Tag Archives: Cub Scouts

S’Mores Cupcakes

With the start of the school year, we are back in full swing with Cub Scouts. I love to blog about Cub Scouts because it is such a big part of our lives and has been an incredible experience for our whole family. The Scouting program is awesome and I love sharing all of the fun and important stuff we do with all of you.

This past weekend, our Pack got together for a lesson on the Scouting principle of Leave No Trace. Leave No Trace means just that. It focuses primarily on camping and outdoor activities but the underlying principle applies to all areas of our lives. Take care of your environment; whether it is the outdoors, your school, your home, your room, the park, the movie theater; you get the idea. Wherever you go, whatever you do, be mindful of the environment and how you have an impact upon it.

And ALWAYS leave a place better than you found it. Which means sometimes we have to pick up after others too.

Rather than just talk about it with our Scouts, we wanted them to experience the lesson first hand. The best lessons are often learned by seeing and doing. So this past Saturday, our boys and their families spent a few hours cleaning up along the banks of the Salt River.

The lower Salt River is a major recreation site in our area and unfortunately, not everyone respects the privilege of enjoying such a beautiful place. A LOT of trash gets left behind. It was important for our Scouts to see first hand how even a little waste has a big impact when the effects of so many visitors is combined.

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They worked hard and cleaned up a lot of trash.

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We are very proud of our “Bear” and his understanding and respect for nature and the need to care for and protect the environment. He is passionate about it. Now, if we could just get that same passion to carry over to his room.

After all of that hard work and a lot of hand sanitizer, it was time for a treat. It was way too hot to roast marshmallows (and open fire isn’t allowed right now) so I decided to improvise and turn Scouting’s signature dish into a cup cake.

S’Mores Cupcakes

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I love to bake from scratch and have some wonderful chocolate cake recipes from my grandmother. But there are times when practicality wins out and you just have to break out the cake mix. I adapted a recipe from the cookbook “The Cake Mix Doctor” by Anne Byrn and came up with a yummy chocolate cupcake, perfect to feed a lot of hungry Cub Scouts. Three batches yielded 60 cupcakes. If you don’t “overfill” as I tend to do, you might just get 24 cup cakes in a batch.

Cup Cake Ingredients

  • 1 package Milk Chocolate cake mix
  • 3 Tbsp. unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 1/3 Cups buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract

Cup Cake S’More Toppings

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  • Graham cracker crumbs
  • 1 Bag of jumbo marshmallows, each marshmallow cut in half
  • Graham cracker pieces or mini graham crackers for garnish
  • Chocolate pieces for garnish

Cup Cake Directions

In pure cake mix fashion, put all of the ingredients together in your stand mixer and blend it all on medium to medium-high for a minute. Scrape down the sides and blend for another minute or until well combined and smooth. Line your muffin/cup cake tin with paper wrappers and fill each 3/4 of the way full.

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Then sprinkle with graham cracker crumbs (about a teaspoon each). I made the first batch with the graham cracker crumbs placed in the bottom of the wrapper and the batter poured on top. It didn’t adhere to the cake like I wanted so I opted to sprinkle the crumbs on top.

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Bake in a 350 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.

I love how they look with the graham cracker crumbs on top.

Next … the fun part.

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Set your oven rack, two spaces down from the broiler and then turn the oven to the broil setting.

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Put your cupcakes on a sheet tray and place a marshmallow half on top of each one. Place the marshmallow topped cupcakes under the broiler for 1 minute and 45 seconds. That is the exact amount of time my oven took to perfectly toast the marshmallows. The time needed in your oven may be different so keep an eye on them.

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Finish the cup cakes off in true S’Mores fashion with wedges of graham cracker and chocolate. The crackers can go on right away but let the marshmallow cool a bit before you add the chocolate or you’ll have a melty mess.

The boys and families of our Pack spent and afternoon doing our part to clean up a bit and leave things better than we found them. But our day wasn’t all hard work. Yes, there were yummy cup cakes but did I mention there was a also helicopter?

No? Ohhhh, there was a helicopter!

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Our Wolf Den Leader is a Sheriff’s Deputy and he arranged quite the surprise for our boys. For all of us, actually. When he told me he was setting up something cool, I was just thinking a few sirens and lights. Nope. There was a helicopter.

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Of course the boys LOVED it. And they deserved it. Hard work always has its reward!

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I know one little boy in particular who was in heaven!

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Really, does it get much cooler than that?

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We also had a visit from these deputies who patrol the river on ATVs. Very cool too! In fact, I’m pretty sure they have their own action figures. Well, if they don’t they should.

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The perfect spot to watch a helicopter take off!

A special thanks to Rob and our friends from the Sheriff’s Department for the work you do to keep our community safe and for so graciously giving a little of your time to make a kid’s day.

You guys rock!

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My Boy is a Bear

Yesterday, the Boy Scouts of America voted to lift a ban on openly gay youth. Read the article by Miranda Leitsinger and Jason White of NBC News by clicking the link above.

Scouts is a huge part of our life. My boys are still very young so we are involved in Cub Scouts which is for first grade through fifth grade boys. At the end of fifth grade, Cub Scouts cross over and become Boy Scouts. We love the values and skills that Cub Scouts teaches as well as the friendships and fun it offers!

I was David’s Tiger Den leader when he was in the first grade and I am now the committee chair for our pack working to coordinate the dens, plan pack events and keep paperwork in order. It adds a bit to my already full plate but it is worth it. I love my boys and I love what they are learning through Scouts. I love Scouts.

I also make the cupcakes.

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Nathan isn’t officially a scout yet but he loves “Hub” Scouts and can’t wait until he becomes a “Tiger” in first grade.

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I can’t imagine someone telling him he couldn’t be a Scout because he was different or he wasn’t what they deem acceptable. His heart would be broken.

This post is not about debating morality or gay rights.

It is about compassion.

I am thankful and proud to be an American. I believe in the constitution and the principles this nation was founded on and am deeply blessed to enjoy the freedoms that we have in this country.

Those freedoms are for ALL. Whether we agree on everything or not. You can disagree with me. It is okay. Many people I love and respect will disagree. I will still love and respect them. My heart is led to err on the side of compassion and love. To welcome and walk along side my neighbor. Some details I will leave to God.

America needs Scouting! Boys need Scouting. We need to be reaching out and sharing the adventure, not pushing people away.

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David and some of his “Wolf” buddies.

Tico Perez, the BSA national commissioner summed it up well when he said “there were divisions about how to serve kids. If we have disagreement, if we have discomfort, we are going to talk through it. America needs Scouting. Our singular focus moving forward is serving more kids in Scouting, and we believe this resolution is going to do that.”

One parent had this to say “we’re very disappointed. I will compare it to a funeral.” His son expressed concern about being allowed to remain a Scout. “I hope I can continue,” he said. “It depends if my parents feel safe to let me stay.” I find that so unfortunate and very sad and I hope very much that he gets to continue on his journey as a Scout.

A boy scout who is gay is not a threat to my boys.

Allowing my boys to think they have a right to be exclusive or elitist or can turn their backs on people because of differences is the threat.

It is my job to teach my children what we believe and it is my job to teach them to walk in love.

It is my job to “show” others what I believe in the way that I act and live my life.

I will teach my children about a dream where people are judged by the “content of their character”. Remember that dream?

I will teach them to be compassionate, even in disagreement.

Every night at the dinner table we ask each of our kids “how did you show your Jesus today?”

How did you show love, compassion, humility, grace, mercy, hope?

How do we “show our Jesus” if we exclude, push away and turn our backs?

I think yesterday, the Scouts “showed their Jesus” and I may just start sportin’ one of those “I’m proud of my Cub Scout” stickers on the bumper of my ride.

Which is a mini-van. Oh yes, I am a Scout mom.

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And I make a mean cupcake.

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Last week, my boy became a Bear. He completed all of his achievements and graduated from the second grade rank of Wolf to the third grade rank of Bear.

Here are a few photos from our Advancement Ceremony …

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David receiving his recognition and awards from the Wolf Den leader, Eileen. I like to call her Ethel – take a look at my Scout Halloween Party post if you want to know why.

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Part of the Wolf badge ceremony. I sure wish I had a picture of the looks on their faces when they had to drink wolf’s blood. Well it was V-8 juice but I think it may have actually been more palatable to them had it been actual wolf’s blood. I truly thought it was coming back up with a few of them – which would have made the ceremony all the more exciting.

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Our Cub Master and our youngest Scouts, The Tigers, getting ready to become Wolves.

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Our Bear Den getting ready to move up to the rank of Webelo.

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We didn’t promise it would be without peril.

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I love that members of our local Boy Scout Troop conducted our ceremony. They help us out with a lot and it is good for the younger boys to interact with the older Scouts.

If you have a boy of scouting age, I hope you will consider Scouts. The boys can join anytime and will automatically be placed in the appropriate rank for their age. Don’t worry if your boy didn’t start as a Tiger, there is a place for him and he will transition in easily.

If you are interested in learning more about Scouting, please visit the BSA Website or contact your local Cub Scout Pack or Boy Scout Troop. There is also Venture Scouts which girls are welcome to participate in. I promise you, adventure, friendship and fun awaits!

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Look, my boy is a Bear and is beyond excited to leave soon for camp with his dad – who will be the Assistant Cub Master next year because his wife volunteered him.

Lucky for me, he’s a good sport and loves Scouts too.

Cub Scout Cub Mobile – Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!

This past Saturday was the annual Pack 371 Cub Mobile.

Yes, once a year we strap our children into a wooden “go-cart” that is steered awkwardly with the feet, has very little maneuverability, a questionable braking system and is highly likely to be over-corrected and driven into a hay bale or worse, a cactus (yes, I know the singular is technically cacti but it just sounds so weird).

Thankfully, Cub Mobiles do not actually have engines, gravity does all the work; which is enough, believe me.

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Why would any sane parent do this? Because it’s FUN and the kids have a blast!

And Cub Scouts are tough and always up for adventure!

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So every spring, we block off a road, lay out a course, strap our young into a questionable vehicle, load them onto a ramp and let ’em hurl down the street.

Welcome to Cub Mobile 2013

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The Brewer Boys, ready to race!

In Lane 1, Nathan “Shark Attack” Brewer

and in Lane 2, David “Had to Wear my Cool Quad Helmet” Brewer

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But it sure does look cool.

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Nathan sizes up the competition …

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and he’s off. I think his dimpley smile could be seen from space.

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This was his first time racing and he laughed and squealed the whole way down.

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After they launch from the ramp, the boys race to the end (this is another set of brothers racing) of the “track” …

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where should they forget to brake, there is a self-sacrificing dad waiting to catch them.  This particular heroic dad just happens to belong to my kids. Somehow, he always seems to end up in this enviable position, having to catch a hurtling go-cart with a wide-eyed boy who has forgotten where the brake is.

While we do have a few scrapes, bumps and bruises, safety is first and the boys wear helmets, long pants and no flip-flops – in Arizona, you always have to specify NO FLIP-FLOPS when necessary – and the danger is pretty minimal. I was just joking about the “cacti”, those are strategically blocked by hay bales; although those boys seem to do their best to try and hit them.

Really, the greatest danger is to those poor dads who catch the cars at the bottom of the hill. They are rock stars!

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Next year though, we will be adding elbow pads to the list of safety equipment. I don’t have any pictures of David racing because his second run ended in dramatic fashion with a big crash and a pretty nasty scraped elbow. That was enough for him and he was done for the day. Hangin’ at the snack table was a much safer option.

Cub-Mobile-3Meanwhile, Nathan was bouncing himself silly in the bounce house when he wasn’t running up and down the track playing “first responder” at every crash. Giving the thumbs up signal to let us know the driver was okay. He cracks me up.

In the end, a good time was had by all and no Cub Scouts were harmed, well mine was but he’ll live and he has a great story to tell. And, just in case you’re wondering, we did not just close down a city street. Well we did but we had permits and official barriers, which did not stop a few angry neighborhood motorists from expressing their disdain at our great inconvenience to them. I’m guessing they won’t be buying any Cub Scout popcorn at our next fund-raiser.

All I can say to that is …

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and we’ll be back next year.

So, aside from a scraped elbow – incidentally, he would not allow me to put a band-aid on it this morning; he said it was fine and he didn’t need one. I, however, know the real reason – cool points with his buddies; boys, particularly 7 and 8 year old boys, are very impressed by all things scabby and gross. My son will be a hero today. Who am I to stand in the way of his glory with band aids and infection preventing precautions.

Anyway, as I was saying, aside from a few minor injuries,

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a couple of maintenance issues

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and a small zombie apocalypse,

Cub Mobile 2013 was a huge success and a whole lotta’ fun!

Thanks to all of the incredible Pack 371 parents who worked hard to make it a safe and awesome event for some pretty darn great kids; zombies included.

Pinewood Derby Part III, Race Day!

PWD3-6This day has been months in coming. RACE DAY! Weeks and weeks of planning, countless hours of preparation and toil and finally, RACE DAY is here! Okay, truthfully about 3 days of planning and preparation and just a little bit of toil – just keepin’ it real – but none the less, it is RACE DAY!

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The Wolf Den is ready.

And yes, they are about the cutest, sweetest bunch of Cub Scouts on the planet.

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The track is set.

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The cars are placed and ready to race.

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The spectators (daddy, Nathan and grandma – Sara is helping with concessions and socializing as  big sisters do) are anxious as they wait to see just what the Great Devourer is truly made of!

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The tension is palatable.

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And one little brother, having moved to a better vantage point, is holding his breath hoping that his big brother (whom he normally wants to beat at EVERYTHING) wins, just this once – or at least until he’s racing too in a couple of years.

So, how did it all turn out?

Well, the Great Devourer seemed to have a mind of its own and jumped the track and then lost a wheel. The pit crew (daddy) raced in and repaired the wheel for a 3rd place finish in the next heat; to which Nathan shouts “OH NO, David LOSE!”

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But still gave his brother the thumbs up after mommy reminded him that it is okay not to be first.

And in fact, despite not being first, David did win.

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He won the “Flat Tire Award” (a bag of chocolate covered donuts) for jumping the track and losing a wheel in spectacular fashion!

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And by judges vote, he won for “Most Original Design”.

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I just have to say how proud I am of my sweet boy; not just because he worked hard on his car or won an award but because he was a true sportsman, cheering his friends on and showing genuine excitement for their success. I am proud of the maturity and grace I saw in him amid the disappointment of his car not performing as well as he would have like. I am proud of the young man he is becoming and how he reminded us that you don’t have to win to be a winner!

Pinewood Derby Part II

A little bit of planning, sawing, sanding, filing and painting and just like that … a rectangular block of wood has become a snake. Actually, a race car in the shape of a snake.

PWD2-3But not just any snake, this snake is the “Great Devourer” inspired by a LEGO character. And not just any Lego Character, a Lego NINJAGO character.

PWD2-10To my eight year old, the sun rises and sets Legos, particularly Lego Ninjago. So we weren’t even a little bit surprised when he informed us this year’s Pinewood Derby Car would be the “Great Devourer”. “We can do that? Right dad?” And so the creative process and collaboration between father and son began and a block of wood became something more.

After the carving, sanding and fine-tuning came the paint job and then weight placement. Pinewood Derby cars can be no more than 5 ounces in weight but you want to be right at 5 ounces to ensure it is as fast as it can possibly be – my kitchen scale came in very handy.

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The wheels are the next step and take a bit of work to make them fast. A little bit of science, a few tricks learned from the internet and other dads, a sprinkle of pixie dust (or in this case, graphite powder) a lot of pre-race spinning and the wheels are ready.

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The Great Devourer is finished and I have a very proud and excited boy in the house – his son is pretty happy too!

PWD2-4All ready to pack up and head over to the weigh-in.

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PWD2-7David and his buddy Ryan anxiously await the Great Devourer’s official weight.

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Exactly 5 ounces!

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Car #6, impounded and ready to race!

Pinewood Derby Prep, When a Block of Wood Becomes Something More

It is Pinewood Derby time around here. Consider this the Indy 500 of the Cub Scout world.  My middle guy and his dad have been working hard on his Pinewood Derby Car; taking a small rectangular block of wood and whittling (or sawing and Dremeling) it into a unique and hopefully fast race car.

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But truthfully, it doesn’t really matter how it looks, if it is fast or if it wins.

Because what they have really being doing, what it is really all about, is spending time together. Deepening their bond. Making memories. Teaching. Learning.

That is what really matters.

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What could possibly mean more to a little boy than to have his small hand engulfed in the hand of his daddy as he helps him guide the saw and shows him “how to do it”.

“No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.” – Abraham Lincoln

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When his father’s actions say …

You matter to me. Your interests matter to me. I am busy but I am not too busy for you.

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When his guidance and patience send the message …

I am here to do what you can’t but I will show you how to do what you can.

And trust you to do it.

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When his teaching shows that with a little teamwork, cooperation, and persistence a plain block of wood will become something amazing.

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When the gift of his time reminds his son …

You are part of a team. Loved. And your dad is on your side.

So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing. For whatever the Father does, that the Son does likewise.” John 5:19

Lucy and Ethel Plan a Halloween Party

We love being a part of Cub Scouts! David is learning new skills, we have made wonderful friends and are having A LOT of fun – Nathan can hardly wait to be a “Hub-Scout” (as he calls it) when he gets older.

Last Thursday was our Halloween Pack Meeting/Party. I am the Assistant Committee Chair and I LOVE putting a party together so I took up the party planning reins. Thankfully my friend, fellow party lover, Wolf Den Leader and kindred Pinterest addict, Eileen, became Ethel to my Lucy and helped me put the whole thing together.

Just like Lucy and Ethel were prone to do, we went a little crazy! At one point (I think it was when we were discussing the white chocolate dipped pretzel topped brownie skeleton treats) Eileen’s husband looked at us and said, “you know they’re just boys, right?” I think he was insinuating that the stack of hand dipped pretzels topped with a puffy Marshmallow face all resting on a homemade brownie decoratively wrapped in a cellophane treat bag, would be lost on them. I think he was suggesting that the “Cake Walk” would be just as successful if we were to just buy cupcakes at Albertsons.

Silly guy, doesn’t he know that this is our chance, our long awaited opportunity to try out ALL of the amazing ideas we have been pinning on our Halloween boards for months?

So between the planning meetings which doubled as play dates, text messages, phone calls and midnight e-mails, here’s what we came up with:

Games and Activities

We had two activity stations and five game stations, mostly because we have five different dens so each den could be in charge of a game and the den parents could rotate through making sure there was always be a parent at each station to help. Each game had a bucket of candy and small Halloween themed toys to be handed out to the kids when they finished participating.

The Guessing Table – At the entrance to the party was “The Guessing Table” where we had mason Jars filled with gumballs, eyeballs, malted milkballs, cheeseballs (aka: pumpkin poo) and candy corn. I used white jumbo cupcake wrappers topped with Halloween themed wrappers as decorative (and really easy) lid covers. We set up orange and yellow gift bags behind each jar for the boys to put their guesses in and whoever had the closest guess won the jar.

The Guessing Jars

The Eyeball Guessing Jar

For the “Eyeball Guessing Jar”, I topped it with a treat cup filled with candy so that the winner would have something yummy and not just eyeballs. Although I can’t imagine any elementary school age boy who wouldn’t be thrilled just to win a jar full of squishy, sticky eyeballs.

Grandma and Nathan making their best guess.

The Craft Table – Eileen ordered canvas treat bags from Oriental Trading Company for the kids to color and then use to hold all of the candy and goodies they would collect at each game station.

Coloring Treat Bags

The Costume Contest – Before the games got started, we had all of the kids parade across the stage for a costume contest. We had three of the pack leaders judge the costumes based on Originality, Imagination, Wow-Factor and “Selling-It” (being in character). We had some great costumes and all of the winners (1st, 2nd and 3rd place) put a lot of thought, creativity and effort into their costumes and each received a prize that included a black light (which here in the desert is great for night-time scorpion hunting – if you like that sort of thing, which I don’t), a frozen yogurt shop gift card, Halloween pencil and a bag of treats.

Eileen asking Nathan who he is for the Costume Contest, “I’m Nathan B.” he answers matter-of-factly. Eileen tries again, “But whooooo are you?”  “Naaaathaaan Broooweeeeer” he says slower and much more clearly so that the confused lady with the microphone can understand. Actually, he was “Chop-Chop” one of his super cool and much beloved Skylander characters.

Our Winner, Jacob the Giraffe!

Dara and Davin, the coolest Mother/Son Zombie team I know!

And David is a Ninja, three years running. He does make a good Ninja. Actually this year, he is technically “Snake Eyes” from G.I. Joe so he’s not really just a Ninja … again. Sara was a very pretty Genie but in the craziness, I missed getting a picture of her – I’ll get one on Halloween!

Let the Games Begin!

Station 1, Games for the Little Goblins and Ghouls – We set up an area, removed a little from the main chaos and craziness that comes with a large group of 6-11 year old boys, for all of the little brothers and sisters that came. I can’t believe I never got a picture of this station but we had a pumpkin bean bag toss, sticky spider web splat game, toilet paper pumpkin bowling (TP rolls with ghost eyes and mouths drawn on stacked in a pyramid and then bowled over with a small pumpkin – so cute) and pin the nose on the pumpkin.

Although I don’t have a picture, the TP bowling was inspired by http://bedifferentactnormal.com

Station 2, The Toilet Paper Mummy Race – Teams of three boys, two at one end of the race one at the other end, one boy would wrap another in toilet paper (using the entire roll), the newly mummified scout would then run down to the other end where he would be unwrapped by his waiting team-mate and then race back to the start. I’m not sure if the actual “race” part of the activity was successful but the kids sure had a lot of fun wrapping each other in toilet paper!

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Grandma “mummifies” Nathan.

Station 3, Pop Goes the Pumpkin – Young children overly excited with party fever and consuming way too much sugar, why not add darts to the scenario? There were a few concerns about this but when did Lucy and Ethel ever let the threat of danger or potential harm stop them? Actually “Pop Goes the Pumpkin” was very safe, a lot of fun and VERY popular with the boys. Inspired by a Pinterest Post from http://marthastewart.com, Eileen took two foam core presentation boards, taped them together and then covered them with black cloth. The balloons were taped to the board in a pumpkin(ish) shape and she put a green paper stem at the top to complete the effect. Two big black garbage bags filled with extra balloons were standing by to replace the popped ones. We blocked off the area around the dart board and only one set of plastic darts was used so that just one boy at a time could shoot thus minimizing the risk of life and limb to the parent volunteers.

“Pop Goes the Pumpkin”

Station 4, Fear Factor Challenge – My friend Jenn, Cub Scout Treasurer extraordinaire, took this one over and did a great job. She covered bowls filled with “interesting” things for the kids to reach into and see if they could guess the contents. Were they feeling slimy worms or spaghetti noodles? Cockroaches or banana peels? Peeled grapes or gooey eyeballs? You get the idea. Gross and perfect for boys! Wipes and hand sanitizer were a nice added touch.

Ewww, gross what is in there?

Station 5, The Cake Walk – Timeless and a necessity at any Halloween Party! Incidentally, neither Eileen or her husband had any idea what a “Cake Walk” was – how is that possible? To have never walked around and around in a circle desperately hoping for your number to be called so you can victoriously march up to the cake table and select whatever delicious treat your heart desires. It really is unthinkable.

The Cake Walk Treat Table

My youngest son, on the other hand, is the greatest cake walk competitor of all time. This child is serious about his cake walk and it is hysterical! We discovered this last year at his pre-school Halloween Party. He patiently and methodically stepped from number to number, no pushing, crowding, hurrying, he was all business – which was made even funnier by the fact that normally he is a run-away train barreling through his day at 100 miles an hour. When the number was about to be called he would wait intently, eyes wide, ears straining to find out if he was the winner. When his number was not called (and it was not, many, many, many times) to our amazement, he never got frustrated or upset he just continued on patiently walking around and around that circle somehow sensing that his “day” would come, even clapping for winner after winner as they walked up to select the sweet treat he was so determined to win. Finally, after what felt like a thousand trips around that circle, his number was called and you have NEVER seen a more excited, proud little guy. His patience and “never give up” attitude had paid off and as he approached that cake table to claim his prize, he reached out and selected … the tiniest individual cupcake on the table! I am NOT making this up, all that and then the tiniest cupcake on the table. But he was happy, thrilled actually, and that was all that mattered. Much to our amusement, the same exact scenario played out at the cake walk this year. About a thousand methodical trips around the circle and when his number was called, he proudly walked to the table and claimed … an individual cupcake. The table was filled with whole cakes, and dozens of cupcakes and he chose one lone little cupcake, just enough – so adorable! Okay, I’m done with my “mommy moment”.

Nathan anxiously waiting to see if his number is called.

Look at that intent little face and if you look at the bottom of the picture do you see how he is standing perfectly placed on top of his number (the orange square)? ALL BUSINESS. Precious boy! Okay, now I’m really done.

Some of our Cake Walk Treats …

The Skeleton Brownies – Ethel, I mean Eileen, did make them and they were amazing!

The skeleton Brownies were inspired by http://wantsandwishesdesign.blogspot.com

Jenn made “Brains in a Jar” – Yummy! Cake on the bottom, topped with raspberry preserves and then covered with light grey tinted frosting piped back and forth to look like brains. So cool! I do have some talented friends. This somewhat gross but really cool “Brains in a Jars” idea came from http://totallyloveit.com.

Candy Cups as a fun alternative!

My candy cups were inspired by http://thesugardiva.com but I put the cupcake wrapper inside of a small plastic cup for a little more stability.

So that does it for the fun and games, now onto the Party Food.

Sacks and Treats – We had a snack and treat table which, thanks to the help of our pack parents, was overflowing with apples and caramel dip, snack mix, cookies and cupcakes.

For the snack mix, I mixed equal parts pretzels, cheese crackers, cheese puffs, mini caramel rice cakes and then threw in some small ghost shaped marshmallows and fall colored plain M&Ms for good measure.

We also served a “Witch’s Brew Punch”. Our Committee Chair Tammy took care of the punch but the recipe came from one that both of my grandmothers often made; in truth was probably served at every bridal and baby shower from 1964-1975. Lime Sherbet Punch is green and foamy and delicious – PERFECT for a Halloween Party, especially if you freeze gummy worms into pineapple juice ice cubes and throw them in (which is only successful if you actually remember to bring them, which I did not).

Witch’s Brew Punch

Here’s how you concoct this venomous brew …

  • 2 Quarts Lime Sherbet
  • 2 Liters Chilled Lemon/Lime Soda, ginger ale, or squirt
  • 1 – 46 oz. Can of Chilled Pineapple Juice

Scoop the lime sherbet into the punch bowl (or cauldron) and let it sit for 10 minutes or so as it will foam up better if it melts a little. Pour the cold soda over the sherbet and then add the chilled pineapple juice. Throw in your pineapple juice gummy worm ice cubes (if you remembered them) and a chunk of dry ice for the spooky effect above.

All in all, the party went off without a hitch and the kids had a great time! I can’t thank my very own Ethel (Eileen) enough for all of her help and great ideas. I am quite sure there will be more Lucy/Ethel adventures in our future.

So for now “Thor” (my other amazing helper) and “The Mad Housewife” (me, inspired by the wine label), wish you a Happy Halloween! I hope you can use a few of the ideas here to make it sweet, fun and festive.

Thanks to the Pack parents and leaders for all of their help making our party such a success and thanks to our local Albertsons for donating cakes and punch supplies, they are always willing to help us out and I thought they deserved a shout out! Also, thanks to all of the talented “pinners” out there for their ideas and inspiration!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!