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    • Another cave rescue. Lots of preparation and excitement was put into this Boy Scout Troop's big snow camping trip in the caves near Idaho Falls and then early this Sat Feb 24 morning around 2:40 a.m. everything went wrong. The reports to Idaho Falls Fire Department  and  Bonneville County Sheriff's Office said that there was smoke, lots of smoke coming from inside the 17 Mile Cave  where 13 Boy Scouts and five leaders were camping. Upon the first engine’s arrival, Boy Scouts and leaders were evacuating the cave. Three additional ambulances were requested. An additional engine, a battalion chief and the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene. Crews entered the cave and began a search. Additional ambulances and engines arrived on scene to triage people and search the cave. A total of 13 Boy Scouts and 5 leaders were evacuated. Four additional people were in the cave, two of which reportedly fled the scene. Some individuals suffered minor smoke inhalation, but no civilians or firefighters were injured. There were no ambulance transports to the hospital. http://wow1043.com/13-idaho-boy-scouts-evacuated-from-cave/ https://idahostatejournal.com/news/local/boy-scouts-evacuated-from-east-idaho-cave/article_21e99121-d078-5187-9e2c-9fba6e57049d.html https://www.eastidahonews.com/2018/02/boy-scouts-leaders-evacuated-17-mile-cave-following-fire/
    • The Latin Scot, you nailed it. How much would discussions change here if we all read your post before starting new threads. The tone of your post should be the tone of the SM Specific course. The contents of the syllabus wouldn’t need to change, just the adults frame of mind for how to apply the course subjects as they are presented. Barry
    • We glue the axles in my son's cars. There are all kinds of theories on why not to glue, being able to make adjustments to axles on race day, etc. But that's generally not practical for most packs and how they operate races. Our pack doesn't allow the kids or parents to even get their hands on the car on race day. Cars are checked in days before and that's it. Next time they see their car, it's on the track. So when a scout turns in a car, you want to be sure nothing moves. Once the axles are in, we just put a little bit of glue in the axle slot to keep things from moving. Krazy Glue works well, and it would really take a hammer to move the axles once it dries. I'd recommend that if you want a solution that pretty much guarantees that the axles won't be accidentally pushed in.  It's unusual that some cars only race once or twice in your pack. On a 4-lane track the general strategy is to get each car in each lane at least once, so minimum 4 runs per car. That eliminates the differences in lane speed factor (there's almost always a "faster" lane on the track, or a bad lane). Without working software I'm sure it would be harder to track all of those races, and I'm guessing that's why fewer runs were done, but that's kind of a failure on the part of the pack, too. Ideally tracks and software should be tested (and preferably fully set up and ready to go) before race day. 
    • I think more camps than most folks realize have a ton of these kinds of activities available, and more. Unfortunately in the earlier years of scouting, the focus is so sharply on merit badges that few scouts even realize there is other stuff to do at camp.  I've seen older scouts go to camp and do 1 easy merit badge the whole week, spending the bulk of their time in other activities and having a blast. I think my favorite week of camp I did as a kid was the last one, when I was done with my Eagle reqs and only did Metalwork. Spent the rest of the time running around camp, mountain biking, climbing, the camp had a "gateway contest" (which troop had the best entrance to their site) and we went nuts on that. Built a monkey bridge over the entrance and did a bunch of stuff I'm sure wouldn't be allowed today.  But it was an awesome week.  I think the default response when kids and parents ask "what can they do at summer camp" is to hand them a merit badge schedule. I kind of wish we could require each scout to do at least one thing each week that they don't get a badge for. But I'm sure some parents would protest.  Honestly camps are part of the problem, too. They market it to get more kids to go, and they get parents to write those checks by touting the tangible benefits of camp. "Do 6 months worth of scout work in a week!" that sort of stuff. 
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