What a busy weekend!

I did stuff last weekend and during the week but was just lazy and didn’t post about them.  Some fun stuff was done but meh forward we go.  Anyway this weekend was the Eco Spirit hike for the Beavers and the kids had a great time.  It’s something I really enjoy doing and am glad I can share it with Brandon, unlike when we did it two years ago Brandon was not afraid of the dark and I was very proud of him.

Hehe of course I had to bring my PVS-14 along and I love being able to see everything just in case one of the kids runs off (and they do!).  We were at the Blue Springs Scout Reserve from 2-9pm and the second we went into the car Brandon fell asleep as he had a very full day.

Today we went to Estelle’s place for lunch and it was great.  She made spaghetti and it really reminded me of when we were in Italy last year. 🙂  Brandon and I also had a Pokemon raid event with some of our Valor group and my little guy became the youngest level 40 player in the world. 😀

The current record holder is 11 (10 when he hit that mark) and Brandon is just 7.  We started his account back in Oct of last year and it took just over a year to get to 40, now I don’t know what I’m going to play for but we’ll continue our journey together.  Some of the guys & gals in my group says I should get Maggie’s account to 40 and man that’s a lot of work lol.  I might boost it to maybe 35 but it’s just not worth it with the current version of the game.

A very fun filled weekend and I’ll need to recover from my busy weekend during the upcoming work week.

Park cleanup!

Last year when we did the spring park cleanup I remember sweating because it was so hot but this year it was pretty darn cold.  With that said and knowing we’d be outdoors for a few hours I bundled Brandon up with his winter clothing and I wore quite a few warmer layers too.  We also wore waterproof clothing in case the rain came but thankfully it held off.

The L’Amoreaux North Park is the one we always clean up and man this time around it was pretty disgusting.  I don’t know how people can simply throw out their trash in the woods or fields of such a beautiful park…

The kids did a great job at cleaning up the mess left over from others and thankfully there was nothing that was dangerous for the kids to pick up.  I’m almost always the odd one out since I’m always taking the picture but in the last one, that’s the only time it’s ever ok to stand take pictures standing in front of garbage. 🙂

Jungle Cat World!

So this weekend Brandon, the Beavers, Cubs and I went to Jungle Cat world for a sleep over and it was awesome!  The conditions was wet and cold but thankfully the kids were dressed properly though some still did get some wet feet after getting stuck in the deep mud.  We all arrived around 5:45pm Saturday, some of the leaders were there earlier and got the orientation and I was briefed as we walked to our respective cabins.  4 girls + 4 leaders in one and 16 boys + 2 leaders in another lol.  I did expect the worst but more on that later.

After a quick pizza dinner the show started and first the meet and greet with the smaller animals in a classroom setting.  The kids got to get up close with a bunch of pretty cool creatures and I even got to pet the female kangaroo!  When we did the night walk around the zoo, it was too dark for the SLR, I brought my PVS-14 with me along with the small FLIR Scout scope so I took some pictures with those things. 😉  The dens of the wild animals are heated so they’re not cold at night.  Anyway we got to see some large cats up REAL close!!!  It was also fun to hear either the lions or tigers roaring, frankly it was rather spooky and I’d definitely be worried if I heard something like that in the wild.

It was cute, the kids were able to get the wolves to howl as well and that was fun.  We got them back to their bunks by 12 and of course they didn’t want to go to sleep, I had to walk back and forth the cabin for 20 minutes before most of them went to bed.  At 1:15am, one of the kids had a case of homesickness so Scouter Darcy and I talked to him for a bit to get his mind off home and it worked.  Surprisingly none of the boys woke us up to go to the bathroom at night which was a surprise!    What makes things more complicated is that our cabin doesn’t have bathrooms and the closest one was closed (both boys and girls) due to frozen pipes so if anyone did need to use the bathroom we’d need to walk 100 meters or so back to the main office.  So happy that didn’t happen!

We were both awaken by the kids around 7:20am so we got some solid sleep which was awesome.  To be fair I was awoken a few times by the roars of the cats and howls from the wolves too.

In the morning after the staff checked all the pens, we took the kids around again to see the animals in the light and the large cats were so majestic!  We could get much closer than at the zoo, literally 2-3 feet away from such amazing animals.  Unfortunately as you can see it was muddy in the exhibits too, poor things but I don’t think they care too much.

After lunch we called it an event and people went home.  The rest of the afternoon we stuck around the house, both Brandon and I were tired and didn’t want to go anywhere.  Now I’m just listening to Hardwell on the Ultra Miami live stream then going to bed early to get ready for work tomorrow. 🙂

Go Brandon!

Yesterday we had the annual Beaver Buggy race and thanks to science Brandon smoked all the other Beavers and even beat the cubs!

That was the winning vehicle and while most of the Beavers placed the wooden beaver in the middle, I told Brandon to shift it to the rear.  Along with the additional weights that are put on the car to help it down the track, this meant that even though the cars were all starting in the same position Brandon’s had more available potential energy.  In addition, I installed the wheels so they were canted to one side that meant they were not making as much contact with the track and thus had less rolling resistance and friction to deal with.

In fact this combination was not only the fastest of all the Beavers, we even beat all the Cubs and their customized cars!

Sigh the 3rd picture was taken without the flash because my Yongnuo YN568EXII overheated due to constant use but as you can see B’s buggie crossing the finish line first. 🙂  The bottom 3 pictures were the runs through the various heats and Brandon had an accumulative time of 13.478 seconds with a top speed of 250.91 km/h.  The second heat was the next group of Beavers and the third the Cubs, note the top time was 13.488 which is 0.01 slower than our buggy!

Brandon handled winning gracefully and wasn’t boasting about it, it’s important to be a graceful winner and lol we used science to get us there. 🙂

2017 Beaver Winteree

Today was the Beaver Winteree and I’m not sure if we could have picked a day with worse weather.  It was snowing heavily all day and frankly there were a few times when I thought I’d bail, I probably would have had I not been a leader but just a parent who’s child was participating.

LOL I don’t usually use my phone while driving but had to take a picture of the driving conditions.  That was at Highway 7 & Warden and the drive to the Woodland trails camp site was lousy.  Manageable if you go slow but yeah there were a few times i wanted to turn home.

Obviously I didn’t and well the kids had a great time. 😀

I took pictures of the other kids too but seeing as how this is my blog, I really only care about posting pictures of Brandon. 😉  This year’s event was Pokemon themed and we played a variety of games.  Our group hosted a tobogganing/memory challenge where the kids go down the hill and try and remember the pokemon pictured.  Not sure about the other groups but our guys were busy sliding down the hill and didn’t really pay attention.

There was a scavenger hunt for pokeballs, searching for pokemon in the forest and a few other games.  On a side note, I know the Canon 70D has a bit of weather proofing (have to use an L lens though) and even though the camera was pretty wet from the falling snow, I had absolutely no problems!

The drive back was much better and we got home by around 4:30pm.  I shoveled the driveway for a second time when I returned then we relaxed the rest of the evening.  Being a Beavers leader sometimes drives me nuts when the kids misbehave but it’s the most rewarding thing I do and I’m so happy I can share it with my boy. 🙂

I was Santa!

Hehe tonight was the Beavers xmas dinner and I got to be Santa. This was definitely a first and I had a great time.

The kids saw through the costume so fast but it’s alright it was fun and man does this group put on a great show!  I took a lot of pictures and will share later.

Apple day!

This weekend, pretty much all the Scouting groups in Toronto are doing their annual Apple weekend fund raiser, where the kids go out and ask for donations in return for an apple and Brandon was super excited to get out. 🙂

We stood in front of a Starbucks and Brandon had a pretty good haul, we had to refill the basket three times.  At first he was quite timid but after some good success soliciting donations, he opened up.  Hehe of course it helps that he looks so damn cute in his little Beavers uniform, a lot of people stopped to chat but he was a bit afraid even though I was right there.  A bit later, one of the Cubs joined us and it was nice to talk to his mom, another adult lol.

We were out for about 2 1/2 hours and for doing such a great job I got him some McD’s for lunch.  Not the healthiest option but I think the last time we had some was maybe 3 weeks ago.

After lunch we played around the house for a bit then went out to battle some gyms in Pokemon Go.

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Brandon was using Maggie’s account and we were battling together, it’s something we both enjoy and as I’ve said a million times, I’m glad I can share it with him.  We took over I think 5 gyms, leveled up 3 but it’s pretty competitive still, we lost a few and I don’t expect to hold onto much by tomorrow morning but meh that’s alright and part of the fun.

We went out for dinner and it looks like it’s shaping up to be a quiet night.  I might go out with some of the local Pokemon Go guys that I know to do further gym battles (yes I’m a nerd) but I’m still sitting at home so I don’t know if anything will materialize.

Beavers!

So tonight was the first night of Beavers for the 2016-2017 year and I’m already exhausted lol.  We’re starting with a lot more kids than last year, I think we have 14 right now and I expect a few more to trickle in within the next few meetings.  It was beautiful weather so we spent the whole evening outside playing games and boy do they have a ton of energy!  This old man had a hard time keeping up when we were playing tag and other games, I really need to exercise and build my stamina. 😉

Tired, sore & loved it!

So over the weekend Brandon and I went to the year end Beavers camp with the cubs and it was such a wonderful experience…  Haha well as wonderful as trying to keep 22 kids 5-11 years old can be but yeah I had an amazing time overall and Brandon said he loved every minute of it. Now I’d like to do a proper write up, maybe later in the week I got maybe 5 hours of sleep in total Friday & Saturday night so I’m pretty darn tired right now but wanted to post some pictures, a few of the 900+ I took. 🙂

The theme of the camp was Beaver Olympics and all the kids competed in various games over the weekend.  Brandon’s team, came in 3rd (of 4) but things weren’t super balanced and his team was easily the youngest.  As you can see in the gallery, there are a few night vision shots taken and I was really proud of my boy because he wasn’t afraid of the dark (unlike some of the other kids) when we went on our dark nature hike Friday night or during the camp fire or 2nd nature hike Saturday night.

Managing so many kids can be difficult and in the last pic, you can kind of see the bruise on my right wrist.  One of the kids was swinging a stick around and I stopped him because there were kids all over and I didn’t want anyone to get hit in the face (my wrist was as high as Brandon’s head).  Anyway I’ll post some more pictures later but right now I’m so damn tired I got to get some rest.

Beavers\Cubs BBQ!

So on Wednesday we had the Beavers end of year BBQ (even though we have an official camp in two weeks) and it was pretty awesome.  Won’t do a lot of talking, there were a more than our group out, tons of food and all the kids had fun. 🙂

I do feel very fortunate to be with such a great group of people, as I’ve said many times the leaders really do it for the kids and they put on an excellent show.  As you can see in the pictures, I tried playing with the aperture/shutter & ISO settings and man I really need a full frame camera. 😉