Bobcat Ceremony – Pack Hike & Campfire

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Our annual Pack Hike and Campfire / Bobcat Ceremony will take place on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at Camp Manatoc (1075 Truxell Rd, Peninsula, OH 44264) (the same Camp where we shot BBs and arrows and launched model rockets in September).  NOTE to our Veteran Families – we plan on having this event at different locations within Camp Manatoc than years prior, so please see below for the planned new locations.  We may, however, revert back to the locations we have previously used, if the weather dictates, so please look for an update email as the event draws near (Backup plans are also listed at the end of this event’s summary, below).
The campfire/Bobcat Ceremony, which will follow our hike and should begin a little after 5:30, is an important Pack event.  As such, every family is encouraged to attend and participate in the ceremony and campfire, but families of Bobcat recipients (non-Lion first-year Scouts) should make a special effort to attend, as the parents/guardians in attendance will present the rank award to their respective son(s).  We plan on having the Campfire / Bobcat Ceremony at a different fire ring than years prior.  We plan on having the campfire/Ceremony at the Council Ring, which is near Camp Manatoc’s obstacle course.
The present agenda is below.  All Scouts should wear their Class A.  (Neckerchiefs and neckerchief slides can be put on right before the ceremony/campfire and do not need to be worn prior.)  Note that hikers should bring a bagged dinner/snack to enjoy prior to the ceremony and campfire.  Also, Scouts should bring their Scout hiking essentials (which are different for Cub Scouts than they are for Webelos), as detailed below.  Campfire/Bobcat Ceremony attendees should also bring a flashlight and portable chairs (family attendees will either sit on the campfire’s bench seating or your provided chairs; Scouts may sit on the bench seating, the ground, or your provided chairs, depending on conditions and number of attendees).  Additionally, if you, your Scout, or any family member have a talent that they’d like to share at the campfire, please let me know, and I will include it in the agenda (magic tricks, musical instruments, jokes, story telling, etc.)  And if you’d like to do a skit or lead a song with your Scout or family, please let me know that too.  Finally, please know that there will NOT be s’mores and marshmallows at the campfire.  
If you plan to attend, please join this event’s GroupMe group to receive communications about and during the event by clicking here.
  • 3:15 arrival so you can be in place at 3:30 – at 3:30 ALL participants should in place and ready to hike at Camp Manatoc’s Main Parking Lot across from the Dining Hall (the same place we parked for BBs and Archery) parking lot.  Because it is a hike, we can’t start until everyone is in place, so PLEASE DON’T BE LATE.  If that lot is full, look for a space at the Administration Building / Camp Director’s parking lot, which is a little down the road (see this map for more details).  Because we can’t start until every person is there, please be at the parking-lot starting point and ready to hike at 3:30. 
  • 3:30 – 4:45 – using staggered starts broken out by den, the whole Pack (Scouts, adults, and siblings) will hike along Camp Manatoc’s “White” trail until it crosses the Main Gate Road near the Valley Forge campsite.  We will then walk on the Main Gate Road to the Shelter near the Administration Building near the Manatoc’s parade field.    
    • Tigers, Wolves, and Bears should bring a backpack with their “Cub Scout 6” (Lions don’t need to have these, but should):
      • filled water bottle,
      • first-aid kit (can be minimal),
      • sun protection (hat and/or sunscreen),
      • snack,
      • whistle (only to be used in emergencies), and
      • flashlight with batteries.
  • Webelos should bring a backpack with their “Scout Basic Essentials” (see page the Webelos Scoutbook):
    • first-aid kit,
    • extra clothing,
    • rain gear,
    • filled water bottle,
    • flashlight with fresh batteries,
    • trail food,
    • sun protection,
    • map with compass, and
    • pocketknife (IF
      • (1) the Scout has earned his or her Whittling Chip AND
      • (2) his or her adult supervisor approves AND
      • (3) his or her den leader approves).
  • 4:45 – 5:30 – Near the Administration Building’s shelter Scouts, siblings, and adults will eat the bagged dinner/snack that each family brings.  Dens will also select and practice skits and songs for the night’s campfire.  During the Scouts’ campfire rehearsal, adults and other family members can then retrieve their flashlights and portable chairs from their cars and travel to Manatoc Council Ring in anticipation for the Bobcat Ceremony and the campfire (see this map for more details). 
  • 5:30 – Scouts and Leaders will walk as a group to the Manatoc Council Ring for the Bobcat Ceremony and the campfire, which should begin shortly thereafter. 
What to Bring:
  • Scouts should bring their hiking essentials, as outlined above, in a backpack (optional for Lions);
  • All attendees should bring a bagged dinner/snack to eat after the hike / before the campfire;
  • A portable chair for each attendee (if it is dry, the Scouts will sit together on the ground in the first several rows; if it is not, Scouts will sit in chairs);
  • At least one flashlight per family (it will be dark when the campfire is over; you should have at least one flashlight/headlamp/lantern to help illuminate the walk back to your car);
  • Warm clothes (when the sun goes down, the temperature drops; be prepared to stay warm).
If the weather requires us to change our plans (this year’s proposed venue — the Council Ring — gets water-logged easily and early forecasts call for some wet days prior), we may change the parking area and the congregating place to Camp Manatoc’s Valley Forge parking lot and the fire and ceremony to a fire pit close to that lot.  There will be a Packwide email and a GroupMe message if we have to adjust our plans, so please look for that (especially if there is, or has been, rain).  The Valley Forge parking lot is on the right side of the road after you enter Manatoc’s main entrance and is not large and fills up fast, so you may not be able to park there (especially if you pull in at 3:10).  If that lot is full, look for a parking space at the Administration Building / Camp Director’s parking lot, which is a little down the road (see this map for more details on the backup plan).  Because we can’t start until every person is there, please be at the Hike’s starting point and ready to hike at 3:30 (don’t pull into the Camp at 3:30; if you arrive then, I can guarantee all the Valley Forge spots are taken and you will have to walk some distance from your spot to the hike’s start).   Regardless of where which itinerary we use, we will still hike the White Trail (just in opposite directions) and will still eat bagged-lunches and prepare skits and songs near the Administration Building’s shelter.
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