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Scoutmaster Minutes

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Inspirational stories and meaningful remarks to share

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    • From https://www.shorpy.com/node/6133#comment-63780 Submitted by stanton_square on Fri, 05/15/2009 - 12:41pm. "Another accounting  of our young amigos adventure comes to us from the student newspaper of the State Teachers College, La Crosse, Wisconsin." Warning: excessive adventure, YP and GTSS violations ahead  - RS Several days ago I received an interesting letter from a young man I met at Washington, D. C., while attending the National Scout Jamboree. This man was Juan Carmona, a scout-master from Caracas, Venezuela, South America, who had hiked with a companion, Rafael Petit of Maracaibo, Venezuela, from Caracas through South America, Central America, Mexico and the Southern part of the United States to Washington. The trip took them two years; they covered over ten thousand miles and each wore out twelve pairs of hiking boots. Three started originally but one turned back. They went through jungle territory never before seen extensively by white man, some days they were able to make good progress; on others the dense jungle growth and swamp bogs limited them to three miles a day. Poisonous snakes and wild animals forced them to be constantly on guard. At night they had to sleep in trees to escape prowling animals. Once they were awakened by a scratching sound. As the scratching came closer they both aimed and fired their rifles in the direction of the sound. It was so dark that they were unable to distinguish a thing about them. At the sound of the shots the scratching ceased and something crashed to the ground beneath the tree. Unable to sleep further they waited for daylight, which revealed a large jaguar lying dead at the base of the tree. For three days the dead beast's mate stalked and followed them; one was required to keep guard against attack while the other cut and broke the trail. Finally the animal left and they were free to advance more rapidly. In the southern part of So. America they were taken captive by savages, the chief of which treated them royally but would not permit them to leave. Finally, he was persuaded to allow them to continue their journey. As they traveled through Central America they were made prisoners of revolutionists (it seems there is always a revolution down there). None of the soldiers could read their letters or credentials and they were kept in prison until the revolutionary general returned, read their identification papers and set them free. In Mexico they were robbed of their rifles and money by bandits but finally after many other interesting and exciting adventures, they crossed the U.S. border and reached Washington, D.C. They have many valuable stamps, seals, letters, pictures and papers from notables of the various places through which they passed. It took them two days to fly by plane back to Caracas. They crossed territory through which they had passed on their two-year journey. The letter I received was written in Spanish as Juan does not wish to attempt a letter in English even though he understands, and speaks it. Mr. Lairx helped me to translate the letter. At the present time Mr. Carmona is writing a book of the experiences and adventures of the trip he made with his companion Petit. Our friendship began at Washington and will be continued through our correspondence. I hope to visit Mr. Carmona some time, and he, in turn, has promised to visit me the next time he comes to the United States. Several scouts of the troop of which I am scoutmaster are establishing correspondence with boys of his troop.
    • A scout troop camping in the Willamette National Forest found a campfire that had been left burning by inconsiderate campers. The fire had already spread beyond the fire ring. It took the scouts about 2 hours to put out all the smoldering embers. Scouts are credited with preventing a forest fire. Story:
      https://www.koin.com/news/human-interest/boy-scouts-put-out-campfire-that-was-spreading/ 
    • Y'all are making some good points about why the staff might deserve tips for a job well done....but is that a judgment call that the adults are making themselves?   Is it something that the boys should be aware of?  Do you ask the boys to chip in?    Seems like the practice might vary by camp (based on Tatung42's comment that he was told "no tips" by Northern Tier staff).
    • That's interesting, the version of that story I had always been told was that they hiked in 1935 to the Jamboree, only to arrive in DC and find out that it had been cancelled due to a polio epidemic, and that they went back and returned two years later for the rescheduled Jamboree in 1937. That's also the version I see posted on-line in many places. It's also the version of the story the BSA has posted on their Facebook page. Still a great story.
    • As does my wife.  We're not made of money and most certainly don't want to spend more than we have to.  Not in any way to challenge your perspective here.  It just feels like I see these uniform threads and everyone says - uniforms are way too expensive.  .Yet, when I look at the prices, they are no more expensive than a lot of mid-tier clothing.  If the shirt or pants was $60, then yes -  I'd say they are expensive.  Sure, I'd love to pay $20 for a pair of pants - but since the BSA doesn't have Walmart volume I fear what would happen to the quantity.  For something that lasts we a few years and I wear weekly for Scouting (if not more), I don't think I'd want to see the reduced quality from shaving $30 or $40 off the price of the uniform.  If the uniform lasts me 3 years, that would net me about a $1 a month in returned savings.  I'm fine paying a $1 a month if the uniform lasts me a little longer. 
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