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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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.

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.

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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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Sacrificial Love – Is there another kind?

Recently a colleague shared an article on parenting and perceived changes in society among younger generations.  I suppose “older” generations have always been harsh critics of “younger” generations, but there were several interesting points made in the article.

The article appears at “Stream.org” and is titled “Baby, you stole the life I wanted” (LINK)

The gist of the article (and I encourage you to read it for yourself) is summed up in this quote from the article;

…there’s a growing and largely ignored group of mothers all over the world who are confessing their regret over having children. Day after day, as they change diapers, drive to soccer practice, and help with college applications, they fantasize about a life unburdened by dependents and free from the needs of others. A do-over.

I can certainly identify with (and remember) the stressful times of dealing with our (anyone’s) first child — it’s all “new” and “unsure” and “no sleep” and “anxiety”.  Dads IMGP6811get to run to work in the morning, engage in adult conversation and then drag themselves home at night often to a mom who looks like she’s been mauled by lions.  Some dads muster the courage to grab the child/children and hustle them to the park for playtime and give mom a break, but some may grab a drink and head for the TV (leaving “mom” to finish making dinner without suffering an emotional breakdown).  Adding a second or third child adds to the stress of juggling schedules, school, extracurricular activities, etc.  Oh, and add “homeschooling” to the list.

Still, I think this article is driving at a different point.  Not only are some moms frustrated by the change in lifestyle, but some dwell on what might have been instead of having a family.  Here’s another quote to illustrate;

“I wonder if my accomplishments would be more spectacular,” says Ananya, a 38-year-old freelance writer and editor who divides her time between the United States and Singapore. “Would I have written my second or third book? Would I be able to travel to chase that elusive story? I feel motherhood has slowed me down so much. She envies friends not for their spontaneous vacations and naps, but for the time and space they have to think.

norman-rockwellreading to childrenI would imagine there are Dad’s who fall into this same analysis and it’s not fair to single out moms as the sole bad actors in the analysis.  Dads do get to pursue their career, but they could easily build up a silent resentment for not being able to take a job in China opening up a new sales division or having other younger, single men take key promotions especially if they’re perceived to be less experienced or qualified.

Perhaps it’s important to remember why, as individuals and now as a couple, the choices were made to commit to building a family.  There are joys to counter the frustrations, promises from God to offset the discomfort. Still, I like how the author states;

Love is a cross. It always has been, and always will be. The mystery of love is that it demands death — the death of self. Myself. Yourself. Love is only about the other. And when we love, we are released from the prison of resentment and the tyranny of insatiable wants. Love is the only freedom.

A society built around the individual, rather than the family, will petrify into unspeakable emptiness.

  • Psalm 127:3 NASB – Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.
  • Psalm 112:1-2 NASB – Praise the Lord! How blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who greatly delights in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed.
  • IMGP7151Psalm 127:3-6 NASB – Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, So are the children of one’s youth. How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them; They will not be ashamed When they speak with their enemies in the gate.
  • John 16:21 ESV – When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.
  • Proverbs 17:6 ESV – Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their fathers.
  • Psalm 139:13-16 ESV – For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Children are a blessing from God.  We choose to invest ourselves in them so that they can fulfill God’s purposes and plans.  A man (or woman) may have many plans in their heart, but it’s the Lord’s purpose that will be carried out (Proverbs 19:21) – we’d be wise to recognize this as inescapable for He created us to carry out His vision and plan for our lives — attempts to go our own way will inevitably be futile and less rewarding (eternally) than being submissive to His leadership.

  • IMGP6935Psalm 37:4 ESV – Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.
  • Psalm 37:5 ESV – Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.
  • Proverbs 16:1-3 ESV – The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirit. Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.
  • Matthew 6:21 ESV – For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
  • Proverbs 16:9 ESV – The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.
  • Matthew 6:33 ESV – But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

Commit your sacrificial love to God, your spouse, and your children.  Investing time to walk closer to God and really understand His plan for your life can only help bring context and relief.    If you are struggling, talk to your Pastor, Priest or Spiritual Advisor.  Seek out like-minded friends and certainly pray about your feelings and struggles.

Christian Service Brigade offers a magazine for parents called “Valor” – http://valormagazine.csbministries.org/  – its free, and you can view it online or subscribe to have it delivered by email.  You may find one or more articles that speak to current concerns in raising your son(s), and you can certainly reach out to the editor with suggestions for future articles of interest.

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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.

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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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Brigade Experience 2016

Today, we had the opportunity to receive regional training and a National update on what’s happening with the ministry.

Offering a total of ten different workshops over the course of three time periods, we found that there was “something for everyone” — whether very experienced or brand new to the program.

Peter Westerman offered a three part series to enable adult leaders to become “certified” with basic training on: “Brigade Principles”; “Brigade Ministries Overview”; and “Leadership Skills”.

Joel Fiscus, from our National support team, offered a pair of workshops:  “Fatherless No More” (delving into ways leaders can better support boys from single parent homes) and “leaving a legacy” (looking at ways to build up bench strength in adult leaders so that the program will continue at your church).

Ron Rynd offered two sessions: “Why Achievement?” (promoting the value of the achievement program for boys to feel a sense of accomplishment and goal setting); “Brigade Chairman” (covering the distinct mission of the Brigade Chairman position and how it is different from the role of Chief Ranger)

Duanne Moeller from Rutherford Bible Chapel offered a workshop designed to help familiarize leaders on the various stockade booklets, leaders guides and other deliverables.

Andy Puttbach had a seminar on getting your unit ready for a Shape N Race event (pinewood derby).

Paul Farrell covered how to leverage social media to better connect with parents, church supporters and the local community.

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