Author Archives: ChristianAbad

April 26, 2015

Good Evening, Pack 118!!

Please remember that this Friday, May 1, is our Spring Camping Trip.  We will camp at the Hiddenite Family Campground on Friday night.  There will not be food available in the immediate area (and we are not cooking as a pack), so be prepared to drive about 20 minutes to a restaurant, eat before you get there, or bring dinner to eat at the campground on Friday night.

Saturday morning, we will awake to the delicious aromas from our very own Bistro 118!  After we clean up breakfast, we will drive over to the Foothills Equestrian Center and earn our equestrian beltloop.  For this portion of the trip, it is required that all cubs wear closed toe shoes.  Sneakers are great, or boots with very little tread are good.  After lunch we will head back to Hiddenite to learn about gem mining in that area and look for gems ourselves.  After that, we will return to our campground and prepare dinner. Saturday night, there will be a movie presented by the campground.

Sunday morning, we will have breakfast, a short devotional, and then break camp and return home.  Robert will have details on Rocky Face mountain at the campground, which may be something you will be interested in doing after you leave the campground on Sunday.  It is a small mountain in the foothills region, and affords tremendous views of the surrounding area.  On a clear day, you can see the mountains of North Carolina very well.

I need to have a firm headcount for all parties by tomorrow night, so if you have not already done so, please visit the SignUp Genius link to sign up for the trip by Monday, April 27, by 5:00 pm.  If you have not paid your $35.00 per person for this trip, I will collect that when you arrive at the campground on Friday afternoon (cash or check).  Here is the link:

Driving directions to all points has been uploaded to the “2015 Spring Trip – Hiddenite, NC” folder on the Documents page.  Please be aware that I-77 North is a parking lot beginning just south of the I-485 interchange.  This means very slow traffic up through Mooresville on Friday afternoon.  The stack up begins just after lunch and continues well into the evening.  An alternate route is to travel NC 16 North.  You will have to pull directions for the last bit near the campground, but this route will probably be faster on Friday afternoon.

If you have any questions about the camping trip, please do not hesitate to contact me via this email address.  I look forward to seeing you on Friday in Hiddenite, NC!


Martin Zoutewelle
Cubmaster, Pack 118

Categories: Past Newsletters

April 17, 2015

Good Morning Pack 118!!

I found out a couple of days ago that I have been dealing with the Foothills Equestrian Center near Hickory, NC; not the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center in Tryon, NC.  It turns out that this is a good thing, though.  The facility in Tryon, NC is hosting the Block House Steeplechases on May 2.  That means that we would be having a great time with 20,000 of our closest pals, all of whom would be dressed in their spring finest.  Oh, by the way, they also will have been tailgating since 7:30 in the morning.  Basically, if I had contacted them, as I thought I was doing, this trip wouldn’t have gotten off the ground.

So, two days ago, Robert Burke and I went into Eagle Scout mode, and we’ve come up with a better solution than our original plan!  We will now be camping at a great campground in Hiddenite, NC called the Hiddenite Family Campground.  We have arranged for a group camping area near the central pavilion.  This gives us a large covered area in case of bad weather.  Hiddenite, NC is just northwest of Statesville, NC.   You can either drive up I-77N to I-40W to US-64W, or you can go up NC 16N to avoid the stack-ups on I-77N.  Without traffic, this is 1:15 up I-77 or 1:31 up NC-16 from St. Stephen UMC.

On Saturday morning after breakfast, we will go over to the Foothills Equestrian Center just north of Hickory, NC.  It is about 25 minutes away from our campground, and is just north of Hickory, NC.  We will have the same program that I’ve been talking about, with several stations for us all to participate in.  After the activities, we will have a cookout, complete with smores!  One thing to note is that the adults have an option to ride in the horse ring when your group of boys is taking their lesson.  You can either take the lesson with the boys, or you can ride on your own at the other end of the ring.  The cost for this is $10.00 per adult.  This is in addition to the $35.00 trip fee.  If you would like to do this, please send me an email, and I will let Foothills know how many adults will be riding.

After lunch, we will drive back to Hiddenite, and go the Hiddenite Gems Emerald Hollow Mine to see what we can find.  Did you know that Hiddenite, NC is the only place on Earth that the Hiddenite semi-precious gem is found?  This area is also a place that you can find several different semi-precious gems and other very interesting rocks and minerals.

After we are finished mining, we will return to our campsite to prepare a delicious dinner.  After dinner, we will be treated to a movie in the pavilion, courtesy of our Campground!

On Sunday morning, we will have a delicious breakfast, again courtesy of the famous Bistro 118, hold a brief worship service, and then clean up and head home!

Now, here’s what I need you to do:

  1. Go to: and sign up for this trip.
  2. Attend our informal Pack Meeting next Tuesday, 4/21, and pay the $35.00 per person trip fee.
  3. Arrive at the Hiddenite Family Campground on Friday, May 1, in the afternoon.
  4. Have an awesome weekend with Pack 118!!

I appreciate those of you who have already signed up on the link above, and those of you who have paid.  You don’t need to do this again.  I really need to have everyone else who wants to go sign up by next Monday, April 20.  This is needed to give the Foothills Equestrian Center, the Hiddenite Family Campground and the Hiddenite Gems Emerald Hollow Mine our group count so they can make adequate preparations for our visit.

Driving directions prepared by Robert Burke for all driving portions of this trip have been uploaded to the Documents page under the “2015 Spring Camping Trip – Hiddenite, NC” folder.  If you have any questions about this revised trip, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email.

By the way, Robert Burke recommends that all cub scouts have a pair of Jungle Boots, shown in the second attachment.  Jonni Hovan has found both Jungle and Desert Boots in kids’ sizes at Ollies for $15.00.  I have found that a good pair of closed toe shoes is all that you will need to ride the horses.  If you happen to have English riding boots or Western riding boots (p***-kickers), you are welcome to bring those to ride in.  We will probably be creeking at the mine, so bring either a pair of waterproof shoes/boots, or expect to get that pair wet and bring a second pair to wear after the mine activities.

Please let me know if you have any questions.  I look forward to seeing you all on Tuesday, April 21 at our Informal Pack Meeting!!

Martin Zoutewelle
Cubmaster, Pack 118



Categories: Past Newsletters

April 15, 2015

Good Morning, Again, Pack 118!!

This is the second of two emails that I’m sending out this morning.  This one is about Cub Scout Day Camp!

On June 15 – 19, Etowah District (our district within Mecklenburg County Council) will host our Cub Scout Day Camp at Belk Scout Camp.  The theme this year is NASCAR, and it will be a ton of fun!  As a pack, we meet each morning at St. Stephen UMC to carpool over to Belk Scout Camp in Midland NC.  This is just past Mint Hill, and is on the border between Mecklenburg County and Cabarrus County.  The camp runs from 9am until 4pm, when we carpool back to the church.

Tessie Dodrill is our Day Camp Coordinator (and she is the expert at this!).  Due to everything that has been going on with our calendar recently, we have decided to extend our registration deadline until next Tuesday.  By that meeting, you should have your camp forms filled out and turned in to Tessie, along with your payment for the Day Camp and any extras you would like.

Here is a link to the Day Camp website that has the forms you will need:

Cub Scout Day Camp is a huge amount of fun for the boys!  My son, Cole, has attended the past two years, and he is looking forward to going again this year!  This camp is all about the boys!  There will be stations for them to swim, boat, shoot bb guns, shoot bows and arrows, learn about nature, and do crafts.  The older boys will also get to climb the rock wall and ride bmx bikes.  This is an opportunity that you won’t want your son to miss!  Day Camp is one of the awesome things about being a Cub Scout, and it is a great way to ease back in to the summer schedule after school is over for the year.  (What could be better than to absolutely wear them out every day for a week?)

One more thing to know is that Etowah District has Camperships available.  Last year, many of them went unused.  This year the Etowah goal is to make sure that every Cub Scout who wants to go to Day Camp, gets to go to Day Camp.  If you need assistance, please find the Campership application on the link above and fill it out.  Tessie will process that application with the rest of our Pack’s applications.

Remember, next Tuesday is the absolute deadline to sign up for Cub Scout Day Camp!

Always Yours In Scouting,

Martin Zoutewelle
Cubmaster, Pack 118

Categories: Past Newsletters

April 15, 2015

Good Morning Pack 118!!

This is the first of two emails I’ll send out this morning.  On Friday May 1, we will meet at the Orchard Lake Campground to begin our Spring Camping Trip!  We will camp here for two nights, visit the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE), and have some fabulous meals together.  For those of you who have camped with us, you know what a treat you are in for!  For those of you who haven’t camped, you don’t know what you’re missing!

What I have found in my years as a Boy Scout and as a leader in Pack 118 is that a bond is grown between boys who camp together.  It doesn’t matter whether they are tent-mates on a hike of the Appalachian Trail, or family camping in Cub Scouts.  Camping is where friendships are honed.  If you haven’t camped before, then you are with the right group of people!  We have no less than six Eagle Scouts involved with our pack!  In addition, we have families who have camped too many times to count, so we have the experience to help families new to camping.

The campground is a beautiful place.  It has been visited by our Assistance CubMaster, Robert Burke, in preparation for this trip, and we have a very nice section of reserved just for us.  The meal process is seamless!  We will have a den assigned to helping prepare and cleaning up for each meal, and those of you who want to learn to cook outdoors will have Tom LaFauci, the expert of experts, leading the kitchen crew!

This will be an awesome camping trip, and I am really looking forward to it!

Here is a link to a Sign-Up Genius site in which you can make your reservations.  Please take a moment to do this today if possible, so we can get a good idea of the number of people going.  The link will stay active through next Tuesday, so if you need a few days to think about it, that is no problem.

In addition to signing up through this link, you will need to bring a check for $35.00 per person to the meeting next Tuesday.  This will pay for the campsite, the activities at FENCE*, where we will work on our Equestrian Belt Loop, your meals all day Saturday (including smores!) and breakfast on Sunday.  (*Adults will have an opportunity to ride in a ring at FENCE, when their group of boys is riding.  The boys will be given a lesson.  The adults can choose to take the lesson or ride on their own within the ring.  The cost for each adult to ride will be an additional $10.00.  If you would like to do this, please let me know.)

So, you have four steps to take:

  1. Click the link to the Sign-Up Genius above and make your reservations for this Incredible camping trip.
  2. Pay $35.00 per person at the next Cub Scout Meeting.
  3. Contact me via email with the number of adults in your party who would like to ride.
  4. Get ready to have a great weekend with your family and your Cub Scout family!!

If you have already paid, we have your payment, but you still need to go to the Sign-Up Genius link.  If you’ve noted your interest for this trip on paper, we have that, but you still need to go to the Sign-Up Genius link.  Remember, the sooner you do this, the better prepared we can be for this trip!  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email.

Yours In Scouting!

Martin Zoutewelle
Cubmaster, Pack 118





Categories: Past Newsletters

April 14, 2015

Good Morning Pack 118!!

Here is a quick (and late) reminder that we will have a Den Meeting tonight at 6:30 pm!  Please look for any correspondence from your Den Leaders.  I know that the Tiger Den will be meeting at the CMPD Providence Division Office on Wendover, and the Wolf Den will be meeting at Elizabeth Trosch’s house in Medearis.  If you need either of those emails, please let me know and I will forward them to you.  I look forward to seeing our older scouts in the Scout Room at St. Stephen UMC tonight at 6:30 pm.  We will start promptly, as both dens have a full meeting planned, so please be on time!

On May 1-3, we will be going on our Spring Camping Trip!  We will camp at the Orchard Lake Campground near Saluda, NC and doing some activities at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center near Tryon on Saturday morning.

  • We will arrive on Friday afternoon/evening at the Orchard Lake Campground and set up our campsite.
  • Saturday morning, Bistro 118 will serve an amazing breakfast!  After clean-up, we will drive over to FENCE for a morning full of activities.
  • Saturday afternoon will be on your own to hang out at the campground (with several activities), or visit the towns in the area.
  • Dinner on Saturday will be served by Bistro 118.  After clean up, we will have campfire activities and SMORES!
  • Sunday morning, we will have another delicious Bistro 118 breakfast.  Following a worship service and clean up, we will head home.

The cost for the trip will be $35.00 per person.  On Saturday, everyone should be in our Pack 118 t-shirts (Class B’s).  The boys should wear their den hats.  On Sunday for the worship service, the boys should be in their Class A cub scout uniform.  Parents and siblings can wear what they want to the service.

Here are links to the campground:


I will send out a Sign-Up Genius link shortly that you can use to reserve your spot on the trip.  I will be taking payments for the trip tonight at St. Stephen and next week at St. Stephen.  You can pay with cash, credit card, or check.  Please understand that you should respond to the Sign-Up Genius link and pay in person to go on this trip.  When I send out the link, I will include more details about the campground and campsites available.

If you have any questions about the trip, I will be happy to answer them tonight, or you can send me an email and I will respond.

I look forward to seeing you all very soon!!

Yours In Scouting,

Martin Zoutewelle
Cubmaster, Pack 118

Categories: Past Newsletters

April 4, 2015

Just a quick (but late) note that Pack 118 will not meet tonight, due to CMS Spring Break!  We will meet next Tuesday (April 14) at 6:30 pm in the Scout Room at St. Stephen UMC (unless your den leader instructs otherwise).

If you have not yet completed all three of the recharter forms:  BSA Health Form (Parts A & B); Pack 118 Release form (for photos); & the Family Information form, please do that before next week.  You are welcome to scan and email the Release and Family Information forms to me at this email address.

Please consider whether you would like to sign up for Cub Scout Day Camp (see Tessie Dodrill’s emails), or the Webelos Adventure Camp (our preferred dates will be July 9-12, but that is subject to change by the council) for current Bear and Webelos Scouts.  If you have any questions about either of these two summer camps, please email me.

I look forward to seeing you all next week!


Martin Zoutewelle
Cubmaster, Pack 118

Categories: Past Newsletters

March 30, 2015

Good (Late) Evening, Pack 118!!

I apologize for the very late email, but the time got away from me.  We will have a meeting tomorrow, March 31, at 6:30 pm.  This will be a regular Den Meeting, with the exception of the Bear Den.

The Bear Den will meet at Boyce Road Park (off of Boyce Road, a block away from Sardis Road) at 6:30 pm.  The rest of us will meet in the Scout Room at 6:30 pm.  I am still looking for paperwork from some of you that is part of our recharter process.  Please do your best to have that filled out and turned in tomorrow night.  Bears, please stop by St. Stephen after your meeting to drop off any forms you haven’t turned in.

Please note:  You only need to turn in a BSA Health Form to me via the recharter package.  I will provide these to Tessie Dodrill for Cub Scout Day Camp, and our Webelos Adventure Camp coordinator for that camp.

I would also like to get a headcount for the Spring Camping Trip on May 1 – 3, to Orchard Lake Campground in Saluda, NC.  This is a beautiful campground that is right at 2 hours away, via US 74.  Our Saturday activity will be at the Foothills Equestrian Nature Center (FENCE) near Tryon, NC.  We are working out the details, but your Cub Scout should come away with his Horsemanship Belt Loop and will have a lot of fun!  The world famous Bistro 118 will provide Saturday Breakfast and Dinner, and Sunday Breakfast.  The cost for the trip will be between $25.00 and $35.00 per person.

Please let me know tomorrow night if you are interested.  If you won’t be at the meeting, please reply to this email and let me know how many adults and how many kids (including Cub Scouts and siblings) will be camping with us.

I look forward to seeing all of you tomorrow night!

Yours In Scouting,

Martin Zoutewelle
Cubmaster, Pack 118

Categories: Past Newsletters

March 29, 2015

Good Afternoon Bear & Webelos Parents!

I have been waiting for several weeks to get information about the Webelos Adventure Camp this summer.  I am still waiting.  Jonni Hovan and I attended the initial Camp Meeting, so Pack 118 should be able to register early.  Unfortunately, that deadline is almost here, and we still have heard nothing from the council.  I understand that the logistics of their initial scheduling plan were just too great to handle.  A big part of this problem is totally revamping the camp system to meet the new Adventure requirements coming on line in September.  Up to last year, we could sign up for either the Webelos track or the Arrow of Light (Webelos II) track.  The camp pretty much told us what we were going to do.  This year they are trying to let each unit decide what Adventures to take.

I do know that the dates for the camp run from July 9 – July 22.  They are in “three” day sections.  The first section is 7/9 – 7/12 (Thursday through Sunday), the second is 7/12 – 7/15 (Sunday through Wednesday), the third is 7/16 – 7/19 (Thursday through Sunday) and the last section is 7/19 – 7/22 (Sunday through Wednesday).

My opinion is that we should attend either the first or the third section.  That gives us more weekend days and less weekdays, which would make it easier for parents to be involved.  This is an overnight camp, so the boys would arrive on the start day and leave on the end day.  There is a required ratio for adults to boys.  If we have a few parents who could stay the entire camp, that would be ideal, but realistically, we could trade off, even going so far as to have parents spend a night, and be replaced by other parents to spend the day; as long as we maintain the ratio, the camp is happy.

The same health form that is required for Cub Scout Day camp is required for Webelos Adventure Camp. So turn that form in soon if you have not already turned it in with recharter.

I hope this email helps somewhat.  I am as frustrated as you are in the lack of information coming from the council.  What I do know, however, is that the camp director, John Ross, is an excellent scout leader, and he will provide a first rate camp experience for all involved.  I am sure that part of the problem is that he is trying to get everything put together correctly before he releases sign up information, instead of putting out partial information, or putting out something that will end up being incorrect.

Please put these dates on your calendar and be patient.  I assure you that this camp will be worth waiting for!


Martin Zoutewelle
Cubmaster, Pack 118
(and Bear Parent!)

Categories: Past Newsletters

March 25, 2015

Good Evening Pack 118!!

I hope you have had a good week since we last met at our Formal Pack Meeting!  I know those of us who went on the SuperTrip to Jamestown, VA had a busy, but fun weekend!

At our Committee Meeting last night we decided that since one of our Tuesday meetings was snowed out, and the first Tuesday in April is during the CMS Spring Break, we will meet on Tuesday, March 31.  This will give our dens an extra meeting to work on things.

Be on the lookout for an email with information about our Spring Camping trip and visit to the Foothills Equestrian and Nature Center on May 1-3.  We will need to get an idea of how many families would like to go on this trip, and begin taking payments for this trip on March 31.  We will be staying at a beautiful campground near Saluda, NC, which is about 2 hours west of Charlotte.  FENCE is near Tryon, NC, so we will be in that general area for the weekend.  FENCE is a large riding facility, and has a lot of experience with scout groups, so I am confident that we will have a great time there.

I look forward to seeing you all next week on Tuesday, March 31 at 6:30 pm!

Yours In Scouting,

Martin Zoutewelle
Cubmaster, Pack 118

Categories: Past Newsletters

March 16, 2015

Good Afternoon, Pack 118!!

Tomorrow night, Tuesday March 17, is our March Formal Pack Meeting, hosted by the Wolf Den!

We will begin with pizza at 6:00 pm.  The cost will be $3.00 per person for two slices of pizza, a drink and a dessert.  After everyone has been served, you can come back for a second slice for $1.00.

We will begin the Formal Pack Meeting at 6:30 pm.  After entertainment provided by our Wolf Den, we will go through the meat of our meeting, including awards, announcements and all kinds of fun stuff!

If you have not completed the recharter process, PLEASE complete the paperwork and turn it in, along with any outstanding fees tomorrow night!  We will not have another pack meeting before I am required to complete the Recharter process with the Council.  If you have special circumstances, and can’t turn in the recharter package tomorrow night, please contact me.

There are a few boys who did not pick up their popcorn prizes last week, so please pick those up tomorrow night as well.

After our closing ceremony tomorrow night, I will host a meeting about the upcoming SuperTrip.  If you are going on the supertrip, please plan to stay for that.  I promise that I will keep the Pack meeting as short as I can and the supertrip meeting as short as I can to cover any questions after our speakers have spoken.

I look forward to seeing each of you tomorrow night, March 17 at 6:00 pm for our pizza dinner and 6:30 pm for our Formal Pack Meeting!!

Yours In Scouting,

Martin Zoutewelle
Cubmaster, Pack 118


Categories: Past Newsletters

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