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“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph.”
– Shirley Temple  
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  Volume No. 14 Issue No. 12 December 2017  

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  Faces of Black Forest
  Stanley Beckner — dedicated to AARP
  By Breeanna Jent

   For the last 15 years, Stanley Beckner has devoted a large chunk of his life to giving back to his community and his peers.
   
   The Colorado Springs resident has been a member of the Black Forest AARP Chapter 1100 for 15 years; and, for the last decade; he’s been the chapter’s “PR guy.”
   
   “Once you join, you get involved,” Beckner said. Initially, Beckner joined the Black Forest AARP Chapter 1100 because he knew others involved in the organization. But he quickly became a leader and served as the chapter’s president and vice president.
   
   About 10 years ago, he noticed that much of the organization’s community service projects went unnoticed. Beckner decided to step into the role of the chapter’s public relations representative, and he began sending event notices and press releases and helped set up the chapter’s monthly newsletter. He also helped create the chapter’s website, http://aarpchapter1100blackforest.weebly.com.
   
   “I wanted to let people know what we do and figured if some other people know, maybe they’ll join,” Beckner said.
   
   Community service is important to him, Beckner said, and the Black Forest AARP Chapter 1100 provides plenty of opportunities. Beckner also served his country in the military.
   
   A native of northeastern New Mexico, Beckner served in the United States Air Force 22 years before retiring in Colorado Springs as a lieutenant colonel. When he left the USAF 35 years ago, he remained in the Springs. After retiring, he worked for another 17 years at The Mitre Corp., a government-contracted nonprofit organization that operates multiple federally funded research and development centers. He and his wife, Electa, have been married for 54 years. They have three children and five grandchildren.
   
   “I strongly believe that when a person retires … and they stay active and do things, they live longer,” Beckner said. “Helping others is always good. It’s therapy. It keeps me occupied,” Beckner said.
   
   A few random questions for Beckner:
   
   NFH: Is there a historical figure you would like to meet?
   
   SB: From my military background, I am sure there are probably military leaders or historical persons like Abe Lincoln or Ronald Regan that I’d sure like to talk to. As for sports figures, the Broncos!
   
   NFH: What’s your favorite family tradition?
   
   SB: Family gatherings, when you can bring everyone together over a meal.
   
   NFH: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?
   
   SB: From my father: “Anything worth doing is worth doing right.” That was good advice.
   NFH: What’s something you never leave home without?
   
   SB: My driver license or my wallet!
  
Stanley Beckner has served the Black Forest community through his volunteer work with the Black Forest AARP Chapter 1100 for the last 15 years. Photos submitted
 
From left to right: Electa Beckner, Stanley Beckner and Beverly Schaab greet area seniors Sept. 11 during a free movie night provided by AARP.
 
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  Oldest Cub Scout Pack in Black Forest
  By Breeanna Jent

   Some of the Black Forest community’s youngest residents, from first through fifth grade, are learning to be trustworthy, helpful, kind and self-reliant as members of the oldest Cub Scouts group in Black Forest, Colorado.
   
   Founded in 1952, Cub Scouts Pack 70 is chartered by the Black Forest Community Club, and is part of District 20 and the Pikes Peak Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
   
   The pack maintains its 65-year tradition of community service, said Tory Hoefar, co-chair of Pack 70.
   
   “We are all so busy in this world we live in, and we have to pick and choose what we put our time into,” Hoefar said. “Cub Scouts is a great experience for kids and their parents. It’s a wonderful thing to see these kids grow personally to being wonderful, productive individuals in our society.”
   
   The Scouts are arranged into “dens,” determined by their age: Tigers, Bears, Webelos No.1 and Webelos No. 2. Together, the dens form a “pack.”
   
   After fifth grade, many Cub Scouts graduate to the Boy Scouts.
   
   “We participate in numerous activities throughout the year, including pack camping trips, Pinewood Derby races, Rocket Day and several other fun-filled events,” according to Pack 70’s website. “But more importantly, Cub Scout Pack 70 contributes to our local community through several community service projects.”
   
   Pack 70 carries on decades-old traditional projects and has started new ones, said Colleen Bock, Hoefar’s Pack 70 co-chair. One of Pack 70’s traditions has been its annual “Family Camp.”
   
   In recent years, they began visiting senior care facilities to sing Christmas carols to the residents, Bock said.
   
   “We’ve really grown over the years, and I can continue to see us growing,” she said.
   
   Additionally, the group hosts an annual food drive for Care & Share Food Bank in southern Colorado and also hosts several fundraisers, like popcorn or wreath sales (a new venture this year) to help raise funds to benefit the pack.
   
   Hoefar and her husband, Colby, a pack master, have been volunteering with Pack 70 for several years; their 10-year-old son, Brannock, joined the pack as a first-grader and is currently a fifth-grader in the Webelo den.
   
   Bock has also been volunteering with Pack 70 for several years, having had two sons previously graduate from the pack. Her son Turner, 10, joined in first grade and is currently a fifth-grade Webelo.
   
   Hoefar said the organization is hugely beneficial to the personal growth of so many young boys. “It’s more than just having fun.The boys get life lessons on their way to becoming better people.That is what Cub Scouts is designed to be,” Hoefar said.
   
   Brock added that the opportunities presented to the young boys also make joining the organization worthwhile.
   
   “There are lots of reasons to join, but one of the main reasons is that it builds character. It also allows the boys to get involved in activities they might not do otherwise. There’s a huge spread of areas they can get involved in, like learning to build things, or outdoorsy stuff like learning to build a fire and learning about fire safety,” Brock said.
   
   Pack 70 hosted a booth at the annual Black Forest Festival in mid-August, and at least six new members joined that day. Registration is open year-round, Hoefar said.
   
   “Parents, as well as the Cub Scouts, get a lot out of this program,” she said. “We are a family in a lot of ways.”
   
   To contact Cub Scouts Pack 70, visit their website at https://bfpack70.com.
   
   For more on the Pikes Peak Council of the Boy Scouts of America, visit http://pikespeakbsa.org.
  
Cub Scouts Black Forest: (From left to right) Cub Scouts Pack 70 members Christopher Kent, Dean Meyer, Avignon Zehnder, William Turchin and Matthias Kent participated in a Cub Scout Pack advancement program. Photo submitted
 
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  AARP Black Forest October schedule

   Oct. 11: Chapter meeting at noon at Black Forest Lutheran Church; potluck luncheon; visitors welcome. Russ Miller will present a program on the History of Navajo Code Talkers. Also, Make a Difference Day — Do a Kindness for someone
   
   Oct. 16: AARP Smart Driver Course: Black Forest Lutheran Church, from 12:45 to 5 p.m.; for the cost of the course and to reserve a seat, call 719-597-5683.
   
   Oct. 25: Senior Social
  
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  No fee senior social

   A monthly informal occasion for seniors is the no fee event. They meet in the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road in Black Forest.
            
   Seniors are welcome at the Black Forest AARP and Black Forest Lutheran Church monthly informal gathering, held at the Black Forest Lutheran Church Fellowship Hall at 12455 Black Forest Road. The social is from 1 to 4 p.m. the fourth Wednesday of each month, and all are invited to socialize, play games, work on hobbies or to simply sit and talk about “whatever.”  Light refreshments are available. For more information, contact Lavonne at 719-494-1276.
  
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  Black Forest Together

   Black Forest Together is holding its first annual fundraiser on Oct. 7 at the Black Forest Community Center — details in the community calendar. More information is available at http://blackforesttogether.org.   
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