No Meeting Tonight (2.15.2016)

IMGP6935Due to many of the local schools being off for President’s Day, we will not be meeting tonight.

Reflect on the holiday and pray for those in authority over us that they may fulfill God’s purposes and plans.

  • 1 Timothy 2:1-6 – I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.



Meeting Recap 2/8/2016

Tripod lashing pencil drawingHad another great club night.  After some dodgeball, we broke into small groups and the boys practiced clove hitches and lashing together tripods.

Tripods are an easy introduction into building wilderness gadgets and camping equipment from sticks, branches and some cordage brought from home.

Tripod hammockTripods can be used to construct wash racks, hammock hangers, slingshots, signal towers and camp entrance gates.

Tripod have a high utility for a number of reasons – they’re sturdy, lightweight, easy to assemble and can be adapted to a wide range of uses.

I like the fact that they have a parallel to verses in the Bible, too:

Ecclesiastes 4:12 – “And if one can overpower him who is alone, two can resist him. A Tripod Towercord of three strands is not quickly torn apart.”

Where the tripod gets strength and balance from having three poles to support weight and keep steady, a group of three people can hold each other accountable to do the right thing and resist evil temptations.  If we tried to get through life all alone, all the time, we’d have a hard time sticking to the right path, but with good friends it’s made easier.

Matthew 18:20 – “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” 

While we have personal (individual) relationships with God, we’re also encouraged to get together with other Christians to worship and fellowship.  We know that when we get together God will be there and make the time productive for His Glory and Purposes.  Just like an individual walking stick is helpful to the individual hiker/camper, putting the sticks together accomplishes different purposes that couldn’t be done apart (there’s something more accomplished when lashing three poles together that three unconnected sticks couldn’t do on their own).

tripod dishwashing station

So what did we do with our tripods to finish the evening?  We made “Weather Rocks” (or in this case “Weather Blocks” as we substituted blocks of wood for the more traditional KNOTS_rock_lore_anirock).

To make a weather rock for your home, you start with a tripod, and then hang a plumb line from the top.  Near the ground, tie a large rock to the plumb line so that it can sway in the breeze.

When done, it ought to look like this:

Often we add a plaque or sign to explain how to interpret the weather rock:

  • If the rock is wet, it’s raining.
  • If the rock is swinging, the wind is blowing.
  • If the rock casts a shadow, the sun is shining.
  • If the rock does not cast a shadow and is not wet, the sky is cloudy.
  • If the rock is not visible, it is foggy.
  • If the rock is white, it is snowing.
  • If the rock is coated with ice, there is a frost.
  • If the ice is thick, it’s a heavy frost.
  • If the rock is bouncing, there is an earthquake.
  • If the rock is under water, there is a flood.
  • If the rock is warm, it is sunny.
  • If the rock is missing, there was a tornado.
  • If the rock is wet and swinging violently, there is a hurricane.
  • If the rock has white splats on it, watch out for birds.

The boys had a lot of fun learning about the benefits of lashing tripods for building cool outdoor gear.

Next week we are NOT meeting due to President’s Day Holiday.

Tripod Trebuchet

Stockade Meeting 10/5/2015

Our second meeting of the new year was a lot of fun.

For games, we tried something new – “blindfolded steal the bacon“.  It was a lot of laughter, shouting and team work which enabled each team to guide their captain to discover the ball (the “bacon”) and then carry it to the finish marker while blindfolded.  While it started slowly, the excitement grew as each boy realized he wanted a turn to be blindfolded and learn to trust his team mates to direct him to the goal.

This evening’s activity time was focused on additional team work challenges.  It’s good to start the year with team building efforts so that boys who are new to the program get to work side by side with others and get to learn each others names, etc.

The first challenge was a water bucket brigade relay race.  The leader in each team had a dixie cup and had to draw water from a five gallon bucket.  In turn each team member had to extend their own cup to receive the drawn water and then pour it into the next boy’s cup.  Ultimately, if there was un-spilt water left at the end of the chain, it was carefully poured into a one liter soda bottle.  The race continued until one of the teams managed to fill their soda bottle.  OF course, if the teams were so sloppy as to run out of water in the five gallon bucket, then neither team would earn any points.

Perhaps it is needless to say, but this event is best done outside!

Upon returning to our activity room, the teams were split for two remaining challenges:  The Art Gallery and Ships in the Fog.

  • The Art Gallery consists of a series of portraits hung on the wall with painter’s tape.  A mix of historical and current people of notoriety as well as some cartoon characters (for fun) were numbered 1 to 30.  The team had to elect a scribe and carefully list all of the names of the people or characters featured.  One team scored 13 correct names and the other team scored 22 correct names.
  • Ships in the Fog uses a set of trolley shuttles (skis built for three people to share and walk in unison), a blindfold on the leader, and the remainder of the team shouting directions and encouragement.  The troop of three boys must learn to walk together, and navigate their ship through the fog (blindfold) and into the harbor (a slalom course through folding chairs and through a pair of chairs representing the harbor entrance).  Of course, this is fun for both the boys on the skis and those trying to direct them from the sidelines.

Although we ran out of time, we had a fourth station ready to go with brain teasers which could be used as a tie breaker competition.  For example:

A mother had decided to make peach jam and thought she remembered the recipe perfectly.  After reducing peaches to a puree, she realized that the directions called for adding a very specific amount of lemon juice – too little or too much would ruin the effort completely.  The directions specified one lemon’s juice for every dozen peaches.  How did she know how many lemons she’d need since she had not kept count of peaches earlier (and now they were a mass of goo)?

So we’ll save those riddles for another night.

Chief Ranger Leslie Lin handed story circle time by going over key facts about the Bible so that stockaders would be more comfortable with some of the basics as we often use the Bible as a resource in our story circle times.

Meeting Recap (11/17/14)

Tonight was a combined meeting with the Pioneer Girls who also meet at NVEFC.  It was “Movie Night!” and we all watched the “Story Keepers” Christmas special.  Plenty of popcorn, cheezy-doodles and lemonade!

Following the movie, Ranger Stephen led a brief devotional discussion on the account of Nehemiah.

From Wikipedia:

In the 20th year of Artaxerxes, king of Persia, (445/444 BC), Nehemiah was cup-bearer to the king. Learning that the remnant in Judah were in distress and that the walls of Jerusalem were broken down, he asked the king for permission to return and rebuild the city. Artaxerxes sent him to Judah as governor of the province with a mission to rebuild, letters explaining his support for the venture, and provision for timber from the king’s forest. Once there, Nehemiah defied the opposition of Judah’s enemies on all sides—Samaritans, Ammonites, Arabs and Philistines—and rebuilt the walls within 52 days…

Nehemiah recognized a need and an opportunity to do something very valuable and helpful.  First, he prayed very reverently to God.  Next, when the king asked Nehemiah what was troubling him and what could be done, he prayed and asked God for direction.

Ultimately, God and the king who was ruling the people, gave Nehemiah the task of rebuilding the walls which protect Jerusalem.

Nehemiah took this job very seriously and by planning and leading thoughtfully, managed to complete the task against steep odds (many of the neighboring nations didn’t want the walls rebuilt so Nehemiah had to guard against attacks while rebuilding the walls).

Questions for the boys and girls, have you, or friends/family ever had to cope with a big project?  Did you pray and ask God for His help and direction?  How did the project turn out?  Do you feel that Nehemiah would have been successful if he hadn’t been reverent and trusted God fully?

The discussion helped to illustrate that we can make plans and do all sorts of things, but ultimately our efforts will be fruitless unless we start with God in a reverent fashion. Some verses that reinforce this notion include:

  • Proverbs 19:21 – Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the Lord will stand
  • Proverbs 16:9 – The mind of man plans his way, But the Lord directs his steps.
  • Jeremiah 17:5-8 – Thus says the Lord“Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind and makes flesh his strength, and whose heart turns away from the Lord. “For he will be like a bush in the desert and will not see when prosperity comes, but will live in stony wastes in the wilderness, a land of salt without inhabitant. [HOWEVER]  “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord and whose trust is the Lord. “For he will be like a tree planted by the water, that extends its roots by a stream and will not fear when the heat comes; but its leaves will be green, and it will not be anxious in a year of drought nor cease to yield fruit.

Meeting Recap (11/10/2014)

dipping applesFollowing the opening ceremony, the boys were able to visit the church kitchen where Ranger Rob discussed and demonstrated how to make caramel apples from scratch. While it’s not a particularly difficult process, it is a stove top safety hazard so we talked about both the ingredients and how to handle with appropriate supervision.

The boys took turns dipping their apples with Ranger Rob’s assistance, and all were set aside to cool while we returned to our normal meeting room for activities.

Tonight’s activities focused on ways people communicate with each other and how those communications can become distorted.  We broke into teams of four and set up tables with chairs for each team.  We also assigned a Junior Ranger to each team to help facilitate the activities.

Here is the worksheet that we shared with each Junior Ranger:

communicationCommunication Skills

Game one:  How do we communicate?

  1. Divide into teams and sit at tables.
  2. Everyone gets a piece of paper and a pencil/pen/marker
  3. Silently write down as many ways people communicate with each other as you can
  4. When the leader at your table says so, discuss your responses with each other at the table and count the number of unique ways we communicate
  5. Team with most responses gets 10 points, second best gets 5 points, every other team gets 3 points

Game two: Communicating badly

  1. Look at your table’s list from game #1.
  2. Silently write down when that type of communication would be a poor choice (example = texting while driving a car)
  3. When the leader at your table says so, discuss your responses with each other at the table and count the number of unique ways we communicate
  4. Team with most responses gets 10 points, second best gets 5 points, every other team gets 3 points

Game three: Whisper down the lane

  1. phonegameTake your team and make a line – spread each team member out a bit.
  2. Leader will provide a written message to the first person at the end of the line. He will read it and give the paper back to the leader.
  3. The first person will whisper the message to the second person so that no one else can hear it.
  4. The second person will whisper the message to the third person so that no one else can hear it.
  5. And so on until the last person hears the message and tells it to the leader or writes it down.
  6. Compare the initial message to the final message – did it change? Did it stay the same?  If it changed, why do you think it changed?  If it stayed the same, what helped to keep it clear?
  7. Each team to get this done quietly and calmly gets 10 Points, those who run around or mis-behave get fewer points as determined by their leader.

Game Four: Broken Picture Phone

  1. Teams sit at tables. Every other person gets paper and markers/pencils, etc.
  2. Leader reads a message to the person #1 who then draws a picture to communicate the idea of the message.
  3. Person #2 looks at the drawing and guesses at the meaning
  4. Person #2 writes down their guess of the meaning.
  5. Person #3 looks at Person #2’s drawing and guesses at the meaning, then writes down their guess to share with Person #4 (and so on until it’s back to the leader)
  6. As a group, the leader now reads the first message out loud. Person #1 explains what they drew (and shows the group), then Person #2 explains how they interpreted the picture, etc.
  7. Should be laughter – but not poking fun at any one person.
  8. 10 Points if everyone participates and has fun.

Game Five:  44 ways to use paperclips (100 point bonus to any team that gets 44 or more ways)

Game Six:  Introductions. Each member of group takes a turn to introduce themselves to the rest of the group (name, age, favorite class topic at school, career goal, what I like about CSB group) – 5 Points for each introduction

Junior Rangers helped boys who were struggling with drawings or had a tough time making additional or fresh connections; however, most everyone eagerly participated and did a great job within their teams.


Ranger Ken led the devotional which also tied into the theme of communication.  His devotional is summed up in a related article.

After closing circle, we had the boys retrieve their fresh caramel apples and sent them home.  Another great club night at NVEFC.

dipped apples

Meeting Recap (11/3/2014)

Not just another great meeting, tonight, but a milestone in the annual calendar — FISH FRY NIGHT! Two of our avid fishermen rangers brought an ample supply of fish they’ve caught, cleaned and prepared for frying.

Following our opening ceremony, the junior rangers led the boys in several games – fishnet, steal the bacon and musical chairs.  While the games were happening, the rangers were steadily cooking and prepping a bountiful feast for everyone.

Our activity time was focused on sampling a wonderful assortment of fish and side dishes like homemade sweet pickles.

Our devotional time included a discussion of Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Thess 5:12…what is authority, who is in authority over us and why should we submit to their authority?  Also, we talked about showing respect and working peaceably with other people.

Meeting Recap (10/27/2014)

scrabbleLast night was a combined meeting — Christian Service Brigade and Pioneer Girls — for a “Bring a friend to club night

Several of our young men and women responded by bringing friends who have either never been to club or haven’t been to club since last season.

It’s a great way to draw families in for a fun evening of board games and refreshments. (It’s also a little bit easier on the adult leaders, too!)

Perhaps the funniest part of the evening was our attempt to complete a unified closing ceremony where we formed a circle and the boys tried to lead the girls in our benediction, and then the girls tried to lead the boys in their closing song.

Oh well, we had a good laugh, and next week we’ll be back to our normal mode of operation.

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!