Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Bright and early yesterday, on an amazingly crisp and clear morning, over forty of our extended troop family joined hundreds of other scout families in supporting the annual National Veteran’s Cemetery flag planting event.  For those of you who have not experienced it – it is one of the more moving experiences that you will ever do in support of our servicemen and women.  Approximately 50,000 flags are planted atop headstones in about forty minutes by a reverent but quickly moving wave of scouting volunteers in full uniform, resulting in a vast sea of red white and blue flapping smartly in the breeze.  There were many reasons for each of us from T648 to be there – some for their first time, overwhelmed by the efficiency and spectacle of the event, some for the dozenth time – still warmed by the caring enthusiasm by the scores of scouting families of all ages who remember those who served our country so valiantly.  Some were there as part of a multi-generational family reunion, some to find and take a picture of a headstone for another who could not attend.  Some were there to expose both their boy scouts and their girl scout to the incredible experience, some to thank their fathers for giving their all for America.  Some were there to honor their son for his current service, another because there is no more fitting way to spend Memorial Day weekend.  To the 17 boys who just finished school this week, and could have celebrated by staying up late and sleeping in – THANK YOU for attending.  Your priorities are outstanding, and your service to our veterans in this way makes me proud to be a member of your troop.

As a reminder, the troop meeting WILL NOT be at the church this Tuesday, but at the McFetters home.    The scouts will practice swamping and righting a canoe in the pool, begin to prep for our June outing at Roosevelt Lake on the 8th, and will continue to work on individual advancement ahead of the Court of Honor on June 19th.  On the merit badges currently in flight, Citizenship will be transitioned to Mr. Harness while Mr. Clapp is out of town for the next month, so please review your work and direct any questions to him.  Mr. Conrad will be beginning the Physical Fitness merit badge early this week, so if you have not signed up, please contact him directly for details.  There are three of our scouts taking National Youth Leadership Training this week at Camp Geronimo.  We will also have CPR training for our whole troop during June, so please stay tuned for details on that.

Order of the Arrow is an honor society within scouting, which focuses on camping and service to scouting and the community.  OA members often perform – often in Native American costume – for cub scout Arrow of Light and other scouting ceremonies.   Additional information can be found in the following link:  http://www.oa-bsa.org/misc/basics/   Order of the Arrow eligibility includes a requirement to have had 15 nights of camping in the previous two years, first class status, a nomination from your scoutmaster, and election by your peers.  We will be holding Order of the Arrow elections on June 5th, and will also have our next parent and committee meeting on that night as well.  The following week we will have an adult leader meeting at Scottsdale Worship Center on June 11th.

School may be out, but the troop is still very active during the summer.  As you begin your family vacation schedule, please enjoy, explore, and rejuvenate.  When you are back in town, please plan on joining your scouting family on Tuesday nights or on our outings.  We look forward to seeing you!

Mr. Cole