Category Archives: Cub Scouts

Parents + Day Camp = Quality Family Memories

Submitted by Brice Pearce, Cub Scout Camping Advisor

Just a few years ago, back in 2012, I began to work with Day Camp for the first time. Initially, I thought it would be just like Boy Scout resident camping, only the days would be shorter. Boy, was I both right and wrong…

Not having children myself, I must admit I wasn’t sure what to expect of the parent/youth interaction… You don’t see a ton of this at Boy Scout resident camp, and, at an older age, you are definitely encouraging more independence from the youth.

What I have observed over the last few years focusing on Cub Scout programming has been truly amazing, and life-changing for many families.

I have watched several parents become amazing Cub Scout leaders, simply because they came to a camping event with their scout and had a good time. I have seen children gain confidence while learning new skills with their parents, and the parents smile as they see this happen. I have seen parents gain new skills, without realizing it, and then develop those skills into new passions. And, I have seen parents discover, some for the very first time, how to simply play with their child. This is totally in-line with what is expressed in a recent article in the Boston Parents Paper (“Learning Beyond Class”), looking at the instructive value of play when choosing extracurricular activities that focus on the acquisition of “skills that can be acquired through participation, practice, and performance.”

When people ask me what the value of Cub Scouting, is, I give an answer that I don’t hear expressed very often:
By spending time with your child in Scouting, and allowing them to see you have fun learning new things alongside of them, you are creating a bond that you could not pay for later in life.

So, as you think about Day Camp this summer, and are making those decisions around dollars and cents, schedules, daycare, and tax write-offs, think about the investment that you need to make in your child’s life.

When you register your children for Day Camp this summer, why not take some of your vacation time to come play with them, and spend a few days smiling together?

DAYCAMPteMPLOGO

Spirit of Adventure Day Camps open for registration Saturday, January 16th, at 8am HERE.

For more information, see our short video and our online magazine.

Engage with our Facebook pages for the Chelmsford, Topsfield, and Greater Boston areas, as well as our premier camping facilities at New England Base Camp in Milton, MA, and Lone Tree Scout Reservation in Kingston, NH.

Here We Go!

Submitted by Chuck Eaton, Scout Executive and CEO

Two New Convenient Scout Shops
Starting later this winter two local stores in the Northern portion of the Council will start providing limited Scout supplies, books and uniforms.

Ben’s Uniforms Inc.                                                                                        All Sports Heroes
http://www.bensuniformsonline.com/                                                      http://www.allsportsheroes.com/
20 Main St, Amesbury, MA 01913                                                               18 1st St, Lowell, MA 01850
Phone: 978-388-0471                                                                                    Phone: 978-452-1976
Fax: 978-388-7878                                                                                         Fax: 978-452-2707

Other Administrative and Physical Changes
The North Andover Scout Shop will be closing on February 19th
The Haverhill Office will be closing on or before March 1st
The Scout Office aspect of the Egan Center will close on or before March 1st (Scout Shop will remain, of course!)
The Woburn Office will open for Business on or before March 1st

How this will workThe Woburn location is considered to be the most central location – both geographically and based on traffic patterns for the council footprint. The location will now serve as a primary Scout Shop (600 Cummings Park suite 1250) and the business operations headquarters (600 Cummings Park suite 2750 – just upstairs) for Spirit of Adventure. Over time we will look to expand the sales floor for the Woburn Scout Shop to accommodate for the additional traffic.

Council Service Center – who really uses the Scout Service Center?
The new business format for Spirit of Adventure will minimize trips to the council office by all volunteers. Through use of technology, conference calls, video conferencing and a highly mobile staff we want every ounce of volunteer energy to go toward the Scouts – not spent in your car driving to an office. Our office staff will be all together in one building and they will serve as the nerve center for operations. A phone call to that location will provide quick and courteous answers about camp registrations, advancement concerns, membership questions, donations or training information etc. The Commissioned Staff will be out in the field – ready willing and able to meet with unit committees, community leaders, and others. Their responsibilities are to roll up their sleeves and dig into more detailed and complex situations that ultimately make SCOUTING THRIVE.

Therefore during the day the space in Woburn will serve as a “hotelling” location for those commissioned staff in between meetings in the field. This provides maximum flexibility of the space (and a smaller footprint) so during the evening that same “office space” will be used for council and district meetings.

What about the space at the Egan center? #letsPLAY
The Egan Center and the New England Base Camp are the program delivery hub for Scouting across Eastern MA and soon New England. While we will maintain a small administrative staff in that location the majority of that highly valuable indoor space will be used for program delivery. Likely an improved STEM Center, Birthday party rooms, Handicrafts and other program features that’ll enhance the quality of the program.

Winter is Coming!

It may not feel like it, but soon the temperature will drop, the snow will fall and the water will freeze.  There is not much one can do about it, we are in New England after all.  Now is not the time to start to think about the ice damns on your house or the amount of snow that you shoveled last winter.  It is time to think about what you are going to do to get those kids that will be stuck indoors outside! WinterCamping

Winter is not the time to plan for only indoor activities for your family or Scout group.  It is the best time to get outside and enjoy what Mother Nature has given us.  Soon February vacation will be here and nothing is worse than being stuck inside with kids that are ready to be outside.  The Spirit of Adventure Council has opportunities for all ages of Scouts and for families to enjoy.

February Vacation Camp

With two different camps, both running out of New England Base Camp in Milton, your opportunities are almost limitless.

SnowProgramThe “traditional” winter camp is anything but traditional.  Cub Scouts will go on hikes through the Blue Hills using snow shoes,  go ice skating on our ice rink, learn how to cook in the snow and so much more.  Boy Scouts will have the opportunity to earn Wilderness Survival Merit Badge with their overnight be done in a quincy or the Eagle required Cooking Merit Badge with the meal done on a hike be done while hiking with snow shoes.  Everyone will be able to enjoy sledding, snurfing, our indoor nerf shooting range and the swimming pool. Sign up HERE

Need a little more adventure for your vacation camp?  Join us on our Mountaineering/Ice Climbing expedition week.  Scouts will spend the first two days at New England Base Camp learning how to Ice Climbing.  On Wednesday morning they will head up to New Hampshire to climbing on some of the best ice in New England.  You will return Thursday night and spend the last day at Base Camp showing the participants what you have learned and taking advantage of the water adventure course. Sign up HERE

IceClimbing

Weekend Program

Every weekend starting January 9th through the last weekend in February, New England Base Camp runs our Saturday winter program.  Come for the day and learn how to build a quincy, go ice skating, spend the afternoon at the pool and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate around a camp fire as the sun is setting.  If you are looking for more adventure, check out the ice climbing (as featured in this month’s Boy’s Life).  Call 617.615.0004 today, as limited space is available.

www.newenglandbasecamp.org

So let’s PLAY outside!  Grab those kids and join us at Base Camp to create memories that will last a lifetime.

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Camping is the cornerstone of all Scout Programs, and one of the primary reasons councils exist. Spirit of Adventure has listened to our unit leaders and re-tooled our camp properties to best suit the needs of our Troops, Packs and Crews.

Packs – The Annual Pack Outdoor Calendar
A typical pack has 2 -3 overnight experiences each year. Often one or two of those experiences are held at family attractions like the USS Salem, Museum of Science, Lowell Spinners or the Pawtucket Red Sox. Those are always fun and typically attract great participation from the Pack and all the family members.
Often the second or third trip is a family campout. These are also very fun and exciting but often attract less participation from the Pack families due to the logistical concerns. Packs often site family members concerned about showers, cooking for dozens and dozens of people and of course – once we are out there “what do we do?”
In addition to the over nights, Packs typically have a few one day activities – a hike, a parade, a service project etc.
Based on the Cub Scout Adventures we anticipate more and more need for Packs to camp or provide quality outdoor program. Additionally, it’s in everyone’s best interest to have the highest number of participants at all Scout programs (especially camping) as each happy camper = happy Scout and happy family!

Two Year Round Camps – Two Ways to Camp
Spirit of Adventure has two local campgrounds with two distinct advantages

Lone Tree is located in Kingston NH. It is available every weekend and has cabins and campsites. It’s a beautiful space with a great pond and a sports field. The program delivery at Lone Tree is dependent upon the parents in the pack. Like all weekend Boy Scout properties, it is a “do it yourself camp.” Therefore, it’s up to the parents in the pack bring the fishing poles and the fishing skill, so the boys can bait the hooks and go fishing (A Bear Goes Fishing). Or it’s up to the parents to bring the maps, compasses and GPS to teach land navigation (A Wolf finding his way).

Camp Sayre in Milton MA has the New England Base Camp attached to it and through New England base Camp is a Full Service Camp. This location provides lifeguards, archery instructor’s, BB range instructors, Native American activities, Scout Craft, Science programs, outdoor cooking a full complement of equipment, as well as short-burst-intense-training for parents every weekend, as well as modern bathroom facilities. The easiest (year round!) place a wolf to take his Spirit of the Water Adventure!

HOW TO USE BOTH CAMPS FOR THE BEST PROGRAM
When making your Pack’s annual plan, think about a couple of outdoor adventure trips. Most commonly packs have an overnight trip in the fall and another trip in the spring. With the new requirements we anticipate packs camping more often.

We recommend a carefully planned annual program with several camping and outdoor activities. Most commonly a pack with a robust camping program benefits from a ratio of 2:1 Lone Tree (DIY) to Sayre (Full Service) visits.

The New England Base Camp at Camp Sayre (Full Service)
The full service trip to Sayre, using Base Camp is great for brand-new families, never been in the outdoors before, or experienced Cub leaders learning new skills and setting the bar higher. In addition to great program it provides wonderful parent engagement opportunities. Those parents sitting on the sideline will more easily fall in love with Scouting, so the pack can engage those parents and families in future activities.

Lone Tree – Do it Yourself (separate page coming soon)
Do it yourself at Lone Tree is where the pack really shines. More parents, more engagement and more comfort in the outdoors. Now your pack is ready! To deliver the program your scouts and siblings look forward to on your own! “My dad taught me how to use a compass, whittle, and light a fire!”

Your Pack’s Annual Outdoor Adventure’s Plan
Cub Packs, of course, come in all shapes and sizes with different ability levels. Sometimes they find one trip to New England Base Camp for every three trips to Lone Tree (or other DIY outdoor programs) others Packs are completely reversed.

We would be happy to meet with your pack leadership to help develop your annual plan. Our Scouting representatives are well versed in the Cub Scout Adventures and the properties and programs across New England. They often know about special Scout deals for programs at attractions like Museum of Science or the Ecotarioum as well as all the programs offered through Spirit of Adventure Council. Contact us HERE to set up an annual planning conference.

Directions and Traffic
We recognize the traffic headaches for folks living north of Boston on their way to the New England Base Camp, and those living south when travelling to Lone Tree. Most commonly packs show up Saturday morning – no traffic. The Camp check-in begins as early as 7 AM and at New England Base Camp program opens at 10AM. Sometimes packs stay overnight, other times the program is best as a day activity and scouts go home Saturday night.

Please follow us on Facebook for updates and announcements

Camp Sayre can be used as a “do it yourself” camp. But we don’t recommend it for that purpose if you live north of Boston.

Community and Council: Local becomes Legendary

Like any new entity, The Spirit of Adventure Council experiences new milestones each day as it matures and adapts. CSP-Family (1)The release of the council shoulder patch (CSP) is the most recent of these! Way back in the summer, we asked Scouts to draw and submit patch ideas, the marketing committee reviewed the designs and ultimately choose the patch that is now available in stores.

Much of the dialogue throughout the patch design process focused on our identity. In contrast the name of that was chosen does NOT showcase any type of geographical or historical significance, but instead seeks to embody the aspirational intent of Scouting itself. (please read the blog about the decision about the significance of the name) The patch however is FULL of geographical and historical references. While we couldn’t fit every single reference to our heritage in one small patch – the committee certainly has many unique references without making the patch too busy.

One critical sentiment the group wanted to reflect in the patch is our focus on community. The focus of the new council is “helping Scouting thrive in your community” unique council patch can reflect that mission (it’s also a pretty cool throw back to the old school town and state patches)

The best reason to buy these limited time patches: A Scout is friendly, and Scouting teaches citizenship. It’s a great opportunity for Scouts to recognize that Scouting has no boundaries; a Scout at camp can meet new friends and learn instantly about their community.

LimitedCSPFor a limited time only, this CSP will be available to order with your unit’s local town name placed at the bottom of the patch. Coordinate your order with your Unit leader and/or other units in your city/town.

Click here for the order form – the order forms will also be available at December Roundtables

The Spirit of Adventure Needs YOU!

Remember that Boston Globe article about ice climbing at New England Base Camp?

We want your comments about this article and New England Base Camp in general! Head over to Facebook by clicking here, or on the image below.

Please help us to “engage youth and parents in physical fitness and the outdoors, as well as helping youth from all walks of life increase self-esteem, confidence, and strengthen character” by telling us how we can do that!

SoAC FB HeaderSoAC FB Header

Why Wait until Christmas to Practice the Spirit of Giving?

Submitted by Jim Garrett, Northern Light District Executive

The core tenets of Scouting not only include self-improvement, but service to others. In your local community there are families and senior citizens without access to food or the regular comforts which can so often be taken for granted.

As a Cub Scout, I remember showing up at a collection site where the Boy Scout Troop associated with my Pack had set up their drop-off point. My dad and I came to help sort the donations that were coming in throughout the day. Watching the older Scouts work, and helping them take individual donation bags and combine them into boxes was more fun than I could have ever imagined as a nine year-old. When we filled the entire bed of a pickup truck, I was amazed at how all this food had been collected, and there was still more streaming in – just from my neighborhood and the ones on either side of it.

I had no real idea yet what a District or Council was, but I knew there were more than just my Cub Scout Pack and this Boy Scout Troop collecting…and I couldn’t fathom how much food was being collected! To this day, Scouting for Food is my favorite of our service projects, because it highlights the impact a small group of people can have on a community, and a community’s impact can have on a larger population.

The Scouting for Food initiative is your opportunity to provide relief for those who need it most! On the first Saturday in November (11/7/15), Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and the many local volunteers will deliver Scouting for Food door hangers throughout their local neighborhoods. A week later (11/14/15), Scouts will return to collect the donated non-perishable food items left outside, and bring them to a centralized drop-off location within their community.

Wakefield733SFF

Non-perishable food and hygiene items are in greatest need. Some examples include

  • Canned protein (tuna, chicken, peanut butter)
  • Soups
  • Grains (pasta, rice)
  • Canned vegetables and fruits
  • 100% fruit juice
  • Hygiene products (diapers, toilet paper, tissues, soap, toothpaste)

Please avoid accepting glass items.

Door Hangers will be available for pick-up at your local Scout office or soonest District Roundtable. Click here to let us know how many hangers you expect to need, and where you intend to bring food to.

When distributing door hangers, be sure that your Scouts use the buddy system and have adequate Adult supervision. Determining and assigning distribution territory beforehand is highly recommended, and, naturally, make sure everyone is in their uniform!

Remember, distribute to residences only, skipping businesses or apartment buildings with controlled entrances or rules against solicitation. And, most importantly of all, DO NOT ENTER ANY HOME FOR ANY REASON.

For questions, please contact your District Scouting for Food Chairperson, your local Scout Office, or Staff Advisor Jim Garrett.

Make sure to register your unit and request your desired quantity of hangers from the following link:

http://scoutspirit.doubleknot.com/event/c-scouting-for-food-door-hanger-distribution/1784587

Your local food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens pantries do amazing work, but they can’t do it alone, so please grab ahold of this amazing opportunity to make a very real difference in someone’s life.

Scouts, What Did You Do on Your Vacation?

As the New England Base Camp starts to come into its own, as the first ever public outdoor adventure experience “Powered by Scouting.” We have developed a series of free activities and displays throughout the Egan Center.  The displays inspire and encourage and include

  1. Famous Massachusetts Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts
  2. Brain puzzles and riddles
  3. Bouldering
  4. Mammals in the Blue Hills
  5. What to pack for the outdoors
  6. Scouting heritage in Massachusetts
  7. Animal tracks
  8. 3-D printer
  9. Science and STEM
  10. Your New England Adventure!

Number 10 is where you can help!

We are creating a display of Scouts all around New England. Send us your group photo in front of a recognizable New England landmark or while participating in a uniquely New England activity.

The collage above is meant to provide some ideas and shows: a hundred Scouts visiting Battleship Cove, a Girl Scout troop at Fenway, Boy Scouts cycling on the Cape, a troop with their flag atop Mount Washington, a couple troops along the Freedom Trail, a Brownie Troop at Plymouth Plantation, and a Venture Crew whitewater rafting in Maine.

To submit your New England Adventure send a high resolution photo along with a brief description of your adventure. Selected photos will be printed and framed along with a description of your trip. Some items will be displayed on line through social media.

Winning photos will receive a $200 voucher to Base Camp valid throughout 2016. So take a moment, submit your recent New England Scout Adventure here, and start planning your next one!

#letsPLAYoutside

Show your Spirit!

The Patch has been finalized and will be available later this fall. For those of you unfamiliar with the thought process behind the name of the council please read this email from the spring. We’ve heard all the feedback about the name 😃 (here are the responses to our name).

All that being said – the name is only a small part of our corporate identity. Our BRAND IDENTITY is really the focus and our brand is related to the mission – what we do for kids and families.

Our Council Strip Patch attempts to represent the essence of our unique, collective Scouting experience.  Over the next few weeks, the details about how to earn the patch or purchase the patch, how to get the inaugural patch with your town name and other details will emerge.