One of things we've got planned is building their own compasses (as well as other natural navigation techniques).
The actual process of building one out of a magnetised needle is not that difficult. No worries there. What I wanted to do though was take it a step further and raid ebay or similar from some old electronics and get the scouts to extract magnets from them on the spot. As would probably be the case in a real survival situation! Ie break open up your phone, ipod etc and extract a magnet. So far so good.
However.... I am a biologist by education (hence no problem with showing them how to read a tree to find north!) not an engineer or similar. I am slightly concerned by breaking these things open and what nasties may or may not lurk among the various components. I'm thinking heavy metals and the like.
So has anyone done this before? And do you know what bits we should avoid going near? Or am I being overly paranoid?
You have to register as a volunteer, have parental permission, be over 16, and be accompanied by your parent when installing smoke alarms. If scouts cannot use power-tools they can't participate in the actual installation but all other help is appreciated.
If they wish to canvass neighborhoods on their own and report their survey findings, that is great, but check with the local chapter personnel to coordinate efforts with them and to make sure those that wish to get the alarms actually get them.
There is a major push twice a year for installations, one in the fall before the winter fire season and again in the spring. In spite of what people read in the news and see on TV, the #1 activity the Red Cross is involved with is the response of Disaster Action Team members to single family fires.
Scouts can also help with the Blood Drives by making phone calls and staffing the on-site donation centers.
Yes, the scouts will be limited with what they can do, they probably not going to be able to make an Eagle project out of it, but as a service project, it offers a good opportunity to get out and serve in their communities.
$100 on the spot would go the the scout who could fashion me a wide brim (3.5") leather hat ... or patch the gaping hole in my old one.
I can't even find my make and model in any western store or online.
IMHO, merit badges were (long ago) more about the Adult Association Method . Advancement was secondary and perhaps a misnomer. In half or more of your merit badges, you were being introduced to new knowledge and skills to advance yourself in life later.
The scout had to obtain the blue card and contact info from his Scoutmaster. The scout had to contact the Merit Badge Counselor himself, often more than once, and occasionally other more available MBC's. Council/District had to provide qualified counselors. My Archery MBC competed internationally, Firemanship was a NJ Fire Chief/Fire Warren, Electricity was a Westinghouse engineer, Electronics was a design engineer for ENIAC project and RCA. These men are spending time with me? How cool was that.