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Mark Your Calendars for the Blue & Gold Banquet, 2017

After the Pinewood Derby, our Pack’s next big event will be the Blue & Gold Banquet, which will be held in the Junior High School Gym on February 27th. All of your family members are welcome to attend, so put it on your calendar now. We’ll update you about the cost and RSVP process closer to the date.

In the meantime, you might be asking yourself “What is the ‘Blue and Gold Banquet’ all about?” Here’s a little explanation from the Boy Scouts of America:

Most Cub Scouts celebrate Scouting Anniversary Week in February with a “birthday party” called the Blue and Gold Banquet. In nearly all packs, the Blue and Gold banquet is the highlight of the year. It brings families together for an evening of fun and cheer. It’s often the Pack meeting for February.

The purpose of the Blue and Gold banquet is to celebrate the Pack’s anniversary, thank Pack leaders and other adults who have helped the pack, and inspire the leaders, Scouts, and parents. Packs often like to invite former members and other Scouting or community leaders to take part in their Blue and Gold banquet.

The banquet can be like a regular Pack meeting, with songs, skits, stunts, and awards. Or it can be something different and a little more special. Your Pack may decide to bring in an entertainer such as a magician or a storyteller. Or you could have a video or slide show of what the Pack did over the past year.

We’re looking forward to seeing you all at this year’s event!


It’s Time to Start Preparing for the Pack 196 Pinewood Derby 2017

It’s Pinewood Derby time again! Scouts should be receiving their kits and numbers from their Den Leaders at an upcoming meeting if they haven’t yet done so.

For the uninitiated, here’s how the Cub Scouts describe the event: “The pinewood derby is one of the most popular and successful family activities in Cub Scouting. Pinewood derby cars are small wooden models that Cub Scouts make with help from their families. Then they race the cars in competition. The cars are powered by gravity and run down a track. Most packs have a pinewood derby every year. It can be run indoors or outdoors. Every boy can design and build his own ‘grand prix’ car to enter in the race.”

Download our Pack’s official rules for 2017 in PDF format. There’s a lot to know in terms of acceptable modifications and weights, so please keep these rules close at hand when preparing your entry.

The 2017 Event Timeline

  • Check In: Friday, February 24, 2017, 6 pm (Optional). Check-in will involve ensuring your car adheres to all of the requirements outlined in the official rules. At that time, you’ll hand over your project for safe keeping until the event begins.
  • Race Day: Saturday, February 25, 2017 – 8:30 am check in for those who didn’t come to the optional check-in on Friday. Flag Ceremony at 9:00 am
  • Location: Cross Tracks Church (Formerly Liberty Hill UMC), Liberty Hill, Texas
  • Philosophy: The Pinewood Derby is set up to be a technical learning/teaching experience. Cub Scouts are to build the cars with the aid of an adult. Each child should do as much of the work themselves as safely as possible.
  • Cost: No entry fee

Support for Parents and Scouts

One of the main purposes of the Pinewood Derby is to teach the principles of sportsmanship. In this spirit, all Scouts, parents, and race officials will support every Scout in their attempt to build the best car they can. If you have questions or need technical assistance, please contact one of the race officials, your son’s Den Leader, or other parents in the Pack. You will find no shortage of people willing to provide tips, experience, and tools.

We hope to have one or two days when Scouts and Akela have access to a workshop with tools they may not have at home. Details of these events to be announced as they’re firmed up. Regardless, though, you will find people willing to share.

To help you in your project, here’s a collection of links to helpful resources for Pinewood Derby car builders…

A Former NASA Engineer Explains The Science:

Super Fast Pinewood Derby Track

The 2009 Pinewood Derby National Championships

The Official Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby Pinterest Board


Scout Night with the Austin Spurs 12/3

unnamedThe Austin Spurs are excited to continue the great tradition of Scout Night!

As previous years, the team will host a pregame basketball clinic and have some on-court activities post-game. All Scouts who participate in this night will receive an Austin Spurs Patch. The basketball clinic will be held at the PAC (Premier Athletic Complex) from 4-5 pm, and will be open to the first 100 Scouts who register.

This year’s Scout Night will also include a STEM Fair that will consist of several fun and interactive STEM activities! The STEM Fair will be going on at the arena following the basketball clinic, and will continue through half-time.

Each ticket will include a food voucher, good for a hot dog and soda at any concessions stand within the arena. To purchase tickets, visit https://groupmatics.events/#/event/austinspursscoutnight (deadline has been extended to November 30).



RSVP For Our Fall Campout!


Pack 196 Scout Parents: 

It’s nearly time for our Fall Campout, so please RSVP as soon as possible and get more details and directions on our private TroopTrack site. (Contact the Pack 196 Webmaster if you are having trouble logging in.) The per-family fee for the event is $10.00. We are really looking forward to a fun weekend in the pine forest, and we hope lots of Pack members come along!

If you’re not a seasoned camper (and even if you are), you may want to check out some camping packing lists to get ideas about what you need to take. Your Den Leader should provide you with more info about what to bring and what to expect. See you there!


Join Cub Scouts or Renew Your Membership Online Now!

14799925774_e7fb8242d3_o-1Eager to join Cub Scouts for the first time, or would you like to complete your annual membership renewal now, rather than waiting for the official Pack 196 recruiting night on Monday, September 12? Well, you’re in luck!

This year, we’ve added website functionality that will let you pay your annual dues securely online with your debit or credit card, and, if you’re new to Scouting, you can complete the required membership forms — for Youth or Adult memberships — all from the comfort of your computer. If you’ve been with the Pack in past years, you can check out our password-protected portal and verify that we’ve got all your information up to date. It’s super easy!

We’re hoping this capability makes it a lot more convenient for folks to pay their annual dues and also saves our volunteer Treasurer from getting a cramp from writing out receipts manually on Monday night. Plus, if you get the paperwork out of the way you can enjoy visiting with Den Leaders and fellow Scout parents while your kids have fun with all of the activities we have planned for Recruiting night.

We’ll have games, a bounce house and lots of other fun diversions for the boys so they can get a taste of what’s to come this Scouting year. To join, go to our sign up page where you can get all the info: http://pack196.org/join-cub-scouts


Gearing Back Up For The Coming Year

Howdy Pack 196,

Welcome back to Cub Scouting! There is a bit to cover in this message after a great summer, please bear with me.

We will be starting pack and den meetings again very soon. We look forward to having all your boys back and to another great year of Scouting. This Saturday, August 20, is the Cross Tracks Church’s (formerly known as Liberty Hill United Methodist Church, our charter organization) official name change celebration, we have a lot of fun planned and a few more details below.

Welcome Back

Monday, August 29 will be our first big Parent Leadership committee Meeting of the year, please drop by to help put the final touches on this year’s program.

The first Cub Scout meeting this year will be held Monday, September 12 (there will be no meeting September 5 due to the Labor Day Holiday). That night, we’ll welcome new members of the Pack and re-sign those who’ve been with us.  Please be prepared for the annual paperwork and dues collection. More info on that to come.

We have several positions open for new volunteers: Pack Secretary, Asst. Cubmaster, Blue and Gold Chair (create the party), Tiger Den Leader, and Asst. Awards Chair. These positions are great ways to help ensure that your boy has the Scout experience that YOU want them to have.

Cross Tracks Celebration

This Saturday, August 20, Cross Tracks Church will have their renaming celebration. They will hold a fair from 3-6 pm and all Cubs are encouraged to attend. Please have the boys in Class B uniforms, we’ll be having too much messy fun to want to wear Class As.

The Church has a rock wall, water slide, slip and slide, a fire truck pull (sorry, Scouts can’t pull the truck, but they can watch the fun) and a pile of other fun activities.

The Pack is sponsoring a bingo game and will also set up the Pinewood Derby track for some informal racing fun. Bring your cars if you’d like to challenge your friends to another race. Directly following the fun will be a church service at 7pm. All Cubs are also invited to the 11 am service Sunday morning to be followed by a potluck supper.

Summertime Activity Pin

All scouts who participated in at least one of the following activities each month are eligible for the summertime activity award. Please let your Den Leader know if you attended three eligible activities (one per month for award credit):


Memorial Day Flag Ceremony at LH Cemetery

Cedar Park Sci-Tech Museum

Star Gazing at Library


Hands on History at Mabry Museum

Swim Party at Milburn Pool


RR Express Game

August 20 Cross Tracks Festival

Thanks for getting this far. All Den Leaders have carried on from last year, so they should be familiar to those of you who were with us last year. Please let them know about your summertime activities and come out and join in the fun at Cross Tracks this weekend.

Yours in Scouting,

Walter Hoysa, Pack 196 Cubmaster


From Facebook: Hands on History Night at Camp Mabry

From Our Facebook Page:


A fun Night at Hands on History at Camp Mabry.

See the original post here.
Posted by: Cathy Shore Hoysa


Buy Tickets Now for Cub Scouts’ Round Rock Express Outing on August 2!

rr_express_logo_detailHead out to the Ball Game with your fellow Cub Scouts and members of our charter organization — the Liberty Hill United Methodist Church — as our local minor league baseball team plays the Memphis Redbirds on August 2 at 7:05 p.m.!

The church choir will be singing the national anthem before the game and we’ll all be able to sit together in the stands on the third base side (in the shade) and enjoy one another’s company. Anyone who wants to sing the national anthem with the choir can contact our charter organization representative.

Presale tickets for our reserved area are $7 each, and orders must be in by July 27. Special LHUMC Round Rock Express t-shirts are also available for $12. More info on how to pay and who to contact is available to Scout Parents on our password protected site or you may pay here on this page. If you don’t have a login to the password-protected site yet, please contact us so we can get you set up.


Moving Pack Communications Forward With TroopTrack

Pack 196 Scout Parents:

Have you ever wanted to catch up on your Scout’s progress toward achievements, or remind yourself about next steps on a certain award? Ever wished you had more information or contact info regarding Pack or Den events while on the go? Well, our move to using TroopTrack software/website — at https://lhpack196.trooptrack.com — is aimed at addressing all those needs and more! The software even has Google Translate integration, so you can use it in Welsh, Finnish or Esperanto if you prefer.

Current Scout Parents should have received an emailed invitation to set up their TroopTrack account earlier this week. If you haven’t, please check your spam folder, search your email box for messages from trooptrack.com, or, if none of that works, please send a message with your info via this form and we’ll figure it out. Once you log on, we urge you to ensure your contact info is correct, including your mobile phone and carrier info.

One of the features we’ll be using first is a Pack Calendar with lots of details about each occasion — this is only accessible by logged-in Parents and Leaders, so it’s safe and secure from prying eyes. You can add events one-by-one to whatever calendar software you use, if you use it, or subscribe to the entire calendar.

For some events, we’ll be collecting RSVPs — please respond as quickly as possible to these RSVP requests, as we’re only requesting them when they’re really needed. Additionally, when we’ll need payment for events (like campouts and the Blue & Gold banquet) we will collect fees via online payments, so you can take care of this whenever you’d like with your credit or debit card.

TroopTrack is web-based and mobile-friendly, so you should be able to interact with all your information on your PC, Mac, tablet or mobile phone, making it especially handy in these busy times. If you forget the URL, you can click on “Pack 196 Private Site” on the menu for the public site: Pack196.org.

It’s taking some time to get all of the current data over from our previous system, so please be patient as we make the transition, and if you have any questions along the way, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your Den Leader or other Pack Leadership!

Here’s a video TroopTrack created when switching to the new Cub Scout program in 2015, and it’ll give you a nice overview of some of the features:


Texas Free Fishing Day on Saturday

Tomorrow is Free Fishing Day in Texas, the one day of the year when anglers can fish on any public body of water without a license. (Kids under 17 aren’t required to have a license at all, and adults can always fish license-free in Texas State Parks.) The event is part of a national celebration — National Fishing & Boating Week, which goes on until June 12.

Free fishing days are a perfect opportunity for beginners to try out fishing for the first time. If you already have a fishing license, consider taking a friend or family member who has never been fishing out on the water for the day!

Find more info including nearby places to fish on: