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mrkstvns last won the day on November 1

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About mrkstvns

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    Deep in the heart of Texas

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  1. mrkstvns

    Bikes in Camp?

    Hmmm. Not sure I'm a big fan of the bikes in most cases, but in the case of long distances, I like the idea of bikes better than buses carrying scouts around (which I've seen at some camps).
  2. mrkstvns

    Three Sisters Pottage

    No, I'm afraid Plimouth Plantation would be well outside the 10-hour driving limit that BSA's G2SS recommends... That sobaheg recipe looks interesting! And the addition of turkey probably makes it a richer, and tastier dish than the veggie-focused pottage. Thanks for the pointers to interesting reads!
  3. With thanks to @le Voyageur INGREDIENTS 1-1/2 cup frozen corn 1-1/2 cup butternut squash, chopped 14 ounce can pinto beans 1 large yellow onion, chopped 1 tbsp. minced garlic (2-3 cloves, if fresh) 2 quarts vegetable broth 1 bay leaf 1/2 teaspoon sage 1/2 teaspoon thyme 1/2 teaspoon rosemary 1/2 teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon salt 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar 1/2 cup rolled oats 1/2 cup barley DIRECTIONS Peel and chop all vegetables. Add to large soup pot. Add 1/2 cup broth and saute until veggies are soft. Stir in broth and spices. Bring to boil, lower heat and simmer 30 minutes. Add oats and barley. Simmer uncovered 20 minutes or until grains are cooked. Stir in vinegar, adjust seasonings to taste, then serve with a thick and hearty corn bread.
  4. mrkstvns

    Thanksgiving at Camp...

    Interesting ideas here. I had to do a bit of research to figure out what the heck "Three Sisters" meant, then more research to figure out what the heck "pottage" was, since it's not exactly something that comes natural to my kitchen. "Three Sisters" refers to the Native American practice of growing corn, squash, and beans together in the same plot, or mound. "Pottage" was a thick stew made in medieval times, consisting of veggies and grains with little or no meat. I found a couple of "pottage" recipes that were adapted to modern cooking methods, but they were based around other veggies, like turnips, but it's an easy matter to change those out for the "Three Sisters" veggies. I then threw in onion and garlic to add flavor and, well, I just like onions and garlic. I'll post the pottage recipe separately so it stands on its own. Any feedback would be appreciated. Further Reading: Celebrate the Three Sisters: Corn, Beans and Squash https://www.dispatch.com/news/20191111/boy-scouts-consider-sale-of-chief-logan-camp-and-part-of-camp-lazarus Medieval Pottage Stew https://www.brandnewvegan.com/recipes/medieval-pottage-stew Recipe:
  5. mrkstvns

    Veterans Day

    Did your troop do anything special to recognize Veterans Day? A small group of boys from our troop participated in setting out wreaths at a nearby National Cemetery. I heard of another troop that would clean the headstones of military veterans. What does your unit do?
  6. Simon Kenton Council in Ohio plans to close the Chief Logan Scout Reservation at the end of the 2020 camp season and is also pondering the sale of additional land at Camp Lazarus. Story: https://www.dispatch.com/news/20191111/boy-scouts-consider-sale-of-chief-logan-camp-and-part-of-camp-lazarus
  7. mrkstvns

    Boy Scout Service Projects

    In Massachusetts, a scout built a flag-retirement pit for a VFW post as his Eagle project. Story: https://www.lowellsun.com/2019/11/11/boy-scout-designs-flag-retirement-pit-for-veterans/
  8. mrkstvns


    As our Thanksgiving holiday approaches, we should think about the meaning of Gratitude. We should think about how we find it, know it, and express it. When I think about the meaning of Gratitude, I am reminded of the story of Shukla. Long ago, in a long-forgotten land in Africa, there lived a tribal chief and his faithful servant, Shukla. The chief and Shukla developed a great friendship and Shukla was always by the chief's side in every event the tribe experienced. The chief loved nothing more than being in the woods, honing his woodcraft by hunting the many types of animals that lived there. One day in the deepest part of the forest, the chief took aim at an enormous deer, and shot it right between the eyes! "Shalabat!" exclaimed Shukla, which is the word for "Thank you, Oh Great One!" As the chief was removing the arrow from the deer, he sliced off the end of his finger. "Shalabat!", exclaimed Shukla. This made the chief very angry, and when they returned to their tribal lands, the chief had Shukla thrown in prison. A few days later, the chief went out hunting by himself and went even deeper in the woods than he had before. He was suddenly surrounded by a rival tribe and taken prisoner. The tribe were preparing to sacrifice the chief to the Gods when they noticed that the chief was missing part of a finger. "We can not give God a damaged human," they said, so they let the chief go. When the chief returned to town and told his tale, Shukla bowed profusely, saying, "Shalabat! Shalabat! Shalabat!" "Why are you so thankful?" the chief asked. "Because," Shukla replied, "If I had been with you, they would have sacrificed me."
  9. Evidently, the hot summer weather here in Texas is just too much for a fire-breathing dragon to handle!
  10. mrkstvns

    Restoring Camp woodlands with different species (MT)

    Reminds me of a personal story. Back in the 1960s, my grandfather was working as a land manager for a large paper company. The company had bought up thousands of acres on which they would plant a "forest". Rows, upon straight, even rows of uniformly spaced pine trees were planted as far as the eye could see. Pine grew fast and would provide pulp for the company in the 80s. Of course, few native birds, insects, or forbs would grow there and it became a macabre kind of place that never seemed to look, smell, sound, or feel like those pockets of natural forestland that reminded folks of how forests used to be...
  11. UK scouts at the "Explorer" level (ages 14-18) have some additional Activity Badges they can earn. One of the coolest is "Motor Sports". Looking at the requirements, I bet it's regarded as a fairly "hard" badge because it requires engaging in a motor sport for a period of 6-12 months. The requirements don't, however, specify any specific sports, nor does it restrict any sports as inappropriate or too risky. I assume that motorcycling, ATVs, stock cars, etc. would all be within bounds...
  12. mrkstvns

    Thanksgiving at Camp...

    Very cool! Though, I have to admit, it took me some effort to understand what your message meant, never having heard of "Bean Holes" or "Green Corn Ceremonies"...once I looked 'em up on Wikipedia, I gained a bit of educated appreciation. I had no idea that native Americans had such a wide-ranging tradition. Interesting that it not only reflects gratitude, but also forgiveness. Now if only I could figure out what those Native Americans might have been cooking over their campfires...
  13. mrkstvns

    Girl Scout program youth protection training

    My understanding is that GS leaders need to do a comprehensive safety course that includes awareness of sexual abuse situations, as well as things like cyber safety, being safe at fundraisers, etc. Yes, GS leaders are also mandated reporters (that is usually required by state laws, so mandated reporting will apply regardless of what kind of youth program you are dealing with).
  14. mrkstvns

    Restoring Camp woodlands with different species (MT)

    This is, indeed, a very interesting (and complicated) issue. Tree planting used to be a simple thing to do. If you find an area that's been de-forested, you plant whatever kinds of trees have historically thrived in that area. Global warming and the pervasive threats to habitat and native species make that a harder effort. Naturalists have been dealing with invasive insects decimating native species. Trees that once thrived in an area are often dying out. Naturalists are also observing that changing temperatures mean that tree bands in mountainous areas are changing. Lower elevations are becoming too hot for some plant species, and "moving up the mountain" isn't always naturally easy. Similarly, as lower latitudes become too warm or moist (or dry), the trees that once thrived are dying out because they can't naturally move north fast enough to avoid their own demise. When do a tree planting project, you can consult with a local expert (like a botanist at your local agricultural extension office). They may be able to suggest an alternative tree species for you, or may suggest an alternative location where your newly planted trees might have better odds of survival. Good luck!
  15. mrkstvns

    Bikes in Camp?

    Is it common for scouts to bring their bikes to summer camp? Do summer camps usually allow that? I heard about a summer camp that I will not identify at this time that lets scouts bring their bikes to camp and to use them to ride between their sites and the various program areas. I have not seen bikes in camp before (other than in program areas, like mountain biking, BMX, etc.) Thoughts? Experiences?