Last Sunday the Pack Committee met to discuss past and upcoming events for the boys at Mike Bumgarner's house in Novato.
Parents and Leaders present:  Mike Bumgarner, David Vasser, Amanday Harvey, Sonali Dev, Rekh Pareek

1)  Review January Pack meeting

2)  Review January Pack activity (hike to Lake Lagunitas)

3)  Plan February Pack meeting - Cub Scout monthly theme:  Resourcefulness

4)  Plan February Pack activity (hike around Indian Valley hills)

5)  Plan Pinewood Derby workshop at Keith Parker's house - who will bring snacks, tools, etc.?

6)  Plan Pinewood Derby Race - track, medals, etc.

7)  Plan Blue and Gold dinner - need a theme, the agenda, and to determine who will setup and cleanup

8)  Discuss who can take over chairman position for Outings Chair, as well as for next year's leaders


We talked about how our Outings Chair is taking on an MBA course and we need someone else to send out information about Pack monthly activities.  Sonali volunteered for the position and it is a great fit with her background as the the Communications Chair.  Thanks, Sonali, for volunteering for this.

We quickly reviewed the Aquarium by the Bay outing and what a great success it was.  We will keep it in our rotation between there, the Academy of Sciences, and perhaps the Marine Mammal Center as places to hold an indoor sleepover.  Other suggestions are welcome.

We discussed the window on February 10 to try to get a reservation at Kirby Cove through recreation.gov for the May 10 overnight.  We lined up 4 people to try to get a reservation.  Ultimately none of the people were able to get a campsite during the 5 second window the site had before all bookings were taken by other people.  So instead of camping at Kirby Cove, Rekh Pareek came up with the idea of camping at Wright's Beach on the Bodega Bay coast and he successfully made reservations for 8 people to camp on Friday May 9 and for 16 people to camp on Saturday May 10.  Thanks, Rekh, for coming up with a great alternative and making the reservation!

We next talked about Todd Northcutt's research of a new Pinewood Derby track.  We liked the option he found for an aluminum track to be purchased from besttrack.com and approved the purchase of the track.  Sonali said she would call Council to find out the standard length they use at the County Fair and we would buy our track with the same length.  Delivery will be in 6-8 weeks, so we will need to push out our Pinewood Derby to another weekend.  At the day of the derby Mike will bring the wooden track and we'll setup both tracks but the kids can practice on the wood track if they want.

We planned this month's Pack meeting.  For the activity, Marla Northcutt had suggested that each Den make a food sculpture of their favorite activity and present it at the Pack meeting.  The sculptures would be judged and everyone would receive a segment for participation.  Mike suggested the boys sing 3 songs and said he would select them and provide the music so David Vasser's father could provide music with his ukulele.  The Webelos Den will try again to do their sketch of Who's on First from Abbot and Costello and Keith suggested he could project it afterwards using his digital projector.  Amanda Harvey would also bring Pirate Booty leftover from winter camp and fruit for a snack afterwards.

We briefly touched on the January Pack activity which was a hike to Lake Lagunitas.  The only family that went was the Wegners.

From there we talked about the planned February hike on the 22nd around Indian Valley hills but it was suggested we take advantage of the recent rains and perhaps see waterfalls and salmon instead.  The Cascade falls in Fairfax hike was suggested and approved.  It will start at 10:00 AM and is an easy hike but has difficult parking so we would need to carpool.  We will meet at end of Cascade drive in Fairfax.

We continued with the next Pack activity of a Pack Pinewood Derby Workshop to be held at Keith Parker's garage.  Mike will come early for setup and we'll try to do it in the driveway if there is no rain.  Keith will send out the announcement about the workshop where the boys are in by 10 and out by noon.  The start time is set earlier to avoid blowing a big hole in everyone's day.

We then discussed who should be responsible for ensuring that money for events is collected and tried to figure out a way to systemize the process of keeping track of who has paid for which event.

We also thought it would help if Keith Parker sets up a pack based email address to use going forward for our Evite's account.  We will also maintain a list of all email addresses for the evite invites that can be imported for each event (or perhaps we only hneed to do this once and maintain it?).  Keith will work with Sonali Dev on this.

We then thought ahead to the Blue and Gold Dinner.  We need a theme, agenda, and to assign who will do setup and who will do breakdown.  Last year's theme was 25th anniversary and the year before that it was space.  It was suggested to have a Scouting related theme and since we have a lot of boys transitioning to Boy Scouts this year then perhaps something related to that.  So it was decided to have a slide show of the Arrow of Light den showing them in their years from Tiger Cubs to now.  The Blue and Gold will be inside at the usual location at Dixie multipurpose room and we will continue to have it as a potluck and a Bridging ceremony.

We also discussed candidates for next year's leaders who could take over some of the leadership functions going forward due to the loss of many parents involved at the Arrow of Light level.  It was noted that we need to get more families involved because we don't have a large enough pool of potential parent candidates.  Bottom line, we need more Cub Scouts involved in the Pack first so we can have more parents to help with things.  Mike will work on getting flyers out to schools and would appreciate parents' involvement.

Last, Rekh handed out a flyer for Wood Badge Training which is for parents and is a 6 day course held over two weekends. It was mentioned how some parents at another unit went through this training and by applying what they learned they increased membership to more than 60 boys.

We ended by saying we should encourage our sons to talk to their friends about them coming on a hike at Tamarancho.  We would try to get access to the BB gun and archery range there and have an open invitation to everything except overnight camps.  Another activity would be to invite boys and their families to could come out to see the Pinewood Derby.

We believe you can put flyers in the go home folders at Dixie and Mary Silveira schools so Mike will see if he can put together something that would invite various people.  Sonali also mentioned about the water launcher we did recently that was a fun way to shoot off a bottle rocket.

To recap, the next 2 weekends are Pack activities of the pinewood derby workshop, the hike to the waterfall, and then we have the Pack meeting.  A new track for pinewood derby will be purchased and after it arrives we will set it up to check it out and have the derby the following weekend.  We will send out notices when we know these dates.  We are also changing the Kirby Cove outing to be at Wright's Beach on the same weekend in May and will send an update with location and directions.

Our next Committee meeting is scheduled to be on March 9 and will be either at Amanda Harvey or Keith Parker's house.

Thanks, everyone, for your help in making the Pack an exciting and rewarding experience for you and your sons.
Yours in Scouting,
David Vasser
Adult Committee Chairman, Pack 28