Posts tagged Cub Scouts



So this is the basic rocket that my Scouts built. The main tube is 12 inches, the fins are just cardboard and probably 4 inches long. They’re attached with hot glue, as are the pieces of straw which serve to guide it up the pole during launch.

And that’s what I’ve been nervous about. Would the available engines successfully lift the rocket?

When I first embarked on this, I considered it a non-issue because I was going to use a D size engine, which has plenty of lifting power. The problem is that the inner diameter of the main tube is not big enough to accept a D size engine. Rather, I have to resort to a C or B size engine. Thus, the set screws at the bottom to hold the engine in place.

I first started getting concerned when I noted how much lighter the boy’s kit based rocket is than the PVC versions. So I decided to weigh one of the PVC rockets and it comes in at 4.5 ounces. Looking at the chart, the maximum recommended liftoff weight is 4.5 ounces for a B6-2 engine. There are a bunch rated for 4 ounces. Making things worse, the 4.5 ounce weight did not include whatever engine I’d be putting in there.

I searched on the Web for something to give me some reassurance, but came up with nothing. In the end, I decided I was going to have to test it out. So this morning, I took the rocket and the boy’s launch pad and went out to where we’ll be launching these things from. In all, it took me about 5 minutes to setup. Thankfully, the place was empty as well.

I’m happy to report that the weakest engine I had, a B6-4 successfully lifted it off. Unfortunately, the parachute system didn’t deploy, but I can live with that. The rocket went up about 75-100 feet or so, traced a nice arc through the air and then buried itself about 3 inches into the ground on impact.

So the boys should have a good time shooting them off next week.

Gone Campin’


For the boy’s Cub Scout pack, we’ve unofficially completed the Fall popcorn fundraiser. I say unofficially because all order forms are due to me within the next couple of days so I can order all the popcorn for the “take” orders the Scouts collected. That was also why we had the Election Day sale- a final push to sell what we could.

It’s also not a coincidence that the Fall Campout is today. The Scouts all worked hard; and so did their parents. So today is a chance to have a little fun for the afternoon. There will be hiking, games, a campfire, s’mores and more games. We’ll also be sleeping over tonight. Though, based on past experience, the kids will do most of the sleeping and the parents…won’t.

Either way, enjoy the afternoon. Spend it with your kids. Aside from the occasional tweet, I’ll be back tomorrow.

Derby Wrapup


The short of it is, no winners. The longer version is we had 3 very fast cars that didn’t track true enough to win.

The boy had the best showing, cruising into the semi-finals. He won all three of his preliminary races making him one of 4 cars that were undefeated going into the semi-final round. But his axles loosened up or something and his car got squirrelly in the semi-final round and that cost him against the other fast cars that ran true.

The lass probably had the fastest car of the 3 of us, but also the most squirrelly. Her car led at the bottom of the ram in all three of her races, but the bouncing back and forth allowed her to be overtaken in the final stretch each time.

As for mine, I got a lot of compliments on the looks, but it didn’t run as good as it looked. I don’t think I got the weighting quite right, in retrospect. Also, it definitely could’ve tracked better.

Once again, lessons learned. I wrote this last year after the race and this year did nothing to change my mind: weighting and tracking are the keys to victory to the point of swamping out all other factors.

Zooming out a bit, it was a good afternoon of racing. Long, but good. We had a bunch of tight races, including a race with a tie where the cars tied again in the runoff. We finally got a winner on the 3rd match between the two. One of the other Dad’s told me it was the best batch of racing he’d seen in 8 years of bringing his kids to Scouts.

Despite the successes, the kids were still disappointed and acted the part, but it was more obvious to me that a good deal of it was an act. Since I was busy running things and the Wife was busy figuring out awards for the cars and taking pictures, neither of us had time to humor their act. It worked out for the better- turns out not feeding the monster kept it at bay. They tried it a bit on the Wife while they waited in the car to leave, but she called their bluff by telling them “Well, we just won’t race next year.” Neither one liked that idea and that was the end of it.

So ended this year’s derby. Despite enjoying the afternoon, I’m glad I won’t have to worry about it for another year.

Finished Derby Cars


So, here they are all finished up and ready to race. The boy’s is called “The Black Mobile”; we’re calling the lass’ “Lady Liberty” and I’m haven’t decided on a name for mine. I’ve got some candidates like “The Green Streak”, “Green Stiletto” and “Pea Soup”. Yes, the last one is a reference to, well… I’ll leave it to your imagination.

The lass still has to learn moderation where stickers are concerned. In her world, “more” equals “better” when it comes to that stuff. But it looks like a kid did it.

On that score, the kids were both involved in the final assembly and paint jobs, and stickers. I helped them as much as necessary for them to finish it up. Attention span was the biggest problem, since the work is quite tedious. Like polishing the wheel hubs, or lubricating the axles. The Wife and I alternated masking off for the paint job on the lass’ as well, but she operated the spray cans.

Tomorrow, weather permitting at this point, the race is on.

Scout Camp- Day 2


Today was actually remarkably similar to yesterday. Except in a different order. And hotter.

The most amusing moment was provided by Nature Boy, whom, while introducing a special guest speaker, said “If you guys think I’m a genius, then this guy is even better.” Such eloquence. No worries on that first part, though.

But the guest speaker was very cool. He’d brought along a bunch of pelts of various local animals like fox, coyote, weasel, beaver and a few others. The weasel pelt gave me a chance to shine for the boy. The speaker asked if anyone could guess why the pelt was all white. I leaned over to the boy and whispered “Because they caught it in the Winter.” I meant for him to offer that as an answer and take all the glory. He didn’t and consequently missed his shot. But the look on his face when it turned out I was right was priceless. A classic “how’d you know that?” look. I just smiled.

The other observation I’ll offer is that I’m impressed with the boys as a group. Allowing for the normal shenanigans from that age child, they’re all polite, listen and enjoying their time at camp. That makes it easier for all us adults to enjoy the time as well.

But I must confess there will be a measure of relief when the week is over.

Scout Camp- Day 1


In the beginning, there was chaos. And that was before we even got to camp.

A couple of other parents and I agreed to meet up at a local bakery before heading out. One of the parents forgot the all important medical forms. So instead of getting to camp nice and early, we got there closer to the same time everyone else did. That wasn’t the end of the medical form nonsense though.

One of the boys (not “the boy”- one of those unfortunate moments where my convention leads to confusion) we were with didn’t have a signed consent form from his doctor, so he wasn’t going to be allowed to participate in the swim time. To his credit, he handled the situation well and only chose to ask me if he would be able to swim every 20 minutes or so. Ultimately, parents and doctors were called, papers signed and faxed, the world kept spinning, and he was able to go swimming.

I mean really, if I could handle that then a debt deal should easily be within reach.


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