January 2014 Report

2013 will be, forever, a year to remember. We chartered in January, had an information meeting in February, went on a recon camp out in March, and had our first camp out in April. From there we had Hullabaloo, Brownsea, Timberee, Whittlers’ Workshop, fire competitions, service projects, adventures, and more.

We have an unconfirmed number of Chipmunks.
We have 29 Otters…
We have 25 Timberwolfs…
We have 6 Pathfinders…
We have 42 Rovers…
A wait list several dozen long…
And we have the greatest auxiliary support, Service coordinators, and snack rustlers this side of Mt. Hood.

We have grown, leaned, and every month we are amazed at the quality of our scouts, our leaders, and our families. Thank you to everyone.

Next Adventure
The 55th
Our families and scouts learned about keeping warm at a Winter Clinic hosted by Next Adventure. Greg and Stephanie filled us with wisdom and entertained our questions. Thank you to both of them and Next Adventure for supporting out scouts. As a group, a great portion of our meetings, gatherings, skill building, and adventures are outdoors so knowledge of keeping warm is greatly appreciated.

Next Adventure
Chipmunk Scurry
A delightful group of scouts that are pre-Otter, and the younger siblings of our older scouts. Chipmunks exhibit a desire to scout, and we encourage this with age-appropriate activities. The Chipmunk Promise is “On my Chipmunk honor, I promise to do my best!” Yellow shirt, red necker, and utility-spoon round out the uniform (whenever possible).

Otters January 2014
Otter Raft
The Otter’s theme for January 2014 was “shelter” and Otters explored the different types of shelters used by humans and animals. At the Den meeting, Otters gathered around the campfire and shared what they already knew about shelters and why shelters are important. Otters read stories and drew pictures of animal shelters.

Otters January 2014
The Raft meeting was held at the Audubon Society where Otters enjoyed their adventure through the trails as the forest provided many opportunities to see natural animal habitats and shelters first hand. Otters also saw human-created shelters to protect birds being cared for by the Audubon Society. Big thanks to Rovers Cynthia and Corey, who volunteer regularly at the Audubon Society, for joining our meeting to inform our Otters about the different types of birds and guiding us through the Walk and See trail.

Otter Shelters
The Otter Pups (White Den) and the Willamette Otters (Orange Den) met at the Children’s Arboretum. Our Otters hiked the trail and found several nests, burrows, and other marvels of nature, including one nest our Otters thought might belong to a crane. Our Otters worked in teams to construct emergency shelters with rope, staffs, small and large tarps, and other items scavenged from the immediate area–Be Prepared!

Timberwolf Pack
January found our Timberwolfs at Whitaker Ponds for both a Pack meeting, and a Service Project. Whitaker Ponds is a watershed along the Columbia Slough that puts “Nature in the city.” On this particular Pack meeting day, it was a cold morning; some of the smaller ponds were frozen over and Timberwolfs competed to see who could pull off the largest sheet of ice. Later, in the sun, the Pack meeting was filled with scout games such as Turn the Tarp and a variety of ways for scouts to line up according to some detail, but doing so without talking. The scouts did well and leadership styles popped out. Whitaker Ponds photo set

The Service project was a collaboration with The Columbia Slough Watershed Council, and SOLVE. Our scouts heard about the watershed and how the surroundings play a role in filtering water and provide for various plants, insects, and animals. The three jobs for the day were: placing wire fencing around certain trees to prevent beavers from cutting; piling mulch around recently planted native plants; and pulling up invasive ivy. The day started out two-layer-and-mittens cold, but warmed up quickly with the work. At the end of the day, even exhausted, our scouts would happily come back and do it again. Service provides something inside a scout. Service is both an individual and group experience.

Over winter break, we had a Timberwolf Whittler’s Workshop, an opportunity for scouts to earn their Whittler Award–a card that permits the Timberwolf scout to wear a knife, and use the knife after letting a leader know.

Wood Tools
Pathfinder Troop
Our Pathfinders learned about Wood Tools from Rover Corey and GSM Ethan. Pathfinders worked with hatchets, axes, saws, and a variety of knives, practicing under the direction of Scout Leaders. The Wood Tools Award card is a step up from the Whittler Award that Timberwolfs can earn; Whittler Award is limited to knives.

Wood Tools
In addition to the carving tent stakes, and sawing logs, Pathfinders batoned wood for the Otter campfire later that day.

BPSA 55th Cascadia
The all call section is where you can support our scout group. Your unique talents and knowledge can go to great lengths to strengthen our program and what we can offer scouts.

  • SW BPSA GROUP–Our wait-list shows an interest for a BPSA group in SW Portland. Are you interested in starting one? We know some interested families so it may just be a matter of getting you all together and see what happens. You can start small, even tiny–for example, one Timberwolf Six.
  • CHIPMUNK HANDBOOK–We have text and ideas for a Chipmunk Handbook, but need layout and editing skills (time). If you are interested, contact us.
  • 501(c)(3)–We have formed a nonprofit organization along with 636th Mount Tabor scouts. This nonprofit is called the Multnomah Service Cooperative and donations to our group can be made to 55th Cascadia at Albina bank. We are looking for funds to file for tax exempt status 501(c)(3) to facilitate people and organizations to make tax-deductible donations. The fee to file as a 502(c)(3) is $400. Have some ideas for raising funds; good at fund raising; like to file paperwork? Contact us.
  • SHARE YOUR SKILLS–We would love to share your skill with our scouts. Are you good at campfire cooking; animal track identification; or such? Contact us.
  • CONNECT YOUR CONNECTIONS–We are looking for ways to connect with organizations, programs, and civic opportunities. If you have such a connection, please contact us. An example of this, which did not come to pass, is having an over night “camp out” inside the main Multnomah library.

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