The 2023-24 Bears Den is a spirited group of 10 boys led by Mark Renczkowski and Shawn Kerr. The den meets every other Wednesday evening from 6:15 to 7:30 in the Luther Burbank Cafeteria beginning September 13th. Newcomers may join at any time during the year – they are never ‘behind.’
Bears Den meetings are built around “Adventures,” or units of learning activities. In every activity, boys do their best* to earn Adventure-specific Belt Loops which they can proudly add to their uniform belt as they progress towards earning their Bear Badge at the conclusion of the year.
This year’s Adventures are:
- Bear Claws (Pocket knives)
- Bear Necessities (Camping skills)
- Fellowship and Duty to God (Non-denominational and personal)
- Fur, Feathers and Ferns (Plants and animals)
- Baloo the Builder (Tools and building)
- Paws for Action (Duty to country)
Boys also work with their parent(s) or as a Den to complete one elective Adventure chosen from a group of options.
* Do Your Best is the Cub Scout motto and it applies to boys, leaders and parents alike.
Latest News from the Bears
Boys and families from Pack 9 were treated to panoramic views from the summit of Mount Watatic on Saturday. The group covered the 1.1 mile hike to the top in about and hour and a half and everyone enjoyed their lunch gazing out over the brilliant fall colors in Wachusett Valley. Then the boys found …
On Saturday, the Cub Scouts of Pack 9 logged a 3.5 mile hike deep into the heart of Leominster State Forest in search of the famous Crow Hill Ledges. The boys and their families met up at Wachusett Mountain Ski area, then hiked the Mid State Trail to Redemption Rock. After a snack, Wolf Leader …
Bears Den Calendar
The 2023 Fall Foliage Hike is being planned – stay tuned!
Here are details from last year’s Fall Foliage Hike
The 2022 Fall Foliage Hike took us out to Orange, MA where the Tully Mountain, Tully Lake Campground and Doane’s Falls invited our exploration.
We met at the base of Tully Mountain at 10:30 and hiking the Tully Mountain Loop Trail to the summit (1.1 miles ) for an early lunch with views out over the Nashua River Valley. From there we took a steep half-mile descent to cars and from there a 10-minute ride to Royalston to check out Doane’s Falls and the Tully Lake Campground, a couple of nearby gems that could be seen in a half-hour.
We were on the road home by 2:00pm.
This hike was accessible to all – the whole family could attend!
The trailhead is on Mountain Road, Orange, MA – about 45 minutes from Lancaster.
Fire in the hole… 3… 2… 1… Blast off!!! It’s the Annual Pack 9 Rocket Launch!
Be sure to arrive no later than 10:00 AM for the Event Kickoff and Safety Discussion.
“Doors open” at 9:30 for instruction and rocket preparation.
Boys bring their own rockets and launch them under safe and supervised conditions. You don’t need to know anything about rockets to try it, but you do need to come prepared.
(Don’t have a rocket? Reach out and and you can borrow one!)
There are all kinds of options for rockets on-line, or you can buy them in the store at RC Excitement in Fitchburg.
If you’re completely new to it, just understand that you need to buy a couple of things: (1) a rocket and (2) several “engines” for it. Four engines = four flights which should be enough. You only need one rocket, which you use over and over. That said, some enthusiasts have multiple rockets. The Pack provides the launchers, wadding, safety glasses, etc.
You can build the rocket from a kit and decorate it, which is a lot of fun to do with your son. If so, you should probably start soon. On the other end of the spectrum, some boys are happy just to have something to launch and have the most fun just running around chasing all the rockets with their buddies. If that sounds like your son, a pre-made rocket from one of the hobby stores is probably fine. For about $20-$25 all-in and you’re good to go w/ a rocket and 4 engines.
There’s a lot to know about the engines – most people use A, B or C engines (they’re all the same size, just differ in performance attributes) and the C’s are most powerful, the A’s the least powerful. The screenshot above gives you an idea – you don’t have to get A8-3 engines, that’s just to give you an idea.
So if you don’t have rockets and you’d like to participate in the November 19th Rocket Launch, put a trip to RC Excitement on your Calendar this weekend. I think that’s probably the best way to get started if you’ve never done it before.
Finally – fall sports season is over and the Rocket Launch is a great event to invite a friend to who might have been too busy to try Cub Scouts earlier.
Join us for Pack 9’s first full Pack meeting of the year! We’ll hear from the boys who attended camp this past summer and there will be lots of fun activities for the scouts along with awards for their great progress this year.
Pack 9 Pinewood Derby 2024!!
Cub Scouts: START YOUR GRAVITY! Get ready for the annual Pack 9 Pinewood Derby:
When: Saturday Jan. 6, 8am
Where: Luther Burbank Cafeteria
Click HERE for complete rulebook.
Boys must build their cars from standard BSA-issue parts. Since not everyone has a bandsaw or hand tools and vice, it is OK to purchase a pre-cut block such as this. The boy should then add weight, sand and paint, prepare wheels and axels and fasten to car.
If you’re brand new to the Pinewood Derby, here’s a short video you can watch with your son that walks you through the steps to building a car.
The boys compete against one another regardless of grade level – the cars are all mixed together. Each car will race 4 times – once in each of the 4 lanes on the track. The 4 times are averaged to decide placement amongst all the racers.
The top finishers will go to the Heart of New England Council-wide Pinewood Derby.
Cars cannot exceed 5.0 ozs and extended wheelbases are illegal. The rules may be found here.
Friday activities are remote – to be completed online
Pre-race Registration (Friday): Mandatory online registration has been extended to Friday 1/6 @ 4pm.
Online Voting (Friday)
We give awards (plaques) for winners in several online voting categories. For this to work, each boy must:
- Submit a photo of his car when he registers (online, no later than 4pm Friday)
- Return to the website after 4pm (once all the photos have been submitted) and vote for his favorite in each category:
- “Most Realistic” – car that looks like the real thing
- “Cubby” (Most Authentic) – car that looks like the boy built it entirely himself with no adult help
- “Most Creative Design” – self-explanatory
- “Funniest” – car most likely to bring a smile to your face
- “Pack 9 Favorite Car” – overall favorite as voted by peers
Saturday event is in-person at Luther Burbank Middle School on Hollywood Drive
Race Day (Saturday) Schedule:
- 8:00 – 9:00 – Weigh-in. Arrive no later than 8:30. Once racing begins at 9:00 we cannot add a car late due to constraints in the racing software that tallies results.
- 9:00 – 10:00 – Main Race to determine top 10 finalists
- 10:00 – 10:15 – Top 10 finalists race to determine the qualifiers for District PWD in April (last year the top 6 got to compete in Districts)
- 10:15 – 10:30 – Awards presentation (please plan to remain through the award presentation. Remind boys that courteously applauding one another’s success is one of our 12 Values.
- 10:30 – 10:45 – Sibling race
- 10:45 – 11:00 – Adult race
Boys should retrieve their cars on the spot, once the Pack racing is over.
If you are unable (or forget) to retrieve your car, they will be available later in the day in the brown deck box on the front portico of First Church.
Scouts should be in their uniforms for the event.
There will be a snack table – munchkins, crackers, juice, hot cocoa, coffee – all are appreciated and make for a more memorable event!
2022 Pinewood Derby
It’s time to tap the trees! Tree tapping marks the beginning of maple syrup season. For the next 5 weeks, the boys and their families will collect sap from the trees in their collecting area. The sap is picked up and brought to the Pack 9 Sugar Shack, located on our property at 645 Sterling Road where it will be boiled down on weekends to make maple syrup.
Each den will pick a time during the weekend of February 3 & 4 to tap trees in their area.
The 2024 Pack Overnight is being planned! Stay tuned for more details!
Details from the 2023 Overnight to Battleship Cove
Last year, Pack 9 travelled to Battleship Cove in Fall River to visit the historic USS Massachusetts! The boys and their parents/siblings arrived at closing time (4:00 pm) and had the run of the ship until the event ended at approximately 9:00 the following morning. Everyone slept in the actual bunks that the sailors used; our group had its own bunk room.
Cost of the event was $50 per scout and $75 per adult or sibling. This included dinner, breakfast, access to the entire ship and evening programming by ship staff.
Visit the Battleship Cove Website for more on the Nautical Nights program.
Download a packing list and program description here.