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.

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.

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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.

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Battalion Meetings (grades 7-12)

ALTERNATING FRIDAY NIGHT PROGRAM LAUNCHES OCTOBER 7th:
This year, we are trying an experiment by relaunching a modified Battalion program for boys in grades 7-12.  This program will meet on alternating Friday nights from 7 to 9 PM in the lower auditorium: 
  • First 30 minutes reserved for planning for Monday night meetings (arrive by 7), and
  • the second block of time (arrive by 7:30), is for a video, workbook and discussion based bible study called “Stepping Up: A Call to Courageous Manhood” (Preview videos:
The bible study is suitable for teens thru all adult ages, and I’d encourage Battalion cadets / Junior Rangers to invite their dad to attend if possible (not a requirement, but they may find it highly engaging to walk through the program side-by-side with their sons) Our church will require each adult to fill out a youth volunteer application and submit to a background check (but it’s pretty painless!)
The schedule for Friday Night meetings is:
  • October 7
  • October 21
  • November 4
  • November 18
  • December 2

The Stepping Up series is 10 segments long, this group of five meeting nights carries us halfway through the program, allowing us to finish it in the Spring.

There is a cost for the workbook – I’m shopping around the internet to find the lowest possible price now, and will send an update (It’s likely to be about $6-$7).  I’m not planning refreshments on Fridays at this time, but would be open to bringing coffee/juice/tea with an offering basket to offset costs, etc.  If we want to do something more, we’ll discuss at the first meeting and perhaps someone can take charge of that part of the meeting planning, etc.

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Honor Dad, Build A Legacy

There are twelve days until Father’s Day.  Today’s quote reminds us that children look up to their parents, and are instructed to obey and honor them.  How we safeguard that trust invested in us as parents, builds a lasting legacy for our children and their children, too.

I decided in my life that I would do nothing that did not reflect positively on my father’s life. – Sidney Poitier

As dads we carry the trust and respect of our children, and we ought to honor that trust and caring by holding ourselves to the highest standard, but also working hard to mend fences when we make mistakes. We want our children to consistently remember us well.

Resources

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.

What Does Christmas Mean to You?

[sorry for the delay in posting articles – started a new job and there’s been little time to blog – PHF]

What do you think of when I say “Christmas time”? Do you think of candy canes, gingerbread men, decorated pine trees, houses lit up at night with twinkling lights?  Of all these sorts of images, what excites you the most?  What makes Christmas fun and exciting?

I have to be honest, for me I’ve always been thrilled by beautifully wrapped presents. There’s a lot of excitement associated with receiving a gift – the anticipation of waiting to unwrap it, the wondering about what it may contain and the hope that it will be something that I will treasure or cherish for years to come.

What makes a gift really special to you?  What makes it memorable for years to come?

I think some of the ways that gifts become really special might include:

  • When the giver is someone very important to us
  • When it’s obvious that they went out of their way to get us this gift
  • When the gift shows us that the giver really cares about us
  • When the gift shows that the giver really knows us intimately – they understand what we need and what we value
  • When the gift lifts our spirit – makes us happy and joyful each time we see it because it is of such lasting value that we never tire of having it around

Lastly, a real gift is not given out of a sense of obligation or duty, but as a demonstration of love done willingly and voluntarily.

So at Christmas, what are we really celebrating?  Is it all about Santa and Snowmen or something else?

In Luke Chapter 2, verses 8 thru 11, it tells us why we celebrate at Christmas:

In the same region there were some shepherds staying out in the fields and keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord suddenly stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them; and they were terribly frightened.  But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;  for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

The announcement by the angels tells us a lot in very few words – they were telling the shepherds (and us) that God was granting us a free gift.  When Adam and Eve sinned, everything changed between people and God – we broke the only rule that God gave us and we gave up a great relationship with God.  Now, God was doing something extraordinary to give us a way to be friends with God again.  He didn’t design a checklist of things we need to do, and He didn’t make more rules for us to follow – instead He gave us a free gift.

Here’s what the Bible has to say about that gift:

  • Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
  • Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;
  • James 1:17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.
  • Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Summary

Christmas is about God giving us a gift, and we celebrate the birth of Jesus since his appearance on earth was the start of the plan to give us a way to be reconciled to God.  We are so joyful over God’s love for us that we share gifts with each other at Christmas time, but these ought to remind us of the most important gift we could ever receive – God wanting us to be at peace with Him forever.