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  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 #BSA100
  2. New Post: Weekend Patrol Box #29
  3. New Post: Venturing gets younger--new age requirements
  4. 100 Days of Scouting: Day 16
  5. 100 Days of Scouting: Day 3
  6. 100 Days of Scouting: Day 10
  7. I already own a set of them, but you might be interested...;-)
  8. 100 Days of Scouting: Day 4
  9. 50th/75th Anniversary Strips and Patches and placement
  10. 100 Days of Scouting: Day 14
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.