Updated: Saturday, August 27, 2016

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The purpose of Boy Scouting is to develop in a young man the ability to do things for himself and for others, to train him in outdoor skills, and to teach him patriotism, courage, self-reliance, and kindred virtues. (BSA 18-629WB)

The Manatee District Roundtables are held the first Thursday of each month (Sept-Jun) at:

The Salvation Army
5328 24th St. E., Bradenton
7:00 p.m.

View the Manatee District and SWFL Calendar for upcoming events, training opportunities, etc.

Southwest Florida Council Website

Click Here to Follow The Manatee Rambler blog as well to receive email updates.

August 27 - Service Opportunities - September Park and Preserve Events

Scout Leaders:

Please see the service hours opportunities listed below. Most of these should count as conservation project hours for those needing such service hours, especially if you have boys/adults working on the 50-Mile Afoot/Afloat award.

Thanks to Mike Meiser for sharing this info.

Mac Aldrich
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Dear Volunteers,
Happy-not-quite September! We put together a calendar of events that has a lot of variety, and many different places to volunteer. Have a look at all the ways you can give back! We are definitely looking for help making the Goblin Gathering the best ever, so if you like making spooky crafts come to life, contact Sam at sam.wolfe@mymanatee.org. Stay dry, volunteers!

Saturday 3rd, 8:30 AM - 11:00 AMRYE PRESERVERS VOLUNTEER WORKDAY– Everyone interested in giving one day a month to beautify Rye Preserve is welcome to attend! Rye needs your help to contain the invasive menace; Come out to pull the dreaded Abrus precatorius, Dioscorea bulbifera, and Urena lobata (rosary pea, air potato, and ceasar weed). We will pull, cut, and bag these baddies, so that native plants can take root. Your hard work creates better habitats for native species! Program is suitable for all ages. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing Michelle.Leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6035 to register. Rye Preserve

Wednesday 14th, 8:00 AM - 11:00 AMRIP SQUAD VOLUNTEER WORKDAY: STORYWALK TRAIL BUILD – Join this group that works directly with County natural areas land managers on various wildlife habitat improvement projects. This month, we have a very special project for the RIP Squad – helping to build a new trail at Bennett Park! Volunteers will help install the signage for the site’s new StoryWalk Trail. The first of its kind in Manatee County, this trail includes special stops each of which contain a page from a book. Walkers can travel from stop to stop to read the story, walking a loop around one of Bennett Park’s freshwater ponds and enjoying the wildlife that frequent the site. Email announcements are sent out a few days in advance of each event that detail the purpose, goals, and meeting information for each upcoming event. Program suitable for volunteers age 16 and older. The StoryWalk Project was created by Anne Ferguson of Montpelier, VT and developed in collaboration with the Vermont Bicycle & Pedestrian Coalition (VBPC) and the Kellogg Hubbard Library. To register for this volunteer event or receive announcements about the RIP squad, send an email to Cary at Cary.Catts@mymanatee.org Tom Bennett Park

Saturday 17th, 8:30 AM – 11:30 AMINTERNATIONAL COASTAL CLEANUP AT COQUINA BEACH – Volunteers all over the world are coming together to protect their waterways, and we are inviting you to be part of it! Get your feet wet to help Coquina Beach and Leffis Key. We will be collecting trash and recording our findings for a global impact report. Bring your water shoes and sense of adventure! Please visit http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/international-coastal-cleanup/ to learn more. Program sponsored by Ocean Conservancy, in partnership with Keep Manatee Beautiful. Program suitable for volunteers of all ages. Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing Michelle.Leahy@mymanatee.org or calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6035 to register. Coquina Beach Bayside

Thursday 22nd, 8:00 AM - 11:00 AMMOODY BRANCH VOLUNTEER WORKDAY – Join us for a volunteer workday at Moody Branch! We will be undergoing renovations in the next few months, and you can be part of the renovation revolution. This special place requires lots of volunteer love to help it look its best. Lend a hand to remove invasive plants and make space so Florida native plants can find their home here. Program is suitable for all ages. Please let us know if you would like to attend by calling 941-748-4501 ext. 6035 or emailing Michelle.Leahy@mymanatee.org to register. Moody Branch Preserve

Saturday 24th, 9:00 AM - 1:00 PMRENDEZVOUS AT ROBINSON EXPANSION – Join us for National Estuaries Week! Get a sneak peek inside the new Robinson Preserve Expansion, and participate in a wetland planting. Wander around our mini educational festival and learn about the waterways through our hands-on activities. Finally, enjoy a taste of delectable foods that the estuary has to offer. Program suitable for volunteers of all ages, please bring water shoes. Program sponsored by Restore America’s Estuaries, CITGO Petroleum Corporation, Tampa Bay Estuary Program, and Sarasota Bay Estuary Program. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by emailing Coral.Bass@mymanatee.org or calling 941-742- 5923 ext. 6034. Robinson Preserve Expansion

Wednesday 28th, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PMMARINE DEBRIS KAYAK TASKFORCE: LEFFIS KEY – Join this dedicated group that works to combat the issue of marine debris along our preserve’s shorelines. If you are passionate about helping to keep our waterways clean, this is your opportunity to make a difference! Free kayaks and gear from our WCIND-funded fleet are available to use for 10 individuals or you may bring your own. Life preservers musts be worn at all times. Program suitable for volunteers age 16 and older. Reservations are required - Please let us know if you would like to attend by calling 941-742-5923 ext. 6044 or email Cary.Catts@mymanatee.org Leffis Key

Wednesday 28th, 6:30 PM - 7:30 PMAMBASSADOGS PACK WALK – Welcome back, walkers! Join us for the first canine, sunset stroll of the season at Robinson Preserve. We will discuss proper walking techniques in the preserves and how we can encourage fellow nature lovers to clean up their dog’s waste. Ages 16 and over (for humans) and well-mannered dogs welcome. Retractable leashes not allowed. Call Sam at 941-742-5923 ext. 6036 to join, new recruits welcome! Robinson Preserve

Michelle Leahy
Parks and Natural Resources
Volunteer/Education Assistant
Office: (941)748-4501 ext. 6035
5502 33rd Ave Drive West
Bradenton, FL 34209

August 27 - Sidewalk Astronomy at Sarasota's Riverview High School

First event of 2016-2017 season is September 10

August 15, 2016 – The Local Group of Deep Sky Observers, a Bradenton/Sarasota group of astronomy enthusiasts, is pleased to announce the first Sidewalk Astronomy event of their 2016-2017 observing season.

Weather permitting, on Saturday, September 10, 2016 starting at sunset and continuing until 10:00 p.m., the members of the Local Group will set up their high-quality telescopes for public viewing at Sarasota's Riverview High School. This will take place on the sidewalk just outside the entrance to the school's Planetarium. The school is located at 1 Ram Way, Sarasota, Florida.

Sunset on September 10 will be at 7:40 p.m.

Highlights of the evening include incredible views of Saturn's rings, the first quarter moon, as well as an opportunity to view the planets Mars and Neptune. A variety of other celestial objects will be viewed through the telescopes as they become visible throughout the night.

As always, the Sidewalk Astronomy event is FREE and open to everyone.

For more information, please contact Local Group President Jonathan Sabin at (941) 518-8695, or visit our website, www.LGDSO.com.

The public is also encouraged to sign up for our free event mailing list at LGDSO@aol.com.

August 22 - Scouting Promo Videos and More!

Looking or some ways to promote your Pack, Troop, Crew, or Scouting in general? Below is a link to some great videos featured on the BSA Brand Center:


If you take some time to look around the site, you'll find many other marketing materials to promote your unit, including Social Media Assets to help you get noticed.


August 21 - Operation Christmas Child Event

August 21 - Photos and Recognition from Program Kickoff

There were over 70 leaders in attendance at the Manatee District Program Kick-Off on Thursday, August 11th. Cynthia Holliday from Children's World really appreciated those who stopped by her 'store' and we appreciated her donation of the Travel edition of the game, Camp, which was won through a drawing by Blair Chadwick from Pack 41. Crown Roofing was recognized for its contribution to the re-roofing of the Admin Building at Camp Miles and Blair, who works for the company, accepted a plaque of recognition from Bruce Hassy. Mike Townsend of Troop 111 won the top door prize of a package of goodies provided by the Bradenton Marauders, which included four tickets to an upcoming ballgame.

August 20 - Manatee District First Aid Meet

August 20 - A Century Of Scouting - Pre-Order Book

August 12 - Manatee District Program Kickoff Recap

The Program Kickoff was a great time to reconnect with other Scouters, meet our new District Executive, Brandon Cicco, and acquire a whole lot of information on the upcoming year. If you were unable to make it last night, or if you just need a refresher, here is a recap of much of what was covered:

We hope to see you at our next Roundtable Meeting on Thursday, September 1st. The Big Rock topic will be "Training Opportunities."

August 10 - Manatee District Program Kickoff

August 9 - What are YOU doing on YOUR Winter Break?

August 8 - Upper Manatee River Road Construction

Attention Scouts, Scouters, and parents,

The following information is provided for you information, guidance and distribution.

A portion of Upper Manatee River Road (UMRR) will be reduced to one lane beginning Monday, August 8, 2016, as construction on the Fort Hammer Bridge continues.

Upper Manatee River Road from Gates Creek Road to Third Avenue Northeast will be reduced to southbound traffic only as part of a detour, which is anticipated to last for several months. Northbound traffic will be diverted onto 3rd Ave NE and Gates Creek Road, then back to UMRR. 

The closure is part of the reconfiguration of a new traffic pattern on the south side of the Manatee River (mostly at the big curve in UMRR) that will probably include one or more traffic signals.

A sketch of the effected area is shown below.

Red Dog
Scout Mentor
Take some boys camping and let Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water forge them a more moral compass

August 5 - Trainer's EDGE

Calling all Trainers and those interested in becoming one!

Trainer’s EDGE is for all trainers! If you train within your Pack, Troop, Crew, District or Council training, this is for you. It is not just those staffing specific courses. Participants deserve to have trained facilitator to provide the best training experience possible. Join us and get the EDGE!

Date: August 20, 2016

Description: The purpose of the Trainer's EDGE course is to provide and help develop the platform skills of a trainer. It is meant to provide presentation skills for all District and Council trainers and to supplement the practice offered through Wood Badge and NYLT staff development, with a focus on the participant, while raising the level of skill a trainer brings to the staff experience.

Registration: http://www.swflcouncilbsa.org/event/1925423

Wendy Langford
Scout Volunteer
Southwest Florida Council Training Chair
941-504-2247 cell
941-729-7308 home

“The most important object in Boy Scout training is to educate, not instruct.” ~ Baden Powell

August 3 - Kids Against Hunger Packaging Event

Friends of Kids Against Hunger,

Click Here for a flyer about the Kids Against Hunger packaging event being held Saturday, August 13, 2016. We will be packaging 20,000 meals!

Please read and share the flyer and participate in this event. Invite all your family, friends and co-workers! If you have never attended a Kids Against Hunger event you will be amazed at how much fun it is. Please feel free to contact me with any questions.

Don't forget to RSVP to mark@kiwanisagainsthunger.com so we will know how many will be attending.

Mark Hildebrandt
Executive Director
Kids Against Hunger – Manatee County
(941) 306-3595

July 31 - Troop 64 at Philmont

Members of Troop 64 traveled to Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico along with others from Troops 22 and 111. They started their expedition on July 13 and arrived back at base camp on July 25 after backpacking over 80 miles of gorgeous mountain terrain. One of the highlights of the trip was a hike to the top of Mount Baldy, the highest peak on the property at 12,441'. Philmont is really the jewel of high adventure bases and provides participants with opportunities not found anywhere else. Welcome back!

Pictured (left to right): Dan Patnaude, Nick Patnaude, Hayden Palino, George Palino, Cole Boeglin, John Boeglin, Dalton Knueppel, Karl Knueppel, Brett Witham, and Troy Cleland (Troop 181).

Mac Aldrich
I want to put a ding in the universe. - Steve Jobs

July 27 - I'm Back... Let's get caught up!

Hello Scouters,
I have been away for a while on vacation and at Summer Camp with my Troop. Time to get back in the saddle and get ready to kick off a new year of Scouting!

  • The 2016 Program Kickoff is coming up on Thursday, August 11th. Click Here for more info.
  • The Southwest Florida Boy Scout Night will be held at McKechnie Field on Saturday, August 27th. Click Here for more info.
  • Mac provided a Blank Budget form for District and Non-Camp Facility Events. Click Here to access. This form will remain accessible on the Resources Page as well.

If you have any Scout worthy information that you would like to share with the Scouts and Scouters of Manatee District, please email me at edjcopeland@gmail.com. Thank you and I'll see you on the trail.

Ed Copeland
Editor - The Manatee Rambler

June 10 - Camp Sun-N-Fun

June 5 - Important Information about 2016 Cub & Webelos Summer Resident Camp

A quick reminder: Registration for 2016 Cub & Webelos Summer Resident Camp closes June 6th at 3:00 pm.  If you would like to attend and haven't registered, there are a handful of slots still available (registration link below). You do not need to attend with your pack. If your pack is not attending as a unit you can register as a Provisional Camper.  

1. Please make sure you have a BSA Health and Medical Record completed for all youth and adults attending (Parts A, B & C).  Part C must be signed by a Medical Doctor, a Physician's Assistant or a Licensed Nurse Practitioner. No exceptions can be made to this National policy.  Forms should be turned into your unit leader and then forwarded to the Camp Director (bruce.hassy@scouting.org). A link to the form can be found below.

2. Each unit must send at least one adult to the program planning meeting to be held Thursday, June 16th at 7 pm in the Dining Hall at Camp Miles. This is a change from the original date of June 6th published in the leader guide so please make sure you alert your unit leader and mark your calendar.  It is crucial that at least one adult representative is in attendance because unit activities will be selected at this time. These are the fun pack activities done in the late afternoon and early evening, not the Adventure classes you have already signed up for. If you want your unit to have first shot at the popular activities you have to be at the meeting.

3. Final balance of fees for camp are due by 11:59 pm on June 6th.

Our staff is looking forward to providing a rewarding experience for your Scout during camp.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Yours in Scouting,
Bruce Hassy
Director of Camping & Activities
Southwest Florida Council

Register now for 2016 Cub & Webelos Summer Resident Camp

Download BSA Health & Medical Record

Download Cub & Webelos Summer Camp Leader Guide

June 4 - National Certificate of Merit Awarded

(Image Source: http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article77364197.html)

On May 12th, two of our own scouts were awarded the BSA National Certificate of Merit at the 2016 Good Scout Award Dinner, honoring Attorney Cliff L. Walters. The National Certificate of Merit is one of four "National awards for lifesaving and meritorious action ... for outstanding and unusual acts that demonstrate unusual heroism, skill, or bravery and reflect Scouting ideals, based on the following criteria: National Certificate of Merit. Has performed a significant act of service that is deserving of special national recognition." (http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/AdvancementandAwards/MeritBadges/honor.aspx)

Congratulations to both Caleb Savage and Nathan Sisk, and thank you for being great examples of the benefits of Boy Scouting.

Read more about their heroic efforts below.

FOX 13 News Article: http://www.fox13news.com/news/local-news/84020962-story
News Channel 8 Article: http://wfla.com/2016/02/02/boy-scouts-rescue-manatee-river-boaters/
Bradenton Herald Article: http://www.bradenton.com/news/local/article77364197.html

May 24 - Teen Driver Challenge

May 9 - 2016 Manatee District Pinewood Derby


I wanted to take a moment to tell you how pleased I was with our Pinewood Derby on Saturday. We had a very good turnout and I expect that it will be even greater next year.

Nathan and Michelle Manning ran a well-organized race and it was through Nate’s efforts that the event was able to be held at Gettel Toyota of Lakewood.

The races were run inside the huge air-conditioned showroom and General Manager Bill Finocchiaro made everyone feel welcome and accommodated the event quite well.

The Bradenton Marauder’s mascot, Marty, made an appearance and helped keep the boys (and adults) entertained prior to race time.

Matt, from Andersen Race Park had one of the facilities go-carts on display and for the boys to sit in and dream of racing for real.

The guys from Troop 64 stepped up to provide food service (The Eagle’s Nest Cantina) and the hot dogs, hamburgers, cheeseburgers, chips, and drinks helped to feed the multitude. Thanks to Karl Knueppel, Dalton Knueppel, Robert Hicks, Gary Grote, Danny Patnaude, Nick Patnaude, and Jack Jensen for filling tummies throughout the event.

John Boeglin provided the track and timing system and his son Cole oversaw the loading of the cars and making sure the heats were run accurately.

Thanks also to Southwest Florida Council for providing the trophies and to interim District Executive Bill Lawrence for making sure they were on hand.

There were several other folks who also stepped up and helped and I am sorry that I did not get their names, but we appreciated everything they did to keep the event running smoothly.

I created a short video to capture some of the highlights and you can view it from here. Photos from the event may be viewed/downloaded from here.

The Council Pinewood Derby is on the calendar for Saturday, May 21st, but no details are provided. As soon as I learn anything more about the event, I will share it with you

Mac Aldrich,
Manatee District Program Chair

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