Sunday, October 21, 2012

October Pack Meeting

Our October Pack Meeting featured a visit from Wakefield's Fire Prevention Officer, Captain Thomas Purcell. Thanks, Captain, for talking with our boys about fire safety and prevention.

Click here for some photos of the meeting.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Camping this weekend!

Our fall overnight camping event is this weekend, Saturday, October 13 to Sunday October 14, at the Stearns Pond campsite at the Harold Parker State Forest. This is a new site for us, but it's just up the road from the Sudden Pond site we've used in the past. It's sure to be a great time!

Please RSVP if you plan on attending, and please include your contribution for dinner on Saturday (see below).

We are in need of two things from anyone that can help:

  • If you have a canoe or kayak, and would consider bringing it to the camp-out, please let us know by responding to this email. It's always great when we can get the boys out onto the water. 
  • We will need some fold-up tables for the food. Please let us know if you can bring one. 

  • Stearns Pond Campsite at Harold Parker State Forest, North Reading, Massachusetts. Driving time from Wakefield is 15-20 minutes. Directions to the site -- along with some pictures of the site -- are posted on our website. Click on "Directions" on the right hand sidebar for directions and a map. 
  • The campsite is labelled "NA1" on the attached map of Harold Parker. Also attached is a sketch of the campsite tent areas. The "F" is where we'll have our campfire circle. This is a new campsite for us and there will probably be some confusion. We'll have greeters there to help you out. Fortunately the sites are all easily accessible from roads, and there is plenty of parking. 
  • You can see come pictures of the campsite here: 


  • Arrival is anytime after noon on Saturday; come whenever your schedule allows. When you arrive, please check in with one of the leaders. Please unload your car and then move it back to the parking area on the main road. 
  • We know folks have soccer games, etc on Saturday so if you'd like to come early to set up your tent and then leave for your game, feel free to do so. 
  • You should have lunch before arriving at camp, as it will not be provided. 

What to Eat? 

  • The dinner on Saturday is a potluck. You can either bring something that's already prepared, or cook it on-site. There are several families that like to cook in dutch ovens, or on charcoal grills. 
  • The campsite has some fire rings with grates if you want to go that route. 
  • The pack provides drinks (bottled water and juice boxes) and all the paper goods. If you choose to bring cooking equipment, we ask that you allow enough time so that your food is ready at meal time (schedule is below). 
  • We ask for your help in making this a community experience; breaking into little groups on the side really isn't the Scouting way. 
  • Breakfast on Sunday is also potluck. 
  • Whatever you plan on bringing, please consult the list (sent via email) and respond with an RSVP so we don't have too much of one thing. 

The Schedule 

The schedule for Saturday is as follows:
  • 1:00 - 3:00 pm: Arrival, Setup, Fishing 
  • 3:00 pm - Group activity/game. 
  • 4:00 pm - Pack Hike/Nature Scavenger Hunt. We will need parent volunteers to help set up dinner at this time. 
  • 5:30 pm - Dinner 
  • 7:00 pm - Cleanup, Dens practice skits 
  • 8:00 pm - Campfire. Skits, songs, the works. 
  • 10:00 pm - Lights out for Cubs. We ask for your cooperation at this time in making sure the boys are in bed. 

Sunday morning after breakfast we will go on a hike. Usually everyone is packed up and on their way home by mid-morning, but we do have use of the campground until 12 noon.

We encourage Scouts to sleep over, of course, but we understand that some of the little guys might be overwhelmed. It's OK to come on Saturday for the activities and go home to sleep.

Please Note: 

  • BSA regulations mandate that a child can not sleep in a tent with an adult that is not his parent or legal guardian. Webelos are permitted to sleep in tents (with other Webelos) without an adult. 
  • Alcoholic beverages are not allowed on BSA-sanctioned overnight trips. 
  • Due to the proximity of the campsite to the water, children must be supervised at all times. We are counting on you, the parents, to keep your children safe. 

What to Bring: 

  •  Sleeping Bag, pad and pillow Tent. The Pack has some to lend; contact the Cubmaster if you'd like to borrow one. There is no cabin at this site. 
  •  Flashlight 
  •  Rain coat or poncho 
  •  Toothbrush, toothpaste 
  •  Winter hat and mittens/gloves 
  •  Change of clothes 
  •  Chair for Fire-side 
  •  Fishing pole and tackle 
  •  Mini First Aid kit 
  •  Bug Spray 

Finally... Everyone must be aware of our Pack pocketknife policy.

As for toilet facilities, the camp has porta-potties. You may want to bring a small bottle of hand sanitizer. Given our past experience, the weather always seems to rear its ugly head, but somehow, it usually ends up working out. So unless there's a major storm, the overnighter is on, "rain or shine".

Please contact your den leader for more information. See you at camp!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Stearns Pond, Harold Parker State Forest

Stearns Pond is in Harold Parker State Forest on the border of North Reading and Middleton, Mass.  The campsite is close to the Visitor Center/Ranger Station.

From Wakefield, proceed through the 129 rotary and follow Haverhill Street through Reading. Follow Haverhill Street until North Reading Center.  After  crossing Route 62, go straight for approximately 1.5 miles, and take a right onto Marblehead Street at the blinking yellow light.   Follow Marblehead Street for about 1.7 miles, and turn left onto Salem Street -- you will see a small brown sign on the right  pointing left to Harold Parker State Forest.  If you pass a sign that indicates the border of North Reading and Middleton, you've gone too far.

Salem Street becomes Middleton Road; you will be turning right at Gate 4, or continuing to the Visitor Center and entering at Gate 3.

Total drive time about 20 minutes.

View Larger Map

The campsites are strung out along the shore of the pond.    If you enter at Gate 4, you will be coming in from the right of this map.

Click here to see some pictures of the campsite: Campsite Pictures