6/12/2015 (4:30 PM)  -  6/14/2015
Birch Bay RV Campground
Guests (counts for planning purposes):

Robert (dad) and Preston Frantzen - Pack 4539
Heather Ross & 2 Girl Scouts


Greetings Scouts!

Thanks for signing up to represent Troop 1539 and the Boy Scouts of America at the 2015 Hands Across the Border celebration. It’s going to be a blast!

I just wanted to pass along the following information about this coming weekend's trip to the Peace Arch in Blaine, WA:


Thursday -- Pack Check! Please be sure to bring your gear to the Scout Hall. We’ve got a lot of stuff to grab from the Quartermaster’s Store and "many hands make light work," so please be there at 7 p.m.

Friday -- Traveling in Class A uniform, please. (Attempting to keep them nice for Sunday's parade.)

We'll want to leave the VFW Hall by 4:45 p.m. Please arrive at the Scout Hall by 4:15 p.m., Friday, to load-and-hit-the-road.

We will try to catch the 5:30 p.m. Kingston ferry to Edmonds (Spring schedule, fallback ferry is 6:10 p.m.). From there, it is roughly a 1-hour, 45-minute drive from Edmonds to the Birch Bay RV Resort/Campground. (Map: https://goo.gl/maps/3RomH.) We should arrive at camp around 8-8:30 p.m. We'll pitch our tents and have quiet camp by 10 p.m. or so.

Please pack a "sack dinner" to be eaten on the ferry trip over.

Saturday -- Breakfast cooking will be by patrol, with our guests — a Bear Cub and two Girl Scouts — dining with you.

After breakfast, you will then have time to wash up, clean up, explore camp, etc.

Around 9:15 a.m., we'll spend some time practicing parade marching.

Around 9:50, we'll head out to Birch Bay Waterslides for a fun afternoon. Remember to pack your swim trunks (and goggles and aqua sox, if you wish)!

Lunch will be purchased at the water slide park. We'll then head back to camp around 4-4:30, where the Scoutmasters will be fixing a special dinner for the entire troop!

After dinner, more free time to play/swim/explore until campfire at the big fire pit.

Sunday -- Breakfast by patrol, same as Saturday. Then we’ll break camp and, if there's time, we can swim and enjoy the campground a bit more.

We’ll try to arrive at the park between 10:30-11 a.m. to secure our parking spots and get a decent location for observers on the lawn. You will then be turned loose to explore the park, check out the early patch-trading options, etc. We'll also take some time to check out the Peace Arch and learn about the history and symbolism of the monument and the event.

Lunch will be purchased at the park … looks like there will be pizza and hot dogs. Then it's the parade at 1 p.m., some speeches and then we head home. Dinner will be a a fast food spot of the drivers’ choice on the way home.

We'll be attempting to leave the park by 2:15-2:30, shooting for the 5:25 Edmonds ferry home (Summer schedule, fallback ferry is 6:15) and trying to be home by 6:30-7 p.m. for the Flag Day service project.


Lodging -- We'll be staying at Birch Bay RV Campground. We have 8 campsites: 7 tent sites and one RV site (because we took all of the tent sites).

The campground has tons of amenities, including a pool, game room, basketball and volleyball courts, a large fire pit and more. Click the link on this page for details.


Weather -- Looks to be super-perfect this time.

Right now, it’s looking sunny and high 60s to low 70s.

I don’t suspect that we need to make special provisions for weather, although this is Western Washington and “Be Prepared” should always be the motto.


Gear -- Standard packing list for a car camp. Again, please be sure to pack your swim trunks and other items you wish to wear in the water slides and/or campground pool.

Checklist available in the Boy Scout Handbook or at http://www.troop-1539.org/ -> Documents/Forms -> Camping Gear Checklist.


Money -- There is a bit of cost associated with this trip. I usually recommend that each of you bring anywhere from $45-60:

• Sack lunch for Friday dinner -- whatever you wish

• Water Slides and Lunch on Saturday -- SEE NOTE BELOW

• Lunch on Sunday (hot dogs, chips, soda available at the park) -- somewhere around $5-10, depending on appetite.

• Early dinner on Sunday at a fast-food joint -- Around $10.

• Ferry fare home for each Scout on Sunday -- $4. (Make sure that you save enough money for the ferry home.)

• As for the water slides ... we will be at Birch Bay Waterslides on Saturday. The cost at the door for the Hands Across the Border discount is $12 per person (plus tax) using the facilities.

Lunch will be at the water park concessions: hamburgers, hot dogs, corn dogs, chicken strips, things like that. I recommend about $10-15 for food at the park. (Also, Birch Bay Pizza is located next door and Scouts, in the past have purchased lunch from there.)

PARENTS: Please be aware that after all the receipts are in and costs are divvied up, there will be a separate registration, food, gas, campsite charge. The prices I’m quoting are just for taking with each Scout this weekend.


Patch trading and SWAPS -- In the past, there has been a large patch trading contingent at Peace Arch Park on Sunday. I encourage all of you to take patches up to trade. You never know what will be the popular item. In 2011, one of the old-timers up there was captivated with a funny, generic fishing Scout patch and let William trade for it.

Patches can be bought at the Scout Shop. Be warned: Chief Seattle Council patches don't trade very well (everyone has them and they're not very exciting), so I wouldn’t load up on them. But other trading material will do well.

OA members are allowed to trade lodge flaps only with other OA members. I *strongly* suggest that you purchase trader flaps to exchange and *not* trade your reserve patches that you receive for becoming Ordeal or Brotherhood members.

Finally, there will be a large contingent of Girl Scouts/Girl Guides roaming around the park with SWAPS for trading. Boy Scouts are more than welcome to trade patches for SWAPS, so long as you think you're getting a fair deal out of it.


Electronics -- If parents are comfortable with Scouts taking their cell phones on this trip, you are encouraged to do so. All cell phones will be collected by drivers at the start of this trip. They will be issued to their owners on Sunday when we arrive at Peace Arch Park, as you will be dismissed in groups to explore the park and trade patches. The SPL/PLs will be responsible for calling Scouts who do not return to the parade formation point at the assigned time.

Because we need them charged for Sunday and do not have the capacity to charge them on the road, phones will be switched off and under the care of drivers prior to that morning.

Please Note 1: Cell phones are the ONLY allowed electronics. iPods, etc., will be confiscated per usual Troop 1539 rules.

Please Note 2: We should try to avoid using cell phones any more than necessary. Canadian cell services bleed over the border at times and supersede the domestic carriers, which can result in very high costs per phone call or data usage. This is for emergency use only, but is a reasonable precaution.

My cell phone will be charged and active throughout the weekend. I can be reached at 360.633.5199 at all times. Mr. Bougan generally keeps his cell phone with him and can be reached at 360.271.4477.


I think that just about covers everything. Please let me know if you have any questions.

See you Thursday night, 7 p.m., for Pack Check!


Steve Rinehart
Asst. Scoutmaster, Troop 1539, Silverdale, Wash.

"All Scouting is local. Everything else is vanity."
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