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Cub Scout Pack 399 Arlington, TX
Welcome Letter 2016 - 2017

Welcome to Pack 399

2016

A Pack 399 primer for new scout families.

Welcome to the Pack!!!

     

 

 

 

Welcome to the Pack!!! 

New Scouters,

I know this can all be a bit overwhelming, so I will attempt to help lift the fog of confusion, at least a little.

In the pages that follow I will try to answer your questions regarding: den meetings, pack meetings, committee meetings, events, campouts, uniforms, website, scoutbook & emails.

This is by no means an exhaustive resource but I hope it will help.  We have some additional helps available, so if you have any questions, just ask your den leader or any adult that looks like they might know what’s going on.

The real mission of Boy Scouts is to help young people make both moral and ethical decisions that will better themselves and their community. Isn't that what you want your kids to learn? I know that's what I want my kids to learn.

On behalf of your new scout family,

Jennifer Tucker

Committee Chairman Pack 399 & Fellow Parent

cosmonautinthesky@gmail.com

m: 817.905.3277

 

 

Contents

WHAT IS CUB SCOUTS? 4

WHEN CAN WE JOIN? 4

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? 4

National Dues: 4

Pack Dues: 5

Fund Raisers: 5

WEBSITE, EMAILS & SCOUTBOOK: 6

MEETINGS 6

MEETING LOCATIONS: 6

DEN MEETINGS: 6

PACK MEETINGS: 7

COMMITTEE MEETINGS: 7

OTHER DEN AND PACK EVENTS: 8

Generic Program Year Calendar: (other than regular pack and den meetings - varies year to year) 8

CAMPOUTS: 8

CAMPING GEAR: 9

UNIFORMS: 10

TIGERS/WOLVES/BEARS NEED: 10

WEBELOS NEED: 10

OTHER “UNIFORM” NEEDs: 10

2015-2016 School Year Pack Leadership (subject to change) 11

Pack Committee  Leadership 11

Pack Program Leadership 11

 

WHAT IS CUB SCOUTS?

For a full and “official” explanation of the scouting program, please visit www.scouting.org.

In a nutshell, cub scouts is a fun way for families to develop their boys into young men.  It is not another drop and run afterschool program or a win/lose contest like most sports.  Cub Scouts, and their families, get to experience new things and learn together in a fun and mutually supportive environment.  It is something that the whole family can participate in.

WHEN CAN WE JOIN?

Your boy can join at any point in the year, but the further into the school year it gets, the more difficult it is for him to catch up with the rest of his Den.  Den Leaders are there to help, but it is the parents’ responsibility to help their boy complete their advancement requirements.  After the last Pack Meeting of the year, it is no longer possible to earn that years rank badge, but the scout will still cross over to the next rank.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?

Dues change year to year, but here is some basic information on dues.

(All dollar amounts are accurate to the best of our knowledge as of 5/12/2016.)

There are 2 types of dues, National Dues and Pack Dues.  Your first year in the pack, you pay the current year’s prorated National Dues in addition to the next year’s full National Dues.  This keeps everyone in the Pack on the same payment schedule and makes it simpler for our treasurer.  Often, we will refer to both dues together as “Pack Dues” or just “Dues”.

All Dues must be current before any awards or ranks can be earned.  This means that new scouts will need to pay both dues when they join the Pack.  If an exception is needed, you may ask the Committee to consider your request.  Also, we do not want finances to keep any boy from participating in Cub Scouts.  If your family has financial limitations that would hinder participation, please contact your Den Leader, Cub Master, Committee Chair or Treasurer about a scholarship.

The short version is that if you join at the May Rally, you write a check to “Pack 399” for $105.50 for the scout and if you join at the September Rally you write a check for $93.50 but your boy will have missed the summer activities and nothing done over the summer will count towards their rank advancements.  After your first year, assuming dues do not change, you will need to write a check for $80.00 before the beginning of each scout year.  (The scout year begins as soon as AISD summer break begins.)  Read on for more details on how the dues break down.

National Dues:

National dues are $37.50 per calendar year.  New scouts add prorated dues of $25.50 at the May Rally or during the summer,  or $13.50 at or after the September Rally. We do not prorate national dues in any other increments.

National (BSA) Dues are due as soon as the boy joins and are pro-rated to the end of the calendar year.  They provide membership in the BSA, BSA insurance and a subscription to Boy’s Life Magazine.

The Pack will send any current year prorated National Dues in with the scout’s application immediately after joining. We will send in next year’s National Dues with our annual re-charter paperwork in November or December.

National Dues are not refundable, but if you move and join another pack, your BSA membership goes with you.  At the end of his Cub Scout experience, if your boy continues on to a Boy Scout Troop, their BSA membership is good through the end of that calendar year and, when he joins a Troop, you will only need to pay any required Troop dues.

Pack Dues:

$42.50 per school year (not prorated)

Pack Dues are due as soon as the boy joins and help cover awards and pack activities through the end of the current school year.  (If joining at the Spring/May Rally, they cover the summer and upcoming school year.)

Pack Dues do not cover the full operating expenses of the Pack and several fund raising opportunities are made available each year.  Also some optional events may involve additional purchases or fees.

Pack Dues are not prorated, refundable or transferable.  The committee can consider exception requests in extenuating circumstances.

Fund Raisers:

Fund raisers serve several purposes.  They help reduce the out of pocket cost of participating in scouting for those families who choose to participate.  They give the boys the opportunity to work for something that is important for them. (i.e. participating in Scouts) And, they enable the committee to provide membership and activity scholarships to families who need them.

IRS guidelines prohibit making participating in fundraising required, but if there is not adequate participation, annual dues may be increased or mid-year dues may be needed.

We encourage families who cannot or do not wish to participate in fundraisers make supplemental donations.  The recommended amount for these donations will be determined by the committee and provided along with the fund raiser information, but will be equal to the per-scout net profit goal and is historically around $60.  Incentives are usually provided for boys to participate in fundraising efforts. 

WEBSITE, EMAILS, AND SCOUT TRACK:

First, you may notice all the emails coming from various people.  Most of these are from ScoutBook (www.scoutbook.com), which the Pack uses for scheduling, achievement tracking and communication. 

You should have or will shortly, if you join up, receive an email with your website login information.  Please login to Scoutbook and update your contact info as soon as you can.  Email is our primary means of communication, and Scoutbook is the only place we keep a complete list of contact numbers for your family. Also Please verify your cell phone number to receive text message alerts. Each parent will need to set up separate accounts. We use this for attendance as well as RSVP for events. Also Please check off on the talent release on the edit profile of your son. This allows us to post pictures etc.

If the email is a calendar based reminder, it will have “Reminder:” in the subject and appear to be from scoutbook.com. The calendar event notice should include the person to contact with questions, etc..., but if it doesn't, check with your Den Leader(s) first, and if they can't help please contact the Cub-Master, Committee Chair or Activities Chair. If the event is titled RSVP please make sure to RSVP in scoutbook so we can get an accurate number for out events.

Please treat the contact information in Scoutbook with the appropriate level of respect.  You may use the information to contact any pack member for scout related or personal reasons, but you may not use it for any type of business solicitation.

Our website www.pack399.net is another great resource. It contains a calander of upcoming events, a shortcut to scoutbook, as well as many other resources.

MEETINGS

MEETING LOCATIONS:

All normal meetings are held at St. Barnabas United Methodist Church (SBUMC), which is one block West of Martin High School on Pleasant Ridge.  The fall and spring rallies are held at J.B. Little Elementary.

“Barnabas Hall” is the building behind SBUMC, to the left of the garage.  Rooms 3 and 4 are the ones in the hall by the bathrooms, to the left when you come in.  Room 1 (and 2) is the large room to the right when you come in.  (They were originally going to be two rooms, but they decided to make one big room and they were already numbered.)

The SBUMC Sanctuary is to the left when going in the main covered entrance at SBUMC.

The Family Life Center (FLC) is the building on the right if you are facing the circle drive area, and is entered from the South side of the building, facing Pleasant Ridge.  This is where we have our Pack Meetings. 

DEN MEETINGS:

Den meetings typically last one hour and are important to attend for achievement completion and rank advancement.

Dens are organized by age/grade.

 Lion = Kindergarden

  Tiger = 1st Grade

  Wolf = 2nd Grade

  Bear = 3rd Grade

  Webelos-I = 4th Grade (aka Web1)

  Arrow of Life = 5th Grade (aka Web2)

Each den will have anywhere from 2 to 4 regularly scheduled den meetings per month during the school year.  Regular den meetings are on Thursday evenings at St. Barnabas’s Barnabas Hall and we also have two rooms in the main church.  (Check with your Den Leader for your time and room location.)

While each den has a Den Leader and one or more Assistant Den Leaders, all parents work together to prepare for and run the den meetings.  The Den Leader’s job is to help organize the parents.  Unless arrangements have been made in advance, a parent is expected to attend all Den Meetings with their scout.

Typical Den Meeting (assuming a 7:00pm start time):

7:00 - Opening Flag Ceremony

7:05- Announcements

7:10 - Summarize the activity

7:15 - Activity (20 min) (Parents take turns)

7:35 - Elective (20 min) (Parents take turns)

7:55 - Closing Flag Ceremony

8:00 - Dismiss

PACK MEETINGS:

Once a month, during the school year, all the dens meet together for the Pack Meeting.  The Pack meeting is where major achievements are recognized and awards are distributed. 

The Cub Master is responsible for planning and leading the pack meetings, but it takes everyone being willing to help out when asked for them to go smoothly.

This meeting is normally 7:00pm-8:00pm on the 3rd Thursday of each month in the St. Barnabas Family Life Center.  Due to scheduling conflicts and special events, these are occasionally rescheduled or moved.  (November and December Pack Meetings are the most likely candidates to be rescheduled due to Thanksgiving and Christmas Break.)

Unless arrangements have been made in advance with the den leader, an adult is expected to attend all Pack Meetings with their scout.

Typical Pack Meeting:

6:50 - Scouts set the chairs up

7:00 - Opening Flag Ceremony (Den’s take turns)

7:05 - Announcements

7:10 -  Boys update the Pack on what their Den is doing

7:15 - Awards (by Den)

7:45 - Themed Activity and/or Story

7:55 - Closing Announcements/Reminders

7:25 - Closing Flag Ceremony (Den’s take turns)

7:30 - Dismiss / everyone puts chairs up

COMMITTEE MEETINGS:

“The Committee” consists of involved parents (other than the Cub Master and Den Leaders) who help make decisions for the Pack. Members of the committee volunteer to lead in a certain area, but all families are expected to participate in some shape, form or fashion.  Anyone may attend committee meetings, but only formal members of the committee can vote.  The Den Leaders and Cub Master are not voting members of the committee so every den needs at least two formal representatives on the committee.

The Committee typically meets the third Wednesday of the month from 7:00PM to 8:00PM .  These meetings are fairly informal, but we are trying to streamline them to be more efficient.  Your kids can come, but unless they happened to have a den meeting to attend there are no activities for them and no one to supervise them, so they should bring something quiet to do during the meeting.

Major Pack-wide events are scheduled through the committee and all records are maintained by the committee.

Various other positions and sub-committees are setup by the committee to plan some of the larger pack-wide events.

OTHER DEN AND PACK EVENTS:

Periodically there are other events that are either for a Den or the entire Pack.  Sometimes these events will replace or be part of a Pack Meeting.

Generic Program Year Calendar: (other than regular pack and den meetings - varies year to year)

When

What

Note

Summer - June

Pack Rain Gutter Regatta

Saturday

Summer

District Day Camp(s)

 

July

Arlington 4th July Parade

 

Summer

Pack Field Trip(s)

 

Summer

Pack Water Day/Swim Party/Picnic

Friday or Saturday

Summer

Pack Campout

 

September

Fall Rally

 

October

Pumpkin Contest

During Pack Meeting

October or November

Fall Campout

Weekend

December

Toy Drive/Uniform Inspection

During Pack Meeting

December

Arlington Christmas Parade

 

January

Cub-O (orienteering)

1st or 2nd Saturday

January or February

Pinewood Derby

May replace the Pack Meeting

February or March

Blue and Gold Banquet

Replaces a Pack Meeting

March or April

Spring Campout

Weekend

Feb, Mar and/or Apr

Rank Advancements

During Pack Meeting

May

Spring Rally

Sometimes @ Last Pack Meeting

May

Crossover (Promotion)

Last Pack Meeting

 

In addition to these “core” events, there may also be:

Service Projects – may be Den related or Pack wide

Field Trips – usually Den related

Den Parties – Typically Christmas and End of Year. 

Scout Day Ball Games – There is usually a scout day for each major sport, where scouts are offered discounted tickets to local professional games.

CAMPOUTS:

There are 3 Pack campouts per year, one in the Fall (October/November), one in the Spring (March/April) abd one in the Summer (June or July).  Campouts are Friday evening through Sunday Morning (noon), but you can come just for the day on Saturday if you can’t spend the night.  There is a devotion/worship service on Sunday morning before the campout ends.  At Pack campouts, dens prepare food as a group with the boys doing progressively more of the cooking and cleaning each year.  There are Pack and Den activities on Saturday.

If you want to camp more often, there are other council sponsored campouts throughout the year, which you may attend as a family or as a den. (see www.longhorncouncil.org for council events)  Also, Webelos (4th & 5th grade dens) can have additional Webelo campouts.

One council event that the pack usually attends is Cub-O, which is usually the first or second Saturday of the calendar year.  Cub-O is a council wide orienteering (map & compass) event specifically for Cub-Scouts and their families.  Families can campout Friday evening, participate in the event on Saturday and return home Saturday evening or stay an additional night and go home on Sunday.  At Cub-O, each family is responsible for their own equipment, food, cooking, etc…  Alternatively, families can come out Saturday morning, participate in the event and then return home in the afternoon.

There is a separate document with additional information on cub-scout camping policies.

CAMPING GEAR:

You might be thinking: “I don’t have camping gear.  What do I need to buy?”

The odds are that there will be enough seasoned campers in your den that you can get by with just a Tent, Sleeping Bags, Water Bottles, Flashlight, Plastic/Metal Plates and Utensils.

(The Tent is technically optional.  We slept under the stars one weekend, but threw a tarp up between the trees the second night when my wife came out.  Good thing too, because it rained the second night.)

If you don’t have personal gear (i.e. tent, etc…) there is a good chance that you can borrow some gear from another scout family for your first campout.  (Talk to your Den Leader.)

If you start early, you can find lightly used gear on http://dallas.craigslist.org and sometimes eBay for a fraction of the new price.  Eventually, you will probably want to add a stove, lantern, camp chairs and sleeping pad to your gear, but you don’t need 10 stoves per den on a campout, so you really don’t have to own one of everything.

On tents, you generally get what you pay for.  I suggest if it doesn’t have a lifetime warranty that you make sure it can be returned after the campout if it leaks, breaks, etc…  Don’t buy it 4 months before the campout if the return period is 90 days.  I had to return the first 2 tents I bought.

On sleeping bags, they lie about the temperature ratings.  Actually, they don’t, but you have to read the small print.  The temperature rating is only a 4 hour rating.  If you want to be comfortable at 30 degrees for the whole night, make sure your bag is rated down to 20 degrees or lower.  We have had some pretty cold campouts, so if your bags are not winter bags, just bring some extra blankets if cold weather is expected. 

Inflatable mattresses are great, except in cold weather.  The air in the mattress gets cold and freezes you from underneath.  I didn’t believe that at first, but after a 26 degree campout I changed my mind. L  You will also find that putting an extra sleeping bag between your bag and the mattress to get around the above problem is a good way to slide off the mattress in the middle of the night. (I’m a slow learner.) If you don’t have a Thermarest® or similar camping pad, put blankets under you in cold weather, but save the big blow up mattress for milder campouts.

UNIFORMS:

TIGERS/WOLVES/BEARS NEED:

  Blue uniform shirt (Buy big so it will last through their Bear,3rd grade, year.)

  Longhorn council patch

  Pack number patch (Pack provides if inventory is available)

  Den number patch (ask your den leader – it does NOT change year to year)

  World crest patch (purple circle)

  Blue Cub-Scout belt

  Rank belt buckle

  Rank neckerchief slide (dens can make these as a project, so ask your den leader before purchasing one)

  Rank neckerchief (Pack provides this at induction/crossover ceremony)

WEBELOS NEED:

WEB-I / WEB-II scouts wear the tan uniform shirt. Buy it big so it will last through their WEB-II-AOL (5th grade) year.  If you sew on the patches, you might be able to use it for Boy Scouts also, until they outgrow it.  If you use the adhesive, plan on a new shirt for Boy Scouts because the new patches won’t cover the glue spots.

WEBELOS have the option of switching to the tan belt and Boy Scout buckle, but their Cub Scout belt-loops will not fit on that belt.

They need all the same patches as before, plus the WEBELO ribbon and the epilates (colored shoulder flap loops). 

Just plan on buying new patches because it is way too much trouble to remove them from the blue uniform and re-sew them.

Speaking of sewing, if you use the iron on patch stuff, plan on having to stitch down the corners.  If you don’t, they will start to peel and look sloppy after a few washings.

OTHER “UNIFORM” NEEDs:

We do not require official scout pants, but we do ask that the boys wear something nicer than sports shorts.  Tucking your button up shirt into your sports shorts just doesn’t look good.

Scout uniform hats, pants, socks, etc… are optional. (FYI, the official hat’s color changes each year with their rank.) 

Scouts should have a hat and refillable water bottle or hydration pack for campouts and outdoor activities, especially when it is hot, but hats do not have to be official scout hats.  It can be a ball cap, safari type hat, etc…

Scouts also need their rank specific book.  While we track achievements and sign-offs on the website, you will need the book for a full explanation of the requirements.

 

 

2015-2016 School Year Pack Leadership (subject to change)

Pack Committee  Leadership

Role

Name

Home

Mobile

Email

Chair

Jennifer Tucker

 

817-905-3277 cosmonautinthesky@gmail.com

Vice Chair

 

 

 

 

Treasurer

David Jensen

    treasurer@pack399.net

Assist. Treas.

 

 

 

 

Secretary

Erika Arguello

 

   

Advancement

Erika Arguello

 

   

Asst Advmnt

 

 

 

 

Activities

Jennifer Spraggins

 

   

Asst Actvty

 

 

 

 

Membership

Melissa Mulhern

 

817-308-5644

mulhernml@gmail.com

Asst Mbrshp

 

 

 

 

Training Coordinator

Jennifer Tucker

     

Asst Training

 

 

 

 

District Exec

Chris Bankus

 

 

chris.bankus@scouting.org

Unit Commish

James Goreham

 

817-614-2340

james.goreham@atos.net

Charter Org Rep

Elmer Jewell

 

817-675-5156

elmerjewell@sbcglobal.net

Pack Program Leadership

Role

Name

Home

Mobile

Email

Cub Master

Bob Watson

 

214-208-0834

bob.watson@arlingtontx.gov

 

 

   

 

Lion Coach

Kandi Watson

 

 

 

Tiger DL

Jason Sherer

 

  sherer_jason@yahoo.com

Tiger ADL

 

 

 

 

Wolf DL

Kristin Jensen

  817-701-5716 knc778@yahoo.com

Wolf ADL

 

 

 

 

Wolf ADL

 

 

 

 

Bear DL

Paul Spraggins

 

682-225-3471 paulspraggins@txdot.gov

Bear ADL

Jennifer Spraggins

 

 

 

Web-I DL

Jennifer Watkins

  214-492-3623 jen@watkinstx.com

Web-I ADL

Eric Gentry

     

AOL- DL

Deeann Powell

817-572-9790 972-754-8498 deeann@adonpowell.com

AOL- ADL

Adon Powell

817-572-9790

972-345-9238

adon@adonpowell.com  

 

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