Newsletter

December, 2004

Scoutmaster's Minute Link

December Meeting Dates: December 6, 13, and 20th. 
December 27th there is no meeting but we hope to see many on our Jan 2nd tree pick up fund raiser with the first meeting of the New Year, January 3rd.

Christmas Tree Recycling Elves needed!

Christmas will be here soon! Troop 629's annual Christmas tree recycling fundraiser is in need of both adult and Boy Scout elves to help with the recycling for our community. 

Boy Scouts need to sign up for flyer distribution that starts the second week of December and tree pickup on Sunday January 2, 2005. All monies earned go directly into the boys' personal high adventure accounts. 

No experience necessary for adult elves - a variety of opportunities from which to choose - drivers, shotgun riders, cleanup, and more If you are a parent new to Troop 629 and are looking for a brief but fun way to participate in supporting your son's scouting, Santa would like to talk to you! See Chris Cotney at 770-410-1730 or look for Chris at Monday night scout meetings.

KROGER Debit Cards are going FAST! 

Kroger Debit Cards continue as a fabulous Troop fund raising activity. It’s painless and easy for families to help support the Troop by just participating in a no cost to you program and it is in conjunction with your normal routine of buying groceries for the family. Why not participate? The new Kroger debit card which will allows you to have actual cost deducted on each purchase rather than the set amount on the gift certificates have been a great convenience. Thanks ever so much to Mrs. Israeli for heading this program up.

Troop Outings

December Lock-in: Next Troop “overnight” outing is set for a our annual lock-in overnight at Mount Pisgah Dec 3-4. Info is on the Troop web site. 

During December each patrol is asked to conduct a “patrol outing and service” event. These events and days selected by the scouts in the patrol are over one of the first three weekends in December and a good way for a patrol to build their team spirit. Next up will be the annual ski trip to Winterplace slopes in WV over the Martin Luther King weekend. Details are out and sign up will be during meetings in December. 

January Ski Trip: The annual ski outing to West Virginia slopes is again set for the Martin Luther King holiday weekend Jan 14-17, 2005. Some details are out on the bulletin board and sign up will start in December. Note: Older scouts are looking into another trip to NH slopes Feb 18-22 weekend. See venture patrol “C” for details if you are 14 or older. 

Summer Camp 2005: The patrol leader’s council has asked to attend a different summer camp in the summer of 2005. We now have confirmed reservations for Camp Rainey Mountain June 5-11 (this is a calendar change) and details as they become known will be posted and provided on handouts.

High Adventure in 2005
Planning is well underway for the Troop to participate in any of the National BSA high adventure Camps in 2005. Tall ship sailing with Sea Base in the Bahamas over the summer, Philmont with the Council contingent and a National Jamboree in Virginia. See the notices and sign up with your deposit now so you to can be included. Look for details from the Scoutmaster. 
We really need you to tell us now what your plans are and confirm to ensure we have you on the list.


Short on Cash, but love to travel?
For all scouting activities the Troop has set up a scholarship fund to help any individual who may just not capable to participate at any particular time or event through a service hour trade off agreement with the SM. Let the Committee Chair know you if you have any individual needs. Our goal is not to deny any scout an opportunity they truly want to participate in. The high adventure bases and camps also normally run scholarship applications for those various events, just ask us for the forms if help is needed for a particular event.

The High Adventure bases and camps also normally have scholarship applications available for those individual events. Just ask the Scoutmaster for the form if help is needed for a particular event.


Board of Review

December 20 and January 24 are the next two Boards of Review. After a scout completes his Scoutmaster conference, he must notify Mrs. Smith, Troop Advancement Chairperson, that he is ready for a BOR. Full Class “A” uniform and Scout handbook are required for participation in a Board of Review. 

Rank Advancement

The following boys advanced in rank in NovemberCongratulations! 

    Second Class: Jonathan Atz, Daniel Bodamer
Star: Zack Brasher, David White

Uniforms

At all troop activities a designated uniform is specified. Also during Troop meetings the proper wear of the uniform is expected and all great scouts are not without their handbook to make a complete uniform. Proper uniform includes your short tucked in and closed toe shoes!

Lending Closet

The Troop maintains a scout uniform exchange or drop off point for all to use. With growth spurts for young scouts it’s hard at times to keep them outfitted for activities. Bring in your used or any pieces you come across and add to closet and feel free to pick up an item at any meeting. Ask for other items that may be store at another of our locations.


Patrol Food Items

Non Perishable (left over) from camping trips that can be reused need to be turned in with the patrol gear at the end of each trip and are stored by the troop in special patrol containers. This will help cut back on some cost for future trips and eliminate some waste now ongoing. A scout buying food will get a menu to use with a budget to follow. It’s important to follow the list and items/quantities specified as the menu has been planned for patrol guest and other program considerations. Purchase slips are turned into the Troop Treasurer for reimbursement after each trip by the patrol scout grubmaster for that trip.

Merit Badge Reminder

Scouts are still coming forward to work on a merit badge WITHOUT reading the whole MB book from cover to cover. This is not a negotiable and it doesn’t matter where the MB was started or with who. To complete the summer camp merit badges or any other follow the simple rules. Read the book from cover to cover. Bring any completed paperwork to a meeting or merit badge help night and coordinate an approved counselor from the scoutmaster. Sit down with the counselor and explain, show or complete the requirements as detailed. Its not about a memory test – it is about comprehension and covering the material as stated.

The second Tuesday of every month the SM will be available at Mount Pisgah Room A017 from 6-7 PM for those who need extra help with merit badge requirements or advancement. The next one is scheduled for December 14th.

Service Projects

The Troop frequently has last minute service project opportunities for scouts to participate in. Keep an eye out for them weekly, look on the bulletin board and pick up the flyers that are usually at the meeting.

In December each Patrol will be conducting their own service project. Contact your Patrol Leader or Mr. Gillis for more information about your event.

Michael Benjamin is in the process of working on his Eagle project during the month of December, contact Michael if you would like to help out on this important project servicing the Sunrise Retirement Center.

Order of the Arrow

Every month on the second Thursday there is a district OA gathering OA members can attend. See your OA rep for details.

Eagle Project Service Hours
 

Attention Life Scouts working on your Eagle project - please give Mrs. Smith a list of all scouts/adult leaders (and hours worked) who help with your project. Send to smithta@mindspring.com.

Merit Badge Counselors
Parents, if you are not currently registered as a Merit Badge Counselor for the Troop but would like to be, please see Kathy Smith, Advancement Chair, during Troop meetings, or contact her at 770-998-6752 or smithta@mindspring.com. No formal training is necessary.

High Adventure Update

Planning is well underway for the Troop to participate in any of the National BSA high adventure Camps in 2005.  Tall ship sailing with Sea Base in the Bahamas over the summer, Philmont with the Council contingent and a National Jamboree in Virginia.  See the notices and sign up with your deposit now so you to can be included.  Look for details from the Scoutmaster.

We really need you to tell us now what your plans are and confirm to ensure we have you on the list.

“New and Improved” Kroger Gift Card Fundraiser

Mrs. Terri Israeli reports that the new gift cards are working great - everyone loves using them and more families have signed up to participate!  The new cards allow you to have the actual cost deducted on each purchase and are much handier than the previous certificates.  If anyone would like to increase their amount, or has questions, please contact Terri at  terri_israeli@earthlink.net or 770-643-0885 (home)  770-751-9555 (work). In April we start up with a new Kroger debit card which will allow you to have actual cost deducted on each purchase rather than the set amount on the gift certificates we have been using. Thanks ever so much to Mrs. Israeli for heading this program up.

ATTENTION ADULTS
All adults are required by this troop to be properly trained for the event they are participating in. From being properly prepared just for a weekend outing to getting all the specialized training for high adventure now is the time to get yourself into those classes so you can help be ready on time. 

Our adults are encouraged to participate in one of the many training opportunities available for scouting. A great way to get started is by completing the online Boy Scout Fast Start or Youth Protection Training located at the Chattahoochee web site via a link from our troop's web site: www.troop629.org
.

To participate as an adult leader in the troop on overnight camping, you must complete Youth Protection Training, Fast Start and review the Troop 629 Adult Guide.

Assistant Scoutmasters and Committee Members must complete the above training and New Leaders Essentials, SALT, ITOLS and/or Committee Training. Information on these training opportunities are available on the Chattahoochee District web site.

To participate in High Adventure, leaders must complete all the above along with special classes such as CPR, FA, safety afloat, and safe swim.

* NOTE: For Youth Protection and Fast Start, print from web site your completion form page and pass to the unit's training chairperson.

When you have completed any of the BSA training, please notify our Committee Chair, Linda Dembowski.

Adult volunteers
A lot of behind the scene necessary support in running an active Troop comes from many adults giving special efforts in their own way. If you are one of the adults that just isn’t able to lock in a routine support directly with the program other support needs are there waiting. Contact our committee chair for a list of those opportunities to help the evolving dynamic program.
On all trips we request adults clearly state their intentions if providing transportation support with the number of passengers that you can handle in the vehicle being used. 

There are currently several KEY positions which are in need of new volunteers!!! If you are interested in helping out, please contact Linda Dembowski at lindahd@ofsoptics.com or call her at 770-552-1472 to volunteer.

Merit Badge Counselors
Parents, if you are not currently registered as a Merit Badge Counselor for the Troop but would like to be, please see Kathy Smith, Advancement Chair, during Troop meetings, or contact her at 770-998-6752 or smithta@mindspring.com. No formal training is necessary.

Scholarships

The Troop has set up a scholarship fund for all Scouting activities to help any individual who may not otherwise by able to participate in a specific activity. This is available through a service hour trade-off agreement with the Scoutmaster. Let the Committee Chair know you if you have any individual needs. Our goal is to not deny any Scout an opportunity he truly wants to participate in. 

The High Adventure bases and camps also normally have scholarship applications available for those individual events.

Just ask the Scoutmaster for the form if help is needed for a particular event.

Patrol Leaders Council

Once a month our Senior Patrol Leader leads his Patrol Leader Council to formulate the plans for meetings and activities. Changes and or improvements are discussed at that time and all scouts should be making sure their representative is up to date on issues, concerns and program request. Next PLC is set for Dec 16th. Another reason to check the Troop bulletin board or web site to keep the ever dynamic and fluid scouting calendar up to date Annual Planning.

The Troop has its annual calendar published and it’s available for all on the web site (www.troop629.org). Our Chattahoochee District (www.cdbsa.org) and Atlanta Area Council (www.atlantabsa.org) have web sites as well where additional information is also available concerning upcoming events. Please note that Troop meeting start time at 7:15 and closing at 8:45 PM on Mondays. Please show up on time so we can start the program on time.

Life-to-Eagle Clinic
Life Scouts are encouraged to attend the district Life-to-Eagle advancement forum before beginning their Eagle project workbook. The next Life-to-Eagle advancement clinic will be held on Thursday, December 2, 7 PM at Zion Missionary Baptist Church (Room 322) in Roswell. For detailed information, please contact Eric Mintz, Chattahoochee District Life-to-Eagle Coordinator, at eamintz@mindspring.com.

LETTERS FROM THE FIELD:

The Adventure on the Appalachian Trail
By: Daniel Bodamer

At 7:30 on a cold Saturday morning in November, some 27 scouts and leaders from troop 629 left to go backpacking on the Appalachian Trail. They started hiking at Unicoi Gap (2949ft), and began their assent up Rocky Mountain. The terrain was very steep and rocky; so many scouts had immediate trouble. When the reached the summit, the scouts had traveled 1.3 miles over Rock Mountain. At around 11:30, during the decent of Rocky Mountain, they stopped for 30 minutes to eat lunch.

After they hiked down Rocky Mountain, the Boy Scouts had to climb Tray Mountain. (4430ft) Tray Mountain was covered with thick, green forests, and was mostly up hill. When the scouts reached camp near the top of Tray Mountain, they set up their tents and had dinner. (Most scouts brought dehydrated food.)

After having breakfast the next day, and repacking their equipment, the tired scouts hiked back up and down each mountain. However, it was not as hard back, since this time it was mostly downhill. Just as the group I was hiking with reached the summit, it started to rain slightly. Most of the scouts got back to Unicoi Gap before it really started to rain. Everyone was very tired afterwards, but they were all glad it was over and proud of their accomplishment.


View the bulletin board and troop web site for latest details.

Questions concerning this publication?
Joe and Neal Ruggles
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