Cadet Rocket Launch

5….4….3….2….1…. Blast Off !!!!!!

Cadets will be having their rocket launch on Saturday, June 1st.  But to make it a little more fun we will be camping out at our launch site. We’ll be camping at the Lucerne Dry Lake Bed near Lucerne Valley.  Come out Friday night May 31st. Plan on a drive time of about 1½ hours. If you are unable to spend the night, please drive out Saturday morning. We will begin launching between 8-9 a.m. We want to encourage all our Cadets to attend and to challenge dad, brother, grandfather, uncle to bring your rocket also and join us for both the camping and the launch. Remember to bring your ROCKET! 


From almost anywhere south of the San Bernardino Mountains, take I-10 to I-15 or I-215 north. I-15 and I-215 merge to become just I-15; I-15 then goes over the 4000+ foot Cajon Pass, and into the Mojave Desert. Just before Victorville, take the Bear Valley Road exit and head east. This will go through south Victorville and Hesperia and Apple Valley and eventually merge with CA route 18. Continue on CA-18 until you reach Lucerne Valley and the junction with CA-247. Go north on CA-.247 junction to the turnoff is about 3.8 miles, near mile marker 49. On your left will appear a dirt road if it is dark look for the lights in the middle of the lake bed.

All Counselors:

Please read below (or click here to read on the council website, or click here to download PDF) the minutes from the April 25th council meeting. The minutes contain important discussion relevant to Pinewood Derby, Field Day, and West Coast Camporee. Also please be aware that a current Treasurer’s Report has been posted. Please make sure that your club is paid up for supplies.

The fourth stated meeting of the Southern California Cadet Council in Cadet Year 2012-2013 was called to order at 7:07p.m. by Dave Dalton, Council President and Head Counselor ofWestminsterOPC (Club No. 1566).

Prayer and Devotion

Bernie Gabrielse, Council DCE and Head Counselor of First URC of Chino (Club No. 1530), provided the devotion. Readingfrom Philippians 1:1-6, Bernie reminded the council members of the importance of being prepared. He tied this devotion to next year’s Cadet them – A Work in Progress and to his workshop.

Counselor Training

Two workshops were offered at this council meeting. Craig Doty, DCE and Council Secretary, led a workshop to introduce men who are looking to step into a Head Counselor role. Bernie led a workshop entitled, “The Individual Counselor’s Plan Toward an Improved ‘13-‘14 Year”, a “how-to” for improving ourselves to be more effective counselors in our clubs.

After a coffee break and refreshments, the Business Meeting was called to order by Dave Dalton at 8:06p.m.


Roll Call was taken with the following clubs reporting counselors attending:







Artesia 1 (inactive)


Artesia Trinity CRC



Bayview OPC









The Bridge



Bellflower Rosewood



Crosspoint CRC



Chino 1



AnaheimChrist Reformed (URC)




Long Beach CRC





The River (Redlands)


Hope Riverside


San Diego CRC (inactive)


San Diego New Life PCA



Sun Valley



San Marcos CRC


Westminster OPC


Church name in bold indicates H/C attending. Church information in italics indicates club inactive for the 2012-2013 Cadet year. Two at-large council members attended: Gary Evans, Council Vice-President and George Bell, Council Quartermaster

Old Business

Pinewood Derby.

Dave Dalton introduced this item for discussion while noting recent emails on the subject. Gary Conrad, Head Counselor, Crosspoint CRC (Club No. 1531), reminded the council of the existing 80/20 rule for ensuring each Cadet does 80% of the work on their cars.

Jim Grasmeyer, Head Counselor of Long Beach CRC (Club No. 1539), reprised the incident during registration. He noted, with incredulity, the extreme care, precision, and exacting detail which was evident as a father registered his second-grade son’s car. Jim expressed amazement at the workmanship of this Group A car and expressed his doubts that an eight-year-old boy built this car himself.

Reuben Settergren, Head Counselor of New Life PCA (Club No. 1561), stated that he had interviewed the boy’s father about this matter. Reuben attested the father’s knowledge of the rules and assured council members that the father was careful to comply with the letter of the law regarding the workmanship of the derby car and how much/what type of work was to be done by the Cadet. Reuben also assured the council that the car was made from the S&W kit purchased through the council quartermaster. The fact that this dad considers pinewood derby a “passion” and has the skills and tools to assist his sons in achieving quality workmanship should not motivate the council to punish the second-grader, whose car won every heat and the overall fastest for Group A.

Furthermore, this father did not covet his skill set or tools, but freely advised other Cadets in the club, offering helpful tips and access to the tools to help the boys build the best car possible.

Several council and board members offered opinions ranging from disqualification because the dad “obviously” did most of the work, to why should the council punish the Cadet if he is willing to listen to the advice of his father and put in the extra time necessary to produce a quality car. It was suggested that a meeting with the Head Counselor and dad be held where the Cadet’s dad could be encouraged to “throttle back” a bit, allowing the boys to develop the skills necessary on their own.

Several suggested changes to the rules were offered. These were:

  • Allow the registrar to interview any Cadet whose car is questionable to determine if the Cadet did the majority of the work.
  • Allow the registrar to interview the Head Counselor in any case where the Cadet’s car workmanship is questioned.
  • Allow the registrar to disqualify any car whose workmanship is questioned.
  • Require Head Counselor certification of all cars entered into the derby by Cadets from his club.
  • Require the Cadet to present his car at the registration table on the day of the derby.

Dave Dalton summarized this issue as one of “substance over style”. It is obvious the car was built with a great deal of exacting detail, so much so that it was questionable if the Cadet did “80% of the work”. But can the council sit in judgment if both the dad and the club head counselor attest to the opposite?

The Executive Board will further discuss this issue with any suggestions on rule changes and bring this issue back to the council at its next regularly scheduled meeting.

Another Pinewood Derby topic for the council was how to structure the derby to allow more clubs to be involved instead of relying on the host club to develop all the plans for running the derby.

Several ideas were offered by council members. Certainly, one idea, which was strongly endorsed, was for select churches to host the derby. These host churches would be based on facility layout, available resources, etc. Once these host churches were identified, maps could then be developed to ensure continuity as the derby rotates between the host locations.

The decision was for the Executive Board to develop a list of general tasks for running a derby and then select/encourage certain clubs or individuals to step up and fill these positions on a semi-permanent basis, e.g., similar to Field Day. The general tasks were organized along these lines.

  • Projection system
  • Grand Prix software operation/database management
  • Derbyoperation
  • Snacks
  • Pre-registration
  • On-site Registration
  • Crowd control

Field Day

The council discussed several issues relative to the annual field day. These issues and the relevant discussions are provided

Archery/Marksmanship Badge Issues: Sun Valleyclub leads this event with assistance from Gareth Evans, Council Vice President and at-large Executive Board member. Gareth reported that four boys were dismissed from the event for safety violations or their inability to follow directions. He noted it was obvious these boys were not well-versed in the safety rules stipulated in the badge requirements. He also noted uneasiness with the current policy of allowing boys to come to the event with a counselor in-tow to “certify” the Cadet has earned the badge. Several ideas to strengthen the stated council policy were discussed. After the discussions, the council agreed to continue the policy of requiring the Head Counselor to certify all boys attending Field Day have earned the Archery and Marksmanship badges. It was recommended that if any boy was found not to be qualified, his number should be noted and the registration form checked to see if the Head Counselor had signed off on this Cadet’s qualifications. These rules will be highlighted on the council webpage and in the next edition of the newsletter. Dave Lewis, Council Treasurer and Head Counselor of The Bridge (Club No. 1520) will prepare the newsletter article.

School Fees: It was noted that neither Valley Christian nor Calvin Christian currently charge the council for use of the facilities. Valley Christian does ask that janitorial services be paid for, a sum gladly paid by the council. Gary Conrad will work with Bernie Gabrielse and develop an approach to discuss this issue with the Ontario Christian High School Board.

PA Usage/Acquisition: Several ideas were offered on ways to improve the public address system used at Field Day. Ultimately, the council asked Gareth to investigate options and develop a plan to improve the public address system at Field Day and Pinewood Derby and present this to the next regularly scheduled council meeting.

Old Equipment Issues/Needs: The council did not come to a decision regarding the pup tent event at Field Day. Instead, the council looked to the Executive Board to come up with a recommendation.

Clubs Not Supporting Field Day: This has been an issue for several years and one that is well documented in past council meeting minutes. Several ideas were offered on ways to “encourage” clubs to attend Field Day, but no decision was reached by the council.

Knot Change Proposal: Deferred to the next council meeting

2013 Counselor Convention Support.

This item had previously been voted on and approved at the November 2012 council meeting. The convention booklet advertisement will be a one-half page advertisement for $125.00. Gareth Evans and Matt Gabrielse, Council Congressman, were tasked to finalize the promotion material and forward to Dave Lewis. Dave will cut the donation check and sent the package to the 2013 Convention Committee.

West Coast Camporee.

Bill Mulder, Head Counselor of Artesia Trinity CRC (Club No. 1512), encouraged all clubs to attend. He noted the registration remains only $75.00 (early registration until May 29th) when it will increase to $90.00. If clubs have boys that are interested in attending, the counselors should let him know and he will find a way for the boys to attend (even if their club counselors cannot). Information on the camporee and the registration form are in the newsletter and on the council website.

Executive Board Recommendations.

Dave Dalton noted that two board members will be stepping down: Jim Grasmeyer has represented the council as congressman for ten years and feels that “younger blood” would be a better influence at Congress; Dave Dalton also indicated that beginning in the fall, Gareth Evans will be stepping up to the office of Council President.

The motion was made and seconded from the floor to install Gary Conrad as the second congressman representing the Southern California Council. A vote was called for and the vote was unanimous to approveGaryas congressman. Garythanked Jim for his many years of service, noting that “I have large shoes to fill”.

Dave Dalton mentioned that other nominees for council president would be welcomed and a vote taken at the next council meeting.


Congressman Report: Jim reminded council members that about half the council member churches have not made their annual love offerings to Corps. These offerings need to resolve quickly to avoid an assessment fee byGrand Rapids.

DCE Report: Bernie Gabrielse reminded council members that Craig and he stand ready to assist any club in a workshop. Craig mentioned the 2014 West Coast Counselors’ Conference will be hosted bySouthern California council at a location to be determined.

Quartermaster Report: George Bell, Council Quartermaster and at-large Executive Board member, noted that he sold almost 630 pinewood derby cars this year. He has excess inventory of weights, so if a club orders next year, weights probably will not be required. He also suggested that a certificate of achievement be developed for the archery and marksmanship events at Field Day. This would be similar to CPR cards and would identify each boy as earning these two badges.

Treasurer Report: Dave Lewis informed council members that the snack bar at the Pinewood Derby netted almost $600, due in large part to the donations of food items. The council noted and approved of the uniformity of charging $1.00 for everything. The council asked that a spreadsheet of standard items/suggestions be provided by Gary Conrad and Jim Grasmeyer to help in future planning of Pinewood Derby days and Field Days. Gary offered several hundred red and blue lanyards from this past Pinewood Derby to help defray the cost of next year’s Pinewood Derby. Dave stated that an updated treasurer’s report will be available on the website.

Secretary Report: Craig reminded the council members of the council’s website and the function of “subscribing” to receive any updates. The calendar is also available on the website and clubs have their own page, which can be updated to provide information and pictures. Clubs were encouraged to use this website as a means of providing information (communicating!) to their local cadets, parents, and churches, as well as an outreach method to the local community. Gary mentioned the Cadet Council Rocket Shoot is set for May 31st and June 1st at theLucerneDryLake. More information and directions are in the council newsletter.

New Business

Next Council Meeting: Dave Dalton announced the next statement meeting of the Southern California Cadet Council will be determined by the executive board at a later date.

He also thanked the counselors fromChino1 for hosting the meeting and closed it with prayer for the ministry to the boys in our clubs, the decisions and plans made tonight, and traveling mercies at 9:45p.m. Council members closed the meeting by singing the Cadet Hymn.

In service to the King and His Kingdom,

Craig P. Doty