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International Cub Pals
Today, I received this Facebook request from Dean Maragh in Sheffield, England. Any of you Cubmasters or Den Leaders interested in interacting with a Scouting brother across the big puddle?
I am an assistant Beaver Scout Leader in England.
Beaver Scouts are aged 6-8 years old and are the equivalent of your Cub Scouts.
We meet on Wednesdays and are having an American themed evening for the 4th of July. We would love to hook up with an American Cub Pack somehow. Because of the time differences, live hook up via skype is probably unrealistic but we thought we might swap videos of our Beavers, each one saying something about Scouting, School or their hobbies.
If you are
interested, I'll leave it up to you to Contact Dean
through my Facebook page.
Posted: 11:02 05-30-2012 861
Google Map Photo Gallery
Photos from my Arizona Trail hike are online now. I put them into a Google Maps / Google Earth file just for something different.
You can see a map of the trail with thumbnail images near the location where the photo was taken. This is done by using the time the photo was taken which is embeded in the photo by the digital camera and the tracking points from the Spot Messenger I used on my hike. The tracking messages contain a Lat/Lon location and the time. Some free software works its way through the waypoints and the photos and creates a KML file for Google to read. I used GPicSync, but there are other packages out there.
Google Maps views the photos in a web page. If you view the file in Google Earth, you can take a tour which automatically hops through the photos and locations. (Open KMZ file
(200KB) in Google Earth)
Well, if you want to take a look, click the 'Map' link on my AZ Trail page
. On that page, you can also check out gear, food, and expenses from the trip.
Posted: 18:11 05-24-2012 860
Free Clean Water
For the rest of May, Scouting magazine is running a contest to give away free water filration items. Camelbak, SteriPen, and Platypus have all provided drinking water items for the give-away and you won't win if you don't enter.
Enter today, and every day in May, to boost your odds - go to this Scouting Magazine
These items would be great for troop or crew backpacking trips. Our troop has used gravity filters like the Platypus for 3 years now and they make life much easier at camp. I used a similar filter the entire time on my 6-week Arizona hike and loved to see tan water come out clear.
Get all the adults in your troop to enter and maybe one of you will win some gear for your unit's summer trips! The package is worth about $300.
Posted: 11:34 05-18-2012 859
Webelos have recently crossed over. Maybe you've got a few guys that just joined and are brand new to Scouting. Growth spurts causing clothes to no longer fit. It's a great time for a Buy One Get One sale on uniforms!
Check out the ScoutStuff.org
BOGO sale on uniform shirts and pants for the next week. Youth zip-off pants are $20 instead of $40 - buddy up with another scout and each get a pair. It's a perfect opportunity to help your troop complete the lower half of the uniform.
And, what about those uniforms that are outgrown but not worn out? You should volunteer to start a uniform exchange in your troop or at the district level. It's a great way to pass on items that are still usable. An annual uniform garage sale is another option so folks can resell items, get back some of their cost, and others can save big.
Posted: 9:14 05-18-2012 858
LNT ROX MN
Quinn and Frank are the current LNT.org
traveling e-Tour trainers and I was privileged to have them 'camp out' in our guest room last night while they are rockin' their way through Minnesota. They spend months traveling the country in their way-cool Subaru, presenting at Scout events, National Parks, schools, and any place else where they can leave a big impact about leaving no impact. They were just in Bemidji, Crosby, St. Croix, and Inver Grove Heights, and are now on their way to a conference in Mankato. After a couple days in Illinois, they zoom back east to DC, MD, NJ, PA, and NY. Quite an adventurous way to spend a few months, huh?
Quinn and Frank's visit was a ton of fun for me. I learned more about good ways to share the Leave No Trace message and got to form ideas about my LNT stories from the trail. I'm now really looking forward to my next LNT workshop that I'll be presenting to a backpacking youth group and scouts here at the end of the month.
Whether on a short hike or a long backpack trip, keeping the seven LNT principles in mind is good practice. Picking up a candy wrapper, skipping a campfire, keeping your dog leashed, and staying on the trail are all great, easy ways to minimize impact.
I was surprised that these traveling trainers spend most of their nights camping - I would have thought they'd be at people's homes more often. So, check out their calendar
and consider attending an event and seeing if they need a place to rest if they're in your neighborhood.
Posted: 10:08 05-17-2012 857
AZ Trail Journal Ready
I've been quietly resting my legs and putting together my Arizona Trail Journal for the past week.
You can read all about my trek Right Here
. I've included pictures from the trail, information about my homemade gear, and a daily record of the hike. I hope it provides you with helpful information, some tips, a little humor, and maybe gets you thinking about doing a longer hike yourself or with others.
A GoogleEarth map of the trail with pictures will be available pretty soon.
Posted: 10:01 05-14-2012 856
Now that my little 800-mile hike through Arizona is over, I get to move on to other things. I plan to take a couple weeks to mostly rest up and ensure my leg is ok - probably need to see a doctor about that when I get home. Here's my list of things to do over the next few months:
- Present my story at District Roundtable. Show my gear and some pics and then answer questions from other Scouters. Hopefully I'll get them thinking about lighter weight backpacking possibilities with their scouts.
- Present Red Cross training. I've got a backlog of Scouters needing certification so they can go to Philmont, Seabase, and Northern Tier. Since I've been gone 7 weeks, I'm adding a couple more training sessions to make sure everyone gets training that needs it.
- Write my first book. This is the big one. I plan to write a handful of short stories from the trail for children. They will demonstrate human/nature interaction and include discussion outlines so teachers can use them for nature lessons. I'm very excited about this and look forward to working with my niece to make it a reality.
- Rest, then keep hiking. I have to make sure my legs are whole and secure and then I can start back up walking each day to keep in shape. I'd hate to just sit and eat and lose my fairly good heart/lung/leg development I received from walking every day for the past couple months.
- Let the local papers and TV know what I did. They might be interested in a short story. I'd also use that exposure to promote the ScoutStrong program a bit more.
- Catch up on my hundreds of emails that have accumulated while I was on the trail.
So, I won't be bored. :-)
Posted: 20:30 05-01-2012 855
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