Scoutmaster Musings - The Knack of Knives and Knots

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Scoutmaster Musings

The Knack of Knives and Knots
Half of the new scouts in the troop attended the Paul Bunyan campout last weekend. This was our first tent camping trip of the season and the agenda was to teach the Totin' Chip and Firem'n Chit skills.
The Panther patrol did a most excellent job of scheduling the day's events and two scouts working on the Communications merit badge planned and led the campfire program. This was the best organized weekend we've ever had! I hope it is a harbinger of a great summer ahead.

The two new patrols are the Carnivorous Crows and the Buffalos (or, as they prefer, the Buffalo Chips). This year, we are trying larger patrol sizes. Two years ago, we had 3 patrols of 6 scouts each but when a few scouts dropped out and some moved away, those patrols were merged. This year, we have two patrols - 9 in one and 12 in another. The 12-man patrol has a lot of sports-oriented scouts so I expect they will never have a full contingent. And, 3 or 4 are just 'trying out' scouting without much expectations of staying in. We'll work with them.

These scouts were taught knife, axe, and saw safety by experienced scouts and were presented with their Totin' Chip cards. We tear off a corner for poor tool safety and when all the corners are gone, the program needs to be redone. Each card gets the first corner taken off when it is presented so the scouts know it's serious and because 4 mistakes are too many.

Fire safety was covered and Firem'n Chit cards given out. In the past, we've burned off one corner, but these scout leaders just tore one off.

The basic two half hitches, tautline hitch, clove hitch, and bowline knots were instructed. The plan was to do a lashing project in the afternoon, but the scouts preferred to practice their whittling, chopping, and sawing, along with a few little fires being built and stomped out.

Scout On

Posted: 9:44 04-26-2007 139
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