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Posts posted by SSScout

  1. Best to go to the source....

       *(( The true author of this article is unknown. It is here copied from the COME HOSTELING newsletter, Sept. 1980, of the Potomac Area Council of the American Youth Hostels, who received it from Dick Schwanke, Senior PAC Staff Trainer, who read it in the APPALACHIAN HIKER by Ed Garvey, who got it from the Potomac Appalachian Trail Conference Bulletin, which quoted it from THE RAMBLER of the Wasatch Mountain Club of Salt Lake City, which reportedly cribbed it from the I.A.C. News of Idaho Falls, which reported it from the 1966 PEAKS & TRAILS. I offer it here for your enjoyment and inspiration. Note that some of the ingredients are a bit dated. Adjust as necessary. Enjoy!))



    "Courageous Cookery"          by John Echo*    

                Once the convert backpacker or cycle camper has accepted the subtle gustatory nuances associated with sustained operations beyond the chrome, he should try the advantages of ultra fringe living so that he will realize what he is paying for his nested pots and pretty pans carried so diligently and brought home so dirty after every "wilderness experience". The following system works. It is dependable and functional. It works on the big rock. It even works when the weather has gone to hell, you are wet and cold and the wind is blowing down the back of your hairy neck. It is not for the timid. It consists of a stove, a six inch sauce pan, a plastic cup and a soup spoon. If you insist on a metal cup, you must never fail to mutter "I'm having fun, I'm having fun", every time you spill the soup on your sleeping bag.

              Breakfast: Instant wheat cereal-- sugar and powdered milk added-- ready two minutes after water boils. Eat from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water, boil, and add powdered eggs and ham. You'll never taste the cereal anyway. In three minutes, eat eggs. Do not wash pot. Add water or snow and boil for tea. Do not wash pot. Most of the residue eggs will come off in the tea water. Make it strong and add sugar. Tastes like tea. Do not wash pot. With reasonable technique, it should be clean. Pack pot in rucksack and enjoy last cup of tea while others are dirtying entire series of nested cookware.

              Lunch: Boil pot of tea. Have snack of rye bread, cheese and dried beef Continue journey in 10 minutes if necessary.

              Dinner: Boil pot of water, add Wylers dried vegetable soup and beef bar. Eat from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water and potatoes from dry potatoe powder. Add gravy mix to taste. Eat potatoes from pot. Do not wash pot. Add water and boil for tea. Fortuitous fish or meat can be cooked easily. You do not need oil or fat. Put half inch of water in pot. Add cleaned and salted fish. Do not let water boil away. Eat from pot when done. Process can be done rapidly. Fish can even be browned somewhat by a masterful hand.

              Do not change menu. Variation only recedes from the optimum. Beginners may be allowed to wash pot once a day for three consecutive days only. It is obvious that burning or sticking food destroys the beauty of the technique. If you insist on carrying a heavier pack, make up the weight you save with extra food. Stay three days longer.


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  2. On 5/15/2022 at 10:37 PM, Wlau said:

    Candy + Meat Sticks >>>>> (overpriced) popcorn. 

    There ya go....  Marketing vs "A Scout is Thrifty"?   

    May I observe that the reason for POPCORN is two fold.   An alternative to (shudder) GSUSA Cookies, and a guaranteed share for Council.

    I dare say, very few Packs/Troops/Crews/Ships  send any share of their proceeds from car washes, mulch sales, Holiday Decor/Tree sales, meatsticks, breakfasts/dinners,  etc. etc., to Council.  

    Does GSUSA  approve/suggest Scout Accounts, those pseudo commission for unit fun(d)raising ? 

    Back when I was my Eagle Patrol Treasurer (Scouts paid dues to me, we used it to buy our gear and supplies for campouts),  the Troop sold donuts door to door, Christmas trees and  helped with our CO's dinners for a share.  There was on such thing as a "SCOUT ACCOUNT". It all went to the Troop to pay for awards and camp fees.... Another story.... 

  3. Welcome to the ecampfire. Pull ye up a elog and sit ye down, friend.

    I bet ye already know the Scoutmaster's list of mottos:

    "Have you asked your Patrol Leader?"

    "Try ketchup on it."

    "Yes, campfires are supposed to do that."  

  4. Recent Eagle Project:   Tommy Scout came to us and we worked to define his project.  Fewer things to do, smaller bites.  Must define things that CAN be accomplished, completed.   He understood.  Working with his dad and mom (separated), the mom was a stand back and watch person: whatever  Tommy wants, I'll help. Dad was more take charge. Him, I had to remind that he was a "consultant", he was "cheap labor"   anyone asks him ANYTHING, his response must be "Ask Tommy".... He  eventually came around to that.  

    This is the mind set that our Scouts have recently grown up with . I saw it in the middle school classes I sub taught.... Wait for the teacher to give the clue as to what they want to hear.  Don't volunteer. Don't take ownership of a thing, the parent in loco will do it FOR me.  Being responsible for my "fun"  (choose, plan,  execute the activity) is a new thing to kids that have become complacent and used to WATCHING the fun be provided (videos, PC games,  virtual stuff).   Even the ""good"" computer games (Minecraft?) are ultimately spoonfed stuff. There is a definite, limited set of choices.  Not so out in the woods.   

    Over protective?  Wife and I were reminincing.....  How her mom and dad would not hesitate to let them and their friends at 6 and 7 years old , cross the road to the store WITHOUT ADULT ESCORT (horrors) .  Today, same neighborhood?  Not on your life..  Busier road,  store is still there, but  not the same ethos, for sure.   Wander around in the woods, get muddy in the creek , not come home until dinner time?  Again, different time, different ethos.  

    But we can adapt.  That's what Scouting is about.   Scoutmaster, Cubmaster,   allow choices.  The Scout can be out in the woods,  given/taught skills to lead to self confidence (I can do this).   Being REQUIRED to read "Hatchet"  in middle school leads to NOT WANTING to read it , not wanting to consider it's implications (could I, a twelve year old computer gamer, do this?) .  

    That's why we do what we (try) to do.....

    See you on the trail.....


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  5. Interesting discussion.  I am reminded of another FB discussion I was in. One Scout parent (Cub Scouts, actually) started things off by asking about camp lighting. Coleman gas lanterns?  Batteries?  Propane lantern?  What do Packs use?  Discussion devolved into safety issues, hot things, economics, battery depletion, how bright....  One parent noted that their Cubs were helions, and not to be trusted around flames. Open flames and misbehaving Cubs became an issue.  I mentioned how waaaay back when, we used kerosene lamps, fireplaces, propane stoves  during hurricane power outages. That parents TAUGHT their kids to respect  flames.  One should LEARN how to never have to say "I thought I put it out...."    The Scout learns from the example of the adult better than the instruction.   

    I hope and pray your Scouts choose their parents wisely.... 


    • Upvote 1
  6. CSDC:  Four days of more or less directed skill/knowledge gaining. The Pavilion leaders hopefully made the Lessons"  more fun than classroom (" Double ended, bi-color Peruvian practice rope, harvested at the PEAK of maturity...."), making sure the fun was tempered with safe operating rules (Archery?).

    Last day:   Water Festival.  Slip and slide. Mud pit tug of war.  Icey pops.  After opening ceremony and announcements, Den rotations were rather less regulated. The horn blew very 45 minutes , but hey, if your Den liked what they were doing, we didn't care if you stuck around at the sponge throw a little longer....

    Lady comes up to me and says " I don't understand!?  Where is my boy? Where is the Den?  It is too chaotic... How can they keep order here?  " I asked, what Den are you with?  She told me, I looked up the schedule (such as it was), pointed to the site and there they were. I asked her,  "are there any sad faces there?"  She responded, " Nnnoooo...." I said, " has anyone gotten hurt?"  She said "nnnoooo..."  I asked "Has your Cub complained any about the past week?"  She said" I don't think so".  I smiled and told her "then we have succeded.  I might suggest you go and enjoy watching  your Cub get dirty and wet. "  She looked at me as if I was crazy, and walked away shaking her head.... 


  7. Here's our Wood Badge song::::  ((Frere Jaques...)) 

    Caffeination, Morning Caffeination                     


    Caffeination,  morning   caffeination,

    Caffeination, helps me start the day!


    ·        Make it of a brownish hue,

    Throw the grounds in, let it brew!

                Let it brew, brownish hue, Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh,


    ·        Make it strong, it melts the spoon!

    And I’ll drink it very soon!

                Very soon, Melts the spoon, Let it brew, Brownish hue, Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh,


    ·        Burns my tongue, oo-oo it’s hot!

    Think I’ll drink the whole darn pot!

    Whole darn  pot,  Oo, it’s hot,  Very soon, Melts the spoon , Let it brew, Brownish hue,  Oh-Oh-Oh-Oh



    ·        Sweeten it with glucose plain,

    Then we’ll sing the same refrain!


    ·        Add some  milk or cream today,

    Maybe next I’ll make Earl Grey!

    (Final refrain , WITH FEEEELING !)


    • Haha 1
  8. My Turkish college house mate taught us this (if you have the time):::

    In a Big Pot::  One heaping TABLESPOON  rough ground coffee per cup desired, plus one.

    One BIG cup water plus one 

    One TEASPOON sugar (or honey, preferred) per cup, plus one. 

    If desired, one TABLESPOON whole milk per cup.

    Stir around some to mix. 

    Uncovered, Bring to roiling boil,  immediately take off fire/heat,  pour into cups. You will have sludge in bottom of cups,  let settle for a minute.  Enjoy with friends.  

    If you are "American", you are allowed to pour thru a "tea" strainer. 

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  9. I often comment to folks that will listen that it is a wonder any of our generation ever grew to adult hood.

    Climbing trees? Building lash together (Pioneering !) towers more than 6 feet tall?  Hiking by ourselves?  Taking cars apart WITHOUT ADULT SUPERVISION?  Oh, the humanity....

    One winter (!), I think it was in January, we went camping , in the snow, on a local farmer's land. Our Troop was wonderfully divided into four Patrols, on this event, each Patrol was represented, as I remember, by  maybe only three or four boys from each Patrol. Nothing unusual about that, eh?  Here's the thing.... A GIRL SCOUT TROOP camped with us.... in the snow,  20 some degrees all weekend,,,, And we learned from them...  They brought half gallon milk cartons of premade, frozen chili for dinner. Strip off the carton, into the pot, boil it up.  They learned from us.  Fire wood cutting and fire building.... We each learned/earned the respect of the other, as most of us went to the same schools. "You're a Scout?  Wow..."

    Would that have been a "Council"  event?  

  10. Another Merit Badge Day done and wrapped up. Actually two days:  this Council plans a first  day in January, and the second in February.  It is a nice idea, the Scout gets to meet the MBCouncilor, then some time to complete things (if they are not "ready" the first time). 

    I do Bugling, I guess I have a  rep, because I keep getting invited back.

    Covid protocol,  lots of space. Alcohol rubs on everything. 

    First saturday:  Advanced registration shows ten Scouts,  five in the morning,  five in the afternoon sessions.  Pre-requisites posted on line, obvious in the registration page.  Pre-reqs include "Bugle not included, bring your own horn. Yes, you are expected to have READ the MBBook or online requirements...etc."

    Day One, morning....  four boy Scouts. One no show.  three horns, (one Mellophone ! one trumpet, one Bugle), one no horn.  "Pre requisites? What are they?" Everyone can make noise, only two can make "notes" . We teach/learn history, physics/philosophy of music. What is SOUND? What is the difference between SOUND, NOISE, MUSIC?  We play with my garden hose Bugle (five feet of hose,  funnel bell, yes you can make the calls on it !).  Wynton Marsalis?  Dizzy Gillespie? No horn says he is in his school band, but can't bring his school trumpet to the MBDay.... I give lots of encouragement, lots of attaboys,  In music, you are learning a foreign language !   On to lunch....  I visit with other MBCouncilors, give some personal experience to the Disabilities MB class (dad had only one arm. Try tying your shoe laces one handed, as I learned to!).

    Day one, afternoon:  three boy Scouts, one girl Scout, one no show .  two trumpets, one Bugle. Girl has none, said she "used to " play french horn.  No one can really make notes, lots of "sound".  Even trumpets can't play all five (or six?) notes needed for the calls. Encouragement. You have good sound, tone, need PRACTICE....  We teach/learn/discuss history/physics/philosophy of music.  I even see some "aha ! " in some eyes, not just  "how do I get this card signed?" No, no one ever says that exactly...  Garden Hose Bugle gets some smiles, especially from the girl, who really seems tired and depressed.  Garden Hose Bugle is, I tell them, the start of a middle school science fair project on Sound and Acoustics .  School band will take them places others won't get to see (much like Scouting?). 

    A month passes. I send out one email (properly copied, YPT!) to their registered emails as reminders.....

    Day two, morning.  Two trumpets, previous no horn brings a Bugle ! New (used).  three out of five... Melophone is missing...  both trumpets can play, progress has been made. Bugle hasn't even tried it, he says, since his dad (!) bought it for him. He makes noises and eventually thru the two hours gains three notes ( the middle ones). Trumpet 1 is good, He has been practicing. He plays the charts well, and while he does the Call to the Colors, I sign off on his Blue Card, much to his surprise. Trumpet 2 does much better, but still can't quite do both tone and tempo. A little more practice, I tell him. They all have my contact info, I have access to a ZOOM account, phone, meet somewhere in the church parking lot, I will listen when they are ready.  Bugle is eager (seemingly), but ya got five/six notes to play and a certain tempo/rhythm to attain.  Ya got good tone, work on the details !  Off to lunch.

    Day two, afternoon.   One boy Scout , one girl Scout.  (note the original sign ups)    Girl has a new Bugle ! Unfortunately, it is a "Cavalry" bugle a small one.  The calls can be done with it, but the technique is challenging , more so than with a F Bugle or Trumpet.  She makes sound, and begins to differentiate the tones, the "flips" between the notes. In our two hours she makes good progress and is smiling at the end. Boy has his trumpet again.  He has some progress , but again, those high and low ends of the Bugle scale are lacking. By the end of our two hours,  he is much better, but still not really able to play the calls fully.  Then I read his registration again, his email indicates he registered from a Scoutmaster's email. His dad is Scoutmaster? Good, he certainly has an encourager there. He asks if I can give him any "partials", so I do. He departs, and I then realize I have been left by myself with girl.  She would like to practice some more, but even with the doors to room wide open, I must excuse myself for YPT concerns.  As I am packing up and cleaning the room,  boy comes back, with SM dad. SM dad asks for explanation, why I did not give MORE partials?  I explain, while boy listens, that the class room stuff I partialed, the calls and "reasons" for the calls go together and I certainly would pass them both when boy is able to play them successfully.  SM dad seemed unhappy I would not "partial" the reasons, I smiled and said that is my way, the calls and reasons can easily go together. As I am leaving the building, I run into girl Scout and adult. She is NOT a parent, but I stop, again compliment girl about her effort and improvement, and remind her of the possibility , if difficult, of using the cavalry horn. Adult thanks me, will pass on to mother, girl smiles thru her mask. 

    And so I will wait for Scouts to contact me to complete the MB. It does happen....

    My 2 hour drive home became four with stops for some history and scenic stuff (the sign on the visitor center read open dawn to dusk, but not on saturday ? )


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  11. *sigh*

    As always, "The Work Is Done By Whoever Shows Up."

    Many times, we hear of "Active COs" , "silent COs",  "COs of Convenience".

    The CO of my Cub Pack was  set up long before I became Cub Master. Collect the charter signatures,  see you next year, , have a nice day. When wife/Den Leader and I began asking for more involvement of the CO ( a hospital foundation) , we were met with  "that's not what we agreed to, not what we expected, not what we signed up for"

    The Troop of my Scout Son was a church.  Same basic thing .  Long time CO, even the signature COR was "for convenience ("you want me to do what? Nah, we like Scouts, you go ahead and do Scouting. ), but they would do and help when we asked for specific things.  Approve named Leaders?   Sure, you say they're okay? Fine with us. 

    Knew another unit,  CO church REQUIRED members to be of the same faith. Council said, that is their right.  They kept a TIGHT rein on everything Scouty there.  Units disbanded after about 6 years. 

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  12. Scoutmaster’s Song (with apologies to Mesrs. Gilbert and Sullivan)


    When A Scouter’s not engaged in his employment (his employment)

              or planning to go camping with his Troop (with his Troop)

                   his capacity for innocent enjoyment  (-cent enjoyment)

    Can easily be knocked off for a loop (for a loop)


    Our feelings we with difficulty smother (-culty smother)

            When some  Scoutmasterly  duty’s to be done (to be done)

                Ah, take one consideration with another, (with another)

                   A Scoutmaster’s lot is not a happy one.



    When Scoutmasterly duty’s to be done, to be done,

    A Scoutmaster’s  lot is not a happy one.


    When the  helicopter parent is  not  hov’ring (is not a hov’ring)

           When the Scout is not a-cutting off their thumb  (-off their thumb)

                He loves to hear the  bug-a-ler a-bugling  (bugler bugling)

                    And enjoy his tea while sitting  on his bum (on his bum)


    When the  PLC has finally decided  (has decided)

           Where the Troop should hike on  weekends  yet to come (yet to come)

                 Ah, take one consideration with another (with another)

                       A Scoutmaster’s  lot is  not a happy one.



    When  Scoutmasterly  duty’s to be done, to be done, ,

    His duty  oft is not a happy one.  (happy one). 


  13. Free time at camp?  Fun defined by themselves?   Oh the horror of it.....

    (With apologies to Paul Simon . . . ) 

      ”I went out camping with my Scout Troop just last week.

     The fun and woods there were everything I seek .

                              But I when I got home and counted noses  I realized…

                            There must be… fifty ways to lose a camper.  Fifty ways to lose a camper….  “”


           Just call the roll late, Nate,  Get off to the john, Ron,   Be in a rush,  Gus,   just listen to me….

                A  PL that’s loose, Moose,  string out the hike,  Mike,  Just laugh at that boy, Roy , , , 

    And let those Scouts be  !


    I called my DE up and told him of my woe,  he said he’d meet with me ,

    and so to Four Bucks  then we’d go.

                He smiled and shook his head “You’re not the first,” he said,

                “There must be… fifty ways to lose a camper….    Fifty ways to lose a camper….”


            Check your Tour Plan, Stan,   run over those names,  Ames,  call the Micky Dee , Lee,  

    and calm try to be….

            Reassure mom, Dom,  be cool with the dad,  Vlad ,  get out the cell, Mel,   and call the SE.”


    And so we called the Council SE on the cell. 

    She told us  to not fret,  she’d see what she could tell.

    And sure enough, the family called back,  it seemed that…the kid had stayed home with a cold all along..........

    So wipe off the brow, Dow,     Have another cup,  Krup,   

    smile and cheerful be,  Dee,  

    and set your self…. Freee…..

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