooler if it is too warm. It’s not good to sweat if it is 50 degrees out and your bag is rated to 20 degrees. Sweating is bad when it is cold. Make sure you bring many extra blankets, though. At least once it has fallen below freezing at night when Pack 565 has camped. That’s a good thing, though. The boys earn the polar bear patch. Shocking to some: The air inside your tent is the same temperature as the air outside your tent. It’s your bag and the blankets that keep you warm.
If you have the right tent, the right pad, and the right sleeping bag and blankets, you’ll sleep well. A good sleep is probably the biggest key to a good time camping.
Finally, read the Camping Info, Rules, and List. It will help you get everything together that you’ll need for a safe comfortable fun and rewarding weekend.
I hope this helps.
See you camping!

Pack Meeting 9/29

posted Sep 28, 2009, 9:19 PM by cub leader

Pack 565 families,

This is a heads up about the Pack meeting coming up tomorrow, Tuesday, September 29th. The theme will be “Waves of Fun”! Because we might get a little wet, the uniform will be Class B; we’ll be wearing the yellow tee-shirts again.

The meeting starts at 6:30 PM, but come early to all Pack Meetings. We’ll always have a gathering activity.

Bring your checkbooks. We’ll be collecting for Fall Family Camping and the annual $65 dues.

Also, bring your Cub’s popcorn order sheet. We’ll be comparing notes and awarding several prizes for those who have sold the most to date. Even if you know somebody who has sold more than you, bring it anyway. You’re competing against those in your own rank level. We’ll also have prizes for second and third place overall if there are a couple top sellers in the same rank. Show-and-sell sales count, too, so you never know...

See you tomorrow!


Pack Meeting, September 29th and Fall Family Camping

posted Sep 21, 2009, 8:09 PM by cub leader

Pack 565 families,

This is a heads up about the Pack meeting coming up Tuesday, September 29th. That’s over a week away, but I wanted to let you know that we’ll be having a fun time. The theme will be “Waves of Fun”! Because we might get a little wet, the uniform will be Class B; we’ll be wearing the yellow tee-shirts again.

Also, bring your checkbooks. We’ll be collecting for Fall Family Camping and the annual $65 dues. If you want to let me know whether you are going camping on the weekend of October 16-18, send me an email with the number of adults, Scouts, and siblings that will be attending from your family. If you’ve already signed up, no need to let me know again. See the attached document for a description of camping and a packing list.

See you on the 29th!


2009 Fall Family Camping

posted Sep 12, 2009, 4:41 PM by cub leader   [ updated Sep 12, 2009, 4:58 PM ]

Pack 565 families,

Fall family camping is coming up the weekend of October 16-18. Camping is probably the most fun activity your boy will do in conjunction with Scouting.

I am keeping a sign-up list, so I’m requesting that you respond to me if you would like to attend. Let me know how many adults, how many Scouts, how many participating siblings, and how many nonparticipating siblings will be attending. By participating, I mean will the sibling be participating in the same activities as the Cub Scouts during the day Saturday. If your sibling is between the ages of about 4 and 11, they will probably want to do everything their brother does.

Here are the costs for camping. It will be $10 per person for food (for the weekend: three meals Saturday plus Sunday breakfast) and a $10 activity fee for each participating sibling. Pack 565 pays the $10 activity fee for our Scouts (Thank you, popcorn sellers!). Bring your checkbooks to the next Pack meeting on Tuesday, September 29th. That will be our deadline for Fall Family Camping sign-up.

I’m enclosing the 2009 Fall Family Camping flyer, directions to Bert Adams, and a map of Bert Adams. We’ll take care of the registration. All you need to do is sign up with me.

I’m also enclosing a Word document about camping, which has our Pack rules, a camping checklist for what to bring, and a few words about what to expect. You can borrow or buy most of the equipment for pretty cheap. Please, please, PLEASE do not reject this activity because you know you wouldn’t like it as a parent. First of all, this isn’t wilderness backpacking. You can make it pretty comfortable. We drive in, drop our stuff off, and go park. Many of us have the cheap hotel-size tents. The Atlanta Area Council campgrounds are giant controlled natural environments with large fields for activities. Your boy’s schedule is filled with fun things to do all weekend. For many of us parents, the best personal activity of a camping weekend is the Sunday afternoon shower after you get home. But the most rewarding activity is being able to watch your son enjoy himself so immensely. Most boys don’t get to experience fun in a natural setting these days. Cub Scouts are lucky.
See you all that weekend!


It's POPCORN Time!

posted Sep 1, 2009, 9:12 AM by cub leader

Pack 565 families,

We had a wild time at our swim party last Friday night. Vocal outbursts exceeded the Princeton Mill noise ordinance decibel level, one of the goals going in. We conducted our second annual cannonball contest. Even though we had to abandon the pool, we got in a crazy relay in the tennis courts and did a bunch of running around.

We also handed out the new popcorn packages for the year. If you didn’t get one Friday, please contact your Den leader as soon as you can. WHY, you ask?

Before I tell you about the incentives for the Cubs, let me give you the adult reason. Popcorn revenues count for over half (actually 60%) of our Pack income. It covers things like the Cub Scout rank handbooks and neckerchiefs we hand out at graduation, the awards (belt loops, pins, badges, and patches – i.e., the Bling), craft supplies (like for Rockets!), Pinewood Derby car kits, camp cooking equipment, and many of our activities where we cover the Cub Scout costs. These include camping fees, admission fees for Den go-see-its that meet an advancement requirement, life guards for swimming, and bowling. On the other hand, the $60 annual dues you pay in September just about cover our costs for BSA national and the Atlanta Area Council.

As you can see, we really need each and every Cub Scout family to do their share of popcorn selling. To make our annual operating expense budget, our goal is $250 worth of popcorn sales per scout.

Not everyone is a door-to-door salesperson. That’s why we have several ways to meet this goal. We are giving you five options:

§ Sell door-to-door in your neighborhood or at work. This is where you shamelessly hit up your neighbors, family, and coworkers. Hey! They’ll be hitting you up for their kids’ stuff at some point (or they did in the past). So don’t be afraid to ask them. How could they turn down a cute looking kid in uniform?

§ Participate in Show-and-Sell. Many families prefer this option. We will have Show-and-Sell dates almost every Saturday and Sunday between mid-September and early November out in front of local merchants. We sell actual popcorn (instead of promised popcorn) and take donations. (Donations count twice as much toward your $250 goal!) We’ll be signing people up for Show-and-Sell slots soon.

§ Donate a fair share out of your own household activities budget. $125 would meet the target goal because donations count twice as much as sales. If you decided that selling popcorn is too much trouble, but you still really feel you owe the Pack (because you do, you know!), we will happily accept a check for $125. What other kid activity do you know where you get as much value as you get from Cub Scouts over the entire year for the measly cost of $185 ($125 donation + $60 dues)? You’d deprive your boy of any popcorn prizes, but it sure would be an easy thing to do. Make your checks payable to Pack 565.

§ Donate your time to the Pack. I call this the community service option. We can always use volunteer help. Come to think of it, that’s why Cub Scouts is such a good deal. I don’t think any of the Pack 565 leaders have gotten a raise lately. (And we’ve cut way back on the vacation home and yacht expenses, too.)

§ Do some combination of the above four options.

Frequently Asked Question: Why do we have to sell popcorn? Why can’t we sell something better like the Girl Scouts do? What many people don’t realize is that the profit margin on a box of Girl Scout cookies is quite small. They have to sell a lot of boxes to make any money. And most of that profit actually goes to their national organization. We Cub Scouts actually keep 70% of the cost of any popcorn sold. Half of that stays right here in our Pack and the other half goes to the Atlanta Area Council. That’s why we count donations at about twice the rate of popcorn sales. C’mon everyone. Embrace popcorn! It’s excellent quality – better than anything you can buy in stores. And it makes an excellent holiday gift.

In fact, you should buy some microwave popcorn for yourselves (our favorite is Butter Lite) – enough to last all year. Or maybe you have some hard-to-buy-for family members. Right before we turn in the order form in October, we calculate how much we need to buy to get to the next award level.

Okay. What are the kid incentives? We have many.

First off there are the official BSA prizes. This year the prize vendors are actually well known companies: Nintendo, Lego, Coleman, and Razor. This isn’t junk! Take a look at the flyer in your popcorn packet. Show it to your son and see what he thinks. I’m sure he’ll be motivated. Just remember. For the BSA popcorn awards (on the glossy flyer in the packet), the only sales that count are the ones documented on the order forms. However, all sales and donations count toward the Pack prizes and the $250/Scout goal.

Speaking of that, we are also giving out our own Pack awards. AND………like last year, if your boy sells $500 worth, he will get to throw a pie in the leader’s face of his choice. This was a big hit (so to speak) last year. I believe we had about a dozen boys who got to do that. Man, were they amped up! It feels like I haven’t had a pie in my face in over three days now. (Someone felt that we had to do a demo last Friday night.) Remember, too, that $50 in donations counts as $100 worth of popcorn for the Pack prizes.

All kids that make the $250 goal will get a pizza party. I want to see the whole Pack at that pizza party. We’ll also have milestone prizes at the September 1nd and September 29th Pack meetings. Whoever has sold the most and the second most popcorn up to each of those points will get more prizes.

All popcorn forms, money, and prize selections must be turned in by Thursday, October 15.

Didn’t get your form? Filled it up and need a new one? Need another to bring to work? Have questions? Please feel free to contact Joseph C., our new popcorn kernel, at popcorn@pack565ga.org.

The earlier you get out there, the better your chances of being the first one to canvas your neighborhood (and of maximizing your results). We have our packages very early this year, which is a GOOD thing.

I’m feeling a craving for a late-night popcorn snack right now…

Happy Popcorning!

Carl / Joseph

Rocket Regatta! Tuesday, September 1, 6:30 PM

posted Sep 1, 2009, 9:03 AM by cub leader   [ updated Sep 1, 2009, 9:08 AM ]

Pack 565 Families,

Well, most of our families have one week of school under their belt by now. We’re back in the swing of things, and it’s time to start thinking about Cub Scouts and fun times again!

We will have our first Pack meeting of the school year on Tuesday, September 1st at Eastminster Presbyterian Church. It will be our first ever Pack Rocket Regatta! (See the attached invitation; you can bring a friend, too.) Some of you have seen our monster rockets and know how high they can go. We will be looking to set the World 2-liter Bottle Rocket records for altitude at this event. Air traffic controllers at Dobbins and Hartsfield have been notified. The Weather Channel is predicting a 100% chance of rocket debris precipitation over scattered areas in East Cobb County.

The Pack meeting begins at 6:30 PM, but get there early so that you can build your rocket and be one of the first ones to launch.

We need everyone to put your 2-liter plastic soda bottle aside for this event. We saved about 20 from the pool party, but we’ll need about 60 more so that we can make sure every boy and sibling has one of their own. Otherwise, we’ll have to SHARE, gol-durnit! Todd P., otherwise known as Dr. Goddard, says that Coke products work best (if you are shopping). But bring any plastic bottles you have.

I would also bring lawn chairs, for the ultimate in your viewing experience. (That’s for the parents; kids will never use them.)

We’ll see you there! Mark your calendars.

One more thing about Rocket Regatta tomorrow night: Wear the yellow tee-shirts. It’s too hot for our dress uniforms. (We’ll have tee-shirts for sale.)


Outdoor Laser Tag, June 30, 5:30 PM

posted Jun 30, 2009, 12:43 PM by cub leader

Our next event will be outdoor laser tag in two weeks, Tuesday evening, June 30th! This is truly an awesome sport. The boys really get a kick out of it. Most parents who have done this for the first time never thought they’d get so caught up in it.
The venue is Lazer Tag USA. It is over in Powder Springs about a 25 minutes from our neighborhood. The cost will be $10 per scout and $20 for siblings and parents.
Please RSVP to Jeter so we have an idea of how many will be playing. DON’T FORGET!
We’d like everyone to get there by about 5:30 PM so we can hear the rules, sign the waivers, and be shown how the guns (flashlights, if you will) work. Read the FAQ and then save the directions below that.
Here is their Website:
See you there!
Q. Does the lazer hurt when you get hit?
A. No, the system uses harmless infrared technology similar to your TV remote control.
Q. What should I wear to play?
A. Players are encouraged to wear long paints and long sleeves. Closed toed shoes are required.
Q. Who can play?
A. The game is appropriate to anyone over the age of 7 years old, male or female. All levels of play can be accommodated, from beginner to experienced.
Q. What do we need to bring when we come out to play?
A. Players will need a signed waiver form and appropriate clothing. Insect repellant is recommended. We do take water breaks as needed so water bottles are also encouraged.
Q: How long is the field time?
A: Your field time is for 2 hours, unless additional time is purchased, and is broken up into missions that last approximately 15 minutes each.
Q. Do you play lazer tag if it is raining?
A. Yes, we will play in light to moderate rain.
Lazer Tag USA is one block North of McEachern High School. Here are directions:
  1. Take the South Marietta Pkwy, Hwy 120 West past I 75.
  2. Go 3 miles to the end of South Marietta Pkwy.
  3. Turn left on Powder Springs Rd. Go 4.2 miles.
  4. Turn right onto Hwy 360 W (Macland Rd.).
  5. Go 4.1 miles and turn left at the light onto Hwy 176 S (New Macland Rd./Lost Mountain Rd).
  6. Go .2 miles to Gaydon Road and turn right.
  7. Lazer Tag USA is on the right.
Address: 4310 Gaydon Road, Powder Springs, Ga 30127
Phone: 770-367-2997

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