2018 - Jan
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Jennifer asked: "Do the 6 merit badges for star rank have to be earned while a 1st class scout, or could they have been earned while a tenderfoot or 2nd class scout?"
All requirements to earn Star rank need to be started and completed after First Class has been earned EXCEPT for the merit badges. Boy Scouts can begin work on any merit badge at any time, once they are registered with a troop. There are no age restrictions on any merit badges, and badges earned before attaining First Class rank DO count towards Star requirements.
The same is true for Life and Eagle ranks - all Life requirements are started and completed after attaining Star rank, and all Eagle requirements are started and completed after attaining Life rank, EXCEPT for the merit badges.
An industrious new scout could complete a couple dozen merit badges in his first few months as a scout and not need to do any others for rank advancement.
See all the merit badges.
Posted: 14:08 03-30-2015 1154
Are folks in your community tired of wreaths, mulch, and bulbs? Your troop could be one of eight that receive a big fundraising starter kit from Country Meats via Scouting Magazine's sweepstakes through the end of April.
It's no secret that I love their snack sticks, and there's a good chance your troop could be the first in your town to offer them. A table outside your local Outdoor Sports store the day before Fishing Opener could be killer.
See Contest page to enter as often as you'd like.
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Posted: 12:28 03-10-2015 1153
Quest for Fire
There's a scene in the old 1981 movie "Quest for Fire" where the lead character was shown how to make fire by another clan. Until that moment, fire could only be found in nature or stolen from others so it was fiercely guarded and nurtured. Being able to make fire was huge!
I've raved about the enjoyment I get from starting fire with just air - using a Wildersol fire piston. It's always good for impressing a few people on any campout. I love being able to make fire many different ways besides just flicking a Bic, and I think it's a great way to improve self sufficiency. A scout that can create fire realizes he can do much more.
There have been some new developments at Wildersol that might interest you. From the wooden fire piston kits that I've carved and given as Eagle gifts, the choices in piston design have exploded. You can now select from wood, composite, clear or colored plexiglass, or tooled aluminum. There are mini- or full-sized pistons, and even a TriLight model with 3 ways to start fire.
Jeff (@ Wildersol) has created a few videos showing how his firestarters work, as well as making fire from wild components. I like this one where he makes and uses a bowdrill from wild bits.
It looks like fun. I've gathered wild components on a couple weekend campouts and made my own bowdrill to see if I could actually make fire in the wild. It's hard! I've been successful, but I hope I'm never in a situation where I really need to do it. I'd rather have a small firestarter in my pocket.
Jeff also has some special pricing and products specifically for scouts on his site. If you'd like your troop to get better at fire starting, or have a competition, or just looking for gifts, check out his Scout Specials page - matchless fire combo has 4 ways to start fire (flint-n-steel, fire piston, magnifying glass, plus ferrocerium rod and striker), and there's a special group price for fire pistons.
Posted: 9:50 03-01-2015 1152
Hey, you probably know BoyScoutTrail.com is giving away goodies every month. Check out my contest page and take a shot.
Here are a few more contests you might want to enter...
- Scouting magazine is giving away gift cards and knives. Visit their contest page to enter.
- Boys' Life has contests, too. You can see them all on their contest page - the worst you could do is get a patch.
- Did you make a Pinewood Derby car? Even if it didn't win, a picture of it can still win you $50 at this facebook contest.
Scout On and Good Luck
Posted: 15:33 02-10-2015 1146
Baby, It's Cold Out There
It's Klondike Derby time so a little reminder about frostbite danger to the scouts is in order.
It only took an hour of walking this morning to develop this cool frost layer. It was -5°F and about 5mph wind - and I was comfortable the entire hike.
At -10°F, it takes about 30 minutes to get frostbite on exposed skin, but less than 15 minutes at -20°F. Above about 15°F, there is much less concern about frostbite, but hypothermia remains something to watch for as people slowly lose their core body heat over hours, not minutes.
Keep these points in mind to prevent frostbite:
- Keep Moving - muscle activity keeps warm blood flowing to your extremities. Sitting, or even standing in one position, can reduce circulation which increases frostbite potential. Don't move so much that you sweat and get your clothes wet.
- Wear loose layers - this provides dead air space which means more insulation. A big fleece crushed under a tight-fitting windbreaker loses loft - wear an oversized outer layer.
- Cover up - Exposed skin freezes fast so cover everything but your eyes.
- Convection cools - a 0 degree windless day is less dangerous than a 15 degree day with 15mph wind. A windproof outer layer makes a big difference. Even a thin wind/rain jacket hood over your stocking hat helps a lot.
- Winter Gear - a scarf or balaclava protects the face; mittens instead of gloves keep fingers together and warmer; insulated boots, especially with thick soles, keep feet warmer than hiking boots. Chemical heat packs in boots and mittens can be a big help.
- Limit Exposure - if you expect frostbite temperatures for your outing, ensure there are places where participants can take time to warm up.
- Buddy System - someone else noticing signs of trouble is sometimes the first indication.
Take a couple minutes and review some more Winter Camping Tips.
Have a Great Klondike!
Posted: 13:12 02-05-2015 1144
I ❤ MN
A few fun things to do in MN when it gets really cold. Don't you wish you were here instead of on that silly vacation to FL, Mexico, or wherever you went?
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Posted: 10:15 01-28-2015 1142
GoLite Gone :-(
Do you remember what it felt like when Mighty Casey struck out?
"Oh, somewhere in this favored land the sun is shining bright;
The band is playing somewhere, and somewhere hearts are light,
And somewhere men are laughing, and somewhere children shout;
But there is no joy in Mudville — little GoLite has struck out."
I received an email today that GoLite.com is having a liquidation sale. I figured it was some spam so I viewed the source - and everything looked legit. I went to GoLite.com and there was a banner "Liquidation Sale", but then every page after that just showed "service unavailable" - I imagine their server is overloaded today.
It's true - GoLite.com is bankrupt and selling out all their inventory to pay off debts.
GoLite is (was) my favorite, daniel-vs-goliath, ultralight gear provider. They pushed the price of gear down and seemed to really try to offer good stuff and reasonable prices. Over the past few years, they tried different sales models. Obviously, some part of their business plan didn't work out. :-(
When I hiked the Arizona Trail, my most important item was my GoLite chrome dome umbrella. It protected me from sun, rain, and big horses. I still have, and use, it but now will never be able to replace it as it is wearing a bit thin.
Also, my wife and I both got GoLite down jackets from Christmas gifts and I wore mine every night across Arizona. She wears hers from Oct. to March here in MN. :-)
But, it's not just me. Andrew Skurka's gear list includes many GoLite items.
Now that GoLite is going away, I find myself wondering if I could have helped prevent the closing of their doors. Here's all I could think of - do you have other ideas?
- Buy More Stuff - purchase what you need, or just want
- Give Feedback - let them know you like them and why they are your favorite
- Promote - tell your friends about them
Well, there are still lots of lightweight gear retailers - Granite Gear, Gossamer Gear, HyperLite, AntiGravity, ULA, ZPacks, ProLite, LightHeart, EMS, Katabatic, ... but I'll sure miss GoLite. Guess I need to find a new favorite.
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Posted: 15:42 11-14-2014 1141
Posted: 9:37 11-11-2014 1138
2K Likes - Thanks!
Need $25 for Scout Stuff?
Boy Scout Trail just hit 2,000 Likes on Facebook. To celebrate, someone gets a $25 Scout Shop gift card.
For a chance to win:
- Go to Facebook and LIKE http://facebook.com/boyscouttrail if you haven't already.
- Then, leave a comment on this Status post there.
I'll randomly choose a winner of all those that leave a comment before Monday.
I'll do the same thing when we hit 3000, 4000, ... and every 1K after that. Share with your FB friends so the next drawing happens sooner.
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Posted: 8:56 11-07-2014 1137
Vote - Support Citizenship
I just got back from walking 1/2 mile to my polling location and casting my ballot. Many of the positions were just the incumbent running for re-election unopposed. There was only one local referendum to vote on. It wasn't a really exciting election.
Modeling good citizenship isn't often an exciting role. As common citizens, our job is to vote and then support those people and policies we have elected and passed. Without the first step of voting, nothing else works out.
So, make it to the polls today if you haven't already - there's still time. Do your good turn of supporting our country by actively participating in the election process. And, maybe even get a cool little "I Voted" sticker to wear!
Posted: 16:06 11-04-2014 1136
No e-Cigs or Weed
Alcohol, Tobacco, and Drugs have not been allowed around youth in the BSA program for quite awhile. Recent technological and political changes have caused two items to be added to section IV of the Guide to Safe Scouting.
- electronic cigarettes: Adult leaders should support the attitude that they, as well as youth, are better off without tobacco in any form and may not allow the use of tobacco products at any BSA activity involving youth participants. This includes the use of electronic cigarettes, personal vaporizers, or electronic nicotine delivery systems that simulate tobacco smoking.
All Scouting functions, meetings, and activities should be conducted on a smoke-free basis, with smoking areas located away from all participants.
- medical marijuana: It is unacceptable for anyone to use or be under the influence of medical marijuana at or during any Scouting activity.
Being ignorant of e-cigs, I just reviewed a bunch of online videos of them. Proponents say they are safe, clean, and help kick the smoking habit. Opponents say they promote a smoking lifestyle, deliver drugs and harmful chemicals to the body, and are not helpful in kicking smoking addiction.
My casual observer view is that they look like silly and are very expensive. Youth seeing adults using them could certainly be swayed to use them, too.
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Posted: 13:54 11-03-2014 1135
Boo! It rhymes with Goo.
And, goo is the secret ingredient in HikeGoo foot treatment.
No one's going to want a tube of HikeGoo in their halloween bucket, but scouts working on the Hiking or Backpacking merit badges might be very thankful.
FootKinetics has four products to help your active feet - HikeGoo, RunGoo, WalkGoo, and SilkStep. They are all very similar, and they sent me a tube of HikeGoo to try out. So, I used it over the last month of hiking.
Now, I seldom get blisters since I hike about 4 or 5 miles nearly every morning. My feet are used to the routine, my shoes and feet have developed a nice relationship, and the trail is well manicured. So, trying HikeGoo was more to see what it felt like and how it affected my feet.
The thick wax is squeezed out of the tube directly onto the foot and smeared around with the applicator. I found the goo to take some effort to squeeze out, especially these last few cold days, but it then spread around just fine. I found it worked to spread the goo with a couple fingers to get a thinner, even layer. I then pulled/rolled my socks over my feet so the goo stays in place better.
After my short Appalachian Trail hike in August, I had quite a bit of rough, flaking skin on my heels and around the edge of my soles. The biggest thing I noticed about using HikeGoo this past month is that it really smoothed that skin and made my feet feel better. I was concerned that the wax cream might make my feet perspire more, but that did not happen. My feet and socks were just as dry as normal, and my socks did not get caked with goo after a morning of hiking.
I can really see how this cream could help someone prone to blisters, especially scouts with little hiking experience or just starting to prepare for Philmont or some other long trek. Here are a few things I particularly noticed about HikeGoo:
- Odorless and Colorless - no perfumes or pigmentation, just smooth white waxy protection
- Creamy - I guess you'd expect that from a foot cream, but it isn't greasy and it felt nice
- Packaging - You can carry a 3oz. or 5.5oz. tube. The package adds another ounce, most of that is the 0.6oz. applicator lid. On a backpacking trek, I'd replace with a simple lid.
- Slippery - I could certainly feel the smooth glide rather than rubbing on my feet
With the cold and dry air invading Minnesota now, I've found that the extra HikeGoo left on my fingers after applying is useful. I massage it into my hands and they don't feel so dry and chapped after being outside for hours. Maybe FootKinetics will come out with HandGoo next. :-)
Posted: 11:37 10-31-2014 1134Previous Posts
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