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Day 51: Scouts and Cockroaches
100 days of scouting Day 51: Scouts are like cockroaches. They say after we destroy the planet in a nuclear holocaust, the cockroaches will survive. They get into everything and survive anything. They come in all sizes, about 4,500 species of them. Sounds like Scouts to me!

From wikipedia.org:

Boy Scouts You can replace 'Cockroaches' with 'Scouts' and you have:

OK, maybe not postage stamp glue, but some of the camp meals I've seen are pretty close.

Cockroach On
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Posted: 14:44 03-31-2011 605
Day 50: Other Stuff
100 days of scouting Day 50:
I got to spend most of yesterday doing my own other stuff, mostly researching long-distance backpacking and considering a big trek next year.

So, I thought I'd share some Other Stuff with you that this troop does to make its program a little bit different.



Does your troop have fun, unique programs to liven things up? Give a shout.

Scout On

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Posted: 9:56 03-30-2011 604
Day 49
100 days of scouting Day 49: Met with the outgoing SPL to review his term.
He led the court of honor tonight as his last meeting. For the Communications merit badge, he ran the entire ceremony and had his ASPL hand out badges. I just got to sit and watch. Not much left to teach him.
Sat down with the last new scout after the meeting and went through his Joining requirements.

Scout On
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Posted: 8:50 03-29-2011 603
Day 48: CPR
100 days of scouting Day 48: Yesterday and today I presented CPR/AED training to two troops in preparation for their summer outings. Also had a Girl Scout leader in the mix.
Met with the new SPL tonight getting prepared for his first PLC meeting next month. He's got some good ideas for fun activities and new games. Signed him up for the council's NYLT camp (Grey Wolf) which will be an great experience for him.
Printed a stack of blue cards for Pioneering merit badge applicants.

Scout On
Challenge your Scouts
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Posted: 22:06 03-27-2011 602
Day 46: New Pad
100 days of scouting Day 46:
Three weeks until your taxes are due. Remember to consider the miles driven for scouting as a tax deduction. Your Friends of Scouting contribution and other expenses you had for Scouting may also be deductible.

My Exped Synmat 7 DLX sleeping pad arrived!
Last summer, another adult on the first week of backpacking in Wyoming had one of these. He let me use it the second week when he returned home with the first group. Wow! It's like sleeping on a bed. So, I got one for my birthday last October but just finally got around to actually purchasing it since I was hoping for sales. I got it at Campmor.com for $124 (ouch) - now REI is having their 20% off any item sale, so I could have saved another $6. Oh Well. I keep thinking I could buy 20 blue closed-cell foam pads at Wal-Mart for the same price. :-(

This is the 77X26 inch version rather than the 72X20 so my feet and arms don't hang off. It weighs 1/2 pound more, but that's cool. Now I'm ready for my two weeks at summer camp and 50-Miler 5-day backpacking trip this summer. It really is a nice sleeping pad.

Scout On
Challenge your Scouts
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Posted: 8:38 03-26-2011 601
Day 44
100 days of scouting Day 44: Two scoutmaster conferences and 2 hours reviewing a robust Eagle Service Project workbook.
Also lots of emails arranging participants in the seven Red Cross Wilderness & Remote First Aid sessions I'm presenting over the next 4 months. I might need to add another in June for the "Oops, I didn't realize we needed that for Philmont and we're leaving in two weeks" people. My goal is to have 100 participants this year and it's looking like no problem.

Scout On
Challenge your Scouts
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Posted: 10:38 03-25-2011 600
Day 43: Swimming
100 days of scouting Day 43: Have you every heard a parent say, "But, they're too young to plan and lead all that"?

Last night, I spent 90 minutes at a swimming pool watching nine scouts pass their BSA swim test, rescue each other with arms, legs, and ropes, tie bowline knots, and work as teams to swim out and rescue victims. It was great fun in the tropics as the snow was falling outside.

And my part in getting this activity going? Not a thing!
A Tenderfoot scout needed his Second Class swimming requirement so he found out when the pool was open, told all the other younger scouts, and asked me to come and sign off. So, I showed up and did that. I also did a little teaching of the bowline for a couple guys, but that was about it. There were three adults there - we each worked with three scouts.

I'm sure the scout's dad assisted him, but the view from the rest of the world was that this scout did it all. He was the only one interacting with others to get it organized. That's important because those other eight scouts see that they too can plan something if they want to.

With a reason, some encouragement, and a little guidance, any scout can put together and lead a scouting activity or event. This swimming evening is an example. Another is our local 50-mile backpacking trek this summer being organized by a scout that hasn't been able to go on our remote high adventures. He has a reason, he's been encouraged, and now I'm just here to guide him as needed.

Scout On
Challenge your Scouts
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Posted: 9:59 03-24-2011 599
Day 42: I Luv It
100 days of scouting Day 42: I'll tell ya, I'm really enjoying these new scout conferences! My favorite question is - "So, what do you think you'll be doing this summer in Boy Scouts?"
I love the oversized, still-creased, half-untucked, patchless uniform shirt. I love hearing the debates about what patrol name is best - Scorpions vs. Black Widows right now. I love hearing "... physically strong, morally awake, and mentally straight" and watching the gears turn as he decides if "Be Prepared" is the motto or slogan. I love seeing a square knot tied right, whether it's the first or fifth time. I love seeing fidgety fingers and swinging feet gradually slow down as the scout and I get to know each other a little and he realizes I'm not like a principal or drill sargeant.

Most of all, I love wondering how this pipsqueak of a kid sitting here is going to grow over the next six years and how I can help make his Scouting experience the best it can be.
The mom of one of those ex-pipsqueaks called me this afternoon, getting his uniform current for his Eagle board of review. He'll be graduating in a couple months and heading off to the Air Force Academy a couple weeks later. He'll be a Falcon then, but he'll still be an Eagle.

Scout On
Challenge your Scouts
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Posted: 22:58 03-22-2011 598
Day 41: Meetings
100 days of scouting Day 41: Boards of Review, Patrol Meetings, and Troop Committee meeting.

We had eight scouts complete boards of review this evening, mostly Tenderfoot and Second Class.

The new scout patrol had a meeting. I went through the Joining requirements with one of them and he got it all except the square knot and scout badge. So, he'll take care of those at the troop meeting next week. We had a nice talk about Wii, Pokemon, and stamp collecting.

The main topic of discussion in the committee meeting was dividing the troop. After yet another very lengthy discussion, the decision was made to do nothing except inform the scout families that anyone can join any troop at any time. If someone wants to start a new troop, that is up to them.
So, the troop will continue on at its present size of ~75 scouts and see if it continues to grow or not. Since I've expressed my opinion that this is the incorrect road to take to provide the best possible experience for the scouts, it makes sense for me to speed along the ramp-up of the next scoutmaster and turn it over to him as soon as possible.

Scout On
Challenge your Scouts
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Posted: 9:51 03-22-2011 597
Day 40: Just Paperwork
100 days of scouting Day 40: lots of scouting paperwork today. Went through packets of information from summer camp, Seabase, and training.

I did talk with a local scouter in a troop just getting interested in backpacking, but with very little experience. I might get to visit with their PLC soon and share some of our adventures and help them get started. That would be a lot of fun, so I've got my fingers crossed.

Scout On
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Posted: 22:13 03-20-2011 596
Day 39: TLT and Planning
100 days of scouting Day 39: I drove 212 miles to home yesterday (34mpg in my 22 year old Mazda 323!) just in time to shower and get to a Star scoutmaster conference. This is one of those scouts you need to be careful that you don't short change on attention. He's so on top of things that he needs little direction, motivation, or encouragement. It's easy to just sign off and move on to the next one since my help isn't needed. Just taking the time to hear how he loves Scouts and his plans for summer is refreshing and relaxing - aaaaah.

The new SPL decided to have his Troop Leader Training start at 8:00am today. Oh well.
He's an 8th grader with a great team pulled together with three juniors, a sophomore, and a freshman to provide advice and support. All these guys did a super job of offering ideas and coaching the other 10 scouts on how things should be done for the next six months.

They discussed traits of good leaders, reviewed EDGE, covered their position responsibilities, made personal goals, and stayed awake the whole time.

After lunch, the patrol leaders planned out six months of troop outings for 2012 and assigned patrols to lead the planning of each one.

A very productive day.
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Posted: 18:54 03-19-2011 595
Day 37: Tech Scouting
100 days of scouting Day 37: The past two days have been just 'remote scouting' for me - only communicating remotely over the 'net to the scouts and adults back home, replying to emails from site visitors, and adding troop links to myScouting Links page.

It's really pretty amazing how we can instantly communicate with practically anyone at any time. Our advancement chair had a question about a scout completing rank requirements. I got on my laptop wirelessly connected, opened Troopmaster which connected to their website, updated the requirement completions, ane emailed the advancement chair back. Even though I'm hundreds of miles away, it all just took a few minutes.
A couple scouts set up scoutmaster conferences through Troop Kit for when I get home.
I'm electronically planning our Troop Leader Training for this weekend with the SPL.

I just watched "UP" with the nephews and niece last night. Russell, the Wilderness Explorer, used his GPS to steer the balloon-lifted house to South America. Technology fits into Scouting just fine when used as a tool to supplement skills rather than as entertainment which should come from participation in scouting activites, or as a crutch to make up for lacking skills. Allowing technology in your troop and educating scouts (and scouters) on its proper use is a better solution than trying to prevent its presence. The Tech Chip card is an example of integrating technology into scouting.

The BSA appears to be thinking along similar lines of promoting technology through Scouting. A new STEM-NOVA Award is in the works. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. Various awards, patchs, and pins will be available to Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, and Venturers. The program is to be announced in May and fully developed over the next two years. Read more at this page.

Scout On
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Posted: 7:04 03-17-2011 594
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