2018 Southwest Region Counselors’ Conference Information Available

Check out the Events/Counselors Conference page for up-to-date information and registration for this March 2nd and 3rd, 2018 conference!

Topics include: Dutch Oven Cooking, Leathercraft, Learning the Leadership Guide Trail badge, Computing for Cadet Ministry and more.

Registrations are due to your DCE by February 20th (but if you miss it, you can still come to the conference).  RSVP anyway so we know how many to expect.  After all, we wouldn’t want you not to have meals available for you.  The counselors of Bethel Sun Valley appreciate it.

Camporee Certification Available

Long Beach CRC has volunteered to host a Council Certification day for any counselor and/or cadet on Saturday, May 20th 2017.  Start time will be announced.  Lunch will be available, similar to Pinewood Derby and Field Day.  The church address is 5559 East Wardlow Road in Long Beach.

Having this certification is a requirement for attending the summer Cadet International Camporee so if you are planning on going to Camp Elk Run this summer, this certification is a MUST.  If you want to read ahead and get a jump on the certification, the Camporee Certification Course is available from your Quartermaster, George Bell

Presently, the following events will be led by:

  • Firebuilding – Bill Mulder, Artesia Trinity
  • Shelter Building – Brad Peterson, Bethany CRC, Bellflower
  • Camp Cooking and Associated Skills – Jerry Sterk, First URC Chino
  • Axemanship – Craig Doty, Bayview OPC

Training and Workshops

The men discussed upcoming opportunities for counselor training at our most recent council meeting.

Normally we hold two training workshops at each council meeting.  Our council Developers of Counselor Education (DCEs) are responsible for this training, but do not necessarily always lead a workshop.

These workshops are designed to support your ministry as Cadet Counselors.  The subject of a workshop can be virtually anything: badges, leadership skills, time management, counselor helps, etc.  Your DCEs would love to hear from you and what topics you want as a workshop.  Or, if you would like to lead a workshop, just let Bernie or Craig know.  The links to our DCE team is on the “Council News” page.  Just click the link and let them know.

The council’s Executive Board will be meeting this summer.  One of our tasks is to finalize a training schedule for next year.  So we would love to hear from you!

Survival Bracelets and Buddy Burners

Live-blogging from the council meeting here, we just had a workshop about how to use a Cobra Knot to weave paracord into a Survival Bracelet, and how to make a Buddy Burner.

Survival Bracelet

Paracord 550 is pretty cheap in bulk, and comes in tons of colors. I ordered my 300′ spools in Yellow and Royal Blue (Cadet colors) from parachute-cord.com. I first learned the method from Backpacker Magazine, if you google “paracord survival bracelet” you can find many other tutorials and videos. Some more helpful tips I learned when we did this craft in club 1561:

  • It is helpful (esp. for younger boys) to work in pairs; one holds the core straight while the other practices his cobra wrap. One boy can do 4-6 turns, then switch places.
  • Also helpful for younger boys, name the various parts of the operation like a little “man”. The loop is the “head,” the core strands opposite the head are the “legs,” and the two strands of cord that are being wrapped are the left and right “arms.”
  • It is helpful of course to pre-cut and burn the ends of all the pieces of rope your club will need, so you can just hand them out and teach the knot, rather than having 20+ boys running around with knives and fire.
  • As can be seen in all of the online tutorials I’ve seen, the ropes form an “S” in one direction, and a backwards “S” the next time. I describe that to the boys as “S and Z”. But if you get used to that and think about it, you will realize that the bottom nodes of the S or Z are irrelevant to the knot, so you can actually do it easier as “C and D”.
  • When the wrap is long enough to go around the cadet’s wrist, tie off the wrap-cords in a two-cord overhand for a stopper-knot (slide the wrap up or down the core to ensure the loop is the right size for the knot if necessary). Tie off the core strands, cut close and burn.
    • Or find your own creative way to fasten the bracelet! (Try bucklerunner.com)
  • If you get one color of paracord, then obviously you get one color bracelet. If you have two colors, you can choose different colors for the core and the wrap, but still you mostly just see the wrap and it ends up basically one color, BUT, you can also create really cool bicolor bracelets.
    • For the wrap, instead of a long cord of a single color, take two half-length cords of opposite colors, burn the ends, and hold the melted, liquid ends together. When they cool in a few seconds they will be fused (if you do it right — it takes practice, and a good number of finger burns!)
    • Start the cobra weave with the join point in the middle, right under the core (head/legs).
    • When you weave this way, it has the very helpful byproduct that one color is always forming the curves (“bights” I guess?), and the other color is always being passed through. This is very helpful for not losing your place on which side the next knot starts on.
    • The downside of this bicolor is that the melt is not a strong joint, so if you actually do need to unravel the bracelet for emergency rope, you really have two half-length cord, not one long one.

Buddy Burners

Very simple, and very cool. A large tuna can packed with rolled cardboard strips, and then filled with melted candlewax. You end up with a metal-cased safety candle, with cardboard wick across the entire surface, instead of just one string in the center. You can boil water or make pretty good light with it. Everything I know about Buddy Burners I learned from YouTube.

For a fundraiser, you could collect tin cans from cadet families, grab unlimited free cardboard from anywhere, and use the church bulletin to solicit old candles from the congregation. Have a good time making Buddy Burners with cadets, and then sell them as “Earthquake/Emergency Safety Candles,” maybe $5 each?

SoCal Council Migrates Website! All Rejoice!

Thanks to the generous assistance of PrecisionWeb and Ken Marcus (counselor, Escondido), the SoCal council of the Calvinist Cadet Corps was able to migrate all of their web content to a super-slick WordPress-based website, which is also very easy to maintain.

In addition to static page content like club and event info, WordPress is fundamentally a blogging platform, so the new site can be used as a distribution channel for news that all counselors need to know. Every counselor (with an email address) can subscribe to receive news items in their email, with just a couple clicks. Just scroll down to the bottom of this or any page on this site, and hey presto, there’s the subscription box! All subscriptions.

For the more tech-savvy Cadet Counselor, council news can also be followed through RSS subscription, the link to the feed can also be found at the bottom of the page. If you don’t know what that means, then you are not sufficiently tech-savvy. See email subscription above, or have one of your Group A cadets set up your smartphone for you.

And even the “static” pages are quite dynamic, once you get to know them. The home page displays the calendar of all-council events (for counselors, such as council meetings and conferences, and for cadets, such as Field Day and Pinewood Derby). The drop-down menu of Clubs shows the same calendar, layered also with that club’s particular events, as well as a Google Map of the club’s meeting location (hosting church). Note also, clicking directly on “Clubs” rather than on an individual club in the drop-down, will get you to a map showing the locations of all the clubs in our council. Each marker has a pop-up ballon with a link that will take you to that club’s page.