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.

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Meeting Recap (10/24/16)

20161024_193849Another great night for our Stockaders!

We focused on an introduction to basic first aid techniques for cuts, sprains, and carries (we only carry an injured person if they’re in danger of becoming hurt worse if we don’t move them).

We also read the account of the Good Samaritan — one of the accounts in the Bible where first aid is used to help save someone’s life.  More importantly, we discussed how the story explains basic truths about our commitment to care for people – even those who we don’t know.

Luke 10:25-37 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? And He said to him, What is written in the Law? How does it read to you? And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself. And He said to him, You have answered correctly; do this and you will live. But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?

The Good Samaritan

Jesus replied and said, A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. And 10-27-2016-9-25-32-amby chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.’ Which of these three do you think proved to be a neighbor to the man who fell into the robbers’ hands? And he said, “The one who showed mercy toward him.” Then Jesus said to him, Go and do the same.

NOTE: THERE WILL BE NO MEETING THIS COMING MONDAY – 10/31/16

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Meeting Recap (10/17/2016)

Sorry for the delay in posting a meeting recap, but was away on business travel this past week!

20161017_190950We had 11 boys, 4 junior rangers and three adult rangers present for our Stockade meeting on Monday night.

20161017_194403With really nice weather, we took the opportunity to work outside on campfire basics and cooking “banana boat” desserts.

Banana boats are easy to construct — just cut the skin away from the inner curve of the banana, cut a “V” slot into the banana flesh and then stuff it with caramels, mini-chocolate chips, and mini-marshmallows.

Next, replace the skin flap and wrap tightly in aluminum foil – bake in hot coals of campfire for 10-12 minutes and eat with a spoon!

Many of the boys took their treat home to share with parents.

Fire Safety Rules
A campfire can keep us warm on a cold night. Campfires can be used to cook our food, too. However, if we’re not careful, fire can become a danger. Here are some tips to be safer when using campfires:

  • Select a safe place to build the campfire. Keep it away from trees, shrubs, overhanging branches or tents/buildings. A safe distance is about 12-15 feet.
  • Always try to use an existing fire pit or fire place – fires built on the ground will prevent plants from growing there for many years (the soil becomes unable to feed plants).
  • Keep the fire contained with a ring of rocks or within a special “fire pit” such as a metal tray or bin.
  • Keep a bucket of water, fire hose, or bucket of sand nearby to put out the fire when you are done. A shovel is also helpful to help break up coals and be sure that the fire is fully put out.

Gathering the Right Materials

Gather three types of wood (from the ground – never cut living trees unless it’s life-or-death emergency)

  • Tinder (dryer lint, newspaper, small twigs, dry leaves or grass, dry needles)
  • Kindling (sticks smaller than 1″ around)
  • Fuel (larger pieces of wood)

Building the fire in one of these methods:

  • Tepee (Good for cooking) — Lay the kindling over the tinder like you’re building a tent.
  • Cross (Perfect for a long-lasting campfire) — Crisscross the kindling over the tinder.
  • Lean-to (Good for cooking) — Drive a long piece of kindling into the ground at an angle over the tinder. Lean smaller pieces of kindling against the longer piece.
  • logcabinLog Cabin (Longest lasting campfire) — Surround your pile of tinder with kindling, stacking pieces at right angles. Top the “cabin” with the smallest kindling.

Do’s and Don’ts for Fires

  • Do enjoy the warmth and glow.
  • Do feel free to cook over your fire.
  • Do make a plan for when you are done so that you have time to properly put out the fire safely
  • Don’t burn trash or food (the smell attracts animals)
  • Don’t put cans or bottles in the fire – they won’t burn and could hurt people later (glass shatters and cans have sharp edges)

Putting out the fire

  • Start early – it takes a while to fully put out a fire: give yourself at least twenty minutes where you stop adding any additional fuel.
  • Let wood burn down to ash if possible, if not, sprinkle water over the coals and ash until the hissing and steam stop.
  • Stir the remaining coals and ash – sometimes hot spots occur under the logs.
  • Don’t touch coals/sticks to see if they’re cool, but you can place the back of your hand near them to detect heat. If they’re still warm, repeat sprinkling with water and stirring with the shovel.

Clean Up Before You Leave!

  • Campers should clean up their site of any trash (whether someone else left it or you did. Leave sites cleaner than how you found them.
  • If you have leftover wood, leave it neatly piled for the next camper.

Thoughts from the Bible

Sparks flyThere is power in fire – we can heat our homes, warm up on cold nights when camping, or even cook meals over a campfire. Sadly, fire can cause destruction, too – wildfires burn down forests and other fires can destroy people’s houses or cars.
There is power in the words we speak – we can encourage other people, make them laugh or comfort them when they’re sad. In the same way that fire can be used for good or can cause destruction, our words can also hurt people’s feelings or damage friendships, too.

Transfer from cell phone June 2011 050In the Bible, there is a section in the Book of James that says “See how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire…” If we’re not careful with fire, we can burn down a forest AND if we’re not careful with our words (how we use our mouth and tongue to speak) we could cause just as much damage among the people we care about.

In the Bible, James continues to say “With it (our tongue/our words) we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things should not be this way. Does a fountain send out from the same opening both fresh and bitter water? Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Nor can salt water produce fresh.” We shouldn’t use our words to help AND to hurt – we ought to teach ourselves to always use our words to help other people, but it’s not easy. When we get angry or tired or frustrated we forget and say things that we shouldn’t say.

Ephesians 4:29 New Living Translation (NLT) says “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

We must learn to control our tongues and our speech in order to be consistent (helping instead of hurting). How can we do that?

Group Effort for Fire

 

Meeting Recap (10/3/16)

jeep-under-construction-1We had a couple new faces in the crowd this week, and continued out theme of “cars and trucks” through our activities and devotional.

Following our opening ceremony, the Junior Rangers organized teams for games and led the fun while monitoring for good sportsmanship.

Our activities included several word searches and crossword puzzles on the cars and trucks theme.  Boys were encouraged to work as teams, taking turns finding key words or solving riddles for crossword clues.  Junior Rangers stood close by to offer assistance and individualized encouragement so that no one became frustrated or felt isolated during the exercise.

Ranger Stephen offered the devotional discussion on “ENGINES”:  he took time to present open ended questions to the group, and draw from them their creative and fun answers.  While they typically presented the most obvious response, he was able to encourage them to think about a broader context and discover new connections.  As part of his program, he handed out select bible verses and asked volunteers to read a short set aloud.  Following each reading, he would ask the group how that set of verses helps to clarify our thinking and understanding of our own roles as specially created individuals.

Ranger Stephen provided a concise recap of that discussion, below:

Tripod TrebuchetWe’ve been talking about cars and trucks as of late, and they are driven by engines, however, in the world we also have search engines like google, siege engines like catapults, and locomotives like steam engines besides.

So what is an engine? An engine is something built to accomplish a particular task, something made with a purpose in mind.

Thinking about that, we can say that God made the world with a purpose in mind, so that can be seen as a form of engine. It is worth noting that it is an engine we are responsible for, as pointed out in Psalms 8, God has made mankind rulers over the works of his hands, this is also seen in Genesis 1:26-28. Beyond even that, the task of general stewardship of the world given, God has special purposes in mind for each one of us, making us all engines of a sort!

Now, there is something else that needs to be said about engines, engines require certain things (i.e. fuel, input of data, etc.) to run correctly:

  • a diesel engine needs diesel fuel, and
  • a basic calculator works with numbers,

However, if you were to substitute sugar-water for diesel fuel, the engine not only might not run, it might flat out destroy the diesel engine, and if you tried to use letters instead of numbers, the calculator wouldn’t understand the input and couldn’t provide it’s services to you.

So it is important that we learn to distinguish good fuel from bad, and proper operation from improper operation.

The bible on the whole is great for that, but Proverbs is a very dense collection of suggestions to work with:

  • Proverbs 3:5-8 reminds us first that we will not understand everything that happens in life, but God has his reasons if we will trust him. Further, his rules will, to stretch the analogy, keep the driveshaft aligned, and finally, even in less profound issues, we don’t know everything, but turning away from evil will be refreshment.
  • Proverbs 3:27-31 Suggests that we should not withhold good from others when we can give it, be it encouragement, service, or physical support. Moreover, this passage warns us against seeking conflict where none has been called for and to choose role models with care.
  • Proverbs 10:17 points out that instruction, from trustworthy sources, is meant for your good, and introduces the concept of a “reproof.” When a younger sibling reaches for a hot pot, you would warn them, you would tell them not to touch it, you would be reproving them. It’s not a very scary word or concept, it is simply to warn sternly.
  • Proverbs 12:25 introduces a simple example of both good and bad fuel directly, “Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.” We probably won’t always resist anxiety, but it is something to remember.
  • Proverbs 12:26 notes that those who are righteous, those with good fuel, is a trustworthy guide to his neighbor, and then warns that the wicked, those with bad fuel, will lead them astray.
  • Proverbs 13:12 talks about a few issues we can’t always control, “hope deferred,” the forestalling of that desired, can weigh you down, and in some cases weigh heavily, and a longing fulfilled, a true longing, is almost never fulfilled purely on your own sole efforts, expectations can be adjusted slightly, but such adjustments will require a lot of time, and if care is not taken to have the right mind about things before such delays appear, they can be a weighty matter to deal with indeed.

Obviously, there is much more that can be said on the subject, but for now, this is what I have to provide based on what I was able to read in preparation for tonight’s discussion.

REMINDER – NO MEETING ON MONDAY, OCTOBER 10th DUE TO COLUMBUS DAY HOLIDAY.

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9/26/16 Meeting Recap

What a great opening night!  We had ten boys, four junior rangers, and three adult rangers participate.

Our focus for the fall is “Cars and Trucks” as we head into “Pinewood Derby” (or as CSB prefers to call it “Shape’N Race”) season following Christmas time.

Boys arrived from 6:45 until 7 PM and we played dodgeball with safety rules in place (no head shots and keep it fun for all).  We have Gatorskin, Soft-Balls to help keep the game fun, too – the balls are squishy, easy to grab and throw, but are softer than “Nerf-style” balls of similar size.

fig_049At 7 PM we called the meeting to order by forming the stockade — this is where the boys line up as though they’re the walls of a frontier fortress called a stockade.

Next, we selected two volunteers to hold our American Flag and CSB Stockade Flag while we recited the pledge of allegiance, the CSB motto (“Bright and Keen for Christ!“) and checked on our positive mental attitude (response from boys is to shout loudly “Boy, Am I Enthusiastic!“)  We covered announcements, and went over the schedule for the night’s events.  We went around the group and had everyone introduce themselves so that we’d begin to learn everyone’s names.

We dismissed the stockade and returned the flags to their closet.  The Junior Rangers are responsible to organize games for the first half hour of the program, and tonight we fhwa-classificationscontinued with variations on dodgeball as everyone was enjoying that game.  Sometimes we do team building events, and sometimes we organize board game nights, etc.

At 7:35 we took a break for icewater, and then got organized for the evening activity – a discussion of cars, trucks and buses — how many different designs there are and how to classify them and name them all. The boys were then given markers to color any of their favorite cars or trucks and this exercise was to help them work on fine motor control, art, and to learn what types of cars or trucks the boys would want to build for the upcoming derby program.

cargo-body-type-fmcsa

At 7:55, we gathered the markers and started our devotional.  We noted that man has made many types of cars and trucks – each with a purpose or function in mind.  Some are suited 2012-6x6-truckfor hauling rock and gravel, while others are designed to race on special roads.  Some are designed to help fight fires, or transport special cargo and others move our families to the shopping center and back home again.

While we may have a preference for sports cars, we can recognize that they all have important roles to play and that without trucks, we’d be in the dark (utility trucks to fix the electric wires) and without much to do (trucks deliver all our furniture and food to stores from factories and farms).

jeep-under-construction-1Just like each type of car and truck has a purpose in the way it is designed, God had purposes and plans in mind when He created each of us.  Even if some of us function differently than others, each role is important and we’d all suffer without the diversity and range of purposes and activities in our lives.

  • We are created to glorify God.  Our very existence is also a purpose or role that we occupy.  We are, as created beings, a testimony to God’s greatness….Isaiah 43:7 – “Everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory….”
  • We were created with specific plans in mind when God created us – good plans for our welfare….Jeremiah 29:11 – “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil to give you a hope and a future….”
  • We have had duties (revere God and obey his commands) communicated to us — things that we can do out of gratitude to God for His love and care for us….Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man….”
  • We have specific jobs to do, good works to perform on a daily basis….”Ephesians 2:10 – “For we are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them….”

Following the devotional time, we cleaned the room and gathered in a circle to solicit prayer requests from the boys – we learned of an upcoming quiz at school and the celebration of a birthday.  We prayed and thanked God for a great night of fun, that students would be calm and ready for their quizzes or tests and that birthday celebrations would be well remembered.

We conclude our meetings with a benediction;

Lord, our Savior, Guide and Captain,

Be a stalwart wall around us;

Make of us Stockaders valiant;

Keep us in the name of Jesus, Amen!

It was great to meet many moms after the meeting, and we appreciate your prayer support for the program – that God will keep us safe, help us to have fun, and reach the boys with strong lessons from His Word to help them grow into strong, faith-filled men.

Upcoming Meeting Schedule:

Oct.  3 – Club Meeting

Oct.  10 – Holiday: Columbus Day (NO club meeting)

Oct. 17 – Club Meeting

Oct. 24 – Club Meeting

Oct. 31 – (NO club meeting)

Nov.  7 – Club Meeting (Need extra CSB Adults – Ranger Leslie Lin will be available)

Nov. 14  –  Club Meeting (need extra CSB Adults)

Nov. 21 – No Club Meeting – Week of Thanksgiving

Nov. 28 – Club Meeting

Dec. 5 – Club Meeting (CSB in White House/Sunday School Annex — across the parking lot that night so Pioneer Girls can have their Tea in the main building.)

Dec.  12 – NO Club meeting, off until January restart (to be announced)

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Renewal within CSB

IMGP6811A lot has been happening in the background at CSB Ministries over the past two to three years:

  • a move of their headquarters location,
  • creation of new ministry curriculum, and
  • an increase in training opportunities for leaders to refresh and renew their local vision and passion for discipleship.
  • release of Valor – a magazine for the parents of the children enrolled in the program
  • release of a new logo to revitalize the marketing and promotion of the ministry

It is amazing to think about the origins of the ministry and how far it has come.  As you’ll see in the accompanying video, the program got its start with a college student in a church basement almost 80 years ago.  Now it’s a leading provider of men’s ministry to boys, young men and adult guides.

This fall, NVEFC will kick off it’s normal Monday evening program for grades 3-6 with boys in grades 7-12 providing leadership support as Junior Rangers, under the supervision of adult Rangers.

However, we are also planning to offer a twice per month Friday evening program for the older boys and the adult Rangers.  This is a chance to talk about what’s going well on Monday’s and plan meetings ahead of time.  Further, it will provide a time of ministry to the older boys and adult leaders focused on them.  A chance to refresh and renew the vision for discipleship.

We will likely rely on curriculum from either Manhood Journey or use the “Stepping Up” series from Family Life Ministries in this Friday program.  All teen boys and their dads at NVEFC, and all Junior Rangers and their dads (whether they regularly attend NVEFC or another local church) are welcome to attend.

A welcome letter with kick off details is being prepared, but if you can’t wait and are filling up your fall calendar – contact Paul Farrell via the church office and we’ll get you up to speed ASAP.

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Meeting Recap (3/7/2016)

Another great meeting last night.  Dodgeball has been the local favorite for game time lately and the new balls received work well with their “nerf-like” construction.

For the activity, one of our junior rangers talked to the boys about “reaction time.”  Reaction time is that amount of time which elapses between recognizing a threat and taking action to deal with it.  This could be recognizing that someone has thrown a ball at you during dodgeball and then deciding whether to try to catch it, duck, jump or run.

In real life, reaction times are important for professional athletes who need to have a keen eye to follow a ball’s trajectory.  Drivers need to be able to recognize a hazard in the road and react quickly to avoid a crash.  CSB image

We showed the boys how to measure their reaction time using rulers and some mathematics.  One boy would hold the ruler upright and then release it. The other boy would need to recognize when the ruler is released and grab it.  By measuring the distance which the ruler fell between each action, we could apply a formula to determine the amount of time that elapsed.  This measure is the reaction time.

In talking about units of measure, we also asked the following question; “what is the measure of time elapsed between slipping on a peel on the sidewalk and hitting your head  when you fall?”  The answer?  “One Bananosecond!”

For our story circle, we had a discussion about bravery.

Who comes to mind when you think of people who exhibit “bravery”?  The boys almost universally linked bravery to soldiers and emergency service providers such as police, fire or EMTs performing their best despite life or death circumstances.  That is bravery to be sure, but we pointed out that it can also carry other meanings.

IMGP6811For instance, isn’t it brave to: stand firm against injustices; take a risk to tell someone what you really believe even though they may disagree or reject your statements; or keep trying to accomplish a goal when you feel defeated?

We shared an example definition from the Boy Scout Handbook (from 1911); “A Scout is brave. He has the courage to face danger in spite of fear, and to stand up for the right against the coaxing of friends or the jeers or threats of enemies; and defeat does not down him.”  The more recent wording is “A Scout can face danger although he is afraid. He has the courage to stand for what he thinks is right even if others laugh at him or threaten him.”

Bravery is also about recognizing the “right thing to do” and doing it – especially when others disagree or might mock you (i.e. “… the jeers or threats of enemies”)  This is especially true when we consider our spiritual lives.

We asked the boys about accounts in the Bible dealing with bravery.  They mentioned several, but most of the responses dealt with David and Goliath.  We asked for volunteers to read three selections about David and Goliath.

The first selection describes the scene confronting the Israelites (1 Sam 17: 8-11&16):

Goliath stood and shouted to the ranks of Israel, “Why do you come out and line up for battle? Am I not a Philistine, and are you not the servants of Saul? Choose a man and have him come down to me. If he is able to fight and kill me, we will become your subjects; but if I overcome him and kill him, you will become our subjects and serve us.” Then the Philistine said, “This day I defy the armies of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other.” On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified. For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.

1 Sam 17:32-37 defines bravery.

David said to Saul, “Let no one lose heart on account of this Philistine; your servant will go and fight him.”  Saul replied, “You are not able to go out against this Philistine and fight him; you are only a young man, and he has been a warrior from his youth.”  But David said to Saul, “Your servant has been keeping his father’s sheep. When a lion or a bear came and carried off a sheep from the flock, I went after it, struck it and rescued the sheep from its mouth. When it turned on me, I seized it by its hair, struck it and killed it. Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, because he has defied the armies of the living God. The LORD who rescued me from the paw of the lion and the paw of the bear will rescue me from the hand of this Philistine.”  Saul said to David, “Go, and the LORD be with you.”

1 Sam 17:45-47 Shows us why he was brave – he trusted God to prevail.

David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the LORD will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

We also talked about other situations like Daniel standing up for what was right (Daniel 1:8-10), and his friends Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego (Daniel 3: 15-18) being cast into the fiery furnace and surviving to show what what right.

Bravery is something that takes time to develop and when it comes to standing up for what is right, we need to learn from David that our real strength comes from God, not ourselves (Psalm 121).

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