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  1. backpack

    Need advice on buying a Pinewood Derby Track

    We received donations via a benevolence fund from a loved Den Leader for a track. We did about 6 months of research, asked around, and made our decision. We chose BestTracks because of the guarantee, ease of setup, it was aluminum, which could handle the storage area we need to keep it in, and was the best cost for the tracks. We also got the MicroWizard Timer, and it works great. We ran our first race this past year with it, and it's amazingly fast. We did modify the starting gate by adding another spring. The one provided didn't drop the gate as fast as we'd like it. We had the family there with the newspapers at our dedication, and it was wonderful. The track is a wonderful showpiece, and a true testament to this leader. I think it comes down to what you want, what you can afford, where it will be located, stored, and how much maintenance you want to have. We did build the storage box for it, based on the plans from the website. It looks like a very large military weapon box, or casket, as it's 6 feet long, but when outfitted with foam, it provides a lot of protection for the track. Get a committee together, and make your decision. Have fun!
  2. backpack

    Webelos resident camp cost

    We charge $95.00 for WRC, it may be going up $10.00 this coming year. Boy Scout Camp is $210.00, and is going up $10.00. We do offer a discount of $30 for early registration for BS camp, so we make sure we get in early. We have 3 boys, so between Day Camp, WRC, and BS Camp, it's really expensive over the summer.
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    Pack Trips

    We've been pretty lucky with our outings, and have been able to go many places. We too are not the wealthiest of packs, but we do manage to attend a lot of events at reduced costs, based on who we know, and our willingness to negotiate pricing. We usually attend the usual things, such as sports events, swimming, etc. We also sponsor our own events. These are what we've termed Pow-Wow's. We take over the church we meet in for the night, and camp out family style. We'll usually have a guest speaker. Last year we had a guy from NASA bring down his space suit, and props, and gave a great presentation on the space program for free. We got a DJ at a reduced cost, the pack picked this up. The only thing the kids paid was $5.00 for food. We have game stations setup, they dance, watch a movie, and the next day do a neighborhood cleanup and have a guest. We also family camp, at least once a year. We, like the Boy Scouts try to do one big activity a year. Two years ago, we camped out at McKinley Museum, and they put on a show for us. This past year we went to Carnegie Science Center for a Boy Scout sleep in (the kids earned achievements). These are pricey, and are family member required, so not everyone can go on them. This year we want to go to D.C., but may have a conflict with the Boy Scouts caving trip. A lot of us have boys in both units. We sponsor several kids, so we try to get everyone to go, and expect those to pay what they can. We've also found out that popcorn sales has helped us with funding.
  4. My son watched Lean on Me. Another is Pay it Forward. There are others, but I feel that these can keep a child's attention. He's 11, and it takes a lot to keep his attention. He was grilled by the MB counselor on the movie, and passed with flying colors.
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    New Leader Packets / New Parent Orientation Guides

    We have an orientation meeting every year. This is officially our first Den Meeting. We hand out our bylaws, parent orientation guide, our media release forms. We tell them about our website to get all information off of, especially since they never receive all the mail and handouts we send home. We only use BSA items when we refer to them specifically, such as two-deep leadership, achievements, etc. As for new leader packets, we don't have any, but we (myself the CC, and the Cubmaster) meet with the new leaders, go over the paperwork, tell them what is expected, give them a list of resources, show them the library they can use, give them any help we have, as both of us have held every Den Leader Position). We also show them how to get to the website, and what's on it. It's a wealth of information, including a fillable pdf for the tour permits (or I will fill it out for them). I'm also the self-appointed trainer, so I'm helping set up the first couple of months of their program, talking about resources, what electives go with the achievement, and alternative ways to do things. Like for Webelos doing a Mini-car clinic for the Handyman award, instead of doing things individually, we'll run a oil check, headlight check and car wash for a day. This is great for the parents to watch their kids work (doesn't always happen at home). Keep it fun, let everyone know, there's a place for them, without volunteers, it's no good. Oh, at parent orientation, we get parents to sign up for a den night to teach something, and to bring a snack. You gotta get them while they're captive.
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    Committee and Parent postions?

    I agree with everyone that training makes a big difference. I would like to point out that we recently had a parent that we wanted for a Wolf Den Leader, who dramatically dissapointed us on a family campout. I can't go into details, but we would have never known without witnesses. I think you have to pre-position folks personally. You can ask a room full of people to step up and no-one will, but if you ask someone on a personal level that works. Always be positive, such as "I like how you handled that activity, and I've noticed over the past several months that you really seem to enjoy this time with your son. We really need a leader for next year. We have a den leader, but need an assistant, or the program might not meet regularly without a second leader. I know you're here just about every meeting. Would you be willing to give this a try?" Being personal and relating things they've done seem to help the best. We list the open positions on our website and in our monthly newsletters, and never get a response. Asking is the only way we've succeeded.
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    What should Pack pay for, for families in need?

    Thanks. I'm of that opinion also. Two of the boys are from one family, they participate in the activities, as does grandma (she takes care of 4 kids). They each have earned their rank, and participate in the fundraisers. I have no problem supporting them. The third, doesn't participate in the fundraising, hasn't earned his rank, and the parent won't even drop the kid off, we have to pick him up. We've had conversations similar to the participation, and told her that we won't sponsor him, if they don't step up. Here's the next problem, some of the committee members want this in writing of what we'll pay and not pay. We'd go over with each parent, receiving help, as a sort of contract. We do expect participation, you may not be able to contribute financially, but you should be able to participate in volunteering. What do you think of the writing document, and any further suggestions? Thanks again!
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    Really Boy Led?

    I would love to take over, unfortunately, I'm also involved heavily in the pack, since I still have two boys there, and am a den leader and Committee Chair, webmaster, pack trainer, etc. I have about two years until my middle son moves on, before I can assume any further responsibility. My only option at this point is to give suggestions, and attend as many events as possible. There's a goup of cub leaders that moved up also, that are good people, but followers, that I know will step up, should I take over. I'm hoping they are there when I'm able.
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    Really Boy Led?

    I've just joined the Troop with my son, who just crossed over. Having been a scout in this troop about 20 years ago, I see a lot of disorganization. I'm also seeing a lack of both adult and scout leadership. There are about 3 scouts at star or above, but are about 17. Then there are 7 1 year scouts, and 7 brand new scouts. With the older boys not really participating to pass off their leadership skills, and the adult leaders not helping to train new leaders, I'm not seeing the scout led philosophy take off. The 1 year scouts are running the show, but without much success. Any suggestions on helping get this troop back in line? Thanks,
  10. We have three families that the pack is supporting, and are in desperate need of what we should pay for. We of course recognize that dues, rechartering, awards, and pinewood derby car kits. What we can't agree on is campouts, activities, WRC and Day Camps. The cubs can get camperships for WRC and Day Camp. We are also not paying for books, uniforms (council has a used uniform program) and equipment. Does anyone have any definitive guidelines they use for determining need and what to pay for?