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Everything posted by mrkstvns

  1. mrkstvns

    Who's got these Boy Scout Movies?

    I saw an episode of "NCIS" in which McGee is a scout leader bringing his patrol to see the crime lab. Abby shows one of the scouts how to take fingerprints and enter them in the system for a background check when OOOPS! the system gets a hit on the scout as an abducted child. What hit me most about the episode is how it would absolutely drive the uniform nazis bonkers because the kids had "merit badges" sewn all over the place....on pockets, above pockets, on the sleeves, etc.
  2. That used to be true. But in today's all-inclusive scouting program that accepts gays and females, there may exist scouts who don't feel they need to understand chicks.
  3. Nobody likes mosquitos. They bite, they annoy, and they can spread disease. They are also a persistent problem for scouts and anybody else who enjoys summer camping. Mosquitos are a part of the natural ecosystem and there's no way to completely avoid them. But there are ways to keep them off yourself. Here are a few strategies that scouts and scouters can use to help keep the mosquitos at bay this summer: Repellant / Bug Spray. Spray on mosquito repellant before you leave your tent in the morning and re-apply several times during the day because it will wear off as you sweat. Also be sure to re-apply after swimming. Repellants that contain Deet (such as Deep Woods Off) are good choices for summer camp because they are more effective. Some people recommend natural, organic repellants, such as those containing citronella, cedar, eucalyptus, and similar ingredients. These may be effective, but most scouts will do well to keep some Deet as a backup because there is continuing evidence that the organic products are less effective. Permethrin: Permethrin is different than most repellants because you don't spray it on yourself, you spray it on your tent, your clothes, and any other equipment. Permethrin not only repels mosquitos, it repels ticks, chiggers and other painful pests. An application of Permethrin provides protection for up to 6 weeks. Citronella lamps, torches, or candles: Outdoor stores sell citronella oil and citronella candles. These don't kill any mosquitos, but they do overpower some of the natural scents of humans and other animals that mosquitos hone in on, helping to reduce the number of mosquitos coming into the campsite. Have a campfire. Where there's smoke, there's fewer bugs. Mosquitos don't like smoke, so having a campfire can be a good way to reduce the bug bites. If you have a bumper crop of herbs, you might be able to scent that smoke for even greater bug repellant power. Rosemary, catnip, and sage are among the herbs with reputed bug repellant power. Smell bad. Most scouts don't believe in showering while camping. Believe it or not, mosquitos find the smell of a sweaty, dirty scout almost as repellant as moms do! When bathing is unavoidable, using unscented soaps can be a better choice than those with floral or fruit scents. Use mosquito netting. Sleeping will be much more comfortable if you're not waking up every few minutes to swat at a fresh mosquito bite. Enclose your entire sleeping area in a mosquito net and you'll sleep bite free. Just remember to spray on the Deet before you get out of your tent in the morning. Avoid lanterns. A sure way to attract bugs into your camp site is to set up a big, bright propane lantern. Even the battery-powered LED lanterns will attract flying insects. Lower the light and lower the number of mosquitos and other flying pests buzzing around your camp site. Long sleeves and long pants: Let's face it, you don't want to overdress when the mercury climbs, but if you are at higher elevation or in an area with cool evenings and mornings, then it might be practical to put on a long-sleeve shirt and some long pants. Less exposed skin area means less bites. It's not always practical for summer camping, but it's worth keeping an extra tool in mind for when it might work. Hope these help keep you bite-free and itch-free this summer! See you on the trail!
  4. mrkstvns

    Keep the Mosquitos Away When Camping

    Mosquito control might become an increasingly important topic for scouters as the world continues to grapple with rising temperatures caused by global climate change. Whereas in past years, we might have been able to view mosquitos as little more than a nuisance, the spread of mosquito-borned diseases that were once of thought of a a problem to be dealt with by people and governments in the tropics are now a problem to be dealt with in the United States. An interesting article in yesterday's New York Times discusses how dengue is spreading northwards. See the story: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/06/10/climate/dengue-mosquito-spread-map.html
  5. mrkstvns

    First Class 1a - Troop Activities

    Just to clarify, the requirement actually says, "...10 separate troop/patrol activities..." so it doesn't even need to be the troop as a whole. If an individual patrol wants to do a hike on its own, even if it's just a handful of boys, that should count.
  6. Precisely! Summer camps provide "experts" in fields that are most closely related to the outdoor experience. Boys can create meaningful memories if they stick to the topics that camps do best: aquatics, shooting sports, camp craft, etc. Take Horsemanship. Take Climbing. Take Whitewater. Take Archery. Leave boring bookish classes like any Citizenship badge to the troop or to local merit badge workshops. There's a right time and place for everything, and summer camp is no time to get bored.
  7. I would revise the G2SS to eliminate as many prohibitions as possible, and may even make many of them into REQUIREMENTS. For example, G2SS says that scouts under age 18 should not use power tools. In today's world, we use power tools. A man won't be a competent family man and homeowner if he can't do basic work around the house. A scout should: Demonstrate how to safely and appropriately use 3 different power saws: such as a jigsaw, a circular saw, and a table saw Demonstrate how to safely use 3 different power tools used to maintain landscaping: such as a lawnmower, chainsaw, or hedge trimmers Show how to safely and appropriately use a power drill to: a) drill a small hole, b) use a hole cutter attachment to drill a hole large enough for a door knob or deadbolt lock, c) use a screw driver bit (standard or phillips) to build a wall frame or install drywall or fence boards
  8. mrkstvns

    12-Year Old Earns Eagle

    Yes. I hope he keep up the positive attitude. He's got over 5 years of potential leadership ahead of him. Lots of opportunity to earn some of those "above and beyond" awards, staff summer camp, do OA treks, and all the other opportunities that are too often overlooked. I wish him well. But "Bacon Ninja Warriors"??? ?
  9. mrkstvns

    Keep the Mosquitos Away When Camping

    That's a great idea! I'm going to have to make a trip over to the local feed store to see what kind of bulk concentrates they sell. I sure do hate getting bitten like a pincushion!
  10. Very sad news today about an adult who died while rafting on the Arkansas River with a group from Rocky Mountain High Adventure Base. The adult was a 42-year old scouter from the Capitol Area Council in Austin TX. Story: https://www.9news.com/article/sports/outdoors/man-on-boy-scout-rafting-trip-dies-after-falling-in-river/73-b975d955-f69b-40dc-805d-17179c4d9f40
  11. Generations of scouters have included tweezers in their first aid kits. It's a good general purpose gadget, and at this time of year, is often put to use removing ticks from scout or scouter alike. The only problem with the tweezers is that it's easy to oversqueeze or to pull too quickly, leaving the tick's head embedded under the skin. Small, inexpensive gadgets are available to make tick extraction easier and less prone to leaving head parts behind. See: https://www.amazon.com/Tick-Twister-Remover-Small-Large/dp/B00X7072HY/
  12. mrkstvns

    Keep the Mosquitos Away When Camping

    That does seem to be the consensus --- avoid spraying DEET on tent, sleeping bag, mosquito netting etc. as it damages synthetic materials. I found an interesting article on the REI website. It discusses most of the issues we've been talking about, plus it introduces another approach that I omitted: the idea of fogging an area (you could do this with a can of backyard repellant, or use one of the devices sold by REI to set up a "skeeter-free zone" in your campsite). Info: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/insect-repellents.html
  13. BSA has been busy rolling out changes to its STEM-NOVA Award program, and that includes new awards for Venturing as well. In 2018, the new "Wade" award let scouts explore the wet and wild world of water, from the basics of the hydrologic cycle and water state changes, to the technology powering modern water treatment facilities, this award explores the science of water and the engineering needed to satisfy a thirsty world. In early 2019, three more NOVA awards rolled out: What a Life - Just about any aspect of life sciences is fair game for this award, including macrobiotic or microbiotic life, genetics, or perhaps medical advances. Execute - Computer programming is an indispensible skill for next generation scientists and generalists alike. Delve into the technology and techniques of coding applications for the 21st century and beyond. Something from Nothing - 3D printing technology promises to change the way everything we touch is manufactured and delivered. Venturing's version of the STEM-NOVA awards program now contains a total of 8 NOVA awards and 3 Supernova awards. Plenty of opportunities for a technically minded young person to explore their STEM world for fun and advancement potential... Official info about STEM-NOVA awards for Venturing and Sea Scouts is here: https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/awards/venturer/
  14. Looking for service project ideas? How about negotiating with terrorists to release a hostage? Or maybe tracking down cases of the deadly Ebola virus? Such things might not be approved activities in BSA, but according to this story about how scouting helps hold together the country in Central Africa, its par for the course in some parts of the world... See: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/big-in-peacekeeping-boy-scouts/590614/
  15. Don't matter to me if the tick is tiny or huge, I just really don't want to touch the gross little blood-suckers. Give me the tweezers or the tick-yanker tool any day of the summer camp!
  16. mrkstvns

    Activity approval

    What is "TL/USA"? Never heard of it...
  17. mrkstvns

    Activity approval

    Hmmm. I never thought of it as "in-charge". I always thought the term Scoutmaster implied one who had mastery of the skills and wisdom needed to successfully navigate the outdoor and advancement program. More along the lines of a teacher or mentor than an authoritarian figure. Like a young padawan following the teachings of the Jedi master....(but without light sabers, since those are not allowed by G2SS).
  18. Girl Scouts in Georgia are collecting used plastic shopping bags and weaving them into beds that they then give to the homeless. Helps people. Helps the environment. The story is here: http://www.fox5atlanta.com/good-day/georgia-girl-scout-troop-recycle-bags-in-beds-for-homeless
  19. mrkstvns

    Pigs in Blankets

    Cub Scouts (and even some Boy Scouts) love sticking things in the fire. Instead of constantly admonishing them to stop playing around the fire, give them something useful to do --- like cook their own dinner. Nothing is easier to do on a campfire than roasting hot dogs and it's no big deal to up the game just slightly by making pigs in blankets! INGREDIENTS: 1 package of good quality hot dogs (Boars Head, Hebrew National, or maybe Johnsonville Bedda Chedda) 1 tube Pillsbury Crescent Roll dough Ketchup and mustard to taste DIRECTIONS Separate the triangles of crescent roll dough. Wrap a triangle of dough around a hot dog. Skewer the hot dog on a long-handled skewer. Let each scout roast his own pig in a blanket. This works best by keeping the pig a bit away from the flames so that it browns without burning. When the bread dough is nicely brown, you're ready to eat!
  20. mrkstvns

    Keep the Mosquitos Away When Camping

    Yep. Lots of natural repellants around. Some better than others. Interestingly, I saw a report that compared natural repellants to chemicals like DEET. They found that Cutter Lemon Eucalyptus was almost as effective as DEET. Report is here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/10/151029101456.htm As an aside, they also found that Victoria Secret Bombshell perfume repels mosquitos ...
  21. mrkstvns

    Pigs in Blankets

    Well, if Mrs Q is going to hijack the "Pigs in Blankets" moniker for her cabbage rolls, I hope she will at least have the decency to skewer them and cook them over a campfire like any self-respecting Boy Scout would...
  22. mrkstvns

    Troop invited to Pack event, help needed

    One way to build tighter bonds between the pack and troop is to involve more Boy Scouts as Den Chiefs for the cubs. Encourage Den Leaders to have a Den Chief and let the Scoutmaster know that your pack wants more Den Chiefs. Because scouts need positions of responsibility for rank advancement, it's usually easy to enlist them. They then become de facto emissaries between the pack and the troop...
  23. mrkstvns

    Keep the Mosquitos Away When Camping

    Yes. Spiders (all varieties) can be controlled using permethrin. Info about permethrin, its uses, and precautions can be found here: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/PermGen.html
  24. Thank you, Ian! I had never heard of "The Dump" before reading your post. Googled it and found LOTS of interesting historical references around scouting. It's going to take me quite a while to peruse the collection. If other folks are also unfamiliar with the site, you can find it here: http://www.thedump.scoutscan.com/
  25. When I first heard about the Scouting Heritage merit badge, I thought it was a challenge for many scouts because it seemed like "the way" to earn it was to go to a jamboree or visit BSA's scouting museum, with merit badge classes doing a cheesy workaround to write a letter to the scouting museum asking for info. After reading RememberSchiff's interesting post in the Scouting History forum about an Eagle scout who put together an exhibit about scouting during World War I, I started googling around the web to see if there were other exhibits about scouting that could be used to meet requirement 4c. Boy was I surprised! Turns out there are many scouting museums around the country and scouting exhibits are not uncommon. A scout who wants to earn that badge (or a troop looking for a day trip activity) might easily find relevant places right in their own backyard.... Here's a list of scouting museums and exhibits that look like they would satisfy that requirement.... Scout Museums BSA National Scouting Museum, Cimarron NM https://www.philmontscoutranch.org/museums/ International Scouting Museum, Las Vegas NV http://www.worldscoutingmuseum.org/ L.L. Lee Scouting Museum, Manchester NH http://scoutingmuseum.org/ Museum of Ozarks Scouting, Springfield MO https://ozarktrailsbsa.org/about/museum-of-scouting North Star Museum of Boy Scouting and Girl Scouting, St Paul MN http://www.nssm.org/ Otis Chidester Scout Museum, Tucson AZ http://azscoutmuseum.com/ Ottawa Historical and Scouting Heritage Museum, Ottawa IL https://pickusottawail.com/attractions/scouting-museum/ Post Rock Scout Museum, Lincoln KS http://www.kansastravel.org/postrockscoutmuseum.htm Scout Heritage Museum, Milwaukee WI http://www.threeharborsscouting.org/council/scout-heritage-museum/51539 Scouting Heritage Museum, Denver CO http://www.denverboyscouts.org/scouting-heritage-museum/65659 World of Scouting Museum, Valley Forge PA http://www.worldofscoutingmuseum.org/exhibits.html Scout Exhibits The Casements, Ormond Beach FL http://thecasements.net/visit.html Museum of the American G.I., College Station TX http://americangimuseum.org/exhibits/exhibits-bsawwi/ Osage County Historical Society Museum, Pawhuska OK http://www.visittheosage.com/things-to-do/museums/0sage-county-historical-society-museum Parsons Historical Museum, Parsons KS http://www.parsonssun.com/news/article_08cf718c-4531-11e9-b934-439f5616c6a2.html