End of Fall Season 2016

2016-ornamentsGreetings, Stockade and Battalion families!  We’ve had a great season, punctuated with holidays and the typical “busy-ness” of autumn schedules (i.e. back to school, sports events, school and church events, gatherings for Thanksgiving, et.al.).

Still, when we look back, we’ve gotten a good bit accomplished and we’re well primed for the new season that lays ahead of us in 2017:

  • Stockaders built posterboard gliders, we explored the world of cars and trucks as a glider-close-up-2preliminary step towards building shape-n-race derby cars.  Preliminary car plans were drawn up by each boy and we have the wood blocks ready for cutting, sanding and painting in the new year.  At our last meeting, each boy created three craft projects (Christmas ornament, greeting card, snowflakes) and we saw a brief video and enjoyed some snacks, too.
  • Battalion has gone well on alternating Friday evenings and we’ve made progress through our video series titled “Stepping Up: A call to courageous manhood” by Family Life Ministries.  Tonight (12/9/2016) is our final Battalion meeting of the calendar year.

So what does our calendar look like for the new year?

  • gliders-lots-of-themJan 9 – first meeting of the new year.  We’ll revisit our derby car plans, and start working on the basic cuts and fabrication.  Boys will need to take turns and be patient for safety’s sake – – we’ll work in smaller teams that night.  More details to follow.
  • Jan 16 (MLK B-day, will NOT meet)
  • Jan 23
  • Jan 30
  • Feb 6
  • Feb 13
  • Feb 20 (President’s Day, OFF – NO MEETING)
  • Feb 27
  • Mar 6
  • Mar 13
  • Mar 20
  • Mar 27
  • Apr 3
  • Apr 10 (Spring Break for area schools – OFF – NO MEETING)
  • Apr 17 (TAX DAY)
  • Apr 24
  • May 1
  • May 8 (Gal’s Tea – likely to use the lower auditorium and boys be in the white house annex (board game night?))
  • May 15 (Final Club Night Picnic/BBQ in parking lot)

We’re still working on the Battalion schedule…more to come.

Thank you to all the families who’ve participated, we trust your sons have had a good time and are learning and growing through their involvement.



Welcome Back!

20161017_190950Sorry, we’ve been away from the blog site for a while (between family vacation, and the Thanksgiving Holiday).

So, tonight, we have a Stockade meeting where we plan to finish working on our large-format, poster-board gliders (hopefully!).  Special thank you to Josh G., our resident aeronautical engineer and junior ranger – it was his inspiration and passion that developed the craft activity.  We’ve sampled the prototype plane and it will fly well if handed with care.

Next Monday, December 5th we will meet in the “Sunday school annex” in the white house across the parking lot from the main church building.  This is to allow the girls to use the lower auditorium for their final “Christmas Tea” event.

shapenrace-template-stylesAssuming that the gliders take the rest of the evening (tonight), we’ll start working on our pinewood derby car kits next Monday. For families who’ve never worked on a car kit with their son(s), it is a fairly simple task that involves a couple of steps:

  1. Deciding on a car shape (race car, pick up truck, family car, fire truck, etc.) (See picture at right for basic shapes)
  2. Cutting away excess wood into the general shape of the desired car/truck.
  3. Adding craft wood (balsa, bass wood) from the craft store to build up other areas of the model.
  4. Sanding, sanding, sanding to make it smooth and to get the right curves into the shape.
  5. Sealing and priming the car with autobody spray paint (or general spray paint).  If you don’t like working with spray paints, any craft paint can be used, but it will “stick” better if the wood body is sealed first — can be done with latex wood primer (from Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, ACE hardware, etc.)
  6. Add decorations such as stickers, stripes, etc.
  7. Make sure the final car is FIVE ounces or LESS in weight to qualify.

Assembling a derby car is exciting, but it isn’t intended to be rushed and done in a single night – we expect to work on the cars for a couple of meetings before we race them (so there’s no rush, or need to work on the cars during the Holidays).  IF boys take car kits home, please keep track of them — lost kits can be replaced, but hard work that is lost can’t be easily replaced.  We recommend that each boy sign the bottom of his car kit and keep it at the church until after the race (*unless he plans on working on it with his mom, dad, older brother, etc.).

The leaders can (and will) help each boy with his car project on anything that they don’t feel equipped to do at home — we can cut blocks, assist with shaping details, and helping cut down the weight of the car so it meets the racing weight requirements.  However, for the boys to “own” the process, they should be involved in sanding, painting, and decorating the car to suit their tastes.  There are no perfect cars, and there are no ugly cars — each boy should be proud of his own entry and we’ll try to help without taking over his project.  If moms and dads want to help, that’s OK, too – just balance your involvement with his involvement so that he’s learning how to do things for himself.  One (of many) good web sites on derby cars is – http://www.shapenrace.net/ This site can provide inspiration, practical tips and ideas.

To see highlights from our old boy scout troop’s race (in 2012, at another church) – here is a link – https://vimeo.com/40243194

Scheduling: Next Monday, December 5th will be the final stockade meeting of the year due to the many holiday commitments coming up for schools, family and neighborhood.  We’ll be sending a reminder note by email and via this blog site when we’ve got our January schedule worked out.

BATTALION (grades 7-12 and college age): due to scheduling conflicts, our December 2nd meeting will be postponed until December 9th.

Battalion Tonight (Friday)

Session three of Battalion will be held tonight at NVEFC.

Pre-session from 7 to 7:30 is for rangers and junior rangers to prepare for Monday night meetings.

At 7:30 we start the DVD and go into a group discussion – wrapping up by 9 PM.

  • The first session covered “courage” (a video link included, below to provide a sampling of what we’re discussing)
  • The second session covered “boyhood and adolescence
  • Tomorrow night we continue by examining the stages of manhood when we take on adult responsibilities, start families and finish as family patriarchs.

Dads, men of the church and boys in grades 7-12 (or college) are welcome to come.

No Battalion Meeting Tonight (See schedule, below)

Tripod TowerThe schedule for Friday Night meetings is:
  • October 7 (Completed!)
  • October 21 (C0mpleted!)
  • November 4
  • November 18
  • December 2

We’ve had two great sessions – one that examined the definition of courage and how it applies to manhood, and one that examines the first two stages of manhood – boyhood and adolescence.

Our next meeting will be on November 4th in the Lower Auditorium.  7 PM for stockade planning meeting, 7:30 PM for the launch of the next video segment in our study.


Meeting tonight (10/17) to include campfire basics

logcabinDue to the nice weather, we’ll be adjusting our schedule a bit tonight for a fall campfire program in the parking lot.

We’ll be making Banana Boats and learning how to use a flint and steel striker to light a fire without matches.

Come prepared for fun, snacks and some game time, too.

Allamuchy winter 2011 017


Reminder: No Meeting Tonight!

Reminder to club parents and youth – No club meeting (brigade for boys, pioneer club for girls) tonight due to Columbus Day holiday.

Will resume meeting next week.

Backup files 142

Battalion Meeting Tonight!

Rangers, Junior Rangers and Boys in grades 7-12 are welcome to come to our kickoff meeting tonight.

From 7 PM to 7:30 PM we will conduct a planning and organization workshop for our Monday night Stockade ministry.  We will discuss what’s been going well, what we can do better, and we’ll be introducing our new workbook materials which have just arrived from CSB Ministries.

su20event20kitFrom 7:30 to 9 PM we will cover the first session in our study called “Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood” which is a DVD and workbook program produced by Family Life Ministries.  Workbooks are essential to the study, and we have a very limited supply of workbooks for the first session.  Workbooks cost $12 each so please bring cash or a check, or you can purchase your own online at any number of suppliers (Amazon, Christian Book Distributors, et.al.)

Generally, the video session runs about 35 minutes and the remainder of time is engaged in group discussion about the video topic and questions from the workbook.  In between group meeting sessions, there are workbook exercises for individuals to complete.

Hope to see you tonight.  Lower Auditorium.