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.

2016-cards

Stockade Tonight! (12/5/2016)

Tonight will be the final Stockade meeting for the Fall semester.  We will meet in the Sunday School Annex building (across the parking lot) so that the girls may use the lower auditorium for their Christmas Tea program.

Although we got a good start on planning pinewood derby cars, and finished our gliders last week, we’re having a Christmas Craft program tonight.  The boys will split into three groups to work on decorations that they can take home to share with their family.

Handmade snowflakes, greeting card and ornament will be the focus of the craft time and we’ll have seasonal music, movies and snacks.

See you tonight!

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

 

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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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!

Meeting Recap (10/20/2014)

Last night’s meeting was action packed.  Our focus for the evening was on teamwork and learning to work together cooperatively.

Following our opening ceremony there was the usual time for games including an indoor version of capture the flag led by the Junior Rangers.

Next, we had the boys settle down for a brief remembrance time where we talked about Chief Ranger Dave’s untimely death in the hospital.  The boys handled the news well, and the boys shared their recollection of Dave’s ministry to them.  We also read a letter of what Dave “might have said” if he had known he had to say farewell one last time.

Our activities for the evening consisted of three special team challenges designed to help the boys recognize the value of communication, enthusiasm, and leadership within small groups.

  • skisSkis built for threeis a physically active challenge where three boys step up on a pair of skis and must walk in unison to get across the room in the shortest possible time.  The challenge is further complicated halfway to their goal by turning one of the boys to face backwards and they have to compensate for calling out cadence based on “left and right” since some of their team are backwards. Other variations call for blindfolds, not allowing the boys to speak, having them walk backwards, etc.
  • “Two Rope Circles” is a challenge for boys to work together with strong communication and planning skills. The rules are simple: the team can only move when they’re inside the boundary of one or the other rope circles and they must work together to figure out the best and fastest way to cross the room as a team. The boys begin standing within the boundaries of a rope circle and holding a second rope in their hands.  They could toss the second rope circle and jump from one to the other, but they need to find a way to bring the first rope along in leap-frog fashion. Other methods are fine, too.  Sometimes the boys realize that they can simply pick up the rope and walk directly across the room as long as they’re still “inside” the circle!
  • “Hazardous Waste Crawl” is a game where a pretend shipment of “hazardous waste” must be moved across the room without dropping it, touching it or getting too close to it.  Equipment may include an inverted frisbee, ball and ropes, but we simply cut down an old cardboard box and used a pee-wee football.  The carry tray has four (or more, or less) strings at each corner that are roughly 24-36 inches long.  The teams must use the strings to lift the load (and keep a “safe” distance from the load at all times).  Working together, they must carefully move their cargo across the room without dropping it.  This takes precision, communication and teamwork.  It can be easy to drop the load so coaches help the team stay positive to avoid frustration overload.

Following the actives, we formed a story circle and discussed teamwork as a concept found in the Bible — see associated devotional link for that teamwork discussion (Click HERE).

NEXT WEEK — “BRING A FRIEND” and “GAME NIGHT”

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