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How Many Eagle Scouts Does It Take ...?
The question often comes up about how many scouts reach Eagle or what percentage of scouts make it. I just got an email asking about that so I checked around a bit and found the most recent, most official info I could at Facts About Scouting page.

Through the end of 2005, 1,835,410 young men had been awarded the Eagle Scout Award, achieved by only approximately 5 percent of Scouts.
In 2005, 49,895 scouts earned Eagle. So, I would expect the total for the end of 2006 to be about 1,885,000 Eagles.

The interesting thing to me is that googling for 'percent eagle scout' returns results citing less than 2%, 2%, 3%, 4%, 5% depending on the point being made on that page. :-)
Earlier pages from the mid-1990s on say 'about 4%' so it appears the percentage of scouts earning Eagle is going up. One could argue that that statistic shows 'paper eagles' are being made - or it means more scouts are focusing on completing that high goal.

Either way, I'm expecting more than 2 of the 40 scouts in our troop to reach Eagle. And, I do understand that I need to count the Eagles against all the scouts that joined, not just current members. I have a page where I track every scout that joins, what rank he reaches before dropping, and the reason given for dropping. There's lots of room for improvement!

Scout On

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Posted: 8:46 02-28-2007 129
Tropical Escape
About this time of year, folks in the upper midwest are heading to Florida and other places south to thaw out a bit. Spring Break happens well before ice out and spring is still a long way off.
To combat the cold winters, dozens of 'indoor water parks' have been constructed over the past few years. These are small islands of liquid water, high humidity, and the smell of chlorine. Families visit for a day or a weekend and pretend to be places further south.
Our troop spent yesterday at the Waterpark at Mall of America - 7 hours away from the frigid arctic environment we've been in for the past month. It was a great day event for the youngest patrol to plan since there was relatively little planning required. It's a challenge to come up with ways to tie a waterpark with scouting, but the scouts got lots of exercise, had fun, and used the buddy system. And, the day was a good balance to our previous troop meeting which was night sledding for an hour while the temps hovered around 1-5F.

I'd recommend exploring a waterpark type event for a change of pace in the depths of winter.

Scout On
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Posted: 17:17 02-18-2007 128
Magnificent Seven

There's a great article in the Stillwater Gazette about seven scouts that just earned their Eagle ranks all together. They joined their troop together and made a pact that they'd all stick with it to Eagle.

That's the sort of support and teamwork that every scout needs to be successful. As we receive 17 new scouts over the next month, I plan on promoting a similar pact within each patrol. Giving each scout the responsibility and authority to help his buddies stay the course sounds like one more good thing to help patrol spirit and scout advancement.

Scout On

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Posted: 13:51 02-13-2007 127
Monopoly for Charity
Now here's one that is new to me, but sounds like a fun event. Host a Monopoly Tournament to raise funds for a worthwhile cause.
On March 3rd, troops 718 and 799 in Thousand Oaks, CA are hosting a tournament to benefit their council's endowment fund. See BSA Monopoly for a cool website they have for their tournament.
The winner of their tournament is eligible to continue on to a State tournament, and there are National and WORLD championships after that! I never even knew there were such 'official' tournaments available.

For information about sponsoring a tournament, check out Hasbro Monopoly page which even has a 28-page tournament guide.

Scout On

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Posted: 23:45 02-10-2007 126
Aloha, Y'all
Since this month's Cub Scout theme is 'Aloha Cub Scouting' maybe you'd like to try your hand at learning some scout promises, laws, and mottos in Hawaiian.
The Maui County Council has an Ideals of Scouting page listing the Scout Oath, Law, Motto, and Slogan in Hawaiian.

And, here's the Cub Scout Promise:
(Cub Scout Promise)
O wau o amalia, ho'ohiki no ka hana ana i kou kilohana
Me ka hana ana i ka'u mahelehana
i ke akua ame ko'u a'ina kahiki
A e kokua i kekahi po'e
A e ho'olohe i na kanawai
o ka pu'ali
I promise to do my best
To do my duty
To God and my country,
To help other people,
And to obey the Law of the Pack.

E ho'omakaukau
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Posted: 17:13 02-07-2007 125
Stove Feedback
I wanted to thank people that replied about my Stoves for Scouts entry, especially Jack, John, and Tom.

It sounds like most troops use propane stoves just like us. But, some of them use a 20lb propane tank with a distribution tree and hoses to each stove - set the tank in a plastic milk crate to make it more stable. This cuts out the problem of throwing out all those propane bottles and reduces fuel costs, after recovering the initial expense of tanks, trees, and hoses. The main reason our troop committee has not done that is because it forces the patrols that share a tank to set up right next to each other. We could have a tank for each patrol and that might be the best solution for weekend 'car' campouts where no packing in occurs. Maybe a 5lb tank per patrol would work. Unfortunately, this doesn't remove the main problem area from the equation - that $17.00 regulator that stops working.

The use of popcan alcohol stoves was presented also. Those are pretty cool and a great project for scouts to make. On minimalist campouts, they are great for a single person to heat water and rehydrate food. But, their 5-15 minute burn time isn't enough for actual cooking. I've got these on my list of 'projects to try at troop meetings' for the PLC to consider.

I sent an email to Coleman asking about the regulators that stop working, pleading for any way to adjust them, clean them, or fix them. We'll see if they reply.

One other thing to pass on to you all. One scouter said they had tried to refill the disposable propane bottles with a fitting you can purchase. His experience was that it worked a couple times until the seal on the bottle would start leaking. On the Coleman disposable bottles, it does say "Do Not Refill" so we've not tried that.

So, my plan is to have the adults try cooking on two liquid fuel backpacking stoves on the next couple campouts and see how we do. (We don't really have much choice since we inherited an inoperable regulator :-) ) We might purchase a wire grill to set over the stoves for pot stability.
Assuming that goes well, I'll discuss it with the SPL and see if he'll ask a couple older patrols if they'd like to give it a try.

Scout On
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Posted: 11:40 02-04-2007 124
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