Category Archives: Veterans Day

November Pack Meeting Recap

Pack 19 held their monthly Pack Meeting last night and even though it ran a little longer than expected, it went very well!

The core value of the month was citizenship, and we integrated this and Thanksgiving (which, as a national holiday fits right in there) to come up with our activities. We went with a station rotation idea where boys were split up into groups (each group included different ranks and siblings) and went from station to station where they did some sort of activity that was related to Citizenship.

Station #1 – Flags
At this station, we were outside the church at the flagpoles in the parking lot. Boys (and siblings) learned how to properly raise, lower and fold the US flag. The tie in to citizenship for this one is pretty easy to grasp; also it meets advancement requirements or electives at pretty much every rank level in Cub Scouts.

Station #2 – Cooking
In the church’s kitchen, the kids all made small apple turnovers using pre-made biscuit dough (Kroger brand) and a can of apple pie filling. While they were taking turns doing this their groups also learned the Johnny Appleseed grace and got filled in on the legend of Johnny Appleseed. This is the tie in with the theme, it’s American Folklore.

Station #3 – Cards
In one of the church’s side rooms, we had the boys do a leaf rubbing (and possibly identification, it was supposed to happen but I wasn’t in that room so I don’t know for sure). They turned their leaf rubbing into a Happy Thanksgiving card that the boys will give to a soldier or veteran they or their parents might know. The tie in here is for the boys to recognize the service of our veterans to our country.

Station #4 – Place mats
In another side room, the boys were given a place mat that had a blank map of the first 13 states (plus Ohio). They were supposed to color it in and label the states. Then on the other half of the page they were supposed to draw a famous American and tell what they did. Here’s a link to that coloring book page. The tie in here to citizenship was likewise pretty obvious.

Station #5 – Tic-Tac-Trivia
Back in the main room, we laid down big tic tac toe game squares on the floor with masking tape. We then had the groups answer trivia questions and if they got it right the square they were in was an O. If they got it wrong it was an X. All the questions were related to US History and the flag.

Leaders from each of our five dens ran one of the stations. I ran flags. After our pack meeting opening flag ceremony and a rundown of how things were going to work, the boys went to each station. They got about 10 minutes at each plus 2 minutes of travel, so it took roughly one hour for all the groups to get through all the stations. After the station rotations were done, we gathered back into the main room and did advancements using the ceremony suggested in the Den and Pack Meeting Resource Guide but slightly modified using BSA 2010 paper cups rather than hats. After that came announcements, then we circled up, sang Scout Vespers, did our blessing and went home. The boys grabbed their turnovers on the way out.

Overall I think it went very well, though it ran a little long. While I’m not entirely thrilled about that, my feeling is that if the boys were enjoying themselves that was the most important part.

Advancement – Besides the whole host of stuff that each family will have to go through their rank books to see what got completed, we also incorporated nearly all of the requirements of the US Heritage Silver Award. So I was pleased with how everything went.

Next month is a little R-E-S-P-E-C-T, so that should be an interesting pack meeting to plan. We’ll see how that goes.



11/11/11 (Thank you!)

On November 11th in 1918 the armistice agreement between the Allies and Germany was finally signed, bringing an end to the war which had raged throughout Europe, at least in the western front. This agreement, which had taken several weeks to negotiate, was signed in a railway car in the Compi├Ęgne Forest in northern France and went into effect at 11:00 AM that day. From this we get the term “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” Right up until the final minute of the hostilites, war raged, but as that 11th hour struck, the western front went quiet and effectively ended “the war to end all wars.”

For the Allied countries, this date became significant, and memorials were created, perhaps most notably to honor the unknown war dead. In Great Britain, the remains of an unknown soldier were interred at Westminster Abbey. In France, an unknown soldier was buried beneath the Arc de Triomphe. And in the United States, in 1921 the Tomb of the Unknowns was dedicated at Arlington National Cemetery and the remains of an unidentified soldier were interred. Congress declared November 11th a national holiday, Armistice Day.

Unfortunately, the “war to end all wars” did not live up to it’s name, and just a few decades later the second World War began. And that was followed by conflicts in Korea and Vietnam and the Middle East twice and Afghanistan, plus many other military operations in other places around the globe in which American servicemen and servicewomen bravely served. And even in times of peace, our military forces are always working, always protecting, always preparing for when the time when they will be called upon again to protect the principles that our country was founded upon.

And while today’s modern technological age has virtually guaranteed that no brave man or women who dies in service to this country will no longer by named, that was not always the case. Unknown war dead from World War II, Korea and Vietnam were interred into the Tomb of the Uknowns throughout the years. Through DNA testing, the remains of the Vietnam soldier were eventually identified and removed and returned to his family. All that remains today are the remains of the soldiers from World Wars I and II and the Korean conflict.

Because wars continued to be fought, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954. On this day each year we give special attention to all of those who served our country, in both peacetime and times of conflict, both living and dead.

Were it not for the sacrifice made by these people and their families, the United States of America would not be the same country as we know it. The often used saying goes “Freedom isn’t free.” If you ever want to know how true this is, ask a veteran.

So today, during this eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, please take time to remember, honor and thank our veterans for their service to this country.

Many went, some came back, some are still there, and some will never return. And for all of these people, we give our thanks.

Thank you, Dad.
Thank you, Grandpa.
Thank you, Donna.
Thank you, Paul.
Thank you, everyone else may or may not read this for their service, whether I know you or not.

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