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What's in a Domain Name?
As most folks know, the official BSA national website is at scouting.org which is a great domain name for the organization. But, in the Internet world, good domain names can be bought and sold for hundreds and thousands of dollars. Just think of an interesting name such as hike.com or camp.com and it's probably already registered. And, there's a good chance it is just a place holder, reserved by someone hoping to sell the domain name instead of actually create a site with any value to it.

That's why it's pretty cool that a fella named John Hall has donated the domain names of BoyScouts.com and BoyScouts.org to the BSA. Those URLs now redirect to the Scouting.org site that has this press release.

Mr. Hall could have sold those domain names for a lot of money, but he chose to give them to the BSA. This simple action will benefit many people that are looking for the BSA site and search for a match. Instead of being sent to some garbage site, they'll actually get to the right destination.

There are many different ways people can support the scouting movement. I think this action by Mr. Hall demonstrates that the breadth and depth of our impact is only limited by our imagination and resourcefulness.

BoyScout.com, BoyScouts.com, CubScout.com, CubScouts.com, CubScout.org and other names all wind up at Scouting.org but there are quite few others that are interesting to check out just to see where they go:
- Scouting.com redirects to Draft.com - a football site.
- BoyScout.org is a holder page, waiting to be purchased. So is Scouts.org, Scouts.net, Scout.net and lots of other
- CubScouts.org is used by Pack 474 in Wauwatosa, WI.

Also, if you didn't know Scout.org is the home of the World Organization of the Scout Movement.

Scout On
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Posted: 14:34 05-30-2008 331
Semi-Annual Planning
Every 6 months, the newly-elected SPL gathers his gang and decides on the troop activities for 6 months a year in the future. By doing this, the troop has a rolling 18 month schedule and patrols are able to plan ahead.

That doesn't necessarily mean they DO plan ahead, but they can if they want. On Sunday, the new SPL called his patrol leaders together to have them share campout ideas and choose the ones to do. As is often the case, only a couple brought ideas, but the SPL had the list of everything the troop has done in the last 8 years so he could offer other suggestions.

In just an hour, the scouts decided the 6 monthly campout ideas for April-September of 2009, which patrols would be responsible to plan each, and a couple high adventure ideas. They've included Pioneering, Bike Rally, Waterworks, Wilderness Survival, Shooting Sports, and summer camp. They're also planning a high adventure hiking/sailing outing on Lake Superior and possibly a crew to SeaBase.

Sounds like a good summer to me, and they did it themselves.

Scout On

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Posted: 16:29 05-20-2008 330
New Scout Uniforms
The BSA Centennial Uniform is on its way!

The word is out! New design for the BSA scout uniform comes out in August, 2008. The colors are pretty much the same so new uniform pieces can be transitioned as old ones are outgrown. A big difference is red shoulder loops and unit numbers are now forest green. The uniform is being promoted as more versatile and wearable in the field instead of just for meetings.
I do think the new BSA baseball-style cap is a big improvement. The switchbacks are staying around.


See BSAUniforms.org for details or this PDF file.

Scout On

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Posted: 18:42 05-19-2008 329
Wilderness First Aid at Summer Camp
I'll be presenting Wilderness First Aid Basics to scouts at summer camp in July. Camp Many Point is starting a new "All Things Emergency Response" program for one week this summer. I'm fortunate to be a part of the new program and hope it is a big success to continue and grow. There's currently 10 scouts signed up so it's off to a good start.

The local sheriff's office and Mounted Search & Rescue teams are scheduled to present their programs to the scouts, too. I just saw the outline for the week and it's packed with activities and surprises. The scouts get to participate in mock sea rescues, ice rescues, lost hikers, airplane crash, and a mess of various wounds and evacuation drills.

At the end of the week, scouts will have CPR certification, WFAB certification, Emergency Preparedness and Safety merit badges, and experience in many emergency scenarios.

There is a video about the program, but it's a little long.

Scout On
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Posted: 15:00 05-19-2008 328
Quick Rise to Eagle
There's often discussion of 13 or 14 year old Eagle scouts - scouts that plow through the ranks in less than 3 years. This isn't a very rare event.

I believe a much more rare thing is to have a 16 year old boy join Boy Scouts with a goal of reaching Eagle before aging out. This past weekend, I met a scout doing just that while I was presenting a Wilderness First Aid session.

A 16yr old guy just joined a local troop in March with no prior scouting experience. He is now Tenderfoot and has most of his 2nd and 1st Class requirements completed. The 16 months of troop leadership will be a challenge, but he seems to be working very hard at the lower ranks.

It's kind of weird to see a scout taller than me demonstrating how to sharpen his pocketknife and hunting around for signs of 10 animals. :-) He's extra motivated to complete First Class before July, not just to reach Eagle but because he's scheduled to attend Philmont in August!

Speaking of "late starters", we had an 8th grade boy visit our troop meeting, interested in joining Scouts. He's never been in scouting before and doesn't know anyone in the troop. I gave his mother a youth application and will see if they join us at Monday's troop meeting. I'm excited to talk more with him and find out why now and why us. I sure hope he signs up so the one scout in that patrol that is still Tenderfoot might get a bit more motivate to push ahead. :-)

I will be using these two examples for a long time when talking to the troop about being on the look-out for new boys and old friends to invite along on the adventure.

Scout On
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Posted: 12:24 05-08-2008 327
2008 Scout Catalog
I do believe I've found the two silliest products yet offered by the BSA Scout stores.

Boy Scout Gear Disposable wooden knives, forks, and spoons. They are advertised as environmentally friendly since they are made from wood and individually wrapped in recyclable paper. After dinner, just throw them all in the fire. No cleanup, no trash.

Well now, these have got to the the perfect item for that lazy patrol with a big bankroll. A fork/knife/spoon costs $.37 which is $1.48 for a weekend or $11.84 for a patrol of 8 scouts. Disposing of gear instead of washing and reusing isn't my idea of environmentally friendly. Heck, pick up a stick and whittle your own utensils!


Boy Scout Branding Iron At least the wooden utensils have a purpose. The custom fleur-de-lis branding iron is intended to burn the brand on a piece of meat.
Anyone want to bet there winds up being brands on picnic tables, trees, scout legs, and practically anything except a piece of steak?
I just couldn't help but laugh when I saw these two items. Someone is doing an outstanding job of marketing their junk to the BSA and getting the stuff listed. Maybe I should contact them about offering my fleur-de-lis shaped Soap-on-a-Rope - perfect for summer camp showers! Or, my fleur-de-lis shaped macaronni and cheese. Or, my fleur-de-lis shaped fruit-flavored daily vitamins. Or, my fleur-de-lis shaped welcome mat. Or, my fleur-de-lis shaped waffle press.

There are some really useful items in the 2008 Scout Catalog but the scouting, camping, outdoors items that a scout needs are getting harder to find between the pages of gifts, nic-nacs, trinkets, and plastic junk. The books on Leave No Trace, Backpacking, First Aid, and Wildlife are great. But, 5 pages of keyrings and medallions seems a bit much.

Scout On
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Posted: 11:47 05-07-2008 326
Fillable Eagle App
On the Boy Scout Trail's Eagle Scout page, I have a link to a fillable PDF file of the new 2008 Eagle application. Feel free to download and have your scouts use this. It should make life easier all around. This was created by some scouters in Northern Star council.

There are also links to a Word doc or PDF version of the new Eagle Project workbook on that page.

Scout On
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Posted: 16:24 05-02-2008 325
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