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November 20, 2016


Howdy Troop!

            I felt the chill of Winter finally arrive yesterday and it reminded me of two years ago when we were on our bicycling campout and it never got above 30 degrees!  That is some good sleeping in that weather.  Hey we have the cycling campout coming up soon!  Awesome!

            Looking back at the calendar, boy we have had a busy few weeks!  Doing what, you ask?  Well we started with a great Wilderness Survival campout where the boys overcame several obstacles challenging them with cooking their food, building a shelter, knot tying, first aid, signaling, and water purification.  Some were more challenged than they thought they would be, but in the end they all had a good time and I think they actually learned something.

            After that campout we only had 2 weeks until the troop set off for Backpacking at Enchanted Rock, a troop favorite.  We had a large group with some at basecamp working on scout skills and another group hitting the backpack trail.  Everyone reached the top of E-Rock and enjoyed the beautiful view. 

            Between all that we squeezed in the Festival of Angels at the church.  The boys helped get cars parked and assisted the patrons load their cars doing multiple Good Turns.  On top of all this, we still had our troop elections, our OA elections and a PLC.  So yes, it has been a busy few weeks.

           

To get all these events to go off as well as they do it takes more than the good planning of Duncan and his leadership team, it takes a lot of adult participation to get it all done.  Our troop is truly blessed in the participation of our adults.  From pulling trailers, hauling boys, maintenance, advancements, data entry, and the all-important merit badge counselors; the adults in Troop 839 are Fantastic!  I thank you all for taking the time to help make this program what it is for our boys!  In speaking with other Scoutmasters, I see them struggle just to cover the basic necessities.  So, yes, we are a blessed troop.

Onward to some new information -

ELECTIONS:          

            Congratulations to Joe Rosenwinkel for being elected as the incoming SPL.  Also congratulations to the new Patrol Leaders for their election as well.  The other troop positions will be announced as soon as Joe gets them worked out.  All of these positions including SPL and Patrol Leaders will assume their position after Winter Camp on February 1st.    

CAMPOUT:  December 9-11

            Speaking of the December campout, we have been forced to make a change on the campout location.  The campground incorrectly entered our outing as only one night and they are booked so we are forced to move to another location.

            Mr. Reile has booked us at McKinney Falls State Park, near Austin.  Yes, this is the location we were during the trip mentioned above.  Great location!  It doesn’t change anything else about the campout, simply our location.

Dedicated off-road bicycle trails for varying skills are available.  Now is the time to inspect your bicycle to ensure it is in good working condition.  There are hills, ruts, gravel, and trees to navigate.  It is imperative that your brakes work well.  Helmets are also mandatory for all cyclists at all times.  Please see the permission slip posted on the troop website for details.  Departure Friday, December 9 is 6:00 PM from the church and return to Luby's by 3:00 PM on Sunday, December 11.  Last time we were here the temperature stayed below freezing all weekend, so "Be Prepared" by checking the weather as you are packing your gear.

WEST NILE:

            It has come to my attention that there have been cases of West Nile virus in the Camp Bovay area.  This is where we had our Wilderness Survival campout.  This not anything to be alarmed about, simply something to be aware of.  The only reason I bring it up here is that there is a small percentage of people that have severe reactions.  The virus is transmitted by mosquitoes. 

Here are the symptoms:

            Fever, headache, body aches, skin rash, and swollen lymph nodes.  Severe symptoms and signs may include stiff neck, sleepiness, disorientation, coma, tremors, convulsions, and paralysis.  Most cases of West Nile virus infection are mild and go unreported.

  

            NOTE – Reminder – the troop trailer always has bug spray available to use. 

ALEX EAGLE COH:

            You are invited!  Alex deMasi will be having his Eagle COH this Saturday, November 26th at FPCK at 3:00pm.  The troop is invited.  Push record on the football game and take a little time out of the house.  Yes, there will be cake a goodies afterwards so come out and help us get rid of it.  Invite is attached to this email. 

WINTER CAMP:

            I know it’s not even December yet, but Winter Camp is just around the corner and the forms are due one month from today, on December 19th.

This year we will be participating with Troops 9 and 1011 held MLK weekend (January 14-16, 2017) at Lake Houston Park. Sign-ups for both Scouts and Adults are posted on the troop website and will be available at the troop meetings.  The forms are also attached to this email.

The camp fee for Scouts and Adults is $20 or, if available, you may use funds from your incentive account.  To have a successful Winter Camp, we need adults for Merit Badge instruction. The registration deadline is December 19th.  All Scouts will have the opportunity to earn up to 3 Merit Badges at Winter Camp – there are several new opportunities this year.  Additionally, meals are provided and there will be night time entertainment.  All attendees will receive a custom logo micro-fiber camp towel. If you enroll after the deadline, we cannot guarantee a towel.  Also, your Merit Badge options will be limited. Troop 839 will also be hosting Webelos from various Packs on Sunday afternoon/evening.

            NOTE – Don not go straight to the campground - This year we will be departing from FPCK like a regular campout.  On Saturday we will be checking in at 7:45am and departing the church at 8:30am.

NORTHERN TIER SLOTS:

            Itching to get to Northern Tier and hit the boundary waters?  Currently we have not scheduled our next trek there but Troop 1011 has.  They currently have 3 slots open for their trip July 9-16, 2017.  Let me know if you are interested in one of those slots.  First come first serve.

WREATHS ACROSS AMERICA:

Saturday, December 17th is Wreaths Across America - Houston (WAA-H) wreath laying event at the Houston National Cemetery.  This event was started by our very own Alex deMasi 9 years ago.  WAA-H raises money throughout the year to lay wreaths upon the graves of our fallen veterans at the Houston National Cemetery each December.  Last year we were able to honor over 56,000 veterans with their own wreath.  It is a beautiful site and very humbling to be a part of it - twelve (12) Big Rig 18-Wheelers holding 50,000 plus wreaths escorted by hundreds of motorcycles arriving along with over 15,000 volunteers.  The program includes a Marine 21 Gun Salute, a military fly-over, bagpipes, and buglers.  Troop 839 has set up a fundraising page for the troop to help raise funds this year.  Check out our page Troop 839 Fundraising Link and you can help.  In addition to laying of the wreaths, WAA-H also needs our help on wreath day for about an hour after all the wreaths are laid.  Our assistance is needed to check some of the sections to be sure the wreaths have been laid in the correct locations.  Anyone interested is asked to meet at the cemetery main flagpole at 9:30 AM - Mr. Eastwood (dmsa_eastwood@yahoo.com) will be the contact person.  Those who would like to see the motorcycle escort should plan on being at the cemetery before 8 AM.  This does qualify for service hours.  Class A uniforms are also required.  Please consider volunteering to show your respect for those who have given their lives to protect the freedoms we sometimes take for granted, as an added bonus you can watch Alex D. give a speech in front of 15,000 people.

Oh my goodness I have got to shorten these emails!  I guess they run long because “We’re Going Places!”

Yours In Scouting,

Mr. deMasi



March16, 2016

Hey, Troop!



Well, Spring is definitely in the air. Which means we can now officially say good-bye to the bark mulch season for another year. But before we do that, I wanted to pass along my appreciation to all of the folks that made our annual fund-raiser a success. Major props go to Doug Lance, Tracey Purgahn, and the Wallace's (Chris and Kristen) for a smooth delivery day operation. Also, big thanks goes out to all of the parents supporting the mulch delivery with trailer hauling, chase cars, hot shots, logistical support, and of course their physical labor. I was very impressed with everyone turning out in full force and the weather was perfect.



I’d also like to review our upcoming camping trip to Palo Duro Canyon State Park. We will depart from FPCK at 7:00 AM on Thursday, 3/17 - scouts should arrive and check in at 6:30 AM. Each scout should bring a sack lunch to be eaten on the drive up to Palo Duro, permission slip (
http://troop839.com/Portals/0/permission_slips/2015-16/2016%20March%20Permission%20Slip.pdf), $20 camping fee and money (~$8) for lunch during the return trip on Sunday. Speaking of returning, current plans are to arrive back in Kingwood (@ Luby's) between 5:00 - 7:00 PM on Sunday, 3/20. I suggest scouts that have not completed homework due on Monday, 3/21, bring their books and study materials to complete during the drive up or back. The troop will be hiking in Palo Duro Canyon (2nd largest canyon in U.S.) on Friday - scouts will need to carry at least 5 liters of water plus their lunch (all meals at Palo Duro provided by adults) - a day pack or their school backpack should be sufficient. Just to clarify, we are HIKING not BACKPACKING at Palo Duro, so scouts will not be spending the night on the trial or carrying a tent, sleeping bag, etc. - only carrying water, lunch and possibly a compass. Additionally, on Saturday the troop will go zip lining in the morning and then tour the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum in Canyon in the afternoon - scouts may want to consider a little extra spending money for survivors. Please review the weather forecast for the area (Canyon, TX) and "be prepared" for cold temperature on Friday and Saturday nights (current forecasted lows at or below freezing with 20 - 30 mph north winds) and a slight chance of precipitation Thursday night.



Looking ahead on the schedule for remainder of March and into April:



Monday, March 21st at 7:00 PM we will hold a meeting for all those, scouts and their parents, attending Sea Base (both Key West or St. Thomas) over the summer. During the meeting, we will review intermarries, costs, logistics and elect crew leaders then divide into crews. As a reminder for those that have not paid, the next payment of $375 is due by March 28th. A final payment for airfare, meals, lodging, t-shirts, etc. will be collected at the end of May.

Monday, March 21st at 8:00 PM we will be our normal PLC for all those in leadership positions including Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, Patrol Leaders, Scribe and JASMs.

Monday, March 28th, is New Scout Investiture. We will formally welcome all new Scouts into Troop 839. All new Scouts will be formed into new patrols and assigned a primary and backup Troop Guide. All incoming Scouts should plan to arrive at the church by 6:30 PM in order to complete your application.

Monday, March 28th is also the deadline for scouts (except incoming scouts) planning to attend Summer Camp to submit their information to Mr. Emerson. If your scout has not received their packet, Mr. Emerson will be at the Sea Base meeting on March 21st or available via the troop website (http://troop839.com/Portals/0/permission_slips/2015-16/Kia%20Summer%20Camp%20Packet%202016%20.pdf). Mrs. Purgahn will be sending a separate with your scout's reimbursement account balance. Cost for summer camp is $260 and can be paid via check, cash or from the scout's reimbursement account.

We are also being preparations for our summer 2017 High Adventure trip. Scouts may sign up for National Scout Jamboree and/or BSA's newest High Adventure Base - Summit. Both will be held at the Bechtel Scout Reserve in West Virginia. Please look for the sign up sheet at the meetings during March and April for more information on dates, costs and minimum age requirements for both options.

On Saturday morning, April 2nd, all new Scouts and any Scouts that do not have the ‘Trained’ patch on their uniform shirt should plan on attending Troop Leadership Training (TLT). We will meet in the in the big classroom on the second floor starting at 8:30 AM. Breakfast will be available. The training session provided by the senior leadership (SPL and ASPL’s must attend) will last until about noon. We will conclude with a pizza lunch. A training session for all current or aspiring Troop Guides will occur concurrent with Mrs. Hutchinson. The requirements for each rank, especially Scout through First Class, have changed significantly and those changes will be reviewed during the session. I encourage all Scouts that are 2nd Class or higher to attend. Additionally, we will conducting a new parents orientation / training session at the same time.



The Orientation Campout kicks off shortly after TLT on April 2nd at Lake Houston Park. As the name implies, this campout is for all new Scouts and their parents to get a jump start on Troop 839’s camping procedures. All Troop Guides and Senior Leadership should attend. All meals will be provided by the troop.



We will not have our usual OA Callout ceremony this year at Orienteering Campout since we were able to join with Troops 9 and 27 to conduct an OA Callout during Winter Camp in January. Everyone is still welcome to join us Saturday night for campfire followed by a cracker barrel. We will be at the Magnolia sites beginning at 7:00 PM. All attendees for both the Orientation Campout and the cracker barrel will need to check in at the new entrance gate before proceeding to the camping area.

Mr. Lance is firming up dates for BSA swim test in April and they will be communicated in a later note. Everyone attending or considering summer camp and planning to do any aquatic activity (adults and Scouts) including May Canoeing Campout, should make every attempt to take the test. The requirements of the test can be found in the Scout Handbook and shouldn't take more that about 15 to 30 minutes once you are in the pool. The BSA swim test is also a requirement for 1st Class, so even if you are not going to summer camp and not 1st Class you are encouraged to take the swim test.

Saturday, April 16th is Scout Fair at Reliant Arena from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Troop 839 will once again be making rope. More information about booth number and directions will follow in a separate email. Please volunteer for a specific time using the sign up sheet located on the table as you enter the Troop meeting. The Hawks, as the program patrol for April, are responsible for coordinating our Scout Fair activities.

April 22nd-24th is our Sports Campout at Lake Livingston. State Park. We will be conducting a sports decathlon in celebration of the upcoming Summer Olympics, so look for the sign up sheet at the upcoming meetings.

Phew... Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail. We are jam-packed with all sorts of activities. While these communications hopefully help you plan out your activities, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings. Another information resource is our troop website (wwwtroop839.com). See y'all out on the trail.



Yours in Scouting,

Mr. Hill

February 4, 2016

Hey, Troop!







I hope everyone had a wonderful time at Winter Camp. I know I sure had lots of fun. It was great to see so many of you work on and complete Merit Badges at camp. Of course, a lot of the success of Winter Camp comes from the active involvement of adults from all three Troops (9, 27 & 839). I appreciate everyone pitching in, especially those that served as merit badge counselors. A special thanks to "Cookie" aka Mr. Weber, not only for arriving early on Friday and setting up the Dining Hall, but for making sure everyone had plenty to eat. I'd also like to thank Mr. Wright, Mrs. Casto, Mr. Penning and others for all of their help with the food preparation. I believe I heard that Ms. Casto and Mr. Wright are close to 20 years each at Winter Camp - THANK FOR YOUR SUPPORT. A list of completed merit badge and partials will be sent in a several email.







On Saturday Jan 23rd we kicked off our fundraising activity with Bark Mulch Sales Day. We had a tremendous turnout by not only the scouts, but also parents to drive scouts around the various neighborhoods in Kingwood. Even the weather was perfect for selling Bark Mulch with cool temperatures in the morning giving way to warm spring-like temperatures in the afternoon. At the end of the day, Troop 839 sold over 2,000 bags of mulch between Day of Sale and calls to customers from last year - GREAT START. I have attached the map that Mrs. Purgahn forwarded via email last week which shows areas in Kingwood that were not covered during Day of Sales (areas of maps outlined and numbered in

RED are ones that have not been covered. For the area that were covered on DoS streets not covered are highlighted in YELLOW) . These "open" areas are free game to all ambiguous and eager Scouts looking to increase their sales - we don't want to exclude any section of Kingwood the opportunity to purchase mulch. Also please remind your scouts to ask customers if they would like to make a donation to Boy Scouts if they don't want or need bark mulch. We go to many wonderful campouts, special events, and training activities as a result of our efforts in selling bark mulch in addition to scouts being able to pay for summer camp, high adventure or purchase scout gear like tents, sleeping bags, mats, etc. through their reimbursement account. I sure would be disappointed if we had to curtail any activities due to decreased sales. Our goal for Troop 839 is 9,000 bags and to date we are only half that amount, so SELL, SELL, SELL. Remember all sales must be turned in to Mrs. Purgahn by Monday, February 22nd and Day of Delivery is Saturday, March 5th (in event of rain out, delivery will be the following day, Sunday, March 6th.) This is an all-hands-on-deck event and it is imperative that we have all, and I do mean all, Scouts on hand for Delivery Day. Mrs. Purgahn has also sent out a request for volunteers to be a trailer pullers and for tandem axle trailers, the sign up sheet is at the table as you enter the meeting each Monday. If you volunteer, please verify your vehicle is rated to pull ~5,000 pounds.







We are continuing to have several Webelos and their parents visit Troop 839 this month and expect visitations to continue into March as Webelos firm up their decision to cross over into BSA and into which Troop. We have heard several positive comments from parents and Webelos about Troop 839 and it looks like we may be adding 2 new patrols in the spring. Great job by Mr. Eastwood, Mr. Penning, Mr. Lance and several other adults along with SPL (Alex and Chris) for entertaining and educating our visitors. It is very important that we show off that great Scout Spirit and give them a warm welcome.







Our Winter Court of Honor is just a little over 3 weeks away. I encourage everyone that is close to advancing in rank or finishing a Merit Badge to complete their activities soon in order to be formally recognized on February 29th. The final day for submitting rank advancements and merit badges is Monday, February 22th. Speaking of rank advancements, effective January 1st, 2016, BSA has changed the requirements for all ranks. I encourage all parents and scouts to review the differences at http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/2016BoyScoutRequirements_8.14.2015.pdf. Scouts registered prior to December 31, 2015, who are not yet First Class, may continue to use the old requirements through 2016, but must convert to the new requirements upon obtaining First Class. For those scouts already First Class prior to December 31, 2015, they may continue working towards their next rank advancement under the old requirements through 2016, but must then convert to the new requirements for subsequent ranks. Scouts registering after January 1, 2016, must use the new requirements and beginning January 1, 2017, new requirements must be used for all ranks. The following link is to BSA Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning the new requirements http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/2016BoyScoutrequirementsFAQs.pdf.

Our next outing is the Shooting Campout on February 19th - 21st at Titan's property in Milford, TX. We will establish ranges for shotgun, rifle, archery, and tomahawks. Scouts must have completed Troop Leadership Training (TLT) to attend and must be First Class to fire shotguns and Tenderfoot to fire rifles. Please sign up on the sheet posted at the entrance table if you are planning to attend. Permission sheets are also posted on our website.







Scout Sunday at First Presbyterian is scheduled for Sunday, February 14th. We need Scouts to volunteer as lay readers, ushers, and hospitality ministers for the 8:00, 9:00 and 11:00 am. Please show support for your Chartered Organization by volunteering your time. Participation in Scout Sunday does count towards service hours for rank advancement. See the sign-up sheet posted at the Troop Meeting entrance table. Additionally, many churches recognize BSA’s traditional Scout Sunday date as February 7th (first Sunday in February). I encourage all Scouts and Adults to support your personal church as appropriate. This usually means attending church service in Class A uniform.







Sunday, February 7th is the annual Scouting for Food campaign for our Council. Our troop is not directly participate in this event (we do a food drive away from the traditional dates). However, there are many Troops, Packs, and Crews in Flaming Arrow District that are helping out. Troop 839 will conduct our Food Drive as part of the Winter Court of Honor on Monday, February 29th and we are asking each Scout to bring a minimum of 2 non-perishable can goods as their "admission ticket".

Scout Fair Coupon Pack sales have just kicked off. Troop 839 will once again sponsor a booth at Scout Fair. Mrs. Casto will be Troop 839’s point of contact for Scout Fair Coupon Pack sales. If you would like to earn additional funds beyond bark mulch sales reimbursements, please contact Mrs. Casto. All proceeds from Scout Fair Coupon Packs sales go into the Scout’s reimbursement account.







For all adults, including newly registered, I encourage you to consider attending University of Scouting on February 7th for additional training. The Committee has agreed to reimburse direct course expense for Scouts and Adults going to University of Scouting. To learn more about this event or to register, please click on the following link:

http://flaming-arrow.shac.org/training







Scouts looking to complete Emergency Preparedness merit badge requirement 7 (Community Drill), the Humble Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) needs volunteer scouts to assist with an upcoming "CERT Rodeo". The event is scheduled for Saturday, February 13th from noon - 4:30 pm at the Harris County Fire and Sheriff's Training Academy located at 2318 Atascocita Road, Humble, TX (next to Lindsay Lyons Park). The next opportunity to complete this requirement will be April 12th. Mr. deMasi is offering requirement 8 (Troop Mobilization) this Saturday, February 6th at McDonald's on Kingwood Drive at 12:30 pm. E-prep is an Eagle required merit badge and I know of the following Scouts with partials: James A, Nate E, Colton J, Oliver R and Sean V - come on guys take advantage of this opportunity.

Scouts looking for service hours or 2015 Philmont trekkers needing conservation service hours to complete their 50 Miler Award, we will be working on the trails in the back of Kingwood on Saturday, February 27th. We will meet at Willow Creek Elementary at 9:00 am and plan to work for 2-3 hours, so make sure to bring your water bottle. There will be a sign up sheet on the table at the next meeting. FYI - under the new BSA rank advancement, 3 hours of conservation service hours plus an additional 3 hours of other service are required for the rank of Life.

Finally, next Tuesday, February 9th at 7 PM is our monthly Troop Committee Meeting at the church and all adults are encouraged and invited to attend. During these meetings, several Troop policy items are discussed and voted on along with a review of upcoming activities and the health of the Troop. Anyone that wants to better understand the how and why of Troop 839 should consider regularly attending these meeting and maybe even volunteering to assist the committee.

Well, I think that does it for updates for now. I encourage everyone to check out our troop website (http://www.troop839.com/) to stay informed of upcoming events. Additionally, many wonderful pictures are posted from our past events. Lastly, the website is updated with permission slips and links to important BSA documents and resources. I have also included a copy of our youth troop leadership for your reference.







Yours in Scouting,



Mr. Hill

 

December 10, 2015

Hey Troop!

It may be hard to believe, but our 2015 calendar year is quickly coming to a close. Thanksgiving is over and the hustle and bustle of the Winter Holiday season is ramping up with Christmas only 2 weeks away. But, before we wrap up 2015 and as many of our middle and high schoolers are busy preparing for semester final exams, I wanted to pass along some information concerning upcoming Troop 839 activities:

Congratulations to Chris Wah.for being elected as Troop 839’s SPL. Chris is completing his Leadership Team choices and I will distribute in a separate Troop Update shortly. These positions will be based upon a review of the submitted applications and some thoughtful discussion on leadership fits and development. Please contact either Chris or myself if you have any questions/concerns regarding the Leadership Team assignments.

Our December camp out is this weekend, December 11 - 13. This is our Wilderness Survival Campout at Martin Creek State Park near Tatum.  Activities for the weekend include building a shelter, starting a fire without matches, water purification and signaling - all requirements for the Wilderness Survival merit badge (req. 6, 7, 8 &10).  Additionally, the PLC ask the adults to provide "wilderness style" food this weekend, which will include items that are probably not found in many pantries - but all good for you and edible.  Looking at the weather forecast, it appears we may get wet, so scouts should "Be Prepared" with not only rain gear but a positive attitude - we can't control the weather.  We will meet at the church at 6 PM on Friday and depart once everyone has been checked in and all the gear loaded on the trailer.  Please see the permission slip posted on the website (http://troop839.com/Portals/0/permission_slips/2015-16/2015%20December%20Permission%20Slip.pdf) for further details. We plan to return to Luby's by 2:00 PM on Sunday, December 13.

For those not camping, Saturday, December 12, is Wreaths Across America - Houston (WAA-H) wreath laying event at the Houston National Cemetery. This event was started by our very own Alex D. WAA-H raises money throughout the year to lay wreaths upon the graves of our fallen veterans at the Houston National Cemetery each December. Last year we were able to honor over 42,000 veterans with their own wreath. It is a beautiful site and very humbling to be a part of it - ten (10) Big Rig 18-Wheelers holding 40,000 plus wreaths escorted by dozens of motorcycles arriving along with over 15,000 volunteers. The program includes a Marine 21 Gun Salute, a WW II fly over, bagpipes, and buglers. Troop 839 has set up a fundraising page for the troop to help raise funds this year. Check out our page Troop 839 Fundraising Link and you can help. In addition to laying of the wreaths, WAA-H also needs our help on wreath day for about an hour after all the wreaths are laid. Our assistance is needed to check some of the sections to be sure the wreaths have been laid in the correct locations.  Anyone interested is ask to meet at the cemetery main flagpole at 9:30 AM - Mr. Eastwood (dmsa_eastwood@yahoo.com) will be the contact person.  Those who would like to see the motorcyle escort should plan on being at the cemetery before 8 AM.  This does qualify for service hours. Class A uniforms are also required. Please consider volunteering to show your respect for those who have given their lives to protect the freedoms we sometimes take for granted, as an added bonus you can watch Alex D. give a speech in front of 15,000 people.

The following month (January) is our annual Winter Camp with Troops 9 and 27 held MLK weekend (January 16-18, 2016) at Lake Houston Park. Sign-ups for both Scouts and Adults are posted on the troop website:



Scouts: http://troop839.com/Portals/0/documents/2015-16/2016%20Troop%20839%20Winter%20Camp%20Scout%20Sign%20Up.pdf



Adults: http://troop839.com/Portals/0/documents/2015-16/2016%20Winter%20Camp%20Adult%20Sign%20Up.pdf 



The camp fee for Scouts is $30 or, if available, you may use funds from your incentive account. The cost for the Adults is free, but there is a catch. To have a successful Winter Camp, we need adults for Merit Badge instruction. The registration deadline is December 14.  I will be at the church on Monday for the PLC and you may drop them off or you can scan them back to me. All Scouts will have the opportunity to earn up to 3 Merit Badges at Winter Camp - 10 new merit badges this year.  Additionally, meals are provided and there will be night time entertainment. All attendees will receive a special long sleeve dri-fit shirt and plastic mug. If you enroll after the deadline, we can not guarantee. Also, your Merit Badge options will be limited. Troop 839 will also be hosting Webelos from various Packs on Sunday afternoon/evening.

Phew... Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail. We are jam-packed with all sorts of activities. While these communications hopefully help you plan out your activities, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings. Another information resource is our troop website. See y'all out on the trail and Happy Holidays (Our next regular meeting will be January 4, 2016)

Yours in Scouting,

Mr. Hill

 

November 9, 2015

Howdy, Troop!







Just a couple of quick reminders:

Tonight, November 9th- we will be holding our Troop elections for the Jan - June 2016 term. I have included a leadership application ( also located at www.Troop839.com) which should be completed and returned by the night of the elections. Additionally on the same night we will be conducting our OA elections for the tap out ceremony at Winter Camp. We must have greater than 50% of the registered Scouts in attendance for the election to be valid. Members of Troop 8 will be conducting the election, so PLEASE, PLEASE attend.

Tomorrow night, November 10th -will be our November Committee Meeting at the church upstairs in rooms 209/212 (same room used for TLT) beginning at 7:00 PM. All adults are encouraged and welcome to attend. A notice about the meeting along with an agenda was sent by our Committee Chairman, David Penning, in a separate email. If you do not receive the notice, please let me know and I will forward you a copy.

November 11th- Veteran's Day - all I can say is THANK YOU to all those that are either currently serving or have served in any of the branches of the armed services as well as a THANK YOU to their families.

Monday, November 16th is the deadline to submit your recharter for the 2016 calendar year. Fees are $75 for Scouts and $25 for adults (18 years and older). The subscription to Boy's Life is $12. All Adults must have completed Youth Protection Training within the last 2 years. Per BSA policy, if your YPT is not valid at the time of rechartering, which we will be doing prior to Thanksgiving, we will not be including you in the recharter. Enclose a check (payable to BSA Troop 839) with the amount due and return it to Mr. Penning or Mr. Lance at the Troop meeting.

Yours In Scouting,

Mr. Hill

 

Octobert 26, 2015

Howdy, Troop!







I hope everyone is high and dry after all the rain this weekend. As much as I enjoying camping and exploring the outdoors, cancelling our outing this past weekend turned out to be the right decision as I-45 was impassible beginning Friday night. The DFW area also saw torrential rains on Friday and Saturday with rainfall totals close to 12" in several areas, even the Camp Ranger called me Friday morning warning me that our camp already had 4" of mud - ugh, not fun. We have rescheduled our camping for this weekend, with the same itinerary - Six Flags, Medieval Times and the Scouting Museum, provided we have enough trained adults to transport scouts. Please reply to me by Tuesday , October 27 th afternoon if you or your scout plan to attend so we can make a determination about travel sooner than later. If we camp this weekend, we will either attend Six Flags or the Scouting Museum on Saturday and the other on Sunday, depending on weather, and Medieval Times Saturday night for dinner. Since Six Flags doesn't open until at 10:30 AM and the Museum at 1:00 PM on Sunday, our departure from DFW will be between 2:00 and 3:00 PM which puts us back in Kingwood around 8:00 PM Sunday evening and given the time change this weekend, we will be after dark. Parents and scouts please consider these issues along with any potential conflicts with homework that our late return might cause when making their decision about attending this weekend. Also, in order to expedite our return, we do not plan to stop for dinner on Sunday afternoon, but would suggest scouts have a few dollars for a drink and snack during the return (this is addition to the $8 they normally bring for Sunday lunch which will be used on Saturday if we do Six Flags on Sunday since the ticket includes a meal purchase). Additionally, parents should discuss any spending money the scouts may want for souvenirs at each of 3 venues.

Now for announcements (I know, I know I'm singing AN-NOUNCE-MENTS, AN-NOUNCE-MENTS, a terrible way...)

  • November 3th- Election Day, get out and exercise your freedom to vote
  • November 7th- Troop 839 will again be supporting FPCK's Festival of Angels by assisting with traffic flow and parking at the church. This event takes place from 8:00 AM to about 2:30 PM. Please volunteer your time. See sign-up sheet at troop meeting entrance table. This qualifies as service hours toward rank advancement and is a GREAT way to give back to our charter organization
  • November 8th- Troop 839 will be conducting a flag ceremony in conjunction with the Veteran's Day Ceremony at Rosemont Assisted Living located at 6450 Kings Pkwy beginning at 3:00 PM and lasting about an hour. The program will feature a speaker whose father was in the Japanese Internment Camp in CA during WWII along with several other veterans. Refreshments will be served and scouts wishing to participate should sign up at the next meeting and plan to arrive at Rosemont in Class A by 2:30 PM. This will also count as service hours for rank advancement.
  • November 9th- we will be holding our Troop elections for the Jan - June 2016 term. I have included a leadership application ( also located at http://www.troop839.com/ ) which should be completed and returned by the night of the elections. Additionally on the same night we will be conducting our OA elections for the tap out ceremony in January. We must have greater than 50% of the registered Scouts in attendance for the election to be valid. Members of Troop 8 will be conducting the election, so PLEASE, PLEASE attend.
  • November 11th- Veteran's Day - all I can say is THANK YOU to all those that are either currently serving or have served in any of the branches of the armed services as well as a THANK YOU to their families.
  • November 20th- 22th- November's camp out will be backpacking at Lost Maples State Park and the park should at its in peak for fall foliage. The current plan approved by the PLC is for the Troop to be clustered into two groups: Dayhikers and Overnight Backpackers for scouts that have achieved the rank of First Class. We will share time and venues on the trails, but details have yet to be worked out so stay tuned for further announcements. Please make sure to look for the sign up sheet on the table by the front door.
  • Now, for a very important announcement from our Committee Chairman, David Penning concerning recharter and copied from his email, subject "October Committee Update" on October 9th, 2015:



    "As we enter the re-chartering cycle for the Troop, the fees for next year were reviewed, voted and settled on. I am happy to communicate that for 2016, the troop fees will not change for current scouts and adults. This makes at least 5 consecutive years that the troop has elected to maintain the current fee structure. Attached to this email is the 2016 re-charter letter and form. Items of note:

    1. The fees have not changed from 2015 to 2016, it remains $75.00 per scout and $25.00 per adult (18 years old or more seasoned)
    2. Please review your YPT status, if your status will expire before December 1, 2015 please retake the on-line version before the end of November or we will not be able to include you in the re-charter

     The re-charter letter and form are attached to this email. Please review the letter and feel free to deliver your re-charter form and check or cash to either myself or Doug Lance at any troop meeting" by Monday, November 16, 2015.

    A copy of the recharter letter has also been posted on the Troop website at http://troop839.com/DocumentsForms.aspx

    Phew... Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail. We are jam-packed with all sorts of activities. While these communications hopefully help you plan out your activities, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings. Another information resource is our troop website. See y'all out on the trail.

    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill

     

    October 22, 2015

    Troop 839

    Due to the Flash Flood Watch and forecast for heavy thunderstorms in the Dallas - Ft. Worth area this weekend, the decision has been made and with full support of the committee chair and his assistant chair, to CANCEL all planned activities for this weekend. While we can not control the weather, which means sometimes we have to camp in the rain, the current forecast presents a significant safety issue can not be ignored - from driving late at night in heavy rains and high winds to the potential of flash floods. We have tentatively rescheduled our activities for October 30 - November 1 and the decision will be based on having enough available trained adults to transport all scouts. Anyone wishing to attend should please reply to myself or the SPL at scott@sensadynamics.com by Tuesday (October 27) afternoon at 5 PM if you plan to attend - both adults and scouts. We will continue with our normal program of PLC this Monday night and our regular meeting on November 2nd.

    Yours in Scouting,

     Mr. Hill

     

    Sept. 10, 2015

    Howdy, Troop!

    Fall has finally arrived, at least on the calendar, and cooler weather will soon be here. - perfect for camping. But before we can head out on troop outings, we always need to be prepared. This includes making sure not only our personal equipment is in good condition, but cleaning and repairing our troop and patrol gear. Therefore, I encourage all Scouts to attend Equipment Day this Saturday (September 12th). We will meet at our trailer storage location (see Troop 839 website under Documents/Maps for directions) starting at 9 AM. Finish time will depend on quantity and quality of helpful Scouts. Unfortunately, I will be out of town this weekend (work related), but confident that Mr. deMasi and Mr. Brehmer will do an outstanding job of encouraging our new Quartermasters in overseeing the activities of the day. The owners of the property have promised to leave the gate open, but if you are unable to enter or have difficulty locating us, please contact Mr deMasi (832-877-8080) or Mr. Brehmer (832-236-9825). The forecast calls for mostly sunny conditions, so make sure to bring your water bottle to stay hydrated.







    I have to give a shout-out to the Anonymous/Viking Patrol for serving as the program patrol for the first month of the program year. Their demonstrations on fire building and the various cooking methods, including the free cobbler, have been terrific. Many of you may have noticed a couple of changes this year in our meetings. The first and most obvious being we have moved the start of our meetings up to 7:00 PM in an effort to give us more daylight for outdoor activities - you can't spell SCOUTS without including the letters O-U-T, with an ideal finish time of 8:39 PM (get it!). Second, we are redirecting the focus of the programs more toward scouts skills rather than merit badges. That means each month will have a theme, September's is "Cooking - .It's more than just boiling water", and will cover all the Trail to First Class requirements related to that theme along with many of the requirements for the themed merit badge - this month it's Cooking MB. The camp out for the month will be the culmination of what has been taught during the meetings including any requirements that can't be completed in a typical meeting for both Trial to First Class and the merit badge. For Scouts that already completed the Trail to First Class skill for the month and want to work on the merit badge, they should contact Mr. Voltmann at the start of the month to obtain a blue card, then determine the counselor and begin getting requirements signed off each meeting. Another recommendation for those working on the merit badge would be to print out and review the requirements for the merit badge found at www.scouting.org each month. A quick check of the Troop Calendar, located on our Troop 839 website, shows October's theme is "Scouting Heritage - Thank You Lord Baden Powell" and the merit badge is Scouting Heritage. Scouts that attend all the meetings in October should be able to complete the merit badge, assuming they go on the camping trip which includes a visit to the National Scouting Museum in Irving, TX (requirement 4b).

     Speaking of camping trips, our planned trip to Colorado Bend State Park on September 18th - 20th has been changed to Tyler State Park. This was done because Colorado Bend, along with most other state parks in the Hill country, are currently under a burn ban due to the dry conditions and expected to remain so for the foreseeable future. The burn ban was preventing us from continuing with our program focused on Fire Building and Cooking, so an alternative was suggested to and approved by Alex and his PLC last week to relocated to Tyler State Park which is not under a burn ban. The committee was notified at the September meeting and they approved the change.

    A couple of other dates:

    September 14th is the final meeting to turn in merit badge blue cards prior to the Fall Court of Honor. Anyone needing a SM conference for rank advancement will need to contact myself or Mr. deMasi prior to Monday for available times and dates.

    September 21th is our Patrol Leader's Council (PLC), all Patrol Leaders (or Assistant Patrol Leaders if Patrol Leader is not available), Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Patrol Leaders and Scribe should plan to attend.

    September 28th is our Fall Court of Honor were we recognize rank advancements, merit badges and special awards earned by the scouts since our last Court of Honor. Part of that includes, just as in Cub Scouts, recognition of the parents contributions, especially moms (sorry dads), so parents please mark this date on your calendar and plan to attend.

    A shout-out also goes out to Alex and his leadership team for entertaining visiting Webelos last week and making them feel at ease. Also thanks to all the parents who answered questions from the Webelos' parents with an extra special thank you to Mr. Eastwood, our Recruitment / Den Chief Coordinator for scheduling the visit and presenting our Troop information and calendar. We will have many more Webelos visiting our Troop in the coming months, so keep up the good work.

    Speaking of recruiting, a great way to spread the word about Troop 839 and to encourage Cub Scouts to stay in Scouting is to volunteer as a Den Chief for a local Cub Pack. The den den chief works with the Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts and den leaders in the Cub Scout pack. He helps Cub Scouts advance through Cub Scouts and encourages Cub Scouts to join a Boy Scout troop (hopefully 839) upon graduation. Serving as Den Chief can apply towards Positions of Responsibility requirements. If interested, please see myself or Mr. Eastwood. We have several packs looking for Den Chiefs.

    Phew... Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail. We are jam-packed with all sorts of activities. While these communications hopefully help you plan out your activities, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings. Another information resource is our troop website. See y'all out on the trail.







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill

     

    July 28, 2015

    Howdy Troop!







    Well summer is almost over and the start of school is just a few weeks away, that means it's time for ICE CREAM. Yes, the kick off to the new Troop 839 schedule begins at 7:00 PM on Monday, August 17th at the church with our Annual Ice Cream Social. Parents and siblings are also invited and encouraged to enjoy some delicious ice cream with all the toppings. Patrol Leaders, make sure you send Ms. Casto an email or text with a headcount of those attending from your patrol (including siblings and parents) by Friday, August 14th. Attached is a current roster with phone contact information. As always, Ms. Casto has promised to add a new topping to the list, so come and sample all the toppings then see if you can find the latest addition.







    Also please forward any Scouting photos from last year to Ryan Rodriguez and Zach Lance (Troop Historians). They are putting together a year in review slide show that will be shared during the Ice Cream Social.







    I would like to congratulate Alex and his PLC for putting together what I believe is an exciting calendar. It is filled with a mix of new and traditional camping locations, challenging activities, awesome merit badges and a return to a familiar summer camp for Troop 839 - Kia Kima in the Ozarks of Northern Arkansas. I have attached a copy of the calendar approved by the Committee last night - a special thank you to Chris for standing in for Alex during his absence and presenting to the Committee. You will notice that the PLC has included a Service Patrol for each month. The responsibilities of the Service Patrol will be to arrive 15 - 20 minutes prior to each meeting, set up the meeting by putting tables, chairs, etc. if needed, conducting the flag ceremonies and finally cleaning up after the meeting. So looking at the calendar, the Lightning patrol and their Troop Guides should arrive by 6:30 PM to help Ms. Casto set up for the ice cream social on August 17th and remain after the meeting to assist with clean up.







    A couple of changes for this upcoming year:

    1. Meetings will begin at 7:00 PM rather than 7:30 PM. The change will provide more daylight (with daylights savings time) for activities, programs and games outside. Meetings are planned to finish at 8:39 PM (get it?) thus letting scouts get home to finish homework, do any last minute studying or with enough time to rest before a big test, ie. STAAR
    2. Merit badge classes will be taught as part of the program; therefore, there will be no merit badge classes offered prior to the meetings. Additionally, the program will include Tenderfoot, Second Class & First Class requirements. This was done to redirect the focus toward development of Scouting skills rather than just earning merit badges and after conciliation from the committee over the summer. Scouts wanting to take the merit badge being taught during the program should contact Mr. Voltmann and obtain a blue card during the month - some requirements will have to completed by the scout or may be offered during the campout for the month. For the ambitious scouts wanting to earn merit badges, there are several opportunities around town, ie. Winter Camp, Houston Health Museum, Museum of Natural Science, K-Park Merit Badge Day, and various merit badges universities within and around SHAC, etc. That said, you'll also notice that Merit Badge Mania in December has also been dropped in favorite of a regular meeting - with only 1 meeting in December it would be difficult to complete a badge in a single session.
    3. All Troop Guides should continue to report at 6:30 PM to assist with sign ups for scouts who have not achieved the rank of First Class. Additionally, I would like to begin visiting with the assigned Troop Guides on the first Monday of each month, prior to the meeting, for a quick update of the status of the new patrols. I will ask Mr. deMasi and Mr. Kersting to assist me with these discussions.

    I am looking forward to the return of Scouting and hearing about everyone's adventures over the summer. Myself along with 22 other members of T-839 (adults & youth) will be departing for a 12 day high adventure trip to Philmont this Saturday - can anyone say "oh my aching back, legs, shoulders, ...." Wish us luck.

    A few reminders about upcoming Troop activities and dates to put on your calendar - besides the Ice Cream Social:







    September 14 - Final day to turn in rank advancements and completed merit badges



    Septmeber 18 - 20 Fire Building / Cooking Campout at Colorado Bend State Park (stay tune for more information about the patrol cook-off challenge)September 21 - PLC

    September 28 - COH

    Finally, Hayden Bivens ask that I pass along a big THANK YOU to everyone who came out in support of his Eagle Project at Riverwood Middle School. Hayden designed and constructed a shelter over a bench used by students waiting to be picked up by their parents in front of the school. I would encourage everyone to drive by and see this project - Hayden did a fabulous job. 

    Whew, that was a lot!

    See you on the trails,

     Mr. Hill

     

    July 24, 2015

    Howdy Troop!

    Oh my - where does the time go? It seems like just yesterday we were returning back from Summer Camp. Hard to believe, but school is just around the corner. Band and athletic activities are picking up at the high school and I'm sure the middle and schools are making preparation to welcome in new and returning students.







    Before I start highlighting upcoming activities, I would like to reflect back on the recent past. Summer Camp was a blast. Many of you earned numerous merit badges and a few completed rank advancements. Of course, we couldn't have had such a great time at Summer Camp without the coordination and help from many of our adult volunteers. I got to give Mrs. Purgahn and Mrs. Martin a big shout out for taking care of so many Summer Camp preparations. I'd also like to thank Mr. Whelihan for volunteering to haul the trailer to camp and then return to bring it back on Saturday morning. Finally, a big thank you to all of the attending adults for helping with rank advancements, health and safety issues, skills instruction and transportation of people and gear. I'm already looking forward to our next summer camp.







    Once again, Troop 839 provided service to the community by cleaning up at the conclusion of the Kingwood Independence Day Parade. It was great to have many help out. I appreciate the many Scouts and Scouters that came out and cleaned up at the conclusion of the parade. Thanks to Mr. Cordano and Mr. Welihan for volunteering their pick-up trucks to haul trash. Thank you everyone who helped.







    This summer we had several scouts attend either NYLT (National Youth Leadership Training) at Bovay or NAYLE (National Advancement Youth Leadership Experience) at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, NM, and I am looking forward to watching them utilize the leadership skills they learned during their training. Additionally, we had a few scouts and adults who escaped the Texas heat by rafting the raging cool waters in North Carolina and the surrounding area. I look forward to hearing about their adventure. Finally, on August 1, 14 scouts and 9 adults (including yours truly) will depart for our own advantage - a 12 day backpacking trek at Philmont Scout Ranch in northern New Mexico - I sure hope my conditioning holds out.







    Now the upcoming activities







    This Saturday, July 25th is our annual program planning meeting for the PLC at First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood beginning at 9:00 AM and will last until we have completed a draft of the program year calendar, normally around 1 PM. We will meet in the big classroom upstairs, breakfast and lunch if necessary, will be provided. All Scouts who are members of the PLC should make a concerted effort to attend. I highly encourage all Patrol Leaders to gather ideas for future weekend camp outs, monthly program themes and 2016 Summer Camp locations from your Patrol members - remember a Scout is always prepared. Remember to limited camp sites to 5 hours or less from Houston - except for Summer Camp and all camping trips should have a theme or activity. Available resources include: internet (make sure to get your parents permission first), library, book stores, travel agencies, other Scouts, former members of Troop 839 and your parents. I have attached a copy of the current leadership and listed the members of the PLC who should attend:

    Senor Patrol Leader - Alex D

     Assistant SPLs - Alex M, Chris Wh, Hayden B & Joe R 



    Patrol Leaders (Assistant Patrol Leader in his absense)



    ThunderTeam PL - Alex M  APL - Ian M



    Flying Squirrels PL - Connor M APL - Sean V



    Phoenix PL - Nathan A  APL - Hunter R



    Cobras PL - Colton J APL - Grant D 



    Anonymous Vikings PL - Nick P  APL - Ryan G



    B-52's PL - Andrew D  APL - Triston S 



    Falcons - Phillip C  APL - Zane M



    Lightning PL - Kyle L  APL - Luke L 



    Hawks PL - Jonathan E  APL - Joshua K 



    Junior Assistant Scoutmaster - Evan C



    Instructors - Charlie H & Duncan G

     Just a reminder the voting members of the PLC are the

    Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders (ASPL), Patrol Leaders (PL) (Assistant Patrol Leader in his absence) and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM). Additionally, the Instructors may cast one vote by delegation.

    Monday, July 27th. will be the first Committee Meeting for the program year. The Committee will review the proposed annual Troop program and provide and / or propose changes then approve the calendar. All adults are encouraged to attend. The meeting is scheduled to start at 7:00 PM and will be located in the parlor at FPCK.

    Monday, August 17th, is our annual Ice Cream Social and the start of our new scouting calendar. This is a family event. Although the meeting starts at 7:30 PM, many of you will need to arrive earlier for preparations. Mrs. Casto will address the PLC this Saturday and discuss planning for the Ice Cream Social. The 2015-16 program plan will be rolled out at the meeting. Also, our Troop Historian will share a year-in-review slide show that will undoubtedly remind us of our many happy times from past Troop activities.







    Whew that was a lot!







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill

    July 1,2015

    Hi Troop!

    I hope everyone has fully recovered from a week of fun and learning. I would like to thank all the adults who "volunteered" to spend the week with Troop 839 at camp. A special thank you to Mrs. Purgahn and Mrs. Martin for coordination of all summer camp activities. Additionally, a special thank you to Mr. Whelihan and Mrs. Purgahn who volunteered to drive the trailers up to and from camp, in both cases driving both ways in less than 24 hours. I was very proud of how well the boys behaved along with their spirit and appearance during the week, showing the other troops there what a quality BSA Troop should look like. Some highlights of the week include:







    - 12 scouts experienced their first summer camp



    - 40 scouts and 6 week long adults attended summer camp - thanks to Mrs. Hutchinson, Mr. Voltmann, Mr. Durkee & Mr. Wahrmund for staying a portion of the week



    - over 150 merit badges completed and several more partials



    - and finally a safe return to Kingwood by all scouts and adults







    4th JULY PARADE








    Just a quick note to remind everyone that Troop 839 will once again assist with clean up of the Kingwood Independence Day Parade route. Here's more information in bullet format:







    - Meet at Creekwood Middle School parking lot starting around 8:30 AM. See me for sign-in sheet-



    - Wear your Class A uniform



    - Bring a full water bottle or two



    - We will follow the last float out, but in front of the police cars and street sweepers



    - Two drivers are needed, preferably with open bed pick-up trucks, to collect bagged trash and keep the clean-up crew in close contact with the last float on the route



    - Curbside parking by Creekwood MS (along Sandy Forks Dr.) will be very limited



    - The parade route will end at the Kingwood High School student parking lot. Scouts should check out with me from this location



    - There will be a lot of 'dead time' before the parade starts. Scouts can use this time to demonstrate what you learned at Summer Camp and get some rank requirements signed off.



    - Your participation in this event counts as service hours towards rank advancements







    I would appreciate receiving an e-mail confirmation back from two adults that can volunteer as trash collector drivers.

    Finally, several members of Troop 839 will be conducting a flag retirement ceremony at Kingwood Town Center Park beginning at 4:30 PM. It would be cool if their were other scouts in attendance.







    Please let me know if you have any questions/concerns.







    Yours in Scouting,



    Andy Hill

     

    June 17, 2015

    Howdy Troop!! Our troop calendar year is quickly coming to a close, as we had our final meeting on Monday of last week, but we are not done for the year.







    A couple of days ago, I met with Alex deMasi, our new SPL, to review and approve his Leadership Team choices. Please review the attached selections. These were based upon a review of the submitted applications and some thoughtful discussion on leadership fits and development. Please contact either Alex or myself if you have any questions/concerns regarding the Leadership Team assignments. Note that the number of Troop Guides is a little less than normal; therefore, the Instructors will also be responsible for helping out with Trail-to-First-Class sign-offs at Troop meetings and camp outs. All Instructors have previously served as Troop Guides.







    With Summer Camp next week away (I can hardly wait), here are a few reminders:

  • Summer Camp pre-departure check-in is scheduled for Saturday, June 20th, at 7:00 PM at the church. Do not wear your Class A uniform on this event. Each camper will go through a rotation of check-in stations. First stop will be with the Banker to check-in Summer Camp money, please make sure to include instructions for daily allotments. Also, don’t forget to include your gear box lock combination. All banker check-in materials should be in a clasped envelope. The second stop will be with the Health Officer. All medicine to be taken in camp must be turned in per troop policies. Please include original packaging along with dispensing instructions. Use the medication form available on the troop website. The third stop will be to off-load your personal gear (footlocker, cot, and chair) with the QM at the black trailer. The fourth and final stop will be with Mrs. Purgahn to ensure that all paperwork is complete.
  • Summer Camp departure will be at 7:00 AM from the Luby’s Cafeteria north parking lot on Sunday, June 21st. Wear your Class A uniform with your summer camp T-shirt underneath. Scouts should bring a bag lunch since drivers do not plan to stop en route to Constantin except to refuel. I recommend bringing a day pack with key essentials for the trip to camp (water bottle, Scout Handbook, snack money, etc.).
  • Departure from summer camp will be at 9:00 AM on Saturday, June 27th, with an estimated arrival time back at Luby's Cafeteria north parking lot by 3:00 PM - please make sure your Scouts have money for lunch on Saturday.
  • Also, there are a few Troop 839 summer camp T-shirts available for $15, see Ms. Casto.
  •  Other key Summer dates to mark down on your calendar:

  • Saturday, July 4th - Kingwood Independence Day Parade. Troop 839 will assist with trash clean-up following the parade. Plan to show up at the Creekwood Middle School parking lot (staging area) between 8:30 - 9:00 AM in Class A uniform. We will file in just after the last float, but before the street sweepers. This qualifies as service hours. Additionally, Troop 839 has been ask to perform a flag retirement ceremony beginning at 4:00 PM at Kingwood Town Center. Please contact Alex if you would like to participate.
  • Saturday, July 25th is the PLC's annual program planning meeting. The meeting will start at 9 AM and last until the program calendar has been completely filled out. Lunch will be provided. All Patrol Leaders and ASPLs should plan to attend. If the Patrol Leader is not available, he should conduct the Assistant Patrol Leader to verify they can attend and if they can not the Patrol Leader should appoint someone else from their patrol. It is important that all the patrols are represented at this critical planning meeting. Scouts will be ask for suggestions on camping locations, including summer camp, and programs, including merit badges for the 2015 - 2016 calendar. This would make a good topic for a patrol meeting prior to the planning session. Scouts should use multiple resources readily available (prior experience, scouting websites, discussion with parents, etc.) for ideals prior to their patrol meeting.
  • Saturday August 1st several members of Troop 839, including yours truly, will depart for Philmont, returning on Saturday, August 15th
  • Monday, July 27th, Troop Committee meeting to approve the Scouting calendar
  • Monday, August 17th is our annual Ice Cream Social. All family members are welcome to attend this event. The program calendar will be rolled out to the Troop. Additionally, the Troop Historian will provide a slide show of activities from the past year. We will also distribute the Troop 839 30th Anniversary patches to those that preordered them for $6 each. We will have a limited number of extras for anyone who was unable to preorder.
  • Phew... Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail. Remember, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings. Another information resource is our troop website (wwwtroop839.com). See y'all out on the trail and enjoy your summer.







    Yours in Scouting,



    Andy

     

    May 28, 2015

    Howdy Troop!







    Well school is almost out for the summer. Yippee! Although the homework and tests may be coming to an end, the Scouting fun continues in full force. Summer Camp is just 3 short weeks away. Additionally, many Troop 839 Scouts, Alumni and Adults are participating in a variety of major Scouting activities this summer such as NYLT, NAYLE, Summer Camp Staffing, White Water Rafting and Philmont Scout Ranch. As our Troop slogan states,"We are going places!"







    We only have 2 meetings left in our 2014 - 2015 calendar and there are packed with information necessary for and about summer camp. Here is a quick summary:

    • First @ 6:30 PM on Monday, June 1, in the church Sanctuary, is the final opportunity to take Classroom YPT training. This training is required for any adult that plans to stay overnight at summer camp.
    • Second, @ 7:30 PM on the same night, the Troop Leadership will demonstrate how and what to pack for summer camp. This will be very informal and parents, especially if it is your son's first summer camp, are encouraged and welcome to attend during the demonstration. One very important tip - LABEL EVERYTHING t-shirts, underwear, water bottle, socks, chair, cot, locker, swim suit, towel, etc. with your son's name.
    • Third, on Monday, June 8, the Troop Leadership will review and complete our Duty Roster for summer camp. During the week all patrols will have a daily job, for example emptying trash in camp, waiting on tables during meals in the Dining Hall, cleaning latrines, conducting flag ceremonies, building camp fires, etc.. As our former Scoutmaster, Mr. Weber, says "Many hands makes for light work."
    • And finally, Troop 839 is turning 30 years old in 2015. To commemorate this event, we are offering a special one time only 30th Anniversary "839" patch that can be worn in place of the single digits 8, 3 & 9 on your BSA Class A shirt for only $6 per patch (pay at pickup). We will being taking orders during our June meetings and then distribute them during our Annual Ice Cream Social in August, so look for the sign up sheet.

    Also as we wrap up this year I would like to extent a very special Troop 839 THANK YOU, to 2 individuals who have and continue to work tirelessly this year coordinating our 2 biggest events - bark mulch sales and summer camp. They are Stephanne Martin and Stacey Purgahn - THANK YOU SO MUCH!! However, they still needs your help with some final summer camp details and instructions:

    1. First and most importantly, all Summer Campers (Scouts and Adults) are required to have on file with the troop up-to-date BSA Health Forms (Parts A, B, and C). If your last physical exam was more than a year ago, you need to schedule a doctor’s visit pronto. Don’t forget to include a copy of your insurance card with the health forms. These need to be turned in to either myself, Mrs. Martin or Mrs. Purgahn by our final regular meeting on June 8. This will allows us time to make the 3 copies required for summer (if anyone who has access to a copier at work or school and would like to save these ladies some time, please turn in 2 additional copies along with your original)
    2. Please check your email for a note from Mrs. Martin regarding details of your son's merit badge schedule and fees at summer camp, payable prior to departure.
    3. Summer camp T-shirts can also be picked up from Mrs. Castro at the next meeting. We also have a few extra shirts for anyone who would like another shirt or two.
    4. For reference, the Summer Camp packet is available from the troop website via the following link: 



      http://troop839.com/Portals/0/documents/2014-15/Summer%20Camp%202015%20Packet.pdf



      I encourage all campers to review the packing list found in Appendix D.
    5. Summer Camp pre-departure check-in is scheduled for Saturday, June 20th, at 7:00 PM at the church. Do not wear your Class A uniform for this event. Each camper will go through a rotation of check-in stations. First stop will be with the Banker to check-in Summer Camp money, include instructions for daily allotments and for lunch during our return. Don’t forget to also include your gear box lock combination. All banker check-in materials should be in a clasped envelope. The second stop will be with the Health Officer. All medicine to be taken in camp must be turned in per troop policies. Please include original packaging along with dispensing instructions. Use the medication form available on the troop website. The third stop will be to off-load your personal gear (footlocker, cot, and chair) with the QM at the black trailer. The fourth and final stop will be with Mrs. Martin / Mrs. Purgahn to ensure that all paperwork is complete.
    6. Summer Camp departure will be at 7:00 AM from the Luby’s Cafeteria north parking lot on Sunday, June 21st. Wear your Class A uniform with your summer camp T-shirt underneath. Scouts should bring a sack lunch since drivers will not stop for lunch en route to camp. However, drivers will stop for lunch during our return trip on Saturday (6/27), so make sure to include these funds with money given to the banker. Our estimated return time to Kingwood on Saturday, June 27th is between 3:00 and 4:00 PM at Luby's Cafeteria north parking lot.
    7. Finally, Mrs. Grassman, will be the emergency contact for the week we at summer camp. I will text Mrs. Grassman when we arrive at camp on Sunday and upon our departure the following Saturday with our estimated return to Kingwood. Mrs. Grassman will send out Troop updates with this information, so watch your emails during those times. Mrs. Grassman should also be the primary contact for any adults wanting updates on their Scouts at camp or those who need to contact them in the event of an emergency. Please use Mrs. Grassman (832-754-6911) rather than calling adults at summer camp to check on a Scout, please respect their time and let them enjoy their "vacation". By the same token, adults attending Summer Camp should leave their work issues, ie laptops, on-call, etc., at home and enjoy the week.
    8. I have attached a file listing the Scouts and adults attending summer camp. Please review and let me know if there are any errors or corrections. 



       

    Other key Summer dates to mark down on your calendar:

    • Tuesday, June 2nd, Troop Committee Meeting - 7:00 PM, we will finalize Summer Camp activities and close the 2014 - 2015 scout year.
    • Saturday, July 4th - Kingwood Independence Day Parade. Troop 839 will once again assist with trash clean-up following the parade. Plan to show up at the Creekwood Middle School parking lot (staging area) between 8:30 - 9:00 AM in Class A uniform. We will file in just after the last float, but before the street sweepers. This qualifies as service hours.
    • Saturday, July 25th, is the PLC's annual program planning meeting. The meeting will start at 9 AM and last until the program calendar has been completely filled out. Lunch will be provided, if necessary. All Scouts in a Leadership position (Senior Patrol Leader, Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders, Patrol Leaders, Junior Assistant Scoutmaster and Instructors) should plan to attend.
    • August 1st - 15th, several members of Troop 839 will attend Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico.
    • Tuesday, August 18th, Troop Committee meeting to approve the annual plan - this is your chance for adults to review and comment on the upcoming plan.
    • Monday, August 24th is the annual Ice Cream Social. All family members are welcome to attend this event. The program calendar will be rolled out to the Troop. Additionally, the Troop Historian will provide a slide show of activities from the past year.
    I would like to close by recognizing and thanking David Fluker for his service and leadership as Troop 839’s SPL during the past 6 months and congratulate Alex deMasi for his election as your next SPL. Alex and I are reviewing the requested assignments from submitted Leadership Applications and the best interests of the troop. I will distribute the leadership positions in a separate note once we have finalized prior to summer camp.







    Whew, that was a lot. We have had a GREAT Scouting experience this school year and the Troop has experienced tremendous growth in Scouts joining either from Webelos crossing over, Scouts transferring in from other Troops or from boys new to Scouting all together. We should all feel proud of our accomplishments and I look forward to the upcoming year!

    Yours in Scouting,

    Mr. Hill

     

    April 17, 2015

    Hey, Troop!







    Just a few quick reminders:

    Scout Fair is this Saturday (April 18) at Reliant Arena from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Troop 839 will be making rope. We are located in Booth #4115 in Hall C. See attached map and program for directions. If you are uncertain on which time that you volunteered to work the booth, please contact Kaleb Kersting, Patrol Leader for the B-52's. The B-52's Patrol, as the program patrol for April, are responsible for coordinating our Scout Fair activities.

    Because last night's swim test was cancelled due to weather, Mr. Lance has rescheduled the session for next Thursday (April 23) night from 7:30 - 9:00 PM at the Lake Houston YMCA.

    The 3rd regularly scheduled swim test is Saturday (April 18) is from 4:30 - 6:00 PM at the YMCA (non-members need to have a signed waiver which can be found on our troop website or via the link

    http://troop839.com/Portals/0/documents/2014-15/2015%20YMCA%20waiver.pdf

    This Monday (April 20) is the deadline for both scout and adults to turn in summer camp packets to Ms. Martin or Ms. Purgahn. Additionally, Monday is the deadline to submit summer camp T-shirt designs into Ms. Casto.

    Speaking of summer camp, we currently only have 4 adults that have signed up for Summer Camp. With an expected 40 scouts attending, I am looking for an additional 5 - 6 registered adults to volunteer for either the entire week or some portion of it. We currently do not have enough seat belts to transport the scouts, so if you are unable to stay, please consider volunteering to either drive or pick up scouts. Remember, adults attending summer camp in TX must complete Classroom YPT prior to arrive. The final opportunity for classroom YPT is at the Flaming Arrow District Roundtable on May 7 at LDS church on Atasca Oaks Drive beginning at 7:00 PM or via the link

    http://www.flamingarrowdistrict.org/training.html

    Monday is also the deadline to sign up for our April camping trip (April 24 - 26) at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park near Jasper, TX

    I have updated our Troop roster with the new patrols and included for future reference for phone numbers and addresses of fellow members.

    Finally, for adults - in order for Troop 839 and BSA to provide a quality program for our boys, it takes adult volunteers working behind the scenes handling issues like logistics / outdoor coordination, finances, recruitment, advancement, equipment maintenance, etc. Many of the adults currently in these roles have been in them for several years and now have older boys in the troop. In 2015, Troop 839 cerebrates its 30th anniversary and we would like to see the troop continue for another 30 years, but that only happens if we have a steady stream of trained adult leaders. If you feel committed to the fundamentals and ideals of BSA or you just would like to help, please contact myself, our Committee Chair, David Penning or our Vice Committee Chair, Doug Lance and thank you in advance.

    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill

     

    April 8, 2015 

    Hey, Troop!

    Before I start in with the latest update, I want to wish our new Scouts and their families a warm welcome to Troop 839. I look forward to getting to know all members of the Hawk and Lighting Patrols. In fact, if you have not already done so, now would be a great time to schedule your Scoutmaster Conference for Scout Rank. The requirements for Scout Rank can be found on page 17 of your Scout Handbook.

    To get our new Scouts kick started into Scouting, we will have a couple of activities occurring this weekend. First, we have Troop Leadership Training (TLT) scheduled on Saturday morning at 8:30 AM in the second floor classroom. The training will conclude around noon. We will have lunch right after we finishing with the training. Breakfast will also be provided. TLT is for all Scouts that do not have the “Trained” patch on their uniform. Please arrive in Class A uniform with your Scout Handbook. If you still have paperwork to file with me (Youth Application, BSA Health Form, Permission Slips), please arrive a few minutes beforehand. I plan to arrive at the church around 8 AM.

    Right after TLT, all attendees should plan to depart for the Orientation Campout at Lake Houston Park. Our Troop Guides are targeting a 2:00 PM start to the field training. Troop Guides should initially arrive at the church and see Mr. Kersting at 11:00 AM to plan out the afternoon activities. All campers are encouraged to arrive around 1:30 PM. Transportation is not provided by the troop. We are camping in Camp Oakwood (front camp loop). As a reminder, all vehicles entering the park are required to check-in at the park entrance on FM-1485 just past Peach Creek. After obtaining your parking permit and gate code, you’ll need to backtrack to Baptist Encampment Rd to enter the park. Please see the troop website for detailed directions. Additional information about what to bring and the permission slip can be found at the following link:

    http://www.troop839.com/Portals/0/permission_slips/2014-15/2015%20Orientation%20Permission%20Slip.pdf. Starting around 8:00 PM, all members of the Troop are invited for the evening campfire complete with songs and skits. Afterwards, we will conclude the evening activities with a cracker barrel courtesy of Mrs. Casto and Mr. deMasi.

    Summer Camp packets were distributed at last Monday’s Troop Meeting. If you haven’t picked yours up, please see Mrs. Martin or Mrs. Purghan, our Summer Camp coordinators. You can alos find a copy of the Summer Camp paperwork on our troop website at the following link:

    http://www.troop839.com/Portals/0/documents/2014-15/Summer%20Camp%202015%20Packet.pdf. Remember the deadline for turning in your summer camp forms, even if you are not going, is Monday, April 20.

    As a reminder, we will new updated medical forms (Parts A, B & C) for all Scouts, so you should be scheduling your physical with your doctor in order to complete Part C which requires the doctor's signature. The can be found at the following link:

    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/680-001_ABC.pdf

    Mr. Lance will also be conducting annual BSA swim test next week on April 14th, 16th and 18th at the YMCA on Lake Houston Parkway. Be sure to check the website (

    http://www.troop839.com/) for times. Everyone, scouts and adults, attending or considering summer camp and planning to do any aquatic activity (adults and Scouts) including April Canoeing Campout, should make every attempt to take the test. The requirements of the test can be found in the Scout Handbook and shouldn't take more that about 15 to 30 minutes once you are in the pool. The BSA swim test is also a requirement for 1st Class, so even if you are not going to summer camp and not 1st Class you are encouraged to take the swim test.

    Saturday, April 18 is Scout Fair at Reliant Arena from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Troop 839 will once again be making rope. We still need lots of youth and adults to volunteer to staff our booth. This does count as service hours towards rank advancement. More information about booth number and directions will follow in a separate email. Please volunteer for a specific time using the sign up sheet located on the table as you enter the Troop meeting. The B-52's, as the program patrol for April, are responsible for coordinating our Scout Fair activities. This is great opportunity to enjoy in fellowship contributions from other Scouting Units through the greater Houston area. Especially appealing is all of the great food items that many of the Boy Scout troops will have for you to sample.

    The April 20 Troop Meeting program will be on Youth Protection for the Scouts. We will show several video clips from the award winning DVD, A Time to Tell. After each video, we will have a group discussion regarding the messages conveyed from each session. This is a sensitive, but very important topic, that we want to discuss with our youth. If you have any questions/concerns, please discuss with me.

    April 24 - 26 is our Canoeing Campout at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park near Jasper, TX. We will be canoeing around the lake and other great outdoor activities, so look for the sign up sheet at the upcoming meetings.

    Looking further out, Equipment Day (May 2) and Tubing / Schlitterbahn Campout (May 15 - 17), please let me know if you got any questions/concerns.

     Phew... Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail. We are jam-packed with all sorts of activities. While these communications hopefully help you plan out your activities, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings. Another information resource is our troop website (

    wwwtroop839.com). See y'all out on the trail.

    Yours in Scouting,

    Mr. Hill

     

    March 24, 2015

    Hey, Troop!







    Well, Spring is definitely in the air. Which means we can now officially say good-bye to the bark mulch season for another year. But before we do that, I wanted to pass along my appreciation to all of the folks that made our annual fund-raiser a success. Major props go to Doug Lance, Tracey Purgahn, Stephanie Martin, and Robin McCord for a smooth delivery day operation. Also, big thanks goes out to all of the parents supporting the mulch delivery with trailer hauling, chase cars, hot shots, logistical support, and of course their physical labor. I was very impressed with everyone turning out in full force.







    I’d also like to reflect back on our recent campout at Lost Maple State Natural Area. The weather was far from ideal when we arrived Friday night which created an excellent opportunity for Scouts to learn how to set up camp in the rain - a first for many since we've been very fortunate the last couple of years with clear skies upon our arrival. The sound of steady rain during the night made for a relaxing sleep and I found it difficult to get out of my dry tent, but as any Scout "I was prepared". The rain decreased during the morning and the Scouts were able to either hike or backpack within the park and enjoy it's natural beauty. A mid afternoon shower provided the Scouts backpacking an opportunity to test their pack covers and rain gear. Speaking of which, we had several Scouts go backpacking for the first time and watching them, they looked like pros. We also had a group of Philmont bound campers that were able to get their 15 miles of "practice hike" in and spend the night in the back country as well as watch the sun come up from one of the park's scenic overlooks - spectacular! For those that hiked and stayed in camp, they participated in a team building exercise that was very valuable.







    Looking ahead on the schedule for remainder of March and into April:







    Saturday, March 28th we’ll be spreading the donated bark mulch at the church. We’ll start at 9 AM. It should take about 2-3 hours to complete work, but really depends on how many folks show up. Please dress in work clothes. Also, I recommend bringing some gloves and a water bottle. The work will easier to accomplish if a couple of the adults can bring a pick-up truck for hauling the bark mulch bags to the various planter areas. This activity counts as service hours towards rank advancement. I’ll bring some donuts.

    Monday, March 30th, is New Scout Investiture. We will formally welcome all new Scouts into Troop 839. All new Scouts will be formed into new patrols and assigned a primary and backup Troop Guide. All incoming Scouts should plan to arrive at the church by 6:45 PM in order to meet with me to complete your requirements for Scout rank.

    Monday, April 6th, is our Spring Scouting for Food Drive. Scouts will distribute plastic bags in the neighbors surrounding the church and return to collect non-perishable can goods the following Monday, April 13th. Adults we will need drivers to shuttle the boys around, so please plan to attend both of these meetings and volunteer. Additionally, Summer Camp packets will be available for pickup on April 6th. Deadline for Summer Camp sign up is April 20nd - information will be posted on Troop website soon.







    On Saturday morning, April 11th, all new Scouts and any Scouts that do not have the ‘Trained’ patch on their uniform shirt should plan on attending Troop Leadership Training (TLT). We will meet in the in the big classroom on the second floor starting at 8:30 AM. Breakfast will be available. The training session provided by the senior leadership (SPL and ASPL’s must attend) will last until about noon. We will conclude with a pizza lunch. A planning session for Troop Guides will occur concurrent with TLT. Mr. Kersting will have more details for the Troop Guides at a later date and all Scouts that are 2nd Class or higher and have not competed this training are encouraged to attend.







    The Orientation Campout kicks off shortly after TLT on April 11th at Lake Houston Park. As the name implies, this campout is for all new Scouts and their parents to get a jump start on Troop 839’s camping procedures. All Troop Guides and Senior Leadership should attend. All meals will be provided by the troop. More details can be found through the following hyperlink: 



    http://troop839.com/Portals/0/permission_slips/2014-15/2015%20Orientation%20Permission%20Slip.pdf







    We will not have our usual OA Callout ceremony this year at Orienteering Campout since we were able to join with Troops 9, 27 & 1011 and conduct an OA Callout during Winter Camp in January. Everyone is still welcome to join us Saturday night for campfire followed by a cracker barrel. We will be at the Oakwood sites (same sites we use for Winter Camp) beginning at 7:00 PM. All attendees for both the Orientation Campout and the OA Callout will need to check in at the new entrance gate before proceeding to the camping area.

    Mr. Lance is firming up dates, but tentative dates for BSA swim test are April 14th, 16th and 18th at the YMCA on Lake Houston Parkway. Everyone attending or considering summer camp and planning to do any aquatic activity (adults and Scouts) including April Canoeing Campout, should make every attempt to take the test. The requirements of the test can be found in the Scout Handbook and shouldn't take more that about 15 to 30 minutes once you are in the pool. The BSA swim test is also a requirement for 1st Class, so even if you are not going to summer camp and not 1st Class you are encouraged to take the swim test.

    Saturday, April 18th is Scout Fair at Reliant Arena from 10:00 AM until 3:00 PM. Troop 839 will once again be making rope. More information about booth number and directions will follow in a separate email. Please volunteer for a specific time using the sign up sheet located on the table as you enter the Troop meeting. The B-52's, as the program patrol for April, are responsible for coordinating our Scout Fair activities.

    April 24th - 26th is our Canoeing Campout at Martin Dies, Jr. State Park near Jasper, TX. We will be canoeing around the lake and other great outdoor activities, so look for the sign up sheet at the upcoming meetings.

    Looking further out, Equipment Day (May 2nd) and Tubing / Schlitterbahn Campout (May 15th - 17th), please let me know if you got any questions/concerns.

    Phew... Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail. We are jam-packed with all sorts of activities. While these communications hopefully help you plan out your activities, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings. Another information resource is our troop website (wwwtroop839.com). See y'all out on the trail.







    Yours in Scouting,

    Mr. Hill

     

    February 24, 2015

    Howdy, Troop!







    February is ending with a bang - literally, during our annual Shooting Campout at Titan’s facility in Milford, TX. We got to fire 20 gauge shotguns, 0.22 caliber rifles, and a variety of bows, including our 2 brand new bows. By strictly adhering to our safety rules, we enjoyed using firearms in a responsible manner and excerise our right as guaranteed by the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. We have many leaders to thank for our positive experiences. First off, a big thank you goes out to Mr. Wright for the use of his company’s facilities. Secondly, Mr. Whelihan, Mr. Eastwood, Mr. Godell and Mr. Purgahn deserve a big shout-out for serving as the program coordinators. Thirdly, thanks go to all of trailer haulers, Mr. Whelihan and Mr. Purgahn for getting our gear and shooting supplies to/from camp. And finally, I would like to recognize all of our adults that served as range safety officers and instructors. I saw a lot of smiling faces on the boys. With the windy and rainy conditions Sunday morning, I think everyone also learned the importance of watching the weather prior to departing Kingwood on Friday night and packing accordingly as to "Be Prepared". The "surprise" inspection by the Quartermaster on Saturday morning also showed that several patrols need a little more instruction on "A Scout is Clean", but I'm sure they learned from the situation and now have a little better understanding of the "Leave No Trace" principles.







    I would like to thank all the presenters at this months COH and again congratulate those who earned rank advancements and merit badges, all totalled we had 31 rank advancements and presented 110 merit badges. We also have several awards for those that did not attend and they can be picked up from Mr. Wahrmund during our next meeting.







    We also had a tremendous turnout for Scout Sunday at First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood on February 8th with enough volunteers to cover all three (3) services this year - a first. In appreciation for our service, the church printed the names of all those Scouts who had signed up to volunteer in their church bulletin that Sunday. Remember, these hours count as service hours for anyone in need of hours for your next rank advancement. The Scouts served as ushers during the collection of the offering, as lay readers during the services, with distribution of bulletins as worshippers entered the sancutary and by holding open the doors to the church. As always, I received several positive comments from the congregation on the appearance and behavior of Troop 839, everyone appreciated our presence. I would also like to extend a special thanks to Charlie for "volunteering" that morning to speak about "What Scouting Means to You" at all 3 services, a very proud SM and dad moment. Speaking of appreciation, I would like to extent a special thank you to Mr. Jackson, our Charter Org Representative, for his support and involvement with our Troop and always making sure we have facilities available at FPCK for our meetings, COH, Eagle Scout ceremonies, etc. and being our voice within the church.







    Congratulations to all the scouts for helping Troop 839 EXCEED our goal for bark mulch by selling more than 8,000 bags - great effort by everyone to blanket Kingwood by knocking on doors, calling on neighbors, friends and relatives and just showing that Scouting spirit. Now comes the fun part - delivering the 22.000 plus bags sold by T-8, T-27 & T-839 collectively this Saturday, February 28th during our annual Bark Mulch Day of Delivery. Everyone should plan to arrive at the Park And Ride before 7:00 AM and sign in (scouts and adults) at the table by our troop trailer and we will begin assigning scouts to trailers shortly afterwards. Scouts should be dressed for the weather conditions of the day and wear old clothes to get dirty, so Scout uniforms (A or B) should NOT be worn. Scouts may also want to bring a pair of gloves to handle the bags. It is imperative that we have all, and I do mean all, Scouts on hand for Delivery Day. If you arrive late or depart early (or, gasp, no-show) without permission from me and/or our bark mulch coordinators, then you will not receive full incentive credit. Yep, it is that important. Many hands make light work. Please contact Mrs. Purgahn and Mrs. Martin for further questions and look for a follow up email from Mrs. Prugahn.







    Additionally, Mrs. Martin sent out an email on 2/19 requesting that all Scouts interested in attending Camp Constantin in Graford, TX in June for Summer Camp, needs to turn in their merit badge request form by Saturday, 2/28. We must submit the request to the camp on 3/1, so it is imperative that she receive all requests prior to that date. Mrs. Martin will be at the sign in table during Bark Mulch Delivery Day to collect the forms. Even if you are unsure, please turn in your request, we can always remove a scout from the list. Those scouts that do not submit their forms will not be guaranteed their requested merit badge as classes will be full. The packet is available on our website at http://www.troop839.com/Portals/0/permission_slips/2014-15/2015%20Camp%20Constantin%20MB.pdf and I have included with this update.







    And speaking of fundraisers… If you are looking for an additional boost to your incentive account, please contact Mrs. Casto for selling Scout Fair Coupon Packs. All commissions earned flow directly back to the Scout. You can continue to sell Scout Fair Coupon Packs until April 1, but the commission from sales is slightly reduced. Troop 839 will once again sponsor a booth at Scout Fair. Look for a sign-up sheet in the upcoming weeks at the entrance table and volunteer for this fantastic event.







    And speaking of sign-up sheets… Be on the lookout for the sign-up sheet for our March Campout. We’ve got a hiking and backpacking outing scheduled on March 20-22 at Lost Maples State Park. We will be clustered into three groups: Dayhikers, Overnight Backpackers and those going to Philmont in August. We will share time and venues on the trails, but details have yet to be worked out so stay tuned for further announcements. The PLC has determined and the Adult Committee has endorsed that overnight backpacking Scouts must have achieved the rank of First Class, all others will be Dayhikers.







    Finally, for those interested in Sea Base in 2016, there will also be a sign-up sheet. To be eligible you must have completed the 8th grade and be a First Class Scout by the summer of 2016. The primary location for Sea Base are two locations in the Florida Keys, with additional outposts in Nassau, Bahamas and St. John's U.S. Virgin Islands. The adventure includes living and working on a sail boat for six days during which the Scouts have an opportunity to go snorkeling, deep sea fishing and on landbase excursions. Troop 839 was requested three 6 day adventures in ealry July 2016 at one of the Sea Base locations and we will learn exact dates and locations next week. Overall cost will be about $1300 per person (transportation, in-transit meals, etc.), exclusive of additional personal gear. A non-refundable deposit of $100 per participant is required by March 16 to reserve a slot. Additional trek fees are due in September 2015 and February 2016.







    Well, I think that does it for me regarding the latest happenings in Troop 839. If you have any questions/concerns, please contact me. As you can see from the above info, we’ve got a lot of activities going on in the troop. And as our slogan says… “We are Going Places!”.







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill

     

    january 15, 2015

    Howdy, Troop! I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas season. With 2014 in our rear view mirror and 2015 now upon us, our Troop activities are about ready to shift into high gear. We’ve got some incredibly exciting and important events upcoming, so let’s get going with the latest update.







    Winter Camp 2015 with Troops 9, 27 and 1011 is this weekend. All attending Scouts and Adults must first check-in with Mr. Brehmar in the Dining Hall starting at 9 AM on Saturday, January 17th, at Lake Houston Park. Troop 839 is not responsible for transportation to or from the campground. Check in is from 9:00 AM - 11:00 AM on Saturday and check out is 2:00 PM on Monday. Directions to Lake Houston Park and a schedule of the campout program is available on the troop website (http://www.troop839.com/Portals/0/Maps%20and%20Directions/2013-14/2015%20Winter%20Camp%20Schedule%20and%20Directions.pdf)

     As a reminder, Lake Houston Park is now access restricted via a key code gate. I’ll send out a troop-wide e-mail on Friday afternoon/evening, January 16th, with the code after park officials provide it to me. In support of our recruiting efforts, Troop 839 will be hosting several Webelo visits on Sunday afternoon at Winter Camp. If you know some prospective Cub Scouts or age-eligible youth interested in joining Boy Scouts, please extend an invitation. This is a great start to fulfilling First Class Requirement #10. Although the sign-up deadline has already expired, any last-minute Scouts should contact me ASAP if they are still interested in attending Winter Camp.







    The Program Patrol for January are the Falcons. Troop Meeting activities will be centered around Trail to First Class Safety requirements. The Program Patrol for February are the Vikings and Anonymous. February’s theme is Shooting Safety.







    Our annual fundraiser, Bark Mulch Sales, is just around the corner. At the January 5 and 12 Troop Meetings, sales packets were issued to all Scouts in attendance. We still have a few scouts that have not yet picked up their packets, which includes a list of your buyers from 2014 sales. I will have the packets available for pick up at check-in for Winter Camp. Any packets not picked up by end of Winter Camp, previous years customer lists will be divided up among the Troop. Beginning now and before January 24th, all Scouts should contact their customer lists for securing pre-sales. As a reminder, you may only finalize sales with your previous customers and/or direct family members during the pre-sales period. Door-to-door bark mulch sales will kick-off on Saturday, January 24th with Troops 839, 8, and 27 canvassing nearly all of the greater Kingwood area. Once again, we need everyone’s support for this vital activity. The vast majority of Troop 839 program costs are paid via proceeds from selling bark mulch. Additionally, many Scouts earn enough through their incentives account to completely cover expenses for big camp outs such as Summer Camp and High Adventure programs. Each Scout should establish a personal goal and work diligently to accomplish it. Stay tuned for more information from Mrs. Purgahn, Troop 839’s Bark Mulch Coordinator. This year there has a change in location for Bark Mulch Sales Day, we will be at Strawbridge United Methodist Church located at 5629 Kingwood Drive in Kingwood.







    Friday, January 23rd, is the Flaming Arrow District awards banquet. Once again, the dinner event will be at First Presbyterian Church in Fellowship Hall. I would like to encourage as many Troop 839 adults to attend as possible. Having been to number of past banquets, I can attest that the event is a wonderful way to share in fellowship with Scouters from the greater Kingwood/Humble/Atascocita area. Besides, you may be recognized for your Scouting service and it would be great if you were on hand to receive an award. Advance purchase ticket cost is only $15 and may be

    purchased via will-call by contacting the event chair, Mitzi Vaughn. Mitzi can be reach via E-mail or phone (mvaughn6@comcast.net / 281 732 5613). Troop 839 has also purchased a limited number of tickets for $15.







    Looking further out, our Winter Court of Honor (2/9)and Shooting Camp Out (2/20 - 2/22) are coming up quickly in February. I encourage you to work hard to finish up on your rank requirements sooner rather than waiting for the last minute. As a reminder, you must First Class to fire shotguns at the Shooting Camp Out and Tenderfoot to fire rifles.







    Further in February, our Troop will be celebrating Scout Sunday on February 8th at the 8:00 AM and 11:00 AM services at the church. We will need volunteers for ushers, lay readers, and hospitality. Look for the sign-up sheet at the troop meeting entrance tables.







    As you can tell, the activities are really starting to build up. It sure is great staying active, but can be quite challenging as well. As such, we need help from everyone. If you are at all interested in further helping Troop 839 be a more successful troop, please come see me and let’s talk. I can assure you that taking a more active role in Scouting is a rewarding life-experience with lasting memories.







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill

     

    November 24, 2014

    Hey Troop!







    It may be hard to believe, but our 2014 calendar year is quickly coming to a close.  Thanksgiving is only three days away.  The hustle and bustle of the Winter Holiday season is ramping up.  Is it me or do the advertisers start earlier each year?  While it is nice to think about the presents we would like to get for Christmas, let us not forget that we receive so much more when we give of our talents and resources to others in need.  One example is our Fall food drive scheduled to begin tonight, November 24,when we will distribute food collection bags with attached flyers to neighborhoods around the church.  On the following Monday, December 1, we will collect the donated non-perishable items.  On both nights, Scouts will head out in teams of 3-4.  Each team will need an adult to drive them to/from the designated routes.  Because a Scout is Helpful, please consider providing personal food donations to the troop meeting on December 1. We will need adults to drive the Scouts, so PLEASE make room in your vehicle for 3 - 5 Scouts and VOLUNTEER - we need all hands on deck tonight and again next Monday.  Also, since it will be dark when the Scouts are distributing the bags and collecting the food, Scouts should "Be Prepared" with flashlights, adults you might also consider bringing a flashlight or two that could be loaned to a Scout.  Scouts should also watch the weather and dress accordingly for being outdoors.







    Tonight is also the deadline for submitting your popcorn fundraiser sales.  All forms must be turned into Mrs. Casto.







    Congratulations to David F.for being elected as Troop 839’s SPL.  David has completed his Leadership Team choices and I have attached a copy for notification and as a future reference.  These positions were based upon a review of the submitted applications and some thoughtful discussion on leadership fits and development.  Please contact either David or myself if you have any questions/concerns regarding the Leadership Team assignments.  Troop Guides assignments by patrols will be communicated by Mr. Kersting in a separate notice.







     A few notes about some upcoming activities:







    Our December campout is just around the corner on December 5 - 7.  This is our Biking Campout at McKinney Falls State Park near Austin.  Dedicated off-road bicycle trails for varying skills are available.  Now is the time to inspect your bicycle to ensure it is in good working condition.  There are hills, ruts, gravel, and trees to navigate.  It is imperative that your brakes work well.  Helmets are also mandatory for all cyclists at all times.  Please see the permission slip posted on the website (http://troop839.com/Portals/0/permission_slips/2014-15/2014%20December%20Permission%20Slip.pdf) for further details.  Departure Friday, December 5 is 5:30 PM from the church and return to Luby's by 3:00 PM on Sunday, December 7.  Last year the temperature stayed below freezing all weekend, so "Be Prepared" by checking the weather as you are packing your gear.







    Saturday, December 13, is Wreaths Across America - Houston (WAA-H) wreath laying event at the Houston National Cemetery.  This event was started by our very own Alex.   WAA-H raises money throughout the year to lay wreaths upon the graves of our fallen veterans at the Houston National Cemetery each December.  Last year we were able to honor over 42,000 veterans with their own wreath.  It is a beautiful site and very humbling to be a part of it - ten (10) Big Rig 18-Wheelers holding 40,000 plus wreaths escorted by dozens of motorcycles arriving along with over 15,000 volunteers.  The program includes a Marine 21 Gun Salute, a WW II fly over, bagpipes, and buglers.   Troop 839 has set up a fundraising page for the troop to help raise funds this year.  Check out our page Troop 839 Fundraising Page and you can help.  In addition to laying of the wreaths, WAA-H also needs our help on wreath day for about an hour after all the wreaths are laid.  Our assistance is needed to check some of the sections to be sure the wreaths have been laid in the correct locations.  There will be a sign-up sheet at the next meeting for those interested in helping at the event.  Don’t forget that this does qualify for service hours.  Class A uniforms are also required.  Please consider volunteering to show your respect for those who have given their lives to protect the freedoms we sometimes take for granted, as an added bonus you can watch Alex give a speech in front of 15,000 people and get a great patch.  Please  contact Mrs. Brehmer at crbrehmer@embarqmail.com   OR   Mr. deMasi at scott@sensadynamics.com 

     

    The Troop meetings on December 8 &15 will be Merit Badge Mania conducted by the adults.  As the name suggests, the meetings will be focused on Merit Badge instruction for the classes shown on the troop calendar.  Merit badge classes will begin at 6:30 PM, with a break for flags and announcements at 7:30 PM then returning to class until dismissal at 8:30 PM.  If you haven’t signed up for a course, please do so promptly so we can ensure sufficient instruction is available.  For those who do not want to take a merit badge class during December, please reconsider, because if not there will be no reason to attend the meetings.







    The following month (January) is our annual Winter Camp with Troops 9, 27 and1011 held MLK weekend (January 17-19, 2015) at Lake Houston Park.  Sign-ups for both Scouts and Adults are posted on the troop website (http://troop839.com/Portals/0/forms/2014-2015/2015%20Winter%20Camp%20Sign%20Ups%20-%20Troop%20839.pdf).  The camp fee for Scouts is $20 or, if available, you may use funds from your incentive account.  The cost for the Adults is free, but there is a catch.  To have a successful Winter Camp, we need adults for Merit Badge instruction and meal preparations (cooks and table waiters).  The registration deadline is December 15.  All Scouts will have the opportunity to earn up to 3 Merit Badges at Winter Camp.  Additionally, meals are provided and there will be night time entertainment.  All attendees who register by December 15 will receive a special ball cap and Nalgene water bottle.  If you enroll after the deadline, we can not guarantee.  Also, your Merit Badge options will be limited. Troop 839 will also be hosting Webelos from various Packs on Sunday afternoon/evening.



     



    In closing, I’d like to reflect back on our E-Rock Campout.  The weather was a bit chilly, but perfect for camping and hiking.  We all enjoyed hiking around, up and down E-Rock and back to camp - 8 miles total.  Thanks to the backpackers who fed the non-backpackers and gave them a glimpse of high adventure camping and hopefully wetted their appetitive for the future.  A special thank you to all the adults who volunteered to teach Scout skills and to Mr. Weber for traveling early to E-Rock and sitting on our campsites until we arrived later that night, I hear it was a tough assignment.   Fun with a purpose.  I have also heard that the Venture Crew, which included several Troop 839 Scouts, had an awesome time repelling during the weekend and something about BBQ on Saturday night - thanks Mr. Diehl, I can't wait to hear more stories.  



     



    Phew...  Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail.  We are jam-packed with all sorts of activities.  While these communications hopefully help you plan out your activities, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings.  Another information resource is our troop website.  See y'all out on the trail.







    Yours in Scouting,



    Andy







    November 10, 2014

     Howdy, Troop!



     



    Just a couple of quick reminders:

    1. Tonight is the deadline to submit your recharter for the 2015 calendar year. Fees are $75 for Scouts and $25 for adults (18 years and older). The subscription to Boy's Life is $12.  All Adult Leaders must have completed Youth Protection Training! Which means, if you last took your YPT in 2012 or 2013 you need to log onto scouting.org and retake the course. as stated in previous emails, the internet based YPT is valid for 2 years and cannot be replaced by the classroom training. Per BSA policy, if your YPT is not valid at the time of rechartering, which we will be doing prior to Thanksgiving, we will not be including you in the recharter.  Please print and complete the enclosed form with your and your Scout(s) names. Enclose a check (payable to BSA Troop 839) with the amount due and return it to Mr. Penning at the Troop meeting.
    2. Tonight, November 10th we will be holding our Troop elections for the Jan - June 2015 term.  I have included a leadership application ( also located at www.troop839.com) which should be completed and returned by the night of the elections.  Additionally on the same night we will be conducting our OA elections for the tap out ceremony in April.  We must have greater than 50% of the registered Scouts in attendance for the election to be valid.  Members of Troop 8 will be conducting the election, so PLEASE, PLEASE attend.
    3. Tomorrow night, November 11th will be our November Committee Meeting in the church parlor beginning at 7:30 PM.  All adults are encouraged and welcome to attend.  A notice about the meeting along with an agenda was sent by our Committee Chairman, David Penning, in a separate email.  If you do not receive the notice, please let me know and I will forward you a copy.
    4. This Friday, November 14-16, we will be camping at Enchanted Rock State Park.  If you haven’t already signed-up, please do so, we need everyone signed up before elections.  Backpacking is available to/from the backcountry for Scouts that have one year of service in Boy Scouts and are at least Second Class.  If any of our older Scouts or adults that are not going would like to loan your backpack to a younger Scout, that would not only be appreciated, please let me know as soon as possible.  For those that are Life rank or completed the 8th grade, you may go rock climbing and camp with the Venture Crew, but you must sign up for rock climbing tonight, we will not be able to add Scouts after tonight because the Venture Crew uses a local outfitter and they must have an accurate headcount.  We will depart FPCK at 6 PM on Friday, please arrive by 5:30 PM to expedite our departure.
    5. Our Fall Food Drive is scheduled to begin on November 24th(yes, we will meet the week of Thanksgiving) when we will distribute food collection bags with attached flyers to neighborhoods near the church.  On the following Monday, December 1st we will collect the donated non-perishable items.  Scouts will head out in teams of 3-4 weeks.  Each team will need an adult to drive them to/from the designated routes on both dates.  Because a Scout is Helpful, please consider providing personal food donations to the troop meeting on Monday, December 1.
    6. Finally, November 24th is the final day to turn in popcorn orders to Mrs. Casto.  The Troop does not get any money from popcorn so the proceeds go directly into the Scouts account which may be used for camping trips, such as summer camp or high adventure or for Scout approved camping gear.

    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill

    October 28, 2014

    Hey, Troop!



     



    I want to thank everyone that participated in Webelos Meet the Troops Day at Lake Houston Park on Saturday, October 18th.  A special thank you to Mr. Nolan for once against supervising the construction on the monkey bridge, which was the highlight of the event and a big hit with the Webelos.  I would also like to recognize Mr. Weber and his assistance cooks for demonstrating their cooking skills with the dutch ovens. I believe everyone - Scouts, Webelos and adults left stuffed after consuming casserole and / or cobbler.  Thanks to everyone's effort, we once again received a lot of positive feedback and interest in Troop 839 and can look forward to many of these Webelos visiting our meetings in the coming months. A couple of other people deserve special recognition for their efforts and that is Mr. Gapinski and Mr. Brehmer.  Mr. Gapinski for being our Recruitment Coordinator and making sure to personally speak with each parent and Mr. Brehmer for coordinating the entire event and "funneling" the Webelos toward Troop 839.  Again, thanks to all the Scouts and adults who took time to talk to future Scouts about what makes Troop 839 should a great experience.  It truly makes my job easier.







    For those who didn't go camping this past weekend, you missed a SUPER weather and an AWESOME camping experience.  I would like to congratulate the PLC for challenging the Troop with rules like no propane, meals prepared on an open flame - sometimes without matches, standardizing the meals, sleeping under a shelter of their own making and organizing the Scouts into new patrols for the weekend.  It was both interesting and awesome to watch the new Patrols work through the obstacles and problems given to them throughout the weekend each in their own unique way while they developed as a team.  I was also pleased with the leadership demonstrated by the temporary Patrol Leaders and I believe each one learned something about themselves this weekend which will help them to become better future leaders for Troop 839.  







    I must also pass out "Thank You" to all the adults that came out this weekend.  I especially want to recognize Mr. Bivens for pulling the trailer and Mr. Weber for coordinating the meals for the Scouts.  We were even able to solicit the help of another former Scoutmaster, Mr. Elmer who provided some wild game of rabbit and boar for dinner.  Does anyone else see the irony in a man named Elmer hunting rabbit?  (thanks Duncan) Also a special thanks to Mr. deMasi, Mr. Lance, Mr. duBernard, Mr. Eastwood, Mr. Wahrmund and Mrs.Carley for helping teach Scout skills.  It always amazes me, the number of adults willing to give up their weekend to spend time in the woods each time we travel.  This is a very envious position among other Troops and we are truly blessed to have such energetic and committed parents.  It seems each time the Troop travels someone stops me, tells me that they used to be involved in BSA as an adult leader and are amazed, even jealous, by the number of uniformed adults from Troop 839.  Again, it makes my job easier - THANK YOU!!  







    Now, for a very important announcement from our Committee Chairman, David Penning concerning recharter and copied from his email dated October 16th, 2014:



    "The Time is NOW for renewing your annual membership with Troop 839.  All Scouts and Adult Leaders need to renew their membership with the Troop by paying their annual dues.  By vote at the last committee meeting, the dues remain the same for 2015 as they were in 2014.  The dues are $75.00 for Scouts and $25.00 for adults (18 years and older). The subscription for Boys Life magazine remains $12.00.  All Adult Leaders must have completed Youth Protection Training! Which means, if you last took your YPT in 2012 or 2013 you need to log onto scouting.org and retake the course. as stated in previous emails, the internet based YPT is valid for 2 years and cannot be replaced by the classroom training. Per BSA policy, if your YPT is not valid at the time of rechartering, which we will be doing prior to Thanksgiving, we will not be including you in the recharter.  By the way, thanksgiving is a mere 6 weeks away.  Adults, If you are not certain regarding your YPT validity, please send me a note and I will let you know your YPT status.  Please print and complete the enclosed form with your and your Scout(s) names. Enclose a check (payable to BSA Troop 839) with the amount due and return it to me at either a Troop meeting or by mail by Monday November 10, 2014"







    Speaking on behalf of the Troop Committee, we are still looking for fill a couple of positions:

    • Secretary - The secretary keeps the minutes and records of the committee meetings as well as the action items that are carried from meeting to meeting.  This is a large void we are in desperate need to fill quickly.
    • Web Master - Someone that has familiarity with computer languages, such as html, and will able to work with individuals hosting our web site on technical problems.  The Troop 839 website is often the first point of contact for area Webelos or people new to the area that are looking to join Boy Scouts, so the upkeep of our site is critical.  Our current Web Master has served in this position for many years and he son is now aging out of Scouts and he wishes to pass his position to someone more active in the Troop.

    If anyone has an interest in either of these positions, please notify either Mr. David Penning or myself.



     



    And finally looking at our Troop calendar (reminder that a current copy is always available at www.troop839.com under Forms & Documents) during the month of November:

    1. This Saturday, November 1st from 8:00 AM to about 2:30 PM, Troop 839 will be supporting FPCK's Festival of Angels by assisting with traffic flow and parking at the church.  This event is heavily attended by both FPCK members and non members within the Kingwood area, which means lots of traffic.  Please volunteer your time, we are extremely short handed in the afternoon and this is when the parking lot really starts to fill up and it becomes more challenging for visitors to locate vacant parking stalls.  Adults may also lend a helping hand as well.  This qualifies as service hours toward rank advancement.  All Scouts and adults should be dressed in their Class A uniform on Saturday.
    2. On Monday, November 10th we will be holding our Troop elections for the Jan - June 2015 term.  I have included a leadership application ( also located at www.troop839.com) which should be completed and returned by the night of the elections.  Additionally on the same night we will be conducting our OA elections for the tap out ceremony in April.  We must have greater than 50% of the registered Scouts in attendance for the election to be valid.  Members of Troop 8 will be conducting the election, so PLEASE, PLEASE attend, even if sweaty and smelly from 7th Grade football - I'll bring clothes pins.
    3. Tuesday, November 11th will be our November Committee Meeting in the church parlor beginning at 7:30 PM.  All adults are encouraged and welcome to attend.  A notice about the meeting along with an agenda will be sent by our Committee Chairman, David Penning, in a separate email.  If you do not receive the notice, please let me know and I will forward you a copy.
    4. On November 14-16, we will be camping at Enchanted Rock State Park.  If you haven’t already signed-up, please do so.  E-Rock is a beautiful place to visit and is one of the troop’s marquee campouts.  Be sure to bring some sturdy footwear since we will be doing a lot of hiking.  There will also be ample opportunities for completing various Trail to First Class requirements.  Backpacking is available to/from the backcountry for Scouts that have one year of service in Boy Scouts and are at least Second Class.  If backpacking, you should reacquaint yourself with the “10 Essentials” and plan accordingly.  Consult your Scout Handbook.  If any of our older Scouts or adults that are not going would like to loan your backpack to a younger Scout, that would not only be appreciated but would also demonstrate "A Scout is Helpful" and "A Scout is Thrifty" - please send me a note if you can assist.  For those that are Life rank or completed the 8th grade, you may go rock climbing and camp with the Venture Crew, but you must sign up for rock climbing by November 10th.
    5. Our Fall Food Drive is scheduled to begin on November 24th(yes, we will meet the week of Thanksgiving) when we will distribute food collection bags with attached flyers to neighborhoods near the church.  On the following Monday, December 1st we will collect the donated non-perishable items.  Scouts will head out in teams of 3-4 weeks.  Each team will need an adult to drive them to/from the designated routes on both dates.  Because a Scout is Helpful, please consider providing personal food donations to the troop meeting on Monday, December 1st.
    6. Also remember that November 24th is the final day to turn in popcorn orders to Mrs. Casto.  The Troop does not get any money from popcorn so the proceeds go directly into the Scouts account which may be used for camping trips, such as summer camp or high adventure or for Scout approved camping gear.







      Phew...  Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail.  We are jam-packed with all sorts of activities.  While these communications hopefully help you plan out your activities, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings.  Another information resource is our troop website.  See y'all out on the trail.







      Yours in Scouting,



      Mr.Hill







    October 14, 2014

    Howdy, Troop!







    Fall has now officially arrived and cooler weather is here. - perfect for camping.  But before we can head out on troop outings, let's review the calendar and the upcoming activities.  Butt first I got to give a shout-out to the Phoenix Patrol for serving as the program patrol for the first month of the program year.  You had a tough job 'batting lead-off' for the program year that included a Court of Honor and did a wonderful job.  The Cobras (October Program Patrol) are off to a terrific start teaching wilderness survival and camping skills.  Now to the calendar:

    1. Its popcorn time again! Ms. Casto has the order forms for any scouts wishing to participate in the sales.  This is not a required fundraiser, but any scout that wishes to participate can earn funds for their incentive account. Participating scouts earn 33% of all sales in incentive funds. It's not too late to start selling, please see Ms. Casto
    2. This Saturday, October 18th, is the Flaming Arrow District's Webelos Meet the Troop Day at Lake Houston Park.  The event allows area Webelos and their parents to visit with several local Troops in a more relaxed atmosphere and is coordinated by Troop 839's own Mr. Brehmer.  Last year was a huge success with construction of the monkey bridge and the Dutch oven demonstrations of breakfast casserole and cobblers.  We will try to recreate the magic of last year by constructing the monkey bridge and feeding our visitors with Dutch oven cooking.  The event begins at 9:00 AM and runs through 12:00 PM, but we would like Troop 839 to arrive at the primitive camp sites (same place as Winter Camp) off Baptist Encampment Road at 8:00 AM to begin cooking and construction.  Mr. Brehmer will provide the gate code on Friday afternoon so that there will not be a need to go to the main entrance off FM 1485 on Saturday morning.
      • this is an excellent opportunity for Scouts not yet First Class and older Scouts that are a little rusty on their lashing and cooking skills to work on and hone those requirements.  Mr. Nolan has offered to lead the efforts on the monkey and Mr. Weber will be looking for some assistant cooks to help in the kitchen, and maybe even sample, as well
    3. Next, on the weekend of October 24 - 26, we will have our Wilderness Survival Campout at Martin Creek Lake State Park near Tyler.  Saturday, the Troop will simulate being lost during a day hike on the trail with the Scouts having to forage for their meals (provided by the adults) utilizing their orienteering skills and then prepare their meal over an open fire.  Not only will this complete several First Class requirements, but it will also sharpen those of Scouts already First Class. The Scouts are also encouraged to bring their fishing poles and try to catch dinner for their patrol in the lake.  Saturday night will be spent in a shelter built using materials brought on the hike.  For those less adventurous, they can return to the comfort of their tents.  This should be an exciting advantage and I can't wait.  We will leave FPCK at 6:00 PM on Friday and return to Luby's by 3:00 PM on Sunday.  Permission slips are available on the Troop website and each Scout should bring money for lunch on Sunday.
    4. Next, Troop 839 will again be supporting FPCK's Festival of Angels by assisting with traffic flow and parking at the church.  This event takes place on November 1st from 8:00 AM to about 2:30 PM.  Please volunteer your time.  See sign-up sheet at troop meeting entrance table.  This qualifies as service hours toward rank advancement.
    5. Finally, the November's campout is our traditional visit to Enchanted Rock State Park.  Scouts that meet Venture Patrol requirements (completed 8th grade and First Class or Life Scout and Scoutmaster-approved) are eligible to camp with the Venture Crew and experience high-adventure rock climbing.  Please sign up or contact Mr. Diehl if you are interested as soon as possible.  He will be finalizing plans with the climbing outfitter soon.  Additionally, the Troop will offer an overnight backpacking option for qualified scouts.  Stay tuned for further information.

    Phew...  Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail.  We are jam-packed with all sorts of activities.  While these communications hopefully help you plan out your activities, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings.  Another information resource is our troop website.  See y'all out on the trail.







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill







    August 8, 2015

    Howdy, Troop!







    I hope everyone is doing well now that school has started.  Our Troop program has gotten off to a great start.







    Looking at our schedule, there are several upcoming activities in September:

    • First, tonight, September 8th, is the final night to turn in completed merit badge cards and rank advancements to Mr. Wahrmund for our Fall Court of Honor next Monday, September 15th.  I know everyone has worked extremely hard over the summer earning merit badges and rank advancements and I'm looking forward to recognizing everyone.  The Flying Squirrels are our Program Patrol this month and will conduct the ceremony, but I'm certain they will be asking for volunteers to assist them, so make sure you see their Patrol Leader - Will Rosenwinkel.
    • Second, our September Committee Meeting is Tuesday, September 9th, in the church parlor at 7:30 PM.  All adults are encouraged and welcome to attend.  A notice about the meeting along with an agenda was sent by our Committee Chairman, David Penning, in a separate email on 9/6.  If you did not receive the notice, please let me know and I will forward you a copy.  Additionally, the Patrol Leader for the October program patrol, Cobras, should plan to attend the meeting and present the October program to the committee.
    • Third, our Fall Court of Honor is next Monday, September 15th in the church sanctuary at 7:30 PM.  Parents make sure you attend this special ceremony to recognize the accomplishments of your scouts.
    • Forth, Sunday, September 21st, is Back to Church Rally at FPCK.  The church has ask for Scouts to volunteer to bus tables from 9AM - 12PM.  This counts as service hours for rank advancement, so please sign up on the sheet at the front table.
    • Fifth, instead of our traditional Family campout in September, the PLC elected to add another "regular" campout to our 2014-2015 calendar on September 26-28 at Pedernales Falls State Park.  The theme for the campout is fishing - which may be limited due to water levels, day hiking and sporting events. We will depart from the church at 6 PM on Friday, 26th and return to Luby's between 2-3 PM on Sunday, 28th.  Those planning to attend, please make sure your name is on the sign up sheet at the front table.  This is also true for any adults planning to attend and indicate whether or not you are willing to drive.  I am also in need of one (1) adult volunteer to travel to Pedernales Falls SP early on Friday, 9/26 and hold our camp sites until we arrive later that night.  The State Park will not reserve camp sites, so they are first come, first serve and the only way to ensure the Troop stays together is for someone to check in at the park and hold them.  Permission slips are available on the Troop website (http://troop839.com/DocumentsForms.aspx ).  Additionally each Scout should bring a sack dinner for Friday night and money for lunch on Sunday.
    • Sixth, before we can head out on troop outings, we always need to be prepared.  This includes making sure not only our personal equipment is in good condition, but cleaning and repairing our troop and patrol gear.  Therefore, I encourage all Scouts to attend this weekend's (September 13th) Equipment Day.  We will meet at our trailer storage location (see Troop website under Documents/Maps for directions - http://troop839.com/DocumentsForms.aspx) starting at 9 AM.  Finish time will depend on quantity and quality of helpful Scouts.
    • Finally, the PLC has changed the location of the October Campout from Dinosaur Valley SP to Martin Creek SP near Tyler.  The change was necessary because Dinosaur Valley SP was full on October 24-26 (and every other weekend in October) and Martin Creek is better suited for our Wilderness Survival themed campout than was Cedar Hills SP.  More details about the campout will be coming soon.  For those who are curious, the Troop will camp on the island at the park. - check out the map on the park's website.

    Again, Troop 839 will be welcoming several Webelos visiting from surrounding Packs in the coming months.  The Troop Leadership will talk to the potential Scouts about how exciting Boy Scouts can be and the benefits of Troop 839 while the Mr. Gapinski and other adults meet with the parents.  Let's show these Webelos that Troop 839 is an excellent Troop.







    Whew, that was a lot.







    Yours in Scouts,



    Mr. Hill







    August 15

    Howdy Troop!







    Well summer is almost over and the start of school is just a week away, that means it's time for ICE CREAM.  Yes, the kick off to the new Troop 839 schedule begins at 7:30 PM on Monday, August 18th at the church with our Annual Ice Cream Social.  Parents and siblings are invited and encouraged to enjoy some delicious ice cream with all the toppings.  Patrol Leaders, make sure you send Ms. Casto an email or text with a headcount of those attending from your patrol (including siblings and parents) by Friday, August 15th (today).  Attached is a current roster with phone contact information.  As always, Ms. Casto has promised to add a new topping to the list, so come and sample all the topping then see if you can find the latest addition.







    Also please forward any Scouting photos from last year to Ryan Grassman (Troop Historian) via Leila's email.  Ryan is putting together a year in review slide show that will be shared during the Ice Cream Social.







    I would like to congratulate Charlie and his PLC for putting together what I believe is an exciting calendar.  It is filled with a mix of new and traditional camping locations, challenging activities, awesome merit badges and a return to a fun summer camp we last visited in 2011 - Camp Consantin on Possum Kingdom Lake west of Ft. Worth.  I have attached a copy of the calendar approved by the Committee last night.  You will notice a couple of items.  First, the PLC voted NOT to have a family camp out, as we have in previous years, but instead add another traditional camp out in September.  Second, the PLC  choose to continue with a Service Patrol for each month.  The responsibilities of the Service Patrol will be to arrive 15 - 20 minutes prior to each meeting, set up the meeting by putting up tables, chairs, etc., conducting the flag ceremonies and finally cleaning up after the meeting. Additionally, the Service Patrol will be responsible for removing the flags from the flag box outside Alspaugh's Ace Hardware on Lake Houston Drive each month prior to our camping trip or as necessary.







    I am looking forward to the return of Scouting and hearing about everyone's adventures over  the summer.  Hopefully everyone took lots of pictures and will share them with the Troop.  One change this year with our merit badges is that they will begin at 6:30 PM in order to provide the counselors with some additional time necessary to cover all or the majority of the requirements during the month.  The Troop is working with the church to secure some classrooms for these classes to enhance the teaching environment.  Look for sign up sheets at the Ice Cream Social..







    A few reminders about upcoming Troop activities and dates to put on your calendar - besides the Ice Cream Social:







    September 8 - Final day to turn in rank advancements and completed merit badges



    September 15 - COH



    September 26 - 28 - Camp out at Pedernales Falls State Park



    September 29 - PLC







    One final note, I would like to update my distribution list.  If you no longer want to receive update and therefore be removed from the distribution list, would like to modify your email address, (maybe you are receiving multiple emails) or would like to add a new or update email, please let me know via reply with your request.







    Whew, that was a lot!







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill







    August 3, 2014

    Howdy Troop!







    Oh my - where does the time go?  It seems like just yesterday we were returning back from Summer Camp.  Hard to believe, but school is just around the corner.  Band and athletic activities are picking up at the high school and I'm sure the middle schools are making preparation to welcome in new and returning students.







    Before I start highlighting upcoming activities, I would like to reflect back on the recent past.  Summer Camp was a blast, I think everyone that went would agree that it was the best summer camp in years.  Many of you earned numerous merit badges and completed many rank advancements.  We enjoyed all sorts of fun activities such as sliding down the banana slide into the cool river, jumping on the blob in the lake, mountain boarding, fire building, rifle shooting, kayaking, cowboy camping and the campfire ceremonies.  To cap off all the fun, Troop 839 won the Water Carnival on Friday and was recognized with the Honor Troop ribbon at the closing ceremonies.  With 53 scouts and 16 adults we were also the largest group in camp.  Of course, we couldn't have had such a great time at Summer Camp without the coordination and help from many of our adult volunteers.  I got to give Mrs. Adams and Mr. Brehmer a big shout out for taking care of so many Summer Camp preparations.  I'd also like to thank Mr. deMasi for donating the food we used in our meals during the 2 day travel up and the return trip.  Also a big thank you to all of the attending adults for helping with rank advancements, health and safety issues, skills instruction and transportation of people and gear.  I believe most of our adults took advantage of the numerous training opportunities or where able to enjoy several of the extra activities offer by Kia Kima.







    Once again, Troop 839 provided service to the community by cleaning up at the conclusion of the Kingwood Independence Day Parade.  It was great to have many help out.  I appreciate the many Scouts and Scouters that came out and cleaned up at the conclusion of the parade.  I want to give a special thank you to Mr. Weber for filling in during my absence and coordinating the troop's participation.  I heard there where numerous folks along the route thanking us for our service to the community.  Thanks for putting on that great Troop 839 spirit.  Thanks also to Mr. Cordano (Kevin’s dad) and Mr. Jones (Ben’s dad) for volunteering their pick-up trucks to haul trash.Thank you everyone who helped.







    This summer we had 16 scouts and 4 adults, including yours truly, spend 8 days at BSA Northern Tier High Adventure Base in Atikokan, Ontario Canada.  Canoeing 15 - 20 miles with 3 - 4 portages, where you carry your 75 lb canoe and all your gear through narrow, rocky and overgrown trails across stretches of land ranging from a few hundred feet to a mile or more, each day is hard work, but no one complained.  That is because we were too busy watching for wildlife, moose, beaver, loons and bald eagles were all spotted, and enjoying the breathtaking scenery in the absence of any signs of civilization, outside communications or people, other than the occasion fishing boat, summer cabin or a passing crew of fellow High Adventurers from Atikokan.  During the week we where able to fish, float down rapids, cliff jump, build campfires and prepare a wide vary of meals ranging from fried fish to blueberry muffins and cheesecake.  We wouldn't have had such wonderful experiences without the planning from Mrs.Johnson and her efforts in arranging and coordinating our travel.  Thank you, Amy, for a great trip.  I strongly recommend attending Northern Tier at least once during your Scouting career, truly a once in a lifetime adventure.







    Now the upcoming activities







    Saturday, August 9th  is our annual program planning meeting for the PLC at First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood beginning at 9:00 AM and will last until we have completed a draft of the program year calendar, normally around 2 PM.  We will meet in the big classroom upstairs, breakfast and lunch will be provided.  All Scouts who are members of the PLC should make a concerted effort to attend.  I highly encourage all Patrol Leaders to gather ideas for future weekend camp outs, monthly program themes and 2015 Summer Camp locations from your Patrol members - remember a Scout is always prepared.  Remember to limited camp sites to 5 hours or less from Houston - except for Summer Camp and all camping trips should have a theme or activity.  Available resources include: internet (make sure to get your parents permission first), library, book stores, travel agencies, other Scouts, former members of Troop 839 and your parents.  Just a reminder the voting members of the PLC are the Senior Patrol Leader (SPL), Assistant Senior Patrol Leaders (ASPL), Patrol Leaders (PL) (Assistant Patrol Leader in his absence) and Junior Assistant Scoutmaster (JASM).  Additionally, the Instructors may cast one vote by delegation.  Non voting members of the PLC include Scoutmaster (SM), Assistant Scoutmasters (ASM), Troop Guides and Troop Scribe.  Also remember the new Scout patrols rotate Patrol Leaders each month until everyone has had an opportunity to be PL, during the month of August the PL for the B-52's is Kia M. and Noah W. for the Falcons.







    Thursday, August 14th. will be the first Committee Meeting for the program year.  In addition to standard meeting agenda items, the Committee will review the proposed annual Troop program and provide and / or propose changes.  All adults are encouraged to attend.  The meeting is scheduled to start at 7:30 PM and will be located in the parlor at FPCK.







    Monday, August 18th, is our annual Ice Cream Social.  This is a family event.  Although the meeting starts at 7:30 PM, many of you will need to arrive earlier for preparations.  Mrs. Casto will address the PLC this Saturday and discuss planning for the Ice Cream Social.  The 2014-15 program plan will be rolled out at the meeting.  Also, our Troop Historian, Ryan Grassman, will share a year-in-review slide show that will undoubtedly remind us of our many happy times from past Troop activities.  Please forward any pictures that you might have to Ryan.







    The decision was made by the PLC in May to forego the annual Family Camping Trip normally held in September in lieu of another camping trip.  The location and details of that trip will be forthcoming after the committee approves the calendar.







    Whew that was a lot!







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill







    June 6, 2014

    Howdy Troop!







    School is finally out for the summer. Yippee! Although the homework and tests may be coming to an end, the Scouting fun continues in full force. Summer Camp is just 2 weeks away. Additionally, many Troop 839 Scouts, Alumni and Adults are participating in a variety of major Scouting activities this summer such as NYLT, NAYLE Staffing, Summer Camp Staffing and Northern Tier. As our Troop slogan states,"We are going places!"







    This Monday, June 9 will be our final Troop meeting until mid August, so I would like to share a few items:







    I would like to thank Mr. Brehmer and the other adults that helped complete the build out of our new white trailer and getting it ready for summer camp - can't wait to see it. The purchase of this new trailer was only possible due to the amazing job the Scouts have done the last couple of years with their Bark Mulch sales - Keep up the hard work. Mr. Brehmer has also located a buyer for our old trailer. The new owner is purchasing a superior and well maintained trailer full of memories thanks to all those that have pulled and/or maintained the trailer for the past 20 years along with the Scouts that have served as either Quartermaster or just camped with Troop 839.







    Speaking of Mr. Brehmer, he ask that I pass along Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH) is having their 45th anniversary on Saturday, June 7th. The event is free and open to the public, there will be aircrafts like 747 and 787, helicopters, military aircraft and much more fun and food. Please attend if possible, I know Mr. Brehmer will be there.







    Also, Mrs.Adams has done a great job getting Scouts signed up for their preferred merit badge classes and special programs. However, she still needs your help. All Summer Campers (Scouts and Adults) are required to have on file with the troop up-to-date BSA Health Forms (Parts A, B, and C). If your last physical exam was more than a year ago, you need to schedule a doctor’s visit pronto. Don’t forget to include a copy of your insurance card with the health forms. A reminder, that all adults attending Summer Camp must be registered with BSA and have completed BSA on-line Youth Protection Training within the last 2 years. All paperwork is now due and should be turned in to Mrs. Adams or Mr. Brehmer. Summer camp T-shirts can also be picked up from Mrs. Castro at the next meeting. We also have a few extra shirts for anyone who would like another shirt or two.







    For reference, the Summer Camp packet is available from the troop website via the following link:



    http://troop839.com/DocumentsForms.aspx



    I encourage all campers to review the packing list found in Appendix D.







    Summer Campers should plan on harvesting bamboo on Thursday, June 19th, starting at 7:00 PM at the corner of Stonehollow Dr. and Green Oak Dr. (behind the former Sear’s Hardware in the front of Kingwood). Look for the black trailer. Bamboo will be used to make camp gadgets while practicing lashing skills.







    Summer Camp pre-departure check-in is scheduled for Friday, June 20th, at 7:00 PM at the church. Do not wear your Class A uniform for this event. Each camper will go through a rotation of check-in stations. First stop will be with the Banker to check-in Summer Camp money, include instructions for daily allotments. Don’t forget to also include your gear box lock combination. All banker check-in materials should be in a clasped envelope. The second stop will be with the Health Officer. All medicine to be taken in camp must be turned in per troop policies. Please include original packaging along with dispensing instructions. Use the medication form available on the troop website. The third stop will be to off-load your personal gear (footlocker, cot, and chair) with the QM at the black trailer. The fourth and final stop will be with Mr. Brehmer / Mrs. Adams to ensure that all paperwork is complete.







    Summer Camp departure will be at 9:00 AM from the Luby’s Cafeteria north parking lot on Saturday, June 21st. Wear your Class A uniform with your summer camp T-shirt underneath. We will spent the night at Wooly Hollow State Park outside of Little Rock, AR Saturday night before traveling to Kia Kima on Sunday morning. We plan to "cowboy camp" (under the stars), weather permitting, on Saturday night, so Scouts should bring their sleeping bag or blanket, toilettes, water bottle and sleeping attire in a day pack with them on Saturday (Class A uniform will be worn again on Sunday). In event of poor weather, we will utilize our troop tents. Drivers will stop for lunch en route on Saturday or the Scouts may bring a sack lunch. The troop will provide all other meals during our travel to and from summer camp, which includes Saturday (6/21) dinner, Sunday (6/22) breakfast and lunch again on Saturday (6/28). Drivers will stop for dinner during our return trip, so make sure to include these funds with money given to the banker. Our estimated return time to Kingwood on Saturday, June 28th is between 9:00 and 10:00 PM at Luby's Cafeteria north parking lot.







    Mr. Godell and Mr. Bivens have volunteered to drive a group of Scouts to Kia Kima on Sunday, June 22th who have conflicts with Saturday travel due to either other Scouting or church camping events. Their departure will be at 7:00 AM from the Luby’s Cafeteria north parking lot. Scouts should bring money for lunch and dinner, as they may not make camp prior to dinner Sunday night. Parents of those Scouts traveling direct on Sunday should plan to bring theirs son's gear (foot locker, cot, chair, money, locker combination, etc.) to the Troop check-in on Friday night as space is limited in the vehicle on Sunday. We would like to limit their carry on to a small day pack and their sleeping bag, if it was used the prior week, therefore, unable to be put it into the foot locker.







    I have attached a file listing the Scouts and adults attending summer camp along with their current departure dates (currently we are all returning together). Please review and let me know if there are any errors or corrections.







    Finally, Mr. Brehmer will be the emergency contact for the week we at summer camp. I will text Mr. Brehmer when we arrive at camp on Saturday, arrive at Kia Kima on Sunday and upon our departure the following Saturday with our estimated return to Kingwood. Mr. Brehmer will send out Troop updates with this information, so watch your emails during those times. Mr. Brehmer should also be the primary contact for any adults wanting updates on their Scouts at camp or those who need to contact them in the event of an emergency. Please use Mr. Brehmer rather than calling adults at summer camp to check on a Scout, please respect their time and let them enjoy their "vacation". By the same token, adults attending Summer Camp should leave their work issues, ie laptops, on-call, etc., at home and enjoy the week.







    Other key Summer dates to mark down on your calendar:



    1. Tuesday, June 10th, Troop Committee Meeting - 7:30 PM, will finalize Summer Camp activities and close the 2013 - 2014 scout year.



    2. Thursday, July 4th - Kingwood Independence Day Parade. Troop 839 will assist with trash clean-up following the parade. Plan to show up at the Creekwood Middle School parking lot (staging area) between 8:30 - 9:00 AM in Class A uniform. We will file in just after the last float, but before the street sweepers. The qualifies as service hours.



    3. July 4 several members of Troop 839 will depart for Northern Tier High Adventure in Atikokan, Ontario, Canada.



    4. Saturday, August 9th is the PLC's annual program planning meeting. The meeting will start at 9 AM and last until the program calendar has been completely filled out. Lunch will be provided. All Scouts in a Leadership position should plan to attend.



    5. Tuesday, August 12th, Troop Committee meeting to approve the annual plan - this is your chance for adults to review and comment on the upcoming plan.



    6. Monday, August 18th is annual Ice Cream Social. All family members are welcome to attend this event. The program calendar will be rolled out to the Troop. Additionally, the Troop Historian will provide a slide show of activities from the past year.







    I would like to close by recognizing and thanking Evan for his service and leadership as Troop 839’s SPL during the past 12 months and congratulate Charlie for his election as your next SPL. Charlie and I are reviewing the requested assignments from submitted Leadership Applications and the best interests of the troop. I will distribute the leadership positions in a separate note once we have finalized prior to summer camp.







    Whew, that was a lot. We have had a GREAT Scouting experience this school year and the Troop has experienced tremendous growth in Scouts joining either from Webelos crossing over, Scouts transferring in from other Troops or from boys new to Scouting all together. We should all feel proud of our accomplishments and I look forward to the upcoming year!







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill







    May 9, 2014

    Howdy Troop,







    A quick update on upcoming Troop activities:







    Troop elections for the next Senior Patrol Leader and for individual Patrol Leaders (except for new patrols) will be conducted during the May 12th Troop Meeting. I encourage all qualified Scouts to run for SPL. Anyone considering a leadership position should submit their leadership application to me before the election. Your SPL-elect will use the information on the forms to select his leadership team. The leadership applications are available at the troop meeting entrance table or can be downloaded from the documents and forms section of the troop website. Please review the requirements for each position, especially the new positions and I encourage scouts to volunteer for multiple positions, not just one.







    Our next campout is scheduled for May 16-18. We will be camping at Inks Lake State Park. Campout activities include canoeing and fishing on Saturday. PFDs (life jackets) and paddles will be provided and you must have taken BSA swimmer test to participate. Scouts wanting to fish will need to bring their own equipment and bait, but it must fit inside the white trailer for transport to and from camp. Also our top 10 bark mulch salesmen (see below) will receive an appreciation steak dinner. You need to be present to claim your steak:



    1) Charlie H, 2) David F, 3) Connor M, 4) Preston M, 5)Evan C, 6) Hayden B, 7) Zane M, 8) Christopher Wh, 9) Zachery L and 10) Benjamin C.



    Since we taking and using the new Troop 839 custom made grill for the top 10 salesman's dinner, we will also make it available to any patrol that would like to cook over an a open flame Saturday night (hamburgers, steak, pork chops, hot dogs, etc.). Please be sure to put your name on the sign-up sheet posted at the troop meeting entrance table if you plan to attend.







    The Summer Camp registration deadline was a few weeks ago. However, if you are still considering signing up, we may be able to squeeze you in on a space-available basis. Please discuss with Mrs. Adams (Summer Camp Coordinator) ASAP. If there are any scouts, not going to summer camp, that would be willing to let a younger scout borrow their cot or foot locker, please let me know. Everyone (Scouts and Adult) should submit updated BSA Annual Health and Medical Record forms to me, Mr. Brehmer, or Mrs. Adams soon. All Summer Camp participants and anyone else attending a BSA sanctioned event greater than 72 hours (ex – NYLT, Northern Tier) must complete all sections of the form. Note that Part C requires a doctor’s visit. I encourage everyone to schedule their physicals now. Also, please be sure to include a copy of your health insurance card when you submit your updated form. The health form is can be downloaded from the documents and forms section of the troop website. Look for an email with more details about summer camp preparations including dates and times in the next few weeks.







    Our troop training coordinator, Mr. Weber, ask that I remind all adults about the Flaming Arrow District Training Day, Saturday May 17 at LDS - Kingwood Building, 4021 Deerbrook Drive. For more information on the classes and registeration, please consult the Flaming Arrow District training webpage:



    http://www.flamingarrowdistrict.org/training.html







    Well, I think that covers the big stuff for now. As you can tell, we are very busy this time of the year. I encourage everyone to stay active in the troop and attentive for future announcements at troop meetings, website postings, and/or e-mails.







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill







    April 3, 2014

    Hey, Troop!







    Before I start in with the latest update, I want to officially wish our new Scouts and their families a warm welcome to Troop 839. I look forward to their getting to know all members of the B-52's and the Falcons Patrols. I have updated the Troop Roster with the contact information for our newest patrols. It would be a good ideal to either print out or save a copy for future references, especially when scheduling Patrol meetings.







    To get our new Scouts kick started into Scouting, we will have a couple of activities occurring this weekend. First, we have Troop Leadership Training (TLT) scheduled on Saturday morning at 8:30 AM in the second floor classroom. The training will conclude around noon. We will have lunch right after we finishing with the training. Breakfast will also be provided. TLT is for all Scouts that do not have the “Trained” patch on their uniform. Please arrive in Class A uniform with your Scout Handbook. If you still have paperwork to file with me (Youth Application, BSA Health Form, Permission Slips), please arrive a few minutes beforehand. I plan to arrive at the church around 8 AM.







    Mr. Bivens will also be conducting Troop Guide training Saturday morning beginning at 9:00 AM in a second floor classroom. This training is required for anyone interested in a future position as a Troop Guide. I recommend all 2nd Class Scouts and higher who have not attended a previous session to attend this training.







    Right after TLT, all attendees should plan to depart for the Orientation Campout at Lake Houston Park. Our Troop Guides are targeting a 2:00 PM start to the field training. Current Troop Guides should initially arrive at the church and see Mr. Bivens at 10:00 AM to plan out the afternoon activities. All campers are encouraged to arrive around 1:30 PM. Transportation is not provided by the troop. We are camping in Camp Ironwood (far back camp loop). Please pay attention to the weather forecast and "Be Prepared". As a reminder, all vehicles entering the park are required to check-in at the new park entrance on FM-1485 just past Peach Creek. After obtaining your parking permit and gate code, you’ll need to backtrack to Baptist Encampment Rd to enter the park. Please see the troop website or the following link for detailed directions:



    Orientation Directions







    Starting around 6:00 PM, all members of the Troop should arrive at Camp Ironwood for the evening festivities. The Order of the Arrow Callout will start around 7:00 PM. Don’t forget to allow some time to check-in at the new park entrance area. We will have flag retirements shortly after the OA Callout led by the Flying Squirrels Patrol. Afterwards, we will conclude the evening activities with a cracker barrel courtesy of Mrs. Casto and Mr. deMasi.







    Summer Camp packets were distributed at last Monday’s Troop Meeting. If you haven’t picked yours up, please see Mrs. Adams, our Summer Camp coordinator. I will also have copies at the TLT session on Saturday. You can also find a copy of the Summer Camp paperwork on our troop website or at the following link:



    Summer Camp Packet







    Due to merit badge registration, we are requesting that Scouts complete and return the following forms by next Monday, April 7th:



    1) Scout Sign Up (Form #1)



    2) Activity Enrollment (Form #5)








    Additionally, Mrs. Adams & Mr. Ladd Brehmer will have an information session for all parents at our next Troop Mtg (April 7th). Deadline for signing up is April 21st. However, all Scouts are encouraged to turn in forms as soon as possible.







    Tuesday, April 8th, is our monthly Committee Meeting. All adults are encouraged to attend. Additionally, the Patrol Leader for the Cobras will need to present their monthly troop program proposal. The meeting will be in the Parlor starting at 7:30 PM.







    Saturday, April 12th, is Scout Fair at Reliant Arena. Once again, Troop 839 will sponsor a rope making booth. We still need lots of youth and adults to volunteer to staff our booth. This does count as service hours towards rank advancement. Scout Fair starts at 10:00 AM and runs until 3:00 PM. This is great opportunity to enjoy in fellowship and see contributions from other Scouting Units through the greater Houston area. Especially appealing is all of the great food items that many of the Boy Scout troops will have for you to sample.







    The April 21st Troop Meeting program will be on Youth Protection for the Scouts. We will show several video clips from the award winning DVD, A Time to Tell. After each video, we will have a group discussion regarding the messages conveyed from each session. This is a sensitive, but very important topic, that we want to discuss with our youth. If you have any questions/concerns, please discuss with me.







    Our next Troop campout is Sea World / The Alamo. The campout will be at Guadalupe River State Park in Spring Branch, TX. Friday check-in will be at 6:30 PM at the church parking lot on April 25th. Any Scouts wishing to complete Tenderfoot Requirement #1 (present yourself to your Scoutmaster properly prepared for an overnight campout) can see me starting at 5:45 PM. Please see the permission slip online for further information. Don’t forget to put your name down on the sign-up sheet posted at the troop meeting entrance table.







    We have three swim tests scheduled for at the Lake Houston YMCA: Tuesday, April 29th, from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM; Thursday, May 1st, from 7:30 PM to 9:00 PM; and Saturday, May 3rd, from 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM. Swim tests are required annually for both Scouts and Adults for participation in aquatics activities. Failure to take a swim test will result in you being qualified as a non-swimmer until you can be administered a separate swim test, even if you are the current champion on your swim team. Consult your Scout Handbook for the swim test requirements and qualifications. Also new Scouts have the opportunity to complete requirements 8b and 8c for 2nd Class and requirements 9b and 9c for 1st Class afterwards.







    Saturday, May 3rd, is our semi-annual Equipment Day. We will meet at troop storage (stalls #30 and #32) and clean up all of our gear and make any necessary repairs. We will start at 9 AM and conclude when everything is put away (typically 2-3 hours). The temporary gate code for this weekend is sent in the next Troop Update. If you have any troop gear at your home, please return it to the Quartermaster. Some of our new tents are currently MIA. Direction to troop storage are available from the troop website or at the following link:



    Map to Storage Unit







    Troop elections for the next Senior Patrol Leader and for individual Patrol Leaders will be conducted on the May 12nd Troop Meeting. I encourage all qualified Scouts to run for SPL. Anyone considering a leadership position should submit their leadership application to me before the election. Your SPL-elect will use the information on the forms to select his leadership team. The leadership applications are available at the troop meeting entrance table or can be downloaded from the Documents & Forms section of the troop website.







    Phew... Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail. We are jam-packed with all sorts of activities. While these communications hopefully help you plan out your activities, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings. Another information resource is our troop website. See y'all out on the trail.







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill







    March 12, 2014

    Hey, Troop!



     



    Well, Spring is definitely in the air.  Which means we can now officially say goodbye to the bark mulch season for another year.  But before we do that, I wanted to pass along my appreciation to all of the folks that made our annual fundraiser a success.  Major props go to Doug Lance, Melissa Miller, and Robin McCord for a smooth delivery day operation.  Also, big thanks goes out to all of the parents supporting the mulch delivery with trailer hauling, chase cars, hot shots, logistical support, and of course their physical labor.  I was very impressed with everyone turning out in full force. 



     



    I’d like to reflect back on our recent campout at Dinosaur Valley State Park. The weather looked threatening at the beginning of the week, but other than a few sprinkles the weather cooperated and the sun even managing to peak out on Saturday afternoon.  The cooler temperature Sunday morning was even warmer than projected, but that coupled with losing an hour for daylight savings time made getting out of my sleeping bag less than desirable (could also have been the 5 plus miles of backpacking on Saturday).  Speaking of which, we had several Scouts go backpacking for the first time and watching them they looked like pros.  For those that stayed in camp, they learned a few new skills and got an education in Texas dinosaurs from Austin, it is hard to believe that the dinosaur tracks are over 100 million years old, they don't look a day over 80 million.







    Looking ahead on the schedule for March:







    This Monday, March 17th, is our Spring Scouting for Food Drive.  Scouts will distribute plastic bags in the neighbors surrounding the church and return to collect non-perishable can goods the following Monday, March 24th.  Adults we will need drivers to shuttle the boys around, so please plan to attend both of these meetings and volunteer.







    Monday, March 31st, is New Scout Investiture.  We will formally welcome all new Scouts into Troop 839.  All new Scouts will be formed into new patrols and assigned a primary and backup Troop Guide.  Additionally, Summer Camp packets will be available for pickup.  Deadline for Summer Camp sign up is April 21st.



     



    On Saturday morning, April 5th, all new Scouts and any Scout that does not have the ‘Trained’ patch on their uniform shirt should plan on attending Troop Leadership Training (TLT).  We will meet in the in the big classroom on the second floor starting at 8:30 AM..  Breakfast will be available.  The training session provided by the senior leadership (SPL and ASPL’s must attend) will last until about noon.  We will conclude with a pizza lunch.  A planning session for Troop Guides will occur concurrent with TLT.  Mr. Bivens will have more details for the Troop Guides at a later date and all Scouts that are 2nd Class or higher and have not competed this training are encouraged to attend.



     



    The Orientation Campout kicks off shortly after TLT on April 5th at Lake Houston Park.  As the name implies, this campout is for all new Scouts and their parents to get a jump start on Troop 839’s camping procedures.  All Troop Guides and Senior Leadership should attend.  All meals will be provided by the troop.  More details can be found through the following hyperlink:



    http://troop839.com/Portals/0/permission_slips/2013-14/2014%20Orientation%20Permission%20Slip.pdf







    On the evening of April 5th, all members of Troop 839 should convene at the Ironwood camp loop at Lake Houston Park for our annual Order of the Arrow Callout.  Plan on arriving by 6:00 PM.  All attendees for both the Orientation Campout and the OA Callout will need to check in at the new entrance gate before proceeding to the camping area.  A flag retirement ceremony will follow the Callout.  We will have a cracker barrel afterwards.



     



    Many Scouts have been asking about future service hours.  As it turns out, we’ve got two Eagle Projects coming up.  First, David Fluker is requesting volunteers to support his Eagle project.  His work day is Saturday, March 22nd, starting at 10:00 AM.  Please see attached flyer for further info.  Secondly, we’ll also be spreading the donated bark mulch at the FPCK on Saturday, March 22nd.  We’ll start at 9 AM.  It should take about 2-3 hours to complete work, but really depends on how many folks show up.  Please dress in work clothes.  Third, Charlie Hill has scheduled his Eagle project on Saturday, March 29th at Riverwood Middle School beginning at 8:00 AM, stay tuned for details on his work day.  A sign-up sheet for these 3 opportunities will be posted at upcoming Troop meetings.  Each of these activities counts as service hours towards rank advancement.           



     



    Looking further out, Scout Fair (April 12th), Sea World / The Alamo Campout (April 25 - 27), Swim Tests (late April and early May), and canoeing at Inks Lake (mid-May) are on the horizon.  As always, please let me know if you got any questions/concerns.  Until then, I hope to see everyone out on the trail.



     



    Yours in Scouting, 



     Mr. Hill







    February

    Howdy, Troop!



     



    We kicked off February with a bang - literally, during our annual Shooting Campout at Titan’s facility in Milford, TX.  We got to fire 20 gauge shotguns, 0.22 caliber rifles, and a variety of bows.  By strictly adhering to our safety rules, we enjoyed using firearms in a responsible manner.  We have many leaders to thank for our positive experiences.  First off, a big thank you goes out to Mr. Wright for the use of his company’s facilities.  Secondly, Mr. Elmer and Mr. Whelihan deserve a big shout-out for serving as the program coordinators.  Thirdly, thanks go to all of trailer haulers for getting our gear and shooting supplies to/from camp.  And finally, I would like to recognize all of our adults that served as range safety officers and instructors.  I saw a lot of smiling faces on the boys.  With the windy conditions Sunday morning, I think everyone also learned the importance of setting up their tent properly and then how to take down when conditions are not ideal.  For those Scouts that took tents home to dry, please return them to the Quartermaster at the next meeting.  We also have several tents that went home in garbage bags because of missing tent bags, so if you find an extra bag inside your tent please return them.  And sadly, we will have to dispose of 2 tents that were damaged by Scouts yanking on struck zippers.  If this happens to you, please ask for assistance from your Quartermaster or Troop Leadership and don't damage the tent.  These tents cost about $200 each, so we should exercise care with our equipment, remembering a Scout is Thrifty.



     



    We followed Shooting Camp with our Winter Court of Honor this past Monday.  I would like to thank all the presenters and again congratulate those who earned rank advancements and merit badges, all totalled we had 32 rank advancements and presented 105 merit badges.  Due to some delays in paperwork, a few Scouts received IOUs for patches at the COH.  We have corrected the problem and Mr. Wahrmund has promised to present your badges at our next meeting.







    This Sunday is Scout Sunday at First Presbyterian Church of Kingwood and many of you have volunteered to be greeters, ushers and lay speakers at the 8:25, 9:45 or 11:05 AM services.  Mr. Jackson has ask that all Scouts assisting please arrive 30 minutes prior to each service in your Class A uniform.  FPCK is our charter organization and have been strong supporters of Troop 839 for many years, so let's show them how much we appreciate their support by showing up Sunday morning full of that Scouting Spirit.   In appreciation for our service, the church has offered to print the names of all those Scouts who are volunteering in their church bulletin on Sunday.  Remember, these hours count as service hours for anyone in need of hours for your next rank advancement.







    Also, this Monday, February 17 is the final day to turn in Bark Mulch sales to Ms. Miller.  We got off to a great start on Day of Sales exceeding last years total and the sales have continued to roll in.  We have one final weekend to knock on doors and "phone a friend" to either buy bark mulch or make a donation directly to Troop 839, so let's all get out and SELL, SELL, SELL.







    On Saturday, February 22 there is another opportunity to earn service hours.  Troop 839 will be spraying for invasion plants along  the trails in Kingwood as part of our service to the Order of the Arrow organization.  All Scouts are eligible to participate and it's an easy way to get those service hours.  Stay tune for additional information on time and location from Mr. deMasi.







    If you haven’t already done so, everyone needs to block out March 1 on your calendar for delivery of bark mulch to our customers.  We still need more adults to sign up as bark mulch haulers (minimum 1/2-ton chasis with Class III hitch), chase vehicles, and hot shot drivers.  It is imperative that we have all, and I do mean all, Scouts on hand for Delivery Day.  If arrive late or depart early (or, gasp, no-show) without permission from me and/or our bark mulch coordinators, then you will not receive full incentive credit.  Yep, it is that important.  Many hands make light work.  Please contact Mrs. Miller for further questions.



     



    And speaking of fundraisers…  If you are looking for an additional boost to your incentive account, please contact Mrs. Casto for selling Scout Fair Coupon Packs.  All commissions earned flow directly back to the Scout.  You can continue to sell Scout Fair Coupon Packs until April 1, but the commission from sales is slightly reduced.  Troop 839 will once again sponsor a booth at Scout Fair.  Look for a sign-up sheet in the upcoming weeks at the entrance table and volunteer for this fantastic event.



     



    And speaking of sign-up sheets…  Be on the lookout for the sign-up sheet for our March Campout.  We’ve got a hiking and backpacking outing scheduled on March 7-9 at Dinosaur Valley State Park.  We will be clustered into two groups:  Dayhikers and Overnight Backpackers.  We will share time and venues on the trails, but details have yet to be worked out so stay tuned for further announcements.  The PLC has determined and the Adult Committee has endorsed that overnight backpacking Scouts must have achieved the rank of First Class, all others will be Dayhikers.







    For those interested in Philmont in 2015, there is also a sign-up sheet.  To be eligible you must have completed the 8th grade and be a First Class Scout by summer of 2015.  Philmont is located in a mountainous region of northern New Mexico (Cimarron, NM is the closest town) on over 200 square miles of pristine land ranging in elevation from 6500’ to 12,500’.  Troop 839 was been awarded two 12 day treks for 2015 with an arrival of August 2, 2015.  Departure from Philmont is August 14th, 2015.  Overall trek cost will be about $1200 per person (transportation, in-transit meals, practice hikes, training, etc.), exclusive of additional personal gear.  A non-refundable deposit of $100 per participant is required by February 24 to reserve a slot.  Additional trek fees are due in September 2014 ($380) and February 2015 ($375).



     



    Finally, I encourage everyone to visit our Troop website (www.troop839.com) which has a new look.  It now works properly with all current and past browsers, apparently we were having issues with the later versions of Internet Explorer.  I would like to thank Mr. Copper for his efforts in this transition.  We are still fine tuning the site, but excited about the new version.



     



     Well, I think that does it for me regarding the latest happenings in Troop 839.  If you have any questions/concerns, please contact me.  As you can see from the above info, we’ve got a lot of activities going on in the troop.  And as our slogan says…  “We are Going Places!”.



     



    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill







    January 22

    Hey, Troop!



     



    I hope everyone had a wonderful time at Winter Camp.  I know I sure had lots of fun.  It was great to see so many of you work on and complete Merit Badges at camp.  In addition to our regular participating Troops, this year we welcomed our four Troop to join us, Troop 1011.  Of course, a lot of the success of Winter Camp comes from the active involvement of adults from all four Troops.  I appreciate everyone pitching in.  A special thanks to "Cookie" aka Mr. Weber, not only for arriving early on Friday and setting up the Dining Hall, but for making sure everyone had plenty to eat.  I and I am sure along with Mr. Weber would like to thank Mr. Wright, Mrs. Casto, Mr. Penning and others for all of their help with the food preparation.  I believe I heard that this was Ms. Casto and Mr. Wright 15th year of Winter Camp - THANK FOR YOUR SUPPORT.



     



    This Saturday (Jan 25th) is Bark Mulch Sales Day.  This is an all-hands-on-deck event.  We need everyone to show up to sell bark mulch to Kingwood area residents.  This is our primary troop fundraiser.  We go to many wonderful campouts, special events, and training activities as a result of our efforts in selling bark mulch.  I sure would be disappointed if we had to curtail any activities due to decreased sales.  We will need help from adults to shuttle groups of Scouts to their sales routes.  Please review Mrs. Miller’s e-mail for preparations for the event.  A couple of additional items to add…  I encourage everyone to bring a water bottle, a warm jacket and some lite rain gear (just in case).  Also, if you haven’t already called your customer lists, you should do so now!  After Saturday, it will be ‘open season’, which means any Scout can contact any prospective customer within the delivery area for buying bark mulch.



     



    This month we have welcomed 7 former Webelos and 1 transferring Scout into Troop 839.  These new Scouts were able to get their first experience of camping as Boy Scouts during Winter Camp and I believe many of them learned a few things about cold weather camping.  I would also like to recognize a couple of our new adults for their assistance during Winter Camp, Mr. Martin and Mr. Kersting.  During the upcoming weeks, we expect to have more Webelos visiting and joining Troop 839. It is very important that we show off that great Scout Spirit and give them a warm welcome.



     



    Our Winter Court of Honor is just a little over 2 weeks away.  I encourage everyone that is close to advancing in rank or finishing a Merit Badge to complete their activities soon in order to be formally recognized on February 10th.



     



    Our next outing is the Shooting Campout on January 31 -February 2 at Titan Specialties’s property in Milford, TX.  We will establish ranges for shotgun, rifle, archery, and tomahawks.  Scouts must have completed Troop Leadership Training (TLT) to attend and must be First Class to fire shotguns and Tenderfoot to fire rifles.  Please sign up on the sheet posted at the entrance table if you are planning to attend.  Meal planning for this campout will occur this coming Monday night during our regular meeting.



     



    Scout Sunday at First Presbyterian is scheduled for Sunday, February 16th.  We need Scouts to volunteer as lay readers, ushers, and hospitality ministers.  Please show support for your Chartered Organization by volunteering your time.  Participation in Scout Sunday does count towards service hours for rank advancement.  See the sign-up sheet posted at the Troop Meeting entrance table.  Additionally, many churches recognize BSA’s traditional Scout Sunday date as February 1st (first Sunday in February).  I encourage all Scouts and Adults to support your personal church as appropriate.  This usually means attending church service in Class A uniform.



     



    Sunday, February 1st is the annual Scouting for Food campaign for our Council.  Our troop is not directly participating in this event (we do a Spring and Fall food drive away from other traditional dates).  However, there are many Troops, Packs, and Crews in Flaming Arrow District that are helping out.  If you are interested in assisting, please contact a sponsoring unit and see how you can help out.  This is another opportunity for Scouts to earn service hours.  If you would like to donate food, the Kingwood central collection point is in the Stein-Mart parking lot on Kingwood Dr.



     



    Scout Fair Coupon Pack sales have just kicked off.  Troop 839 will once again sponsor a booth at Scout Fair.  Mrs. Casto will be Troop 839’s point of contact for Scout Fair Coupon Pack sales.  If you would like to earn additional funds beyond bark mulch sales incentives, please contact Mrs. Casto.  All proceeds from Scout Fair Coupon Packs sales are go into the Scout’s incentive account.



     



    For all adults, including newly registered, I encourage you to consider attending University of Scouting on February 8th for additional training.  The Committee has agreed to reimburse direct course expense for Scouts and Adults going to University of Scouting.  To learn more about this event or to register, please click on the following hyperlink:



    http://www.samhoustonbsa.org/training/council_training_events/university_of_scouting



     



    Well, I think that does it for updates for now.  I encourage everyone to check out our troop website to stay informed of upcoming events.  Additionally, many wonderful pictures are posted from our past events.  Lastly, the website is updated with permission slips and links to important BSA documents and resources.



     



    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill

    January16,

    Parents,

    I thought I should send out a brief note about what your son can expect as first time campers with Troop 839. I have included various sections from our Troop Orientation Manual, that be given to each new scouts and reviewed during Troop Leadership Training on April 5, that I thought would be helpful as they begin preparations along with a couple of other thoughts and comments.

    Reminder:

    Parents are responsible for providing transporting to and from Winter Camp at Lake Houston Park this weekend. Check in is between 9:00 - 11:30 AM Saturday morning at the Dining Hall in the Wilderness Camping area which is accessible only from Baptist Encampment Road. Check out and pickup is Monday between 1:00 - 2:00 PM at the Wilderness Camping area. I suggest checking in at the Main Gate on FM 1485 Saturday morning, there should be no fee for entry, all fees should have already covered by the Troop prior to your arrival. Please add my cell phone number to your cell phone if you have any problems arriving at camp and also for future reference.

    Required Equipment

    Required Equipment

     § Complete Class A uniform - Consist of BSA official pants, shirt, belt and socks. (Troop 839 always travels in Class A. Once we arrive, the Scout may remove his Scout shirt, provided he has a t-shirt on underneath, while setting up camp)

    § Boy Scout Handbook– 12th Edition - camping trips are great places to get requirements signed

    § Troop or Scout T-shirt § Poncho or Rain Suit

     

     

    § Canteen – 1 qt. (preferably Nalgene, so that we can monitor how much fluid they are consuming - it is hard to see through metal canteens)

    § Personal Mess Kit – drinking cup, bowl/plate, and spoon/fork/spork (for campouts when patrol-issued chuck box is unavailable). -

    NOT NECESSARY FOR WINTER CAMP, WILL BE PROVIDED

     § Orienteering Compass (one with rectangular, plastic base plate – preferably Silva model) - NOT NECESSARY FOR WINTER CAMP

    § C (one with rectangular, plastic base plate – preferably Silva model) -

     § Pocket Knife – Boy Scout or similar variety without too many gadgets (NO sheath knives).

    § – Boy Scout or similar variety without too many gadgets (NO sheath knives).

    “Totin’ Chip” must be earned before a pocket knife can be carried on the person - NO KNIFES FROM NEW SCOUTS

     §Sleeping Bag

    §

     § Sleeping Pad (foam or insulated air mattress)

    § (foam or insulated air mattress)

    § Flashlight or Headlamp - suggest headlamp or hat clip or flashlight for ease of seeing when setting up tents in the dark.

    § Personal First Aid Kit (consult Scout Handbook for contents)

    § Toiletry Kit – toothbrush & paste, soap, comb, towel, toilet paper (all in zip-lock bags). No aerosol cans of anything are allowed.

    § Plastic Garbage Bag (sleeping bag in it outbound & dirty clothes inbound)

    § Extra Pair Shoes (recommended) - (if others get wet) - per BSA, shoes must be closed toes and either canvas or leather. Scandals or open toe footing only allow in shower area.

    § Clothing Change – especially socks and underwear, and other items as necessary under the circumstances, jacket in cool weather

    § Duffel Bag – large enough to hold all gear for a weekend campout

    § Plastic Ziplock Bags – for clothing and water-sensitive gear.

    § Notepad and Pen

     §Sunscreen

    §

     § Bug Repellent – cream or pump. No aerosol cans permitted by Scouts.

    § – cream or pump. No aerosol cans permitted by Scouts.

    § Insect Bite Lotion (Sting-eze, Caladryl, or similar medication)

    § Notepad and pencil or pen – bring to all meetings and outings

    § Duffel bag or pack

    Do NOT Bring:

     There are certain items that will NOT be permitted in the possession of Scouts on campouts.

    There are certain items that will NOT be permitted in the possession of Scouts on campouts.

    DO NOT PACK OR BRING:

     1. Sheath knives

    1. Sheath knives

    2. Any type of firearm, BB gun, or ammunition

    3. Fireworks

    4. Controlled substances or illegal drugs

    5. Alcoholic drinks

    6. Tobacco products

    7. Lewd materials

    8. Any aerosol product

    9. Liquid fuel or stoves (unless specifically directed to do so)

    10. Sling shots

    11. Bow and arrows

    Discipline

    Our rules of conduct and discipline are simple. As Scouts, we have promised, under oath, to live up to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Patrol Leaders and the Senior Patrol Leader are expected to keep discipline within the patrols.

    Our rules of conduct and discipline are simple. As Scouts, we have promised, under oath, to live up to the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Patrol Leaders and the Senior Patrol Leader are expected to keep discipline within the patrols.

    If improper behavior continues to disrupt the program or activity, the Scoutmaster will ask the Scout to call his parents who must then pick him up from the Scout meeting, campout, or other event. Continuing or severe discipline problems will be handled through a special PLC meeting or troop committee.

    Any Scout who intentionally participates in an activity that has the potential to cause harm to himself or others, or behaves in a manner that reflects negatively on Troop 839 or the Boy Scouts of America, or intentionally participates in any activity that may cause damage to public or private property, will be disciplined. Examples of intentional behavior which are cause for disciplinary action include, but are not limited to the following:

    1. Not following Scoutmaster’s or other adult leader’s orders

    2. Significantly unsafe actions

    3. Physical or verbal hazing or harassment of another person

    4. Leaving designated area without the permission of the Scoutmaster or designated adult leader

    5. Going to an area other than that requested

    6. Entering property designated as “off limits”

    7. Exploring physical hazards without adult leader permission and supervision (e.g., lakes, creeks, cliffs, caves, boats, abandoned structures)

    8. Going near any type of motorized equipment, machinery or vehicle without the permission of the Scoutmaster or designated adult leader

    9. Actions which have the potential of causing significant or malicious property damage to natural or man-made areas

    10. Excessively rowdy, unruly, loud, disrespectful, disobedient or disruptive behavior

    11. Cursing or use of foul language

    12. Possession of controlled or illegal substances, alcohol or tobacco

    13. Possession of lewd items or literature

    14. Theft

    15. Fighting

    16. Actions contrary to the good order and discipline of the patrol or Troop, or which are unbecoming to a Boy Scout

    17. Refusal to perform properly duties assigned by the patrol, patrol leader, troop leadership, or adult leaders

    Other items:

    No electronic devices (phones, gameboys, ipods, etc.) are allowed at camp - We want the scouts to get away and experience the outdoors. Scouts are welcome to carry them while they are traveling to and from the camp sites, but once we arrive the devices need to be stored in a vehicle. If caught using, the device is held by either the Scoutmaster or an Assistant until we depart camp. - We want the scouts to get away and experience the outdoors. Scouts are welcome to carry them while they are traveling to and from the camp sites, but once we arrive the devices need to be stored in a vehicle. If caught using, the device is held by either the Scoutmaster or an Assistant until we depart camp.

    - We want the scouts to get away and experience the outdoors. Scouts are welcome to carry them while they are traveling to and from the camp sites, but once we arrive the devices need to be stored in a vehicle. If caught using, the device is held by either the Scoutmaster or an Assistant until we depart camp.

    Tents - all scouts below the rank of 1st class must sleep in a Troop provided tent with at least one other Scout (sometimes 2) of the same age. After achieving the rank of 1st Class, the scout is awarded a used tent from Philmont Scout Reservation. 1st Class and above, scouts are allowed to camp solo in a tent of their own or the Philmont tent, provided there is enough area in our camp site.

    Chuck Box / Cooking supplies - each patrol will be issue a chuck box which contains a propane stove, pots, pans, plates, cooking utensils, etc. The patrols are responsible for the care of these boxes and stay with the patrol until the final member has aged out or the patrol is disbanded. Chuck boxes are stored in the troop trailer and carried on all camping trips. - NOT NECESSARY FOR WINTER CAMP, ADULTS WILL PROVIDE ALL MEALS

    Personal Food

    - Other than a sack meal to be eaten enroute, personal food items should not be taken on campouts. Because it attracts ants, rodents, raccoons, and bears, NO FOOD OF ANY KIND is permitted in the tents. NO CARBONATED SOFT DRINKS are permitted in campsites or during campouts other than while enroute or returning. Carbonated beverages, especially those containing caffeine, tend to cause dehydration.

    -Medications – No ingested medications and no prescription medications of any kind will be taken unless administered by an adult. There will be a designated medical officer on each outing who will hold all such medications. The PARENT will supply detailed, WRITTEN instructions on the circumstances, time and dose of each medication to be administered The medication Form can be found at http://www.troop839.com/Portals/0/forms/Medication%20Form.pdf and should be in a ziploc bag with the medication. If in doubt as to who the medical officer is on a particular outing, ask the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmasters at check-in. Any Scout taking unauthorized prescription medications, in possession of an illegal controlled substance, or in possession of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products while on a Scout outing will be EXPELLED immediately from the Troop. Troop 839 has a ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY ON POSSESSION OF ILLEGAL DRUGS, ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO by Scouts at Scout functions. The same policy applies to adults with respect to drugs and alcohol. Adults are strongly discouraged from using tobacco products in the presence of Scouts.

    -No ingested medications and no prescription medications of any kind will be taken unless administered by an adult. There will be a designated medical officer on each outing who will hold all such medications. The PARENT will supply detailed, WRITTEN instructions on the circumstances, time and dose of each medication to be administered The medication Form can be found at and should be in a ziploc bag with the medication. If in doubt as to who the medical officer is on a particular outing, ask the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmasters at check-in. Any Scout taking unauthorized prescription medications, in possession of an illegal controlled substance, or in possession of alcoholic beverages or tobacco products while on a Scout outing will be EXPELLED immediately from the Troop. Troop 839 has a The same policy applies to adults with respect to drugs and alcohol. Adults are strongly discouraged from using tobacco products in the presence of Scouts.

    Scoutmaster Conference - I will conduct the Scoutmaster conference for Scout rank with each new scout (incoming Webelos) on Saturday morning once they have set up their tent. They will need to be in their Class A uniform and able to complete requirements found in their Scout Handbook.

    Permission Slips - In order to attend a Troop campout or outing, the Scout MUST present a permission slip signed by a parent at the time of departure. NO EXCEPTIONS (you have already done this when you signed your son up to attend Winter Camp). The permission slips generally are given out at the regular Troop meeting on the Monday before the campout and/or posted on the Troop website. If the Scout loses his slip before the campout, there are extra copies available at the campout departure location from the Scoutmaster. The info portion of the permission slip will provide the date, time and location of departure, the camping destination, emergency contact number, date, time and location for pickup on return, any special fees involved, whether a sack meal is necessary, and any other special items of interest

    WHEW! That was a lot.

    Hopefully you don't feel overwhelmed after reading all this information. Don't worry, myself and the other trained adult leaders will help guide you through these first few months of transition. The SPL and his leadership team will work with your son so that he does not get frustrated, confused or overwhelmed. Please encourage your son that if he has questions, doesn't understand something or is getting frustrated by someone or something, he should seek the SPL (Evan) or one his assistant (Charlie, Jayce and Dylan) or assistance, clarification or intervention. Serious safety issues should be brought to the attention of the Scoutmaster or an Assistant Scoutmaster immediately.I look forward to watching your sons as they begin their Scouting adventure this weekend and then as they mature and grow through Boy Scouts over the next several years. Parents you are always welcomed and encourage to participate with your son in Scouting and Troop 839.

    YiS,

    Mr. Hill

    January 13,

    Howdy, Troop!  I hope everyone had a blessed Christmas season.  With 2013 in our rear view mirror and 2014 now upon us, our Troop activities are about ready to shift into high gear.  We’ve got some incredibly exciting and important events upcoming, so let’s get going with the latest update.



     



    Winter Camp 2014 with Troop 9, and 27 is this weekend and I am happy to announce that Troop 1011 from Porter will also be joining us this year.  All attending Scouts and Adults must first check-in with myself or Mr. Brehmar in the Dining Hall starting at 9 AM on Saturday, January 18th, at Lake Houston Park.  Troop 839 is not responsible for transportation to or from the campground.  Check in is from 9:00 AM - 11:30 AM on Saturday and check out is 2:00 PM on Monday.  Directions to Lake Houston Park and a schedule of the campout program is available on the troop website (http://www.troop839.com/Portals/0/2014%20Winter%20Camp%20Schedule%20and%20Directions.pdf).  As a reminder, Lake Houston Park is now access-restricted via keycode gate.  I’ll send out a troop-wide e-mail on Friday afternoon/evening, January 17th, with the code after park officials provide it to me.  In support of our recruiting efforts, Troop 839 will be hosting Webelo visits on Sunday afternoon at Winter Camp.  If you know some prospective Cub Scouts or age-eligible youth interested in joining Boy Scouts, please extend an invitation.  This is a great start to fulfilling First Class Requirement #10.  Although the sign-up deadline has already expired, any last-minute Scouts should contact me ASAP if they are still interested in attending Winter Camp.







    Speaking of Webelos, I am pleased to welcome eight (8) former Webelos into Troop 839 this month and they will begin participating with Troop activities, including camping at Winter Camp immediately.  The new Scouts will remain unnamed until our Investiture ceremony on March 31 during which we will formally recognized the Scouts and their patrol names.  Given the current number and the possibility of a few more Webelos, Troop 839 will grow by 2 patrols.  Welcome!



     



    The Program Patrol for January are the Panthers.  Many of the Troop Meeting activities will be centered around Shooting Sports in preparation for the February campout.  The Program Patrol for February are the Pheonix.  February’s theme is Team Building.



     



    Remember that Friday, January 17, is Matthew Weber's Eagle Scout ceremony at Lake Houston Park Dining Hall beginning at 7:00 PM.   Eagle ceremonies are a great way to inspire young Scouts and are always special, so I encourage everyone to attend.  Contact Mr. Weber for further details.



     



    Our annual fundraiser, Bark Mulch Sales, is just around the corner.  At the January 13 Troop Meeting, sales packets will be issued to all Scouts.  After tonight but before January 25th, all Scouts should contact their customer lists for securing pre-sales.  As a reminder, you may only finalize sales with your previous customers and/or direct family members during the pre-sales period.  Door-to-door bark mulch sales will kick-off on Saturday, January 25 with Troops 839, 8, and 27 canvassing nearly all of the greater Kingwood area.  Once again, we need everyone’s support for this vital activity.  The vast majority of Troop 839 program costs are paid via proceeds from selling bark mulch.  Additionally, many Scouts earn enough through their incentives account to completely cover expenses for big campouts such as Summer Camp and High Adventure programs.  Each Scout should establish a personal goal and work diligently to accomplish it.  Stay tuned for more information from Mr. Lance, Troop 839’s Bark Mulch Coordinator.



     



    Friday, January 24, is the Flaming Arrow District awards banquet.  Once again, the dinner event will be at First Presbyterian Church in Fellowship Hall.  I would like to encourage as many Troop 839 adults to attend as possible.  Having been to number of past banquets, I can attest that the event is a wonderful way to share in fellowship with Scouters from the greater Kingwood/Humble/Atascocita area.  Besides, you may be recognized for your Scouting service and it would be great if you were on hand to receive an award.  Advance purchase ticket cost is only $15.  Otherwise, you’ll need to contact Alice Hamilton (FAD Banquet coordinator) to arrange for your ticket purchase.



     



    Looking further out, our Winter Court of Honor and Shooting Campout is coming up quickly in February.  I encourage you to work hard to finish up on your rank requirements sooner rather than waiting for the last minute.  As a reminder, you must have attended Troop Leadership Training (TLT) to attend this camping trip, be First Class to fire shotguns at the Shooting Campout and Tenderfoot to fire rifles.



     



    Further in February, our Troop will be celebrating Scout Sunday on February 16 at the 8:25 AM and 11:05 AM services at the church.  We will need volunteers for ushers, lay readers, and hospitality.  Look for the sign-up sheet at the troop meeting entrance tables.



     



    As you can tell, the activities are really starting to build up.  It sure is great staying active, but can be quite challenging as well.  As such, we need help from everyone.  If you are at all interested in further helping Troop 839 be a more successful troop, please come see me and let’s talk.  I can assure you that taking a more active role in Scouting is a rewarding life-experience with lasting memories.



     



    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill 



     

    December 2

    Hey, Troop!



     



    I hope everyone enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday.  I know I sure did.  It was good to share time with friends and family.  However, I think I need to step up my physical activity level because I ate way too much food.  I got a bunch of information to pass along, so let me get to it before that drowsy feeling from the leftover turkey kicks in.



     



    Our December campout is scheduled for this weekend.  This is our Biking Campout at McKinney Falls State Park near Austin.  Dedicated off-road bicycle trails for varying skills is available.  Now is the time to inspect your bicycle to ensure it is in good working condition.  There are hills, ruts, gravel, and trees to navigate.  It is imperative that your brakes work well.  Helmets are mandatory for all cyclists at all times.  Please see the permission slip posted on the website for further details.  Departure Friday, December 6 is 5:30 PM from the church and return to Luby's by 3:00 PM on Sunday, December 8.







    The following month (January) is our annual Winter Camp with Troops 9 and 27 held during MLK weekend (January 18-20, 2014).  Sign-ups for both Scouts and Adults are posted on the troop website (http://www.troop839.com/Documents/PermissionSlipsReleaseForms.aspx).  The camp fee for Scouts is $20.  The cost for the Adults is free, but there is a catch.  To have a successful Winter Camp, we need adults for Merit Badge instruction and meal preparations (cooks and table waiters).  The registration deadline is December 16th.  Troop 839 will be hosting Webelos from various Packs on Sunday afternoon/evening.



     



    The Troop Meeting program for December is Merit Badge Mania.  As the name suggests, the two Troop Meetings in December will be focused on Merit Badge instruction for the 5 classes shown on the troop calendar.  If you haven’t signed up for a course, please do so promptly so we can ensure sufficient instruction is available.



     



    In closing, I’d like to reflect back on our E-Rock Campout.  The weather was a bit breezy, but unseasonably warm.  We had several Scouts go backpacking for the first time and watching them they looked like pros.  The campfire, by lantern, was excellent and I can't wait until the shoe psychic returns to display more of his fortune telling powers.  For those that stayed in camp, they learned a few new skills and many got to experience E-Rock for their first time.  A special thank you to Mr. Weber for traveling early to E-Rock and sitting on our campsites until we arrived later that night, I hear it was a tough assignment.   Fun with a purpose.  Until our next adventure…



     



    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill

    November 10

    Hey Troop!







    It may be hard to believe, but our 2013 calendar year is quickly coming to a close.  Thanksgiving is only two weeks away.  The hustle and bustle of the Winter Holiday season is ramping up.  Is it me or do the advertisers start earlier each year?  While it is nice to think about the presents we would like to get for Christmas, let us not forget that we receive so much more when we give of our talents and resources to others in need.  One example was our Fall food drive.  We collected much needed non-perishable groceries for a local food bank.  Great job to everyone that participated in last month’s event!



     



    I also would like to recognize everyone that participated in the Festival of Angels.  I was very pleased with your response in support our of chartered organization’s annual event.  I received many thank you's from eager shoppers for your assistance with directing them to an open parking space.  You were also complimented by the organizers of the Festival for being so polite and courteous by serving as door greeters, emptying trash bins, and volunteering to carry items out to the vehicles for those customers that needed some help.  Way to step up!







    On November 15-17, we will be camping at Enchanted Rock State Park.  If you haven’t already signed-up, please do so at Monday’s Troop Meeting.  E-Rock is a beautiful place to visit and is one of the troop’s marquee campouts.  Be sure to bring some sturdy footwear since we will be doing a lot of hiking.  There will be ample opportunities for completing various Trail to First Class requirements.  Backpacking is available to/from the backcountry for Scouts that have one year of service in Boy Scouts and are at least Second Class.  If backpacking, you should reacquaint yourself with the “10 Essentials” and plan accordingly.  Consult your Scout Handbook.



     



    On Monday, you will also be electing your SPL and Patrol Leaders for the first half of 2014.  If you have not already submitting your name for SPL please let me know that you’d like to be considered for SPL.  If you want to be considered and unable to attend on Monday, I encourage you to submit to Evan a written document that will be read to the troop on your qualifications as the next SPL.  Additionally, Monday is Order of the Arrow elections.  We currently have 50 registered and active youth in the troop.  We must have at least 50% in attendance (minimum of 28) to conduct the OA elections.  Let’s have a strong showing on Monday.







    November 14 is also the deadline to submit recharter fees to Mr. Beck for 2014.  If Mr. Beck is not at the meeting on Monday, I will collect and turn in at the Committee Meeting on Tuesday, November 12.  I also would enjoy all adults to attend the committee meeting beginning at 7:30 PM in the parlor.  It is a great way to learn about what is going on within the Troop and also an opportunity to give back to the Troop.



     



    Monday, 11/25 is the deadline for submitting your popcorn fundraiser sales.  All forms must be turned in to Mrs. Casto.  This is a great opportunity to boost your incentives account.



     



    Speaking of 11/25, we are honored to have Mr.Ray Rhodes, former ASM and Troop Committee Member in Troop 839 for many years come speak to Scouts.  Mr. Rhodes had two sons that were both Eagle Scouts with Troop 839 and he is now the Admissions Representative for the US Military Academy at West Point for TX02.  Mr. Rhodes will have a local cadet (from the Spring area) available to speak about West Point and the path to becoming a cadet.  Did you know Troop 839 has had two (2) former Scouts graduate from Kingwood High School and West Point Military Academy?  WOW!  Now that is something we should be proud of.







    Speaking of West Point, Monday is Veteran's Day, so stop and think about thank those that have and are currently serving in our Armed Services.  Because of their commitment and sacrifice to this great country we are able to enjoy the freedoms we have today.  THANK YOU TO ALL OUR VETERANS PAST AND PRESENT!!



     



    Well, I hope that covers it.  As always, if you have any questions, please let me know.  I will be sending out a note about E-Rock with camping instructions once we have a final headcount this week.







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill

    October 4, 2013

    Howdy, Troop!







    Fall has finally arrived, at least on the calendar, and cooler weather will soon be here. - perfect for camping. But before we can head out on troop outings, we always need to be prepared. This includes making sure not only our personal equipment is good condition, but cleaning and repairing our troop and patrol gear. Therefore, I encourage all Scouts to attend tomorrow's (October 5th) Equipment Day. We will meet at our trailer storage location (see Troop website under Documents/Maps for directions) starting at 9 AM. Finish time will depend on quantity and quality of helpful Scouts.







    I gotta give a shout-out to the Thunderbird Patrol for serving as the program patrol for the first month of the program year. You had a tough job 'batting lead-off' for the program year with five (5) meetings including a Court of Honor and did a wonderful job. I especially liked the demonstration on rope making and the indoor orienteering course. Now, let's see if the A-Team (October Program Patrol) can build on this with even better planned and executed troop meetings.







    A shout-out also goes out to Evan and his leadership team for entertaining a visiting Webelos Scout last week and making him feel at ease. Also thanks to all the parents who answered questions from the Webs mom with an extra special thank you to Mr. Gapinski, our Recruitment Coordinator for scheduling the visit and to Mr. Bivens, Trail to First Class Coordinator, for presenting our Troop information and calendar. We will have many more Webelos visiting our Troop in the coming months, so keep up the good work.







    Speaking of recruiting, a great way to spread the word about Troop 839 and to encourage Cub Scouts to stay in Scouting is to volunteer as a Den Chief for a local Cub Pack. The den den chief works with the Cub Scouts, Webelos Scouts and den leaders in the Cub Scout pack. He helps Cub Scouts advance through Cub Scouts and encourages Cub Scouts to join a Boy Scout troop (hopefully 839) upon graduation. Serving as Den Chief can apply towards Positions of Responsibility requirements

    . If interested, please see myself or Mr. Gapinski.







    Next Tuesday, October 8th, at 7:30 PM is our monthly Committee Meeting. A representative from the Viking Patrol needs to present the November program plan. All adults are encouraged to attend. We are getting a lot of new faces filling formerly vacant adult leadership position. I am very thankful for everyone that has stepped up, but there is always room for more. Please discuss with either Robert Beck (Committee Chair) or myself on ways you can help Troop 839. One area of need is Merit Badge counselors. I encourage you to contact Matt Voltmann, our Merit Badge Coordinator, if you are interested in teaching one of upcoming MB classes as noted in the troop calendar.







    Our Fall Food Drives is scheduled for later this month. During the October 28nd troop meeting, we will distribute food collection bags with attached flyers to neighborhoods near the church. On the following Monday, we will collect the donated non-perishable items. Scouts will head out in teams of 3-4. Each team will need an adult to drive them to/from the designated routes on both dates. Because a Scout is Helpful, please consider providing personal food donations to the troop meeting on November 4th.







    On the weekend of October 18-20, we will have our Pioneering & Wilderness Survival Campout at Lake Mineral Wells State Park. During the weekend, Scouts wanting to complete their Wilderness Survival merit badge or just be adventuresome will get an opportunity to spend the night in a shelter of their own making. There will also be a pioneering project where the Scouts will get to demonstrate their lashing skills and have a little fun. There will also be several other pioneering and wilderness survival activities such as starting a fire without a match, whipping rope, etc as well as Trail to First Class activities. We will leave FPCK at 5:30 PM on Friday and return to Luby's by 3:00 PM on Sunday. Permission slips are available on the Troop website and each Scout should bring money for lunch on Sunday.







    On October 26th, the Flaming Arrow District is sponsoring a Meet-the-Troops day for all Webelos and Boy Scout Troops in the area. The event will take place from 9 AM to noon at Lake Houston Park. Your Troop Leadership is developing plans for a large presence with a variety of games, demonstrations of Scouting skills and maybe even something tasty from the Dutch Oven, stay tune for more information. This is a great opportunity for you to encourage Webelos to continue their Scouting adventure and show off that great Troop 839 pride.



    .



    November's campout is our traditional visit to Enchanted Rock State Park. Scouts that meet Venture Patrol requirements (completed 8th grade and First Class or Life Scout and Scoutmaster-approved) are eligible to camp with the Venture Crew and experience high-adventure rock climbing. Please contact Mr. Diehl if you are interested as soon as possible. He will be finalizing plans with the climbing outfitter soon. Additionally, the Troop will offer an overnight backpacking option for qualified scouts. Stay tuned for further information.







    Looking further out, Troop 839 will be supporting FPCK's Festival of Angels by assisting with traffic flow and parking at the church. This event takes place on November 2rd from 8:00 AM to about 2:30 PM. Please volunteer your time. See sign-up sheet at troop meeting entrance table. This qualifies as service hours toward rank advancement.







    Lastly, our Northern Tier 2014 Trek has available slots for a few more youth and adults. Please contact me if you are interested. Youth must be at least 14 years old or have completed the 8th grade before the trek. All participants must meet health and physical requirements. Trek dates are July 5 - 14, which does not include a travel day on both ends. A $200 non-refundable deposit is due by Monday, October 7 to secure our spots.







    Phew... Once again that was a lot stuff to cover in an e-mail. We are jam-packed with all sorts of activities. While these communications hopefully help you plan out your activities, the best way to stay informed is to be as active as you can by attending your troop and patrol meetings. Another information resource is our troop website. See y'all out on the trail.







    Yours in Scouting,



    Mr. Hill

    September 16, 2013







    Howdy, Troop!







    I hope everyone is doing well now that school has started. Our Troop program has gotten off to a great start.







    Tonight, September 16th is our Fall Court of Honor and Nick's Eagle Award, where we will formally recognize advancements and awards. I know everyone has worked extremely hard over the summer earning merit badges and rank advancements and looking forward to being recognized tonight. Unfortunately, I have to be out of town, so Mr. Weber has agreement to step in for me, a big THANK YOU.







    This weekend, September 20 - 22 is our annual Family Campout at Double Lakes Recreation Area in Coldspring. The Family Campout is a less-structured campout as compared to our normal troop outings. Patrols for the weekend will be your families. All immediate family members (including siblings) are encouraged to attend. The Troop have reserved camp sites F and I at Double Lake and I should be there by 6:30 PM. Scouts attending without a parent will need an "adopted family" for the weekend. Families are responsible for their own food and camping essentials, although the troop trailer will be at the event. The new Troop 839 BBQ Grille will also make its debut at Family Campout and be available to all families wishes to use it on Saturday. The planned camp activities will occur on Saturday, which was going to be fishing, but I have been told that Double Lake is more like a single puddle, so no fishing. However, there are several excellent bike trails around Double Lake, so I encourage everyone to bring their bikes and helmets to take a tour or join others for a game of kick ball or many other games. Evening events will include cooking contests and a semi traditional campfire filled with songs and skits.







    Monday, September 21 will be our PLC at 7:30 PM at FPCK and our next regular meeting will be on September 30.







    Our October camping trip is scheduled for 18 - 20 at Lake Mineral Wells State Park in Mineral Wells, TX. During the weekend, boys working on their Wilderness Survival merit badge will get an opportunity to spend the night in a shelter of their own making. There will also be a pioneering project where the Scouts will get to demonstrate their lashing skills and have a little fun. The Program patrol is also working on several other pioneering and wilderness survival activities as well as Trail to First Class activities. We will leave FPCK at 5:30 PM on Friday, October 18 and return to Luby's by 3:00 PM on Sunday. Permission slips are available on the Troop website and each Scout should bring money for lunch on Sunday.







    Troop 839 will be welcoming several Webelos visiting from surrounding Packs in the coming months. The Troop Leadership will talk to the potential Scouts about how exciting Boy Scouts can be and the benefits of Troop 839 while the Mr. Gapinski and other adults meet with the parents. Let's show these Webelos that Troop 839 is an excellent Troop.







    That all for now.







    Yours in Scouts,



    Mr. Hill











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