Cubmasters Minute

September Parent Letter


Hello Fellow Scouting Parents,

I would like to introduce myself to those of you that may not know me well, and outline our plan for this Scouting year.

My name is Brian A. Ricardi. As a youth in Troop 181, I had achieved the rank of Life Scout, completed the Powderhorn Training course, and was a member of the Order of the Arrow. After I aged out, I continued on as an Assistant Scoutmaster for several years. My Scouting experience resumed as my eldest son Greg moved from Tigers to Wolf. I became a Den Leader that year and continued on with his group until they moved up to Boy Scouts last winter. Also last year, recognizing the need for Scouting for my younger son Lucas, I pioneered our efforts to get approval from the Council for a pilot Lion Den for kindergarten aged children that went very well. I am also a member of our District committee. Over the last several years I have completed the following training courses to prepare myself to be the best leader I can:

Youth Protection Training, This is Scouting, Physical Wellness, Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat, Weather Hazards, Climb On Safely, Trek Safely, Staffing the District Committee, Cubmaster, Leader Position-Specific - Tiger Cub, Leader Position-Specific - Wolf Cub, Leader Position-Specific - Bear Cub, Leader Position-Specific – Webelos, Leader Position-Specific – Cubmaster, Den Leader Fast Start, Cubmaster Fast Start, BALOO (Basic Adult Leader Outdoor Orientation), Over 16 Monthly Roundtable Meetings, and Woodbadge.


I, along with the rest of our leaders, am trying to put together a different, more exciting program this year which was discussed at a leader meeting in early July. All of us that were there seem to be on board and excited about the new format which will include in addition to our Pack meeting, (which is also undergoing change) a Pack Activity alternating between the Academic and Sports Program and an outdoor outing. Here's what we have on the proposed schedule:

New Events: 

Roller Skating Belt Loop @ Interskate

Ice Skating Belt Loop @ Cyr Arena

Weekend Campout in a cabin @ Moses Scout Reservation

Geology Belt Loop @ Georges Rock

Weekend Campout on the USS Massachusetts Battleship

Weekend Campout in an airplane hangar @ New England Air Museum

Fishing Belt Loop and Take Me Fishing Award @ TBD

A service project for our Charter Organization TBD


Our regular events:

 Spooky Campout

Archery after Thanksgiving

Pinewood Derby

Blue & Gold Banquet

Scouting for Food

Caroling @ Lifecare

Memorial Day Parade

 Couple these with the District and Council events:

 Falcons Scout Night

Big E Parade

Boston Science Museum Overnight

District Pinewood

Council Pinewood



 That should keep us busy; the only problem is if enough people aren't interested, we won't be able to do all of them as many of them have minimum numbers for participation or the cost goes way up, and all of these things have a cost that is in addition to the regular dues. There are several no cost programs to do, but we would like to let the Dens do those because many are age specific. (Fire station addresses different age groups differently; Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary fulfills different requirements for advancement, etc.) We have run no cost events in the past such as hiking at a state forest and had only 4 to 8 out of 70 boys come, so we are looking for different ideas. We will also introduce to you some new family programs.


All of these things, along with summer camps can be funded with the credits from Popcorn sales or bowl-a-thon pledges. See 2013 Popcorn Fundraiser letter and Popcorn Fundraiser Goal letter. Some of these trips could be no or low cost if we can put together a fundraising committee and do something like a bottle drive or whatever else you want to run.


I've put a lot of thought into the new schedule, and think this is the type of program people want. The only way we can know for sure is if the parents communicate the wants of the boys to us. I'm happy to have input from all parents, whether it is suggestions, opinions, or criticism, because that's the only way I'll know if things need to be changed. Don't ever hesitate if you want to contact me about anything at the Den, Pack, or even the District or Council level, as I am also on the District committee.


 My goal is to make the best Scouting experience for every Boy in our Pack and get every boy in town that is not in our Pack to want to join.

 I do plan on putting together several sub-committees to help with these and other things in the Pack and will need many volunteers to make this work.

 Your Den Leaders will be asking you for a few things at the first few meetings you have this year. One is the Family Talent Survey. Scouting is a family program and it is important for all to be involved so the boys get the maximum benefit from the program. The other leaders and I may have a lot of training and experience, but all of you possess a skill or access to some thing or place that we may not have. You don’t have to be a registered leader to contribute your talents to the Den or Pack. There is always help needed whether it’s helping hand out the snacks at a Pack meeting, being on one of the committees that will help enhance our program, or helping run a Den meeting with a skill you possess. There will be signup sheets at the Pack meetings for those of you that can give some of your time to help out. I know how busy life can be, but your son only grows up once, don’t miss it, be involved with our program.

The other thing they will be asking for is the BSA Annual Health and Medical Record parts A & B. It is required that we have these for all youth in the event there is a medical problem at an event we are holding. They are also required for the adults if you are attending a District or Council event. Please do not ignore this request as it is for your boy’s safety. We need to know of any allergies or other medical conditions so we can make sure nothing we are doing in our program is a danger to the youth.

Please return both of these forms to your Den Leader at one of the first few meetings. Your boy’s Den Leader and myself will be the only ones with access to these so your privacy will be protected. At District or Council events, the nurse or doctor on duty would also have access to those records.


It is an honor and a privilege to be the new Cubmaster of Pack 180 and Phil left some legendary shoes to fill, but I’m going to follow our motto of DO YOUR BEST and I hope you will also, as we  trek down this new trail together.

Your friend in Scouting,

Brian A. Ricardi


Pack 180

H 413-547-2633

C 413-575-0203