2021 Cub Scouting Year for Pack 107 is Looking Bright

Despite global pandemic, and COVID restrictions, Pack 107 has made Cub Scouting a successful year! Amid quarantine isolation and limited extra curricular activity options, Cub Scouting has been there to meet these needs using safe practice guidelines, and plenty of outdoor activities. Having to adapt to how we do Scouting in a pandemic year shows how Scouts are trained to always “Be prepared!” and to “Do your best!” We have gone from Zoom Pack meetings, to drive- thru Pack Meeting with community service minded activities. We have made community service and giving back to Grafton a key theme this year. We made one of the biggest Scouting events of the year work via a virtual style Pinewood Derby Event, and graduating our AOL Scouts with a hybrid in-person Cross over Ceremony.

Scout Sunday

A scout is Reverent. Every year the BSA celebrates this piece of the scout law, as well as a Scout’s duty to God with an event called “Scout Sunday.” It usually takes place near February th, which is the birthday of Scouting. The Congregational Church of Grafton – our sponsor – celebrated Youth*Speak and Scout Sunday on Feb 14th, 2021. Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions, we could not all attend in person, but were invited to join virtually.Reverend Dr. Barbara Therese, along with representatives from BSA Troop 107, Pack 107, and BSA Troop 2019 went live around 10am to begin the service. Our Webelo Scout, Gabriel, represented Pack 107. Nick C., the SPL of Troop 107 was the Scout representative who recited the Scout Oath and Scout Law.The featured guest presenter was Sophie C., the SPL of BSA Troop 2019, a Venturing Scout, and Gold Award recipient of the Girls Scouts. She was chosen to be the Youth*Speak speaker for this year. Her powerful speech and message was centered on the theme of “Mental Health Is Not a Demon.” Her personal goal is “to leave the world a better place than how she found it.”The centering thought of the service is ” One person can make a difference, and everyone should try.”You can watch on their Facebook page:https://uccgrafton.us15.list-manage.com/track/click…

Usually for The birthday of Scouting we host a Blue and Gold Banquet, but due to gathering restriction, the Pack’s February Pack Meeting included a tribute to the birthday of Scouting, and we watch a musical about the History of the Scouting movement. In addition to a guest speaker, Mr. Peter Carlson who is The Town of Grafton’s Chairman of the Select Board to discuss his role in local government, as part of the AOL’s Build a Better World adventure. Mr Carlson then invited a Scout from the Pack to open February 9th Select Board Meeting. Our Wolf Scout Josh N. enthusiastically volunteered, and did a wonderful job!

Hiking and Winter Fun

To celebrate the first day of spring, Pack 107 hosted Pack hike at Douglas State Forest, on March 20th, 2021. The weather couldn’t have been more beautiful!! Before the hike started, the Pack recited the Outdoor Code and the Leave No Trace Principles. We hiked 2.95 miles along the Coffee House Loop Trail while also doing a Scout Scavenger Hunt. Our Cub Scouts used the buddy system and performed frequent buddy checks to make sure no one is ever left behind. Each buddy pair took turns leading the Pack on the hike. Our Cub Scouts learned to walk on the the trail path to preserve the trail from unnatural widening and erosion. They learned to respect other visitors by staying on the right side of the path to let others pass. They learned to be quiet and wait for horses to pass in order not to frighten or surprise the horses. Everyone had a great time and agreed that today’s hike was the most fun way to welcome the First Day of Spring!

For the months of January, February and April, the Pack hosted a family social distanced hike with different themes and scavenger hunts. These hike count toward “hiking miles” to earn prizes for the Pack’s Hiking Program. During the winter months, the Pack held a snowman/snow sculpture building contest which ended March 31, 2021. The scsouts submitted a snow creation with every snow fall during the winter. The Scouts who participated were awarded a certificate and a gourmet hot chocolate bomb that was all the rage this past winter!

The next Pack hikes planned are The Quabbin Reservoir Hike on Saturday May, 15, 2021, and Blue Hills Hike on June 12, 2021.

Community Service

March Pack Meeting at the Grafton Lions Club Pavilion. This meeting was the Pine Wood Derby Weigh In Night where the cub scouts and their families enter their Pine Wood Derby cars for the big race next Saturday. The Pack also held a non perishable food drive for the Congregational Church’s Loaves and Fishes outdoor pantry. During this pandemic, the Pack recognized that there has been rising food insecurity, and wanted to find a way to help. Any family in need , are free to take some food from the pantry. Anyone who wants to donate can leave non perishable foods there too. Thank you Pack 107 families for your generous donations.Here is a message from Rev. Dr. Barbara Therese thanking the Pack. “Saturday greetings, Tabitha and members of Pack 107. Bright sunlight to your day.Bless you and thank you for your bountiful generosity of donations for the Loaves and Fishes Food Cupboard! The Congregational Church of Grafton, as a faith community, and our Mission Committee, in particular, deeply appreciate the Pack’s tangible gift and their remarkable community service.With the members, leaders and families of Pack 107, please share our church’s tremendous gratitude for their kindness and community-minded efforts. In our Season of COVID, food insecurity severely impacts one in every eight families in Central MA. Nationwide, one in every ten children faces food insecurity every day. Your leadership within the Pack and the Pack’s vision to help those who are needful help to address and reduce hunger within our nation.May the Spirit of community service continue to work in you and Pack 107. Our faith community and our greater community are blessed by your efforts.

With faith, hope and gratitude,Rev. Dr. Barbara Therese”

* * * * * * * * * *Additionally, on the first Sunday of every month, the Congregational Church’s faith community honors their monthly “Sharing the Light” food collection efforts for the Grafton Food Bank and the church’s food cupboard. Today’s “Message for All Ages” celebrated Pack 107’s community service.Pack members and families were invited to visit the church’s Facebook page on Sunday at 10 a.m. [“Message for All Ages” is 14 minutes into the church service.] Click on link below to watch.https://www.facebook.com/UCCGrafton/videos/3877234755630050

Pack 107 gave back to the Grafton Lions Club Mass for giving us a “home away from home” to be able to host Cub Scout events during Covid-19 Pandemic, where all event were hosted outdoors. The Grafton Lions Club hosted their clean up event today and Pack 107 was geared up to help. We picked up fallen tree branches and sticks, raked, picked up trash, moved old wooden picnic tables, removed “Caution” tape around the soccer field, and cleaned up the area around the stream on the property. This community service project serves also as a way for our cubs scouts to learn about what the Outdoor Code and Leave No Trace Principles in Scouting is all about, especially during Earth Day weekend!

Pack 107 continues its commitment to monthly clean ups of Norcross Park which continue though the year with the exception of the snowy months.

Den Activities

The Dens in our Pack stayed active during the winter and spring with regular in-person outdoor meetings that include fun activities such as ice fishing, fishing lessons, outdoor physical fitness tracking. They also worked on STEM adventures such as a winter den hike at Pell Farm to study various trees and to hide a geocache, a den hike at Purgatory Chasm to study geology, science experiments with planting a beans with control and variables, studying the planets in our galaxy, virtual visit a to a science lab, interviews with real scientists, and experimenting with the effects of adding a Mentos into a bottle of soda!

Pinewood Derby 2021

Pinewood Derby is one of the most anticpated and favorite events in the Cub Scouting Year. The Pinewood Derby is the wood car racing event of the Boy Scouts of America. Pinewood Derbies are often run by Packs of the Cub Scouts program. With the help of adults, Scouts build their own unpowered, unmanned miniature cars from wood, usually from kits containing a block of pine wood, plastic wheels, and metal axles. This is where the Cub Scouts’ creativity, and engineering design at their best, are showcased.

The most anticipated April Pack Meeting finally took place on Sunday April 18, 2021 after some unexpected April winter weather earlier in the week. Pack 107 held their virtual Pinewood Derby in March, but due to COVID-19 restrictions, the race was organized and put on by the Pack’s Pinewood Derby Committee, and filmed with the several camera angles. This Pack Meeting was the directorial debut of the 2021 Pack 107 Pinewood Derby, held at the Grafton Lions Club Mass. We had an outdoor Pack movie night. Everyone was blown away by the level of professional filming, editing, voice overs ( by Dan Gaspar and Chris Nichols),…the works!!! Thank you Pinewood Derby Committee, and a special thank you goes to Chris Nichols for sharing his time and talent to make this happen! He spend over 100+ hours throughout the Pinewood Derby Season thus far, to make this happen! The Pack cannot thank you enough! We also thank our special judges who participated in judging the Pinewood Derby Design categories: Peter Carlson, Ed King, Greg Marr, and Scott Zajkowski.

The top 2 fastest cars from each rank qualified to race at the Council Pinewood Derby . Congratulations to:Wolf – Josh N. -Overall 3rd Place, Wolf- Casey G., Bear – Matt L.-Overall 2nd place, Bear – Lilly G., Webelos – Gabriel F- Overall 1st place, Webelos – Joey D., AOL – Chris F., AOL- Cory G.

The winners of the design awards include: Most Original Design-Aaron B., Best Paint Job-Ailsa G., Best Race Car Theme-Lucas N., Most Likely Build By a Scout- Sam G., Most Patriotic-Jasmine B., Best Predatory Car-Nico F., Best Pairing With Crackers- Silas F., and Most Fuel Efficient- Liam L.

The Council Pinewood Derby took place on May 1st, 2021 at the East Lodge of Treasure Valley Scout Reservation. It was a virtual event and live-streamed on Youtube. It features our own Cub Master Miss Tabitha Lefrancois, who worked the track, and our own Pack Pinewood Derby Committee Chairperson, Chris Nichols, who did an amazing job as co-host. Congratulations for the winners of the 2020 Covid Circuit: AOL 2nd place- NIck. S., AOL 3rd Place- Steven L., Bears 2nd Place- Gabriel F. Congratulation to Gabriel F who won Webelos 2nd place in the 2021 HNE Council Pinewood Derby. You can watch all 7 hours by clicking on this link, or fast forward to the relevant parts. https://youtu.be/_UUNXvyLFR4

More Fun to Come

As we are approaching summer, Scouting for Cub Scout Pack 107 doesn’t stop! We are a year round family Scouting program, so our Scouts will always have fun activities to look forward to, and they can stay connected with their Scouting friends all year long. The Boy Scouts of America has awards that the Pack and the Scouts can earn by staying active and having Scouting activities during the months of June July and August.

Pack 107 Summertime Events:

  • *5/21 May Scout Fun Fest
  • *6/12 June Scout Fun Fest
    * 6/12 Blue Hills Hike
    * 6/19 Norcross Park Community Service
    * 6/26-6/27 Advancement Ceremony & Camp-Out
    * 7/10 Outdoor Event TBD
    * 7/18 Norcross Park Community Service
    * 8/7 Outdoor Event TBD
    * 8/28 Norcross Park Community Service & Pack Game

Council Summertime Events ($10/ea):
* 6/26 Fishing Derby
* 7/24 Shooting Sports Day
* 8/21 Aquatics Day

TVSR^ Cub Scout DAY Camp $305:
* July 12 – 16
* July 19 – 23
TVSR^ WEBELOS Resident Camp $305:
* July 4 – 7
* July 7 – 10

Arrow of Light and Cross Over Ceremony 2021

The Arrow of Light Award is the highest award and rank that can be earned as a Cub Scout. On May 2, 2021, Pack 107 hosted their Arrow of Light and Cross Over ceremony at the Grafton Lions Club Pavilion. The family of the Scouts who were crossing over, and the leaders of Troop 107 were invited to attend in-person while the rest of Pack 107 and Troop 107 were invited to join via Zoom.

Our pack celebrated this achievement by 9 of our Cub Scouts who achieve the rank of Arrow of Light. Our Cub Master Miss Tabitha Lefrancois was the master of ceremonies for this special celebration. Congratulations to Aaron B., Silas F., Chris F., Cory G., Jackson G., Liam L., Davis M., Harold M., Lucas N., and their families. Pack 107 wishes you much success as you continue on your Scouting journey with BSA Troop 107.

They were welcomed into BSA Troop 107 by their Senior Patrol Leader, Nikolas C., Assistant Patrol Leaders Owen R., and Ben Z., Troop 107 Scout Master Mr. Ed King, Troop 107 Committee Chairperson Ms. Kristen Zinkowski, and Troop 107 Assistant Scout Master Mr. Erik Coldwell.

During his 5 years with Pack 107, Mr. Tony Frederico served as Den Leader/ Assistance Den Leader, and 3 years as the Pack Committee Chairperson. Mr. Federico, we thank for all that you do for Scouting, and for having devoted your time and talent in advancing the Pack’s Scouting program under your leadership. You give inspiration to all to strive for better. Here is the video of the inspirational speech he gave about “Going for Eagle”.

We also thank Mr. Clay McDonald who served as assistant Den Leader for 2 years and Den Leader for 3, for sharing his time and talent with Pack 107. He is also the Scout Master for the female BSA Troop 2019 since it’s inception in March 2019. Our Bears Den Leader, Mr. John Bubriski presented both Mr. Tony Frederico and Mr. Clay McDonald with a special gift for their service and time with Pack 107.

The AOL Scouts opened the ceremony with Flag Ceremony, but for the closing Flag Ceremony, we had our Webelo Scout Sam G., and Bear Scouts Lilly G., Jasmine B, and Wolf Scout Josh N., do the honors. It was a beautiful ceremony and we were all grateful to be able to celebrate this important event in-person once again.

Cub Scout Pack 107 Gives Back the Community During COVID-19.

The new school year has been nothing but normal, and with the limitations of indoor/outdoor group gatherings, Pack 107 had to adapt to the times and have an adapted focus. With the relatively warm fall and winter this past season, Pack 107 have been successful in holding outdoor Pack and Den meetings at various locations in Grafton. We are most grateful to generosity of our chartered sponsor, The Grafton Congregrational Church, for the use of their parking lot, and to the Grafton Lion’s Club, for allowing us to hold meeting on their property.

Norcross Park Clean Ups

During the months of Summer months and September, October, November, the dens and pack participated in several Norcross Park clean ups. A Scout is clean, helpful and trustworthy. Pack 107 is keeping its commitment to monthly community service at Norcross Park after the Pack adoption of the park in 2017.

Pack Meetings and Caring for the Community

For the October Pack Meeting, we had a drive thru advancement ceremony, which was modified and postponed from the year June Advancement ceremony and campout. for the November Pack Meeting, the cub scouts and leaders were also invited to dress up in their Halloween costumes, and to bring canned foods for the Grafton Congregation Church Outdoor Food Pantry, in exchange for candy and a Pinewood Derby car kit. The cub scouts also received their new neckerchieves for their new rank, as well as walking sticks and awards for achievements earned in the last month. This event collected more than a big plastic bin full of canned food for the Food and Loaves Food Pantry, located outside the Congregational Church. The COVID pandemic has made economic hardships for many families. Any family in need in, are free to take some food, and anyone who wants to donate, can leave non-perishable foods in this pantry.

A Scout is helpful, friendly, and kind. Thank you Pack 107 families for your generous donations!

The December Pack Meeting was holiday themed and held at the Grafton Lion’s Club. Each den arrived in 30 minute intervals. Cub scouts received awards for hiking miles, and completed adventures, and they each received a holiday treat bag. They made holiday greeting cards for the veterans, and creative bead ornaments. Cub scouts and their families had the opportunity to take photos with our special guest, Santa Claus, followed by a hike along the trail behind the Lion’s Club field.Pack 107 also collected donations for Veterans, Inc, Project New Hope, and Toys for Tots. Cub scouts learn that a scout is helpful! Special thanks to Ms. Tabitha, our Cubmaster, for taking on the task of being our “special guest”, Mr. Rob Lane, for being the official elf, Mrs. Christine Gaspar for being the craft table elf and photographer, Mr. Chris Nichols for being the official photographer for this event! We thank the Lion’s Club for allowing us to use the field hold this event!.

Monthly Pack Hikes

Pack 107 hosted monthly hikes with the October hike at Upton State Forest, the November Pack hike at Mount Wachusett, and the December Pack hike at the Grafton Lion’s Club grounds and Gummere Woods, as part of the Pack meeting. In January, the pack organized a socially distanced family pack hike on any trail in Grafton during the Martin Luther King Jr. weekend.

Den Adventures

Our dens have been able to work on various advancement adventures in groups outdoors as needed, and on Zoom when necessary. In October the Arrow of Light Scouts were able to work on their Camper Adventure at a campout with BSA Grafton Troop 107 at Treasure Valley Scout Reservation. Theyn also went on a den hike to Mount Monadnock.

The Bears worked on Baloo the Builder and Bear Necessities , and Fur, Feathers and Ferns adventures.

The Webelos worked on Cast Iron Chef, Stronger Faster, HIgher, First Responder, and, Webelos Walk About adventures.

The WolF den worked on various adventures including reveiwing the 7* essentials needed when going on outdoor adventures. In addition to the Cub Scout 6 Essentials, the wolves felt that a 7th should be added- a face mask. What a great idea since we have to wear them when meeting in-person! 😷The Scouts worked on the “Call of the Wild” adventure, learning about animal tracks 🐾, weather scenarios ⛈🌨🌧🌪, and practicing their knot tying.

Snowman Making Contest

Introducing Pack 107’s first snowman building competition! This fun competition will run from December 5th until the end of March. Each snowfall, Scouts can build a snowman. Scouts will get 1 entry per snowfall. Siblings may either work together to build a snowman or may submit their own individual snowmen (per snowfall). That means the chance for multiple entries over the course of winter! At the end of March, all entries will be judged based on the following categories with one winner per category chosen:
* Best Scout Theme
* Most Funny
* Best Snow Creature
* Best Snow Superhero
* Cubmaster’s Choice

Spark Plug Award

At the December Pack meeting this past Sunday, Pack 107 awarded the 2020 Mill Town District Spark Plug Award to our Bears Den Leader, Mr. John Bubriski. He was nominated by our Pack Committee for the outstanding contributions he made to advancing our Pack program. Besides being a den leader, Mr. Brubriski is also the Pack’s IT Chairperson. He helped create and design our Pack webpage. Congratulations Mr. Brubriski on this award, and we thank you for all that you do for Scouting!

Upcoming Events

One of the most anticipated events of the Scouting year is the Pinewood Derby. Here are the key dates we’ll be working around for the derby this year.

Build Day – Saturday, February 20th (alternate weather date, February 27th)

Weigh-in Day (Part 1): Friday, March 5 (6:30-7:30pm)
Weigh-in Day (Part 2): Saturday, March 6 (10am-12pm)

Build Day and both Weigh-In days will be held at the Lions Club (Dan – thanks for booking the venue!).

Race Day: Saturday, March 13 (alternate weather date, March 20)

Unfortunately, we will not be racing in person this year. We will be racing the cars with a bare-minimum skeleton crew to maintain safety for COVID spread, but we will be recording all of the heats and will do a broadcast of the race, and the results, a week or two after the race is held.

We can’t wait to see the Scouts’ finished cars.

Pack 107’s First Pack Hike of New Scouting Year

Cub Scout Pack 107 kicked off the first pack hike of the scouting year on Sunday, October 11, 2020, at Upton State Forest. It was the perfect warm, sunny, fall day during the Columbus Day weekend, with beautiful fall foliage and amazing landscape to take in. We had 12 scouts and their families, and one new scout family who joined us on the hike. Everyone had their masks on, and were socially distanced between families during the hike.

Before starting the hike, Cub Master Tabitha Lefrancois, reviewed the 6 Essentials, the Outdoor Code, the Leave No Trace Principles, and the safety rules of hiking, using the buddy system, staying in between the leader and the caboose and all times. Mr. and Mrs. Gaspar brought plastic bags for trash sightings so that the cub scouts put into practice the Leave No Trace Principles, and learn to be community service minded.

The cub scouts paired into buddies with their sibling and parents throughout the hike, and each buddy group took turns being the leader on the 3.3 mile hike. Ms. Tabitha talked about the presence or evidence of animals along the trail, including what they can hear, see, and smell. Some evidence can include animal droppings, known as scat, animal tracks, feathers, fur, scratches on trees, burrows, food scraps, and even a tree stump that was gnawed on by a beaver.

The hike ended with a race to the gate, with Samuel G. coming in first place! Everyone had a fun time reconnecting and enjoying the outdoors, learning about nature, and experiencing the beauty of the fall season in New England!

The next Pack hike will be on November 1, 2020 , 10AM-2PM, at Mount Wachusett, in Princeton, MA.

Pack 107 AOL Den Kicks Off New Scouting at Mount Monadnock

Last Sunday, 10/4/2020, Pack 107’s AOL den kicked off their new scout year with a hike up Mt. Monadnock. It was a beautiful fall day and we had some amazing views along the Marlborough Trail. The trail was challenging with some steep sections requiring a little bit of scrambling. The scouts did a great job and the parents managed to keep up too! We’re looking forward to many more adventures with our AOL den this year.