A Push to the Finish!

This coming weekend we pause and give thanks for the countless servicemen and women who have served, sometimes giving the ultimate sacrifice, to keep America free.  We will again have an opportunity this weekend to join with hundreds of other scouting families in planting flags on Saturday morning at Phoenix National Memorial Cemetery.  It is still an overwhelming moment for me to witness the solemn speed and efficiency of 48,000+ flags being planted in 40 minutes by hundreds of uniformed scouting families – from grandfathers to den mothers to Eagles to Brownies.  I can still picture in my mind my two youngest children 10 years ago up in a tree with a sea of flags flowing out for what seemed like miles beneath them. I recall a few years later the haunting sight of a mother lying on a freshly buried plot, devastated over the loss of her son in Afghanistan. One of my cherished photos is of two generations of scouting men from T648 tending to the grave of their Lieutenant Colonel father and grandfather.  I hope that you will plan to join with us in attending this year’s flag planting on Saturday, May 24th.  I would recommend arriving by 6:30 at 23029 N. Cave Creek Road (north of the 101), park, and meet T648 members up by the American flag near the visitor center.  If you have done this service project before, it quickly becomes a tradition.  If you have never been to one of these moving events, doing so will create your own personalized memories. We’ll be completely done by 8AM, allowing you an opportunity to go to breakfast & still have the rest of your day and weekend ahead of you.

We have a number of items coming up in preparation for summer camp.  This week your SPL has asked that the patrols bring flag making materials to the troop meeting, as there is less than a month left to complete the design and construction of your camp patrol flags, patrol yells, and troop cheer for Geronimo.  We will also be having a CPR class on June 3rd, required for those of you taking the Lifesaving Merit Badge, but important for all of us.  Adults and scouts can participate, and receive certification for only $20.  June 3rd is also our next Committee Meeting, and final family planning and information about camp.  We will also be having our summer Court of Honor on the 10th, so finish up your remaining troop-based merit badge activities (Citizenship, Cooking, etc.).  All boys and adult leaders should also have an updated BSA Medical/Health form by summer camp, so you still have a month to git ‘er done!  Prior to summer camp, we have one remaining treat of an outing.  The backpacking trip to the Fossil Springs swimming holes is always a refreshing opportunity to open up summer vacation appropriately.  Bring a swimming suit, and plan to spend most of Saturday, May 31st in the creek pools, or the small lake by the dam – Ahhhhhh!  Sounds great with 104 degree temperatures back in the Valley.

I know many of you are finishing up your school years this week, with finals looming around the corner.  Best wishes for a strong finish, with the resulting reward of an entire summer in which to recover.

Mr. Cole