Tuesday, May 18, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 96 to Day 100

Well, the end is here.

100 Days of Scouting (and effort) have been tied up.  There are other Scouters following along, completing their own 100 Days trails.  Catch the spirit of Scouting--whether is is for 100 days or a lifetime!

Final days:
Day 96
Day 97
Day 98
Day 99
Day 100

...now back to the regular Scoutsigns blog.  

Thursday, May 13, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 91 to Day 95


Advancement forms, merit badge cards, new Scout applications, committee meetings.  We are not always as "Leave No Trace" as we would like.  But it all happens to make Scouting move along.

More days:
Day 91
Day 92
Day 93
Day 94
Day 95

Blogging could be considered a form of paperwork, too!  But at least it is very LNT!

Saturday, May 08, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 86 to Day 90

Camping is on the brain this week:  campouts, service on campouts, Camping merit badge.

There truly is so much to do and so little time.

More days:
Day 86
Day 87
Day 88
Day 89
Day 90

When in doubt, camp it out.  Nothing like a camping trip to clear the mind of noise.  Even with Scouts.

Monday, May 03, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 81 to Day 85

The end is near.

Each day that passes, the 100 Days project draws closer to the end.  I keep waiting for someone to offer me a small fortune to live on so that I can do Scouting full time.

You have to have dreams.

More days:
Day 81
Day 82
Day 83
Day 84
Day 85

What are your dreams for Scouting?  What would you change if you could?  What would you add?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 76 to Day 80

Anyone every notice how much driving is involved in Scouting?  I keep an old 15 passenger van simply because it is the easiest way to move a lot of Scouts and their stuff.

And it is paid for.  But "The Beast" is getting old, and that will present a new slate of problems in the future.

More days:

Day 76
Day 77
Day 78
Day 79
Day 80

How many miles do you drive for Scouting?  Enough to keep track of for your taxes?

Friday, April 23, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 71 to Day 75

Hit the three-quarters mark today!

That means that many of you have been reading along for over 2 months now---and I appreciate it.  Scouting takes a lot of effort, and reading other people's ideas feeds the fire

More days:
Day 71
Day 72
Day 73
Day 74
Day 75

From field trips to thinking, Scouting takes a lot of effort.  Stick with it!  The results are worth it.

Monday, April 19, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 66 to Day 70

I really like the Centennial rank badges. Whether for Cub Scouts or Boy Scouts,  having that "2010" on it signifies something special.

This whole season of Scouting is something special.  The Scouts we have in our pack, troops and crews now will be in their 50s and late 60s when the sesquicentennial rolls around--older than many of us are now.

The rest of us?  Waiving from the floats in the parades!  I plan on sticking around to see it!

More days:
Day 66
Day 67
Day 68
Day 69
Day 70

Young or old, each day we spend on Scouting creates another brick in the foundation for the future.  Doing your best?

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 61 to Day 65

More Scouters keep commenting on 100 Days, and some are even joining in.

It is great to be a part of something that is helping to keep Scouting a part of daily life.  Kind of like going to church on Sunday versus living like every day was a church day!

More days:

Do you treat Scouting like something special?  Do you try to be a good Scout yourself...no matter how old you are?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 56 to Day 60

100 Days is well past the halfway mark now.

This is a busy time of the year.  Webelos Scouts moving to the troop.  Summer camp questions almost every day.  And pack meetings...never forget the energy and stress that go into making a good pack meeting.

More days:

What keeps you motivated for each day of Scouting?

Sunday, April 04, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 51 to Day 55

Despite the picture, Scouting isn't all fun and games.

But it is a lot of fun.  The 100 Days of Scouting is humming right along, cruising into the last few weeks.  We have so much planned that is going to make it into the list!

More days:

Spring is in full swing--how are you taking advantage of it to help build Scouting?  Tell us about it in the comments!

Thursday, April 01, 2010

April Fools Day

April Fools Day is upon us.

I was burned once pretty publicly and don't care to repeat it for anyone else.

A Scout is Kind.

Not that I mind being fooled in the comfort of my own laptop though...;-)

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 46 to Day 50

Yes, I just needed an excuse to put up the picture of this awesome locomotive.

The mid-point of the 100 Days have come and gone, and I was too busy to make sure it got posted properly on Scoutsigns.

More days:

Share your thoughts--have you been following the 100 Days of Scouting challenge?  Seen anything you like or found anything to be useful to your Scouting situation?  Tell me all about it in the comments!  Your opinion matters!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 41 to Day 45

Hard to believe that the mid-point of this 100 Days of Scouting challenge is right around the corner.

I've picked up some great ideas from other 100 Days bloggers, as well as from the comments left behind.

Hardly a day goes by that I don't learn something new about Scouting.  And don't get me started on the Venturing program.

More days:
Day 41
Day 42
Day 43
Day 44
Day 45

So what did you learn about Scouting today?  Tell us!  And then we'll know, too.

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal--Video 3

The Paw Paw Tunnel is a popular part of the Canal. Over 3000 feet long and hand-tunneled in the early 19th century.

The C&O Canal Trust has a work day going on near here in early May.  Across the border in West Virginia appears to be a large campground for the public.

Today's post has the last of the 3 part series filmed in 1917, as the boat works its way from Cumberland MD to Georgetown, DC.


Part 3:

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal--Video 2

The C&O Canal Trust helps to coordinate the public and needs of the C&O.  They recently opened 3 of the lockhouses to the public for overnight stays.

Yesterday, I showed you Part 1 of a video series filmed by Thomas A. Edison, Inc.  This silent film gives you an idea of life on the canal in 1917.

Part 2:

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chesapeake and Ohio Canal--Video 1

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have a soft spot for the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal.

Recently, we just avoided being flooded out by hours.

The C&O Canal Trust just posted 122 pictures of the flood damage done.  #41 is where our Scout van was parked, under about 4 feet of water.

Well, today they posted a series of videos found on Youtube of the C&O--filmed by Thomas Edison in 1917.  I'll post one today, one tomorrow and one the day after.

It truly is a great place to spend your Scouting time, if you can.  Bike, backpack, canoe, kayak, or hike--there are a lot of ways to enjoy it.

You can even still ride a canal boat for part of it!

Here's Part 1:

Monday, March 22, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 36 to Day 40

We have 6 Webelos Scouts crossing over to our troop in a couple of weeks.  Our SPL has been working with them this month to get them formed into a patrol--picked a leader, make a flag, and still working on the patrol yell.

Each one of them will receive the new BSA Handbook when they come across that bridge.  Most of our older Scouts still have the older version, so this will be a real mark of distinction.  That, and the height.

More days:

We are rapidly approaching the mid-point of our 100 Days experience.  What have you learned about yourself so far?  Please comment and let us know.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Weekend Patrol Box #31

This Weekend Patrol Box begins with the weather.

We have had a lot of it lately.  Everything from having our Klondike camporee snowed out (and re-scheduled for early April) to being run out of the C&O on a backpacking trip.  

Definitely make the succession plan a reality--I listened to a really big tree fall over about 30 feet from my tent, due to rain softening the river bank.

This weekend, I'm traveling to take training--looks like I will be joining a BSA Camp Visitation Team.  The weather looks great for a change and I can't wait to get out and do some SUNNY Scouting.

Enjoy the Patrol Box--and share it with your friends and Scouters!
  1. 100 Days of Scouting turned 40 today!  Comments are dropping a bit, and their are several bloggers doing it now.  Stop by and leave a note!
  2. Nuts for Scouting--we turned our first order in today.  Have you done this fundraiser before? How did it go?
  3. Knot Master Training--this looks like a lot of fun.  I showed it to the SPL, who wants to get the PLC to agree to it this Sunday.  Crossing my fingers. Courtesy of Troop 994.
  4. Tanner H from Columbus OH--This Scout needs to share his tips with the rest of us.  Over $60,000 i popcorn sales? Crazy (in a good way).
  5. Boy's Life has a new message board for Eagle Scout project ideas.
  6. I keep waiting for one of my Scouts to try this:  Ride the Divide.  Scroll down and watch the 2 minute video--yes, that is a really big bear. (Adventure Cycling)
  7. Scouts Canada video--grand fun!
  8. Pee Wee's Paper Airplane Hangar--fun from Boy's Life online, and goes with this months BSA Cub Scout theme:  Take Flight
  9. Very Cub Scout friendly bird feeder--115 people checked this out on Twitter when I forwarded.
  10. What a better way to celebrate the Vernal Equinox tomorrow?  Turkey in a Can, of course.

This is a busy time of the year, with a lot on my plate.  The pack, troop and our new crew are all firing up for a great spring and summer.  How about you?  Comment below, or tweet away.

Monday, March 15, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 31 to Day 35

100 Days of Scouting about came to a screeching halt the other night.  

We have had a lot of rain lately, causing the Potomac River to rise to flood stages.  Before that happened we were camping along side of it.

A really big tree fell very close by my tent.  The answer to the old joke about whether a tree makes any noise when it falls in the woods? Answer:  Not much, especially when it lands in several feet of water!  At 30 feet, I expected a LOT more noise.

More days:

Do you have your succession plan in order?  That would be a great thing to do for Scouting today! Don't be nervous--just out there and join the 100 Days project!  Comments or Twitter.

C&O flooding

Anyone who reads this blog, realizes before long that our troop has a soft-spot for the C&O Canal.  184.5 miles of great backpacking or cycling fun.

Except when it isn't.

This is an excerpt from the C&O Canal Trust website:
C&O Canal Declares Flood Emergency

Flood Warning

Expected heavy rainfall during the weekend of March 12-14, 2010 may result in major flooding along sections of the C&O Canal.  The Potomac River is expected to reach flood stage in all areas of the park between Saturday, March 13 and Tuesday, March 16, 2010. Park visitors are asked to use extreme caution during periods of high water.  Hikers and bikers planning to use campgrounds along the canal are advised to seek alternate accommodations.  Area closures are anticipated.  For updates call the C&O Canal Flood Information Line at 1-888-445-0023.
Yep, this is how our backpacking trip this weekend ended early.

I woke up at 5:15AM with the sound of a tree falling over about 30 feet from my tent.  It fell with a splash as the Potomac River had moved up the banks considerably overnight.  We were never in any danger from the water, but the ground was so soaked that a lot of trees were going.

We watched one old oak with a trunk at least 6 feet in diameter floating down the middle of the river.

A quick call home confirmed that the threat of flooding was more likely, so we skipped "Plan B"--hike out 11 miles to Sunday's pick up point on Saturday night--and went straight to "Plan C"--break camp, backpack back to the Blue Beast and bug out.  3 hours and 4.5 miles later, we were safely navigating the back roads to civilization again.

There were a lot of trees and branches down.

This was still a great adventure for the troop, several of which had never been backpacking before.  Definitely a steep learning curve!

Glad to be home.

Ever had a Scouting near-catastrophe?  Share in the comments!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 26 to Day 30

The 100 Days of Scouting project is clearing the first mountain--a whole month or a third done, depending on how you look at it.

And how are you looking at it?  Have you gotten any ideas?  Been inspired by some of the other bloggers?  Taken action on your own?  Shared with your Scouts and Scouters?

More days:

If not you, who?  If not now, when?  Make the difference in the life of a child.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Weekend Patrol Box #30

The last couple of weeks have been pretty weird.

Snow not only cancelled our troop's backpacking trip (roads to the site were unpassable) but our council's winter camporee was cancelled due to too much of the fluffy stuff.

The 30th edition of the Weekend Patrol Box brings you a lot of items that hopefully will get you ready for more "outing in Scouting"!

  1. 16 Tips for Wildlife Gardening with Kids from the National Wildlife Federation.
  2. 50% off sale on items at Scoutstuff.org.  Don't miss looking at the great leather sale, too.
  3. Have you read about or jumped into the 100 Days of Scouting challenge?  How to get started today!
  4. New bloggers to check out on the 100 Days project--yes, I'm stressing it because I can't believe the impact it has had on me.  That impact could be made on you!
  5. Great Falls, Montana, has a Scouting history display worth seeing.
  6. Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal has several dates coming up for service projects. The C&O passes through several BSA councils, stretching from Cumberland MD to Washington DC. [If your council has a large service day for a National Park Service or the Forest Service, let me know and I'll post it here!]
  7. Something to think about this weekend:  if you have (or are) a major leader of your Scout unit, what would happen if you were suddenly deceased?  Is it your problem or someone elses to worry about?
  8. Venturing has updated their age and grade requirements for joining--14 at any grade, or 13 and finished the 8th grade.
  9. Do we need a national conference on children, the outdoors and the law?  Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, thinks so.
  10. A Cub Scout moment.  I know that boy.
This weekend is not an option--get out there and Scout!  And don't forget to share your thoughts, experience and comments in the Comments section.

100 Days of Scouting: Day 21 to Day 25

100 Days of Scouting reached the 25% milestone yesterday!

Much dancing in the street, at least at my house.  We've had a rash of new bloggers join in the challenge, and I'm grateful for that.

No matter if you just heard about it and want to start, or you've been following all along, today is the day to make Scouting a daily event in your life.


More days:

Day 21
Day 22
Day 23
Day 24
Day 25

25 "Days" have rushed by, and as hard as it is to imagine (for me), the next 75 will zip by too.  It is already making me think of new things to do, projects to tackle, and goals to reach.  I expected it to "Improve the world in 100 days" but didn't expect it to change mine!

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Hundreds of Days of Scouting

Today will be Day 25 of the 100 Days of Scouting challenge.

Each day, I log in a few items that I have done to promote Scouting--it might be a big thing or a small thing, rushed or well-thought out, good for one Scout or (I hope) all Scouts.

Just to let you know, I'm not alone.  Other Scouters have either added it to their blogging efforts or have even started new blogs to support it.  

Simply amazing.

Here are the other blogs:

100 Day's of Scouting (from a Scout!)

Other folks participate in the comments and updates on Twitter.

Help fan the flames and get more Scouters (and Scouts!) to do something every day for Scouting!  

Definitely read those new blogs and see what they are up to--don't forget to leave a comment.  Every day we make Scouting better.

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

2010 February Top Tweets

If you haven't caught on yet, I like Twitter.  Especially Hootsuite, which is a great manager for Twitter.

I have found a lot of great Scouters out there, many of whom blog or are otherwise very active in the Scouting world.  100 Days of Scouting really needs tweeting to be successful.

Here are the top 10 from February, with over 1100 connections made:
  1. New Scouting blog--what do you think? 100 Days of Scouting http://ow.ly/15upx #BSA100
  2. New Post: Weekend Patrol Box #29 http://ow.ly/16yUtk
  3. New Post: Venturing gets younger--new age requirements http://ow.ly/16FJd4
  4. 100 Days of Scouting: Day 16 http://ow.ly/16E7t7
  5. 100 Days of Scouting: Day 3 http://ow.ly/16xWiY
  6. 100 Days of Scouting: Day 10 http://ow.ly/16BpOh
  7. I already own a set of them, but you might be interested...;-) http://ow.ly/15BFT
  8. 100 Days of Scouting: Day 4 http://ow.ly/16yBo8
  9. 50th/75th Anniversary Strips and Patches and placement http://ow.ly/16mFP
  10. 100 Days of Scouting: Day 14 http://ow.ly/16D7gi
I'm still not sure what made Day 16 so popular!  But glad to see folks are interested.

So do you tweet?  Have you asked the other Scouters and Scouts you know?  You might be surprised how many do.  Teens are the fastest growing group of Tweeters.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Succession planning

There is probably a bigger post to be made about transitioning your unit to the next leader, but this isn't that post.

This is just a quick thought, and more of a question:  if something happened to you tomorrow, what would happen to your units?  Would it survive?

Or would it wither and dwindle?

Or would it outright collapse?

Part of the answer is in how involved you are.  If you do everything (one-man shows are common), the effects will be more severe.  If you have a strong committee, the detrimental effect might be more short-lived.

After a lot of thought, I have come up with a "got hit by a bus" plan, and will be approaching those leaders shortly.  The boys shouldn't have to miss a beat, and I'll feel better knowing that there is someone who knows he is to pick up the reins.

Don't get me wrong:  I have no intentions of going anywhere anytime soon.  I've got two more sons to get to Eagle Scout and a grandson to get to Eagle, and hopefully a lot more by then.

But I will "be prepared" and "do my best".

Do you have a plan?  Share it in the comments--I really want to know if anyone else has thought this through.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Scout is Kind

Found this via Twitter and @Insanescouter...enjoy.

Have you been fortunate enough to know Bill Burch?  What a storyteller!

100 Days of Scouting: Day 16 to Day 20

100 Days of Scouting had a great day to wrap up the first 20 percent of the challenge.

Scouting blog aggregator HalfEagle.com has even opened a section just for 100 Days of Scouting!

We--you and I--are making a difference in Scouting.  Tell your Scouting friends--add fuel to the fire.

More days:

Day 16
Day 17
Day 18
Day 19
Day 20

There is power in many of us doing a little bit, every day.  Join the 100 Days of Scouting challenge!  What can you do for Scouting...today?

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Venturing age and grade guidelines--update

More Centennial changes!

Scouting.org has posted the FAQs about the new age and grade guidelines for the Venturing program.  This adds a lot of information to the announcement.

It was great to see so many tweets yesterday passing the word around quickly that the change was coming!

So, get the FAQs and start your recruitment efforts.  60 days isn't far away (and it will happen before the 100 Days of Scouting runs out!).

Friday, February 26, 2010

Venturing gets younger--new age requirements

Quick news before the weekend:
Effective May 1, 2010, the minimum age/grade requirement will be changed to14 years of age or 13 years of age and completion of the eighth grade
So a slight change.  Or is it?  Will this impact your recruitment efforts for the spring?

I guess we'll see in 60 days how much demand there was for this.  Our crew may benefit by a girl or two (all female crew).

What do you think?  Help?  Hurt?  Harmless? 

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Blue and Gold Cubmaster Minute

Our pack celebrated the Blue and Gold last night, keeping the same simple format we always use for B&G.

Flag Ceremony
Potluck dinner

Last night, we invited the troop and the new venture crew to attend as well, since it was the Centennial of Scouting.  [We bribed them with food to do the clean-up afterwards.  Worked like a charm!]

The Cub Scouts are pretty focused since dinner is a huge collection of casseroles, fried chicken and pizza.  And cake.  Don't forget the cake.

I had a flash of inspiration to help set the tone for the evening--a real celebration of Scouting.

Our first pack meeting six years ago was in February (so Blue and Gold) for six boys.  Four of those Scouts are still with our troop, the other two having moved out of the area (brothers).

So I called those four up, and explained how a mighty oak grows from a simple acorn.

Then I called up the Tigers.  The Wolves were next, followed by Bears and then the Webelos Scouts.

After that, both patrols from the troop.

And finally, the new crew (all girls).

Those four original boys have turned into forty-five.

It was amazing to see.

I think it gave the Cub Scouts a real sense of being part of something bigger than themselves and being a part of something great.

Hopefully, someone got a picture.

Did you do anything special for your Blue and Gold?  Share in the comments or on Twitter!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Scouting magazine online

Scouting magazine is due to your mailbox shortly. I really like the new design, and make use of many of the browser links in it (from the advertisers, too!).  

You don't have to wait for it to arrive in the mail though, read it online.  The format is easy to read and a good experience.  I get a number of magazines that have online sites.  None of them give me the feeling of actually reading a magazine though, except Scouting.

[Disclosure:  I'm quoted on pages 20 and 21 regarding homeschooling, which I've discussed here and here before.]

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Merit Badge Misteaks...Misstaks...Problems

A little fun from Scouting magazine--what is wrong with the merit badges on the left?  The ones on the right are the current* version.  So why were they changed?

Answer (scroll to the bottom).

*Beekeeping is not a current merit badge, this was the last version of it.

100 Days of Scouting: Day 11 to Day 15

100 Days of Scouting marches on.  600 Scouters can't be wrong--take a look and share your news.

Or even better, start your own 100 Days project--just remember to share the link with us in the comments so we can follow your adventure!

Imagine the power of 100 people doing the 100 Days of Scouting project--that would be 10,000 days of effort packed into just over 3 months.

Think of the possibilities!

More days:

Day 11
Day 12
Day 13
Day 14 (The really cool patch is here!)
Day 15

What is your Scouting legacy?  What will you leave behind?  Make today count!  Share your 100 Days in the comments or on twitter.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 6 to Day 10

100 Days of Scouting blog keeps rolling along--10% finished now!

More days:

Day 6
Day 7
Day 8
Day 9
Day 10

Don't be bashful--stop over and share your love of Scouting!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

100 Days of Scouting: Day 1 to Day 5

In case you don't read the 100 Days of Scouting blog regularly, here are the links to the first 5 days:

Stop by and take the challenge!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Weekend Patrol Box #29

I like the new 2010 Centennial rank awards.  Adding the date makes them special, and I think we'll look back on them with fondness in the future.

Watch for all of them in future editions of the Scoutsigns blog.

Snow has been in abundance.  We've had to cancel meetings this month, as well as a long anticipated backpacking trip on the C&O.  Disappointing, but man do we have a lot of snow!

On to the Patrol Box:
  1. Is Scouting in Jeopardy?
  2. 100 Days of Scouting--what are you going to do to build Scouting?  Seize the moment!
  3. Academics and Sports--all of the new ones.  Do you own a set yet?  Yes, why yes I do.
  4. 50th and 75th Anniversary strips and where to put on your uniform.  Will there be a 100th in the same style?
  5. Skijoring--I'm not even sure how to pronounce it, but it looks like fun in the snow.  Did I mention the snow yet?
  6. 33 items for your bug out bag--there is a lot of "be prepared" here (@frugaldad
  7. Something to do in the snow, besides complain about it (@campingblogger) Americans can do this, too.
  8. OK, some indoor fun (the movie could be a great troop activity)--The Lightning Thief opens Friday.
  9. Art of Manliness blog commemorates the BSA 100th Anniversary. (Usual debate in the comments though.)
  10. Did you order the Scout Sunday patches yet?  $1.99 at Scoutstuff.org.  Free shipping through 28 FEB, no minimum purchase.  Use promotion code FB41827.
TV, book, movie, and blog suggestions for indoors, and plenty of outdoor ideas, too!  Share your thoughts and comments below (or tweet away!).

Thursday, February 11, 2010

100 Days of Scouting project

100 is a powerful number.

100 years of Scouting.  100% is everything.  100 degrees is hot weather, no matter where you are.  

On the 100th Anniversary of Scouting, I started a new blog:  100 Days of Scouting.

The purpose is to record the positive things I do for Scouting each day--big or small.  It also makes sure I focus on accomplishing something each day for Scouting.  Busy, tired, can't think of something?  Something must be done each day.

Just think of what could happen if you stuck to it for 100 straight days. Could you impact lives?  Absolutely.

The Challenge!

I want to challenge you to write down and share the positive things you do each day for Scouting on  your own blog, Twitter, or in the comments section of the 100 Days of Scouting blog.

Don't have a blog?  Free and easy to start one.

Don't have Twitter?  Free and easy to start an account.  (Don't forget to follow Scoutsigns!)

Plenty of room in the 100 Days of Scouting comments, too.

Hundreds of people have looked at the blog since Monday.  Comments have already been posted, emails have been sent to me, folks have followed the blog, it has been retweeted, and it has been posted to Facebook.

Join us!  Make a difference in a child's life...and in Scouting.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Weekend Patrol Box #28

This week's Patrol Box begins with a wash stand.

I found this great image of a wash stand to share.  Do any troop still build these things?  or has this been swept off to the faint embers of memory?  Many camp gadgets are still a great idea--and really help to reinforce knots and lashings.  I know my Scouts could use the work.
  1. To Build a Fire, by Jack London:  just appropriate this time of year, and a great story.
  2. BSA timeline--good images of our history from Scouting magazine.
  3. Handy tool for cold weather camping from PTC Media.
  4. 10 reasons parents should care about their kids being outside (more) from the National Wildlife Federation...Oh, and it's fun!
  5. Contest! BSA photo contest:  Boy Scouts of America:  Today 31 MAR 2010 is the deadline.  Think Photography merit badge or belt loop.
  6. Get in the gutter!  Gardening merit badge idea.  Simple, easy and cheap.
  7. Legos, my Scouts love you.  New Toy Story Legos coming.  
  8. Hate winter camping?  Try reading through Backpacker magazine's "Cold Comfort" guide.
  9. Video:  Bake cake in an orange...fun!  Cubs all the way up to Scouters will like this easy trick. @backpackermag
  10. Audio:  Boy Scouts of America March by John Philip Sousa (1854-1932)  I've heard of it, but never heard it before this!  Great way to connect to the early days of Scouting.
Our winter schedule is getting to be as busy as our summer schedule.  Lots of camping on the horizon, planning, training and merit badge work.  What do you do in the winter to keep an active Scouting life?  Comment below!  Or stop on by Twitter to share your thoughts and insights.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

"Boy Scouts of America: Today” Photo Contest

Recently one of the boys in our troop won in a Trails End photography contest.

So we are all pumped up now for the new "Boy Scouts of America: Today" photo contest.  It is offered to all registered Scouts and their families.

From the website:
DK Publishing, an Official Licensee of the BSA, and the Boy Scouts of America are asking for your help to show others what Scouting means through photographs. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. We need your photos to describe this time tested organization. Share your Scouting photos, your Scouting memories, and your “image” of what this century old organization means to you.
All entries must be received by 31 MAR 2010.

So, what does Scouting mean to you?  Is it worth a thousand words?

Friday, January 08, 2010

Weekend Patrol Box #27

OK, so it's a bit cold for much of the country.  There is still a lot of Scouting going on, just under layers!

This week's Patrol Box kicks off a new year!

Actually, our first Cub Scout meeting of 2010 started with the Webelos den that will be crossing into our troop this spring, showing me their brand-spanking new...patrol box!  When one of the dads is a cabinet-maker by training, you can imagine how well built this is.  They built it for the Craftsman activity badge, which is the 20th for many of them.

Great bunch of energetic Scouts to add to the mix!

Whether you are headed out to the wilderness or hunkering down to survive the plummeting temps, enjoy this week's Patrol Box.
  1. Merit Badge of the Week:  Cinematography Free software and lots of tips to make you a great videographer.  Oh, and you'll help expand your Scouts' universe. [Series resuming in 2010!]
  2. Merit badge humor--should Wilderness Survival be required?
  3. Contest: "Be Prepared" Solar Chargers from Powerfilm (Boys' Life advertiser)
  4. ...and while you are poking around Amazon: Eagle Scout street signs to go with the Eagle Scout parking sign.
  5. Easy project to get behind--more bike routes.  Where does your state fall?
  6. The Price of Freedom leadership conference--only for Eagle Scouts, Venturer Silver Award or Sea Scout Quartermaster Award.  11-14 FEB 2010
  7. Cub Scout Video Game belt loop:  think this will help? Great week for Scouting in the comics!
  8. Scoutsigns' Top 10 Tweets for 2009.
  9. Take Me Fishing--new patches and opportunities for Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts.  TakeMeFishing.org is also on Twitter and Facebook.
  10. Venturers, Boy Scout and Cub Scouts--this idea could be for you.  S24O:  Sub-24 hour overnighters cycle trips  for the time challenged (could easily be adapted to other things--backpacking, canoeing, and more). Adventure Cycling Association
So what do you have planned for this weekend?  We are headed off to a lock-in at a local military academy to use their pool, gym and game room all night.  Big breakfast in the AM to compensate for staying up all night.  Check in with me on Twitter to see if I'm still up!  or have a connection!

Monday, January 04, 2010

2009 Top Tweets

Twitter was a new tool for me to explore early on in 2009. It was quirky and just beginning to get a lot of press. Folks were trying out if this would be a fad or a solution.

I read a lot about how to be a good member of the Twitter community--share information, try not to advertise yourself too much, retweet other people's comments to add depth and richness to everyone's experience.

Hootsuite became my tool of choice to manage the exploding amount of information coming to my screen.

7745 times someone clicked on a link that I found useful, interesting, odd or just great fun. (By the way, 21 APR 2009 was the biggest day with 218 clicks.)

Each month, I began to post the "Top 10" from the previous month. The point was to help you not miss anything a lot of other people found interesting--especially if you don't use Twitter.

A side benefit to me was to keep some older links alive longer to see which ideas "had legs".

The result? This is the Top 10 for 2009 from Scoutsigns:

  1. Um, tasty and funny! Anyone else going camping this weekend? http://ow.ly/b4f4
  2. Positive essay on the Boy Scouts! http://ow.ly/3rZL
  3. Weekend Patrol Box #19 http://ow.ly/15NJmu
  4. Weekend Patrol Box #18 http://ow.ly/15LUo7
  5. Weekend Patrol Box #21 http://ow.ly/15R4fQ
  6. #scouts New Post: Weekend Patrol Box #23 http://ow.ly/15TT05
  7. ScoutSigns: 100th Anniversary Postage Stamp to be Announced! http://ow.ly/zQkO
  8. Great American Backyard Campout--add to your calendar! http://ow.ly/2xC7
  9. Excellent idea! Eagle Scout Parking Only sign.. (via @LatterDay_Scout) http://ow.ly/kQcK
  10. ScoutSigns: New BSA Rank Requirements Coming http://ow.ly/h05l

I will continue to post the Top 10 each month--and I'd like your feedback.

Do you Tweet? Are you following me?

Friday, January 01, 2010

2009's December Tweets

December was a quiet month between work, travel and of course Scouting (including our big annual ski trip).

Here were the Top 10:
  1. Wildlife Promise: Be Out There: The Ten Reasons Parents Should Care About Outdoor Time For Kids http://ow.ly/QoE6
  2. Ah… what fun for the boys http://ow.ly/NqcX I love it when Scouters are good sports.
  3. Great idea for cold weather Scouting... http://ow.ly/R9T4
  4. National Scout Shops closed until 2010... http://ow.ly/P78I
  5. Thought provoking--Amusing Ourselves Out of Our Manhood | The Art of Manliness http://ow.ly/IgzE
  6. BSA timeline--great images to see here! http://ow.ly/Rp0C
  7. Weekly Patrol Box #14 up http://ow.ly/2xmf What Scouting blogs do you like? Leave in comments!
  8. Just in case you missed the Scuba merit badge officially on Scouting.org http://ow.ly/HWHi
  9. Merit Badge of the Week: Backpacking http://ow.ly/15NraY
  10. #scouts New Post: Weekend Patrol Box #23 http://ow.ly/15TT05