Archive | March, 2010

20,000 Lincoln Heritage Council Scouts Volunteer for Community Service Day

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20,000 Lincoln Heritage Council Scouts Volunteer for Community Service Day

Posted on 11 March 2010 by admin

At least 20,000 Boy Scouts will volunteer to assist in various community projects on March 27 in the annual Scout Community Service Day. Twenty-five counties in Kentucky and southern Indiana will be targeted for this event in an effort to positively impact their city, town, and county.

Activities will include a wide range of community initiatives like planning and implementing a school supply drive, volunteering at a soup kitchen, spending time with the elderly, planning a book drive for a library, repairing an abandoned park, planting a community garden, cleaning up graffiti, tutoring younger children to improve their reading and writing skills, participating in a stream clean up, sponsoring a community blood drive, or holding a yard sale and donating proceeds to a charity.

The Boy Scouts are partnering with the Metro United Way in providing Scouts within the area projects through their website. Projects listed on the United Way website include volunteering for the Catholic Charities annual Easter Egg Hunt with over 100 refugee children expected to participate; light landscaping and some outside painting for Bridgehaven; Metro Parks assistance including landscaping, painting, litter cleanup, and other jobs; cleaning up waterways and removing invasive plant species in the Louisville and Clarksville areas through the Xstream Cleanup program; and assisting Operation Brightside with trash cleanup.

The Boy Scouts are committed to developing skills and attitudes that will allow them to become contributing members of society while insuring that the communities they live in will continue to be better places for all people to live.

About the Lincoln Heritage Council Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America is the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Lincoln Heritage Council of the Boy Scouts of America serves 21,000 youth in 25 counties in north central Kentucky and southern Indiana. The 19 counties in Kentucky served are Jefferson, Oldham, Bullitt, Spencer, Washington, Nelson, Marion, LaRue, Hardin, Grayson, Breckinridge, Meade, Green, Adair, Taylor, Shelby, Henry, Trimble, and Carroll. In Indiana the 6 counties we serve are Clark, Floyd, Scott, Harrison, Washington, and Crawford.

For more information on the Lincoln Heritage Council, Boy Scouts of America, please visit http://www.lhcbsa.org/.

Source: Lincoln Heritage Council Press Release.

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Geocaching Merit Badge Requirements

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Geocaching Merit Badge Requirements

Posted on 11 March 2010 by admin

A few Councils have started releasing the requirements for the much anticipated Geocaching Merit Badge.  This was originally discussed as GPS/GIS Merit Badge.  Keep in mind the Geocaching merit badge and pamphlet are not finalized yet, but these appear to be close to, if not, the final Geocaching Merit Badge requirements. Scouts should NOT start working on the Merit Badge until the pamphlet is available!

Geocaching Merit Badge—Revised Requirements 2/24/2010
1. Do the following:
a. Explain to your counselor the most likely hazards you may encounter while participating in geocaching activities and what you should do to anticipate, help prevent, mitigate, and respond to these hazards.
b. Discuss first aid and prevention for the types of injuries or illnesses that could occur while participating in geocaching activities, including cuts, scrapes, snakebite, insect stings, tick bites, exposure to poisonous plants, heat and cold reactions (sunburn, heatstroke, heat exhaustion, hypothermia), and dehydration.
c. Discuss how to properly plan an activity that uses GPS, including using the buddy system, sharing your plan with others, and considering the weather, route, and proper attire.

2. Discuss the following with your counselor:
a. Why you should never bury a cache.
b. How to use proper geocaching etiquette when hiding or seeking a cache, and how to properly hide a geocaches.
c. The principles of Leave No Trace as they apply to geocaching [[Front country and back country issues can be discussed in the text.]]

3. Explain the following terms used in geocaching: waypoint, log, cache, accuracy, difficulty and terrain ratings, attributes, trackable. Choose five additional terms to explain to your counselor.

4. Explain how the Global Positioning System (GPS) works. Then, using Scouting’s Teaching EDGE, demonstrate the use of a GPS unit to your counselor. Include marking and editing a waypoint, changing field functions, and changing the coordinate system in the unit.

5. Do the following:
a. Show that you know how to use a map and compass and explain why this is important for geocaching.
b. Explain the similarities and differences between GPS navigation and standard map reading skills and describe the benefits of each.
c. Explain the UTM (Universal Transverse Mercator) system and how it differs from the latitude/longitude system used for public geocaches.
d. Show how to plot a UTM waypoint on a map. Compare the accuracy to that found with a GPS unit.

6. Describe the four steps to finding your first cache to your counselor. Then mark and edit a waypoint. [[To all: After more thought, I think we can leave out any mention of geocaching.com here and just cite the Web site as the source in the text. We use this same type of reference in other mbps, such as Whitewater.]]

7. With your parent’s permission*, go to www.geocaching.com. Type in your zip code to locate public geocaches in your area. Print out information about three of those geocaches and share this with your counselor. [[Yes, details about account info can be discussed in the text. We have specific guidelines for online use—this doesn’t need to be written by MS.]]
*To fulfill this requirement, you will need to set up a free user account with www.geocaching.com. Ask your parent for permission and help before you do so.  [[Q to all: Does this wording work?]]

8. Do ONE of the following:
a. If a Cache to Eagle series exists in your council, visit at least three of the 12 locations. Describe the projects that each cache you visit highlights, and explain how the Cache to Eagle program helps share our Scouting service with the public.
b. Create a Scouting-related travel bug that promotes one of the values of Scouting. “Release” your travel bug into a public geocache and, with your parent’s permission, monitor its progress at www.geocaching.com for 30 days. Keep a log, and share this with your counselor at the end of the 30-dayperiod.
c. Set up and hide a public geocache, following all the www.geocaching.com guidelines. [[We will include those guidelines in the text.]] With your parent’s permission, follow the logs online for 30 days and share them with your counselor.
d. Explain what Cache In Trash Out (CITO) means, and describe how you have practiced CITO at public geocaches or at a CITO event. Then, either create CITO containers to leave at public caches, or host a CITO event for your unit or for the public.

9. Plan a geohunt for a youth group such as your troop or a neighboring pack, at school, or your place of worship. Choose a theme, set up a course with at least four waypoints, teach the players how to use a GPS unit, and play the game. Tell your counselor about your experience, and share the materials you used and developed for this event.

Source: Capital Area Council and Jayhawk Council.

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I find this Geocaching Merit Badge interesting for two reasons.  First, it is one of the few Merit Badges that doesn’t really introduce Scouts to a possible career.  Second, the requirements are tied into a private website that the BSA has no control over.  What happens if geocaching.com stops offering free accounts, or shuts down? 

What do you think about these Geocaching Merit Badge requirements?

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Forbes Video Featuring Stephen Bechtel Jr.

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Forbes Video Featuring Stephen Bechtel Jr.

Posted on 11 March 2010 by admin

Forbes Video Network has a feature video on Billionaire Stephen Bechtel Jr. The video talks a little about his youth, his Scouting experiences, and his donation for The Summit: Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, in West Virginia.

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Les Baron to Lead National Captial Area Council

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Les Baron to Lead National Captial Area Council

Posted on 09 March 2010 by admin

The National Capital Area Council Scout Executive Selection Committee has announced that it has chosen Les Baron as the new National Capital Area Council (NCAC) Scout Executive. Mr. Baron is currently the Orange County Council Scout Executive. He will begin his assignment with NCAC on April 16, 2010.

Prior to serving in Orange County, Les was the Scout Executive in Tampa, Florida and Griffin, Georgia. He began his career in the Smoky Mountain Council in Knoxville, Tennessee in 1981.

According to a Council news release, “We are looking forward to having Les guide our Council to fulfill the vision of the strategic plan, serving more youth with an unsurpassed quality program and continuing our traditions as the ‘flagship council of America.'”

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Troop 412 Takes the Polar Plunge

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Troop 412 Takes the Polar Plunge

Posted on 08 March 2010 by admin

On March 6, 2010, a handful of Scouts and leaders from Troop 412 in Corydon, Indiana participated in a Polar Plunge. They dove into the freezing water at Buffalo Trace Park to benefit the Special Olympics. Other Scouts from the Troop volunteerred at the event doing such tasks as parking, color guard, and setting up tents. The Polar Plungers from Troop 412 raised $606!

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Scouts Honor T-Shirts to Appear in Select Target Stores

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Scouts Honor T-Shirts to Appear in Select Target Stores

Posted on 04 March 2010 by Dan

A BSA Licensee, Hyprid Apparel, is launching a BSA®  T-Shirt in select Target stores later this month.  The design features “SCOUTS HONOR” and a hand formed in the Scout Sign.

Let us know in the comments if you spot one of these T-Shirts in a store near you!

Source: BSA Licensing Newsletter

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Eagle Scout Project to Put Smiles on the Faces of Children with Disabilities

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Eagle Scout Project to Put Smiles on the Faces of Children with Disabilities

Posted on 01 March 2010 by admin

Eagle Scout Candidate Forrest Bernhardt, age 14, received the go-ahead from Whitehall City Council on January 12, 2010 to locate a Liberty Swing in Goodrich Park. The Liberty Swing, a world-first Australian innovation, has enabled many Australian children who use wheelchairs to experience the joy of having a swing in a park and it will now provide the same thrill for kids and adults with disabilities in Whitehall and all of West Michigan.

Diane James, Managing Director of Liberty Swing Pty Ltd, said that the Whitehall swing will be the first installation in a public park in Michigan. “Children in wheelchairs in the Western region of Michigan will now have the opportunity to experience the simple pleasure of having a swing”.

“For most children a city’s parks and playgrounds are a favorite place to visit, however children with special needs often cannot participate in the same activities as other children. The Liberty Swing changes that and allows children in wheelchairs to join in the fun and experience the same childhood activities that all children can enjoy”.

About 180 Liberty Swings have already been installed across Australia and New Zealand and it is now considered a standard piece of equipment in Australia for councils planning new accessible playgrounds. The Liberty Swing, featured on the ABC’s New Inventors show, holds most types and sizes of wheelchairs and meets global safety standards for playground equipment, but is unique in that it can be locked to prevent accidents and vandalism and has an internal seat where a wheelchair is not necessary.

Bernhardt now faces the challenge of raising $16,000 to cover the cost of the swing and shipping charges. He is also looking for donations from businesses for pool type fencing that makes this swing safe and donations from local contractors for help with excavation, cement work, rubber surfacing and assembly.

Tax Deductible Donations can be sent to
Easter Seals – Michigan
First Liberty Swing fund
4065 Saladin Drive SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

***IMPORTANT***  Remember to put “Liberty Swing Fund”  in the memo of the check or else the funds will go to Easter Seals and not to the Eagle Scout Project for the Liberty Swing!

Bernhardt’s goal is to have his Eagle Scout Project completed with children swinging by summer!

Source: Press Release

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