Archive | January, 2012

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Are You Tougher Than A Boy Scout?

Posted on 14 January 2012 by ScoutingNewsStaff

The same guy who produces Deadliest Catch and Ice Road Truckers, Thom Beers, has introduced a new unscripted show titled Are You Tougher than a Boy Scout? National Geographic Channel gave Original Productions the greenlight to start shooting this spring, shows will air later this year. The challenges will be based on the Scout skills with adults competing against the country’s top Boy Scouts.  “I was three badges short of my Eagle Scout badge, and I know I am not alone,” said Beers. “This series is going to allow people like me one more chance to achieve such an incredible milestone.  Plus, it’s authentic, has a fun and interesting set of circumstances and underdog characters with a story to tell. And frankly, who doesn’t love the Boy Scouts?” Not only will this 6-episode series be interesting, but it will show a great audience the skills the BSA teaches young men and women every day.

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Words of Wisdom Wednesday: If You Think

Posted on 11 January 2012 by ScoutingNewsStaff

Words of Wisdom Wednesday
The Words of Wisdom Wednesday series is composed of anecdotal segments to inspire and supplement a Scout’s personal development, building core values and moral character. An anecdote on WWW is similar to a “Scoutmaster’s Minute”. These anecdotes are intended to be shared with your units. We will strive to publish updates to Words of Wisdom Wednesday weekly.

If You Think
By Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are.
If you think you dare not, you don’t!
If you want to win, but think you can’t,
It’s almost a cinch you won’t.

 If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost;
For out in the world we find
Success begins with a fellow’s will;
It’s all in the state of the mind.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger and faster man,
But sooner or later the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can.

Download a pdf version of this article.

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Book Review: The Scouting Party

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Book Review: The Scouting Party

Posted on 09 January 2012 by ScoutingNewsStaff

Red Honor Press has done it again, this

Offical Book Description:

Set in the Progressive Era so dominated by President Theodore Roosevelt, The Scouting Party: Pioneering and Preservation, Progressivism and Preparedness in the Making of the Boy Scouts of America tells the story of the strong-minded and at times conflicting individuals – including Roosevelt – who shaped the Boy Scouts of America as it was founded a century ago in 1910 and took shape within a few years.

The Scouting Party examines in particular the role of British-Canadian naturalist Ernest Thompson Seton, whose trailblazing Woodcraft Indians strongly influenced the British founder of Scouting, General Robert Baden-Powell. Seton became the intellectual mainspring of the Boy Scouts of America in its formative years. But BSA organizers preferred Baden-Powell’s more conventional model to Seton’s vision of a youth movement based on the culture and values of the American Indian.

Seton, well known to Americans for his best-selling book, Wild Animals I Have Known, and his vivid lectures on wildlife, found himself increasingly at odds with BSA management between 1910 and 1915 over issues of organizational philosophy. He also clashed frequently with Daniel C. Beard, an illustrator for Mark Twain and founder of the Sons of Daniel Boone, a rival to Seton’s Indians, over precedence in the field. Seton and Beard both wrangled with BSA Executive Secretary James E. West, who arbitrated their frequent wrangles while keeping BSA solvent as the organization rapidly expanded.

The exuberant personality of U.S. senior statesman Theodore Roosevelt looms large throughout The Scouting Party as an influential early patron – and at times critic – of BSA as it embraced pacifism in the initial years of the First World War. Upon U.S. entry into the conflict in 1917, however, BSA threw itself behind the war effort, in the process becoming a quintessential American institution.

In relating the personal interactions that shaped BSA in its early years, The Scouting Party also provokes reflection on the path American Scouting might have taken if it had embraced Seton’s notions of harmony with nature as an important factor in the development of human potential.

Red Honor Press was founded by three Eagle Scouts to produce works that support the Scouting program.

Some of the other Scouting books by Red Honor Press:

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Lowes Pinewood Derby Workshops 2012

Posted on 08 January 2012 by ScoutingNewsStaff

Lowes and Dremel have teamed up again to offer Pinewood Derby Days workshops in 2012.  At these clinics experts share their tips and tricks for making good looking and fast racing derby cars. Everyone who attends an event will be given a BSA-approved badge and a 10% off Dremel coupon.

These are the dates:

  • Saturday, January 7th (I guess we’re a little late on this)
  • Saturday, January 21st
  • Saturday, February 4th
  • Saturday, February 18th

The event usually lasts from 11AM to 1PM. Please check with your local store before the event as local times/dates may differ.

More information on the Derby Days website.

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Photo Friday: A Must Have Accessory

Photo Friday: A Must Have Accessory

Posted on 06 January 2012 by ScoutingNewsStaff

Photo Friday
We recognize that our audience has an interest in photography to capture special moments such as Courts of Honors, campouts, winter activities, family vacations, sport events, and other gatherings. “Photo Friday” is intended to help photography amateurs improve their photo shoots through photo tips, which may include basic skills, creative shooting techniques, and proper care and maintenance. Tips in this section are written by amateurs, professional photographers, and by other contributors. We hope that you find these tips useful in your Scouting program.

Tip: A good, reliable tripod is essential to every photographer. 

Tripods are useful for many reasons, but I will mention the two most significant. First, it allows you to take pictures in low-light conditions, which allows slow shutter speed to be utilized. When taking a picture with long exposures while holding on to your camera, the picture becomes distorted due to your natural shakes. One way to prevent distortions is to place it on a flat surface and set a timer on the camera. However, such conveniences are sometimes hard to come by. In these situations, a handy small, lightweight, and sturdy tripod is very useful. Second, you get to be in the group picture. No more passing the camera around and potentially getting your camera stolen by a stranger. Buying a $30-$40 tripod beats getting your $200 camera stolen and losing all your photos any day.Selecting a tripod is a cinch compared to buying a camera. Just consider your photography experience and your budget. Buy a tripod that does what you want it to do and go where you want it to go. Be sure to compare potential tripods’ weight, size, functionality, and price. A heavier camera will require a sturdier tripod, whereas a tripod that collapses into mere 6-inch apparatus is sufficient for a point-and-shoot.

A good lightweight tripod is the Joby Gorillapod. This tripod features bendable legs which can be secured to a railing, tree limb, or tent frame. Those with a dSLR might want to consider the Dolica Proline Tripod.


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Duchess of Cambridge Becomes Scout Volunteer

Posted on 06 January 2012 by ScoutingNewsStaff

Duchess of Cambridge Becomes Scout Volunteer

By Nelson Block

The most popular person in the UK, and one of the most recognized people in the world, HRH The Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton), has just joined Scouting.

The stories on US television this morning were about the four charities of which she’s just become the patron. [According to] Wayne Bulpitt, UK Chief Commissioner, the Duchess has made a commitment to work with Beaver Scouts (the UK equivalent of Tiger Cubs) and Cub Scouts. This information is also on the Royal website for the Prince of Wales.

The Duchess can’t be the patron of UK Scouting because HM The Queen already holds that position.

Wayne mentions that the Duchess is impressed with what Scouting does for communities. He also discusses how Scouting can fit her busy schedule because the program can adapt to “a model of volunteering that she can fit around her other duties and obligations.”

So, once again, we see that if we just give people a chance to engage with Scouting, they’ll love it.

To read more on Scouting UK’s website and watch Chief Scout Bear Grylls’ reaction to the news at

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Girl Scouts Introduce New Cookie to Mark its 100th Anniversary

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Girl Scouts Introduce New Cookie to Mark its 100th Anniversary

Posted on 05 January 2012 by ScoutingNewsStaff

Do you like powdered sugar? Do you like lemon? Then you’ll love the Girl Scout’s 100th Anniversary cookie. The Savannah Smiles is a dense shortbread like cookie with a light lemon flavor, topped off with a powdered sugar dusting.Savannah Smiles is named after Girl Scout founder Juliette Gordon Low’s hometown, Savannah, Ga.  The Girl Scout cookie program started in 1922 and every few years a new cookie treat is born. This year’s cookie is a great addition to Thin Mints, Samoas, and Do-Si-Dos.  Be sure to order some from your favorite Girl Scout… they sell more than 200 million boxes a year!


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Winter Camp in Full Swing

Posted on 05 January 2012 by ScoutingNewsStaff

Article and photos by ScoutingNewsStaff

Troop 199 from Pasadena, TX, gathers around the campfire after the setting up camp.

CONROE, TEXAS – With warm clothes and hand warmers stuffed in their packs, Scouts started to roll in to Camp Strake, one of Sam Houston Area Council’s four council camps, at 13:00 the day after Christmas for Scout Odyssey Winter Camp. Troop trailers and passengers made their way to each designated campsite. Security and the registration staff had their hands full in a matter of minutes. But after months of preparation and planning, it was nothing they couldn’t handle. Within a few hours, the camp was filled with approximately 1,200 Scouts and Scouters. By 15:30, almost all the Troops had checked in and the camp staff finally had a chance to catch a breath.

For many years, they come out to brave five cold nights in the wilderness to get away from everything they usually take for granted – TVs, computers, indoor heating, warm beds – the list goes on. With

As Scouts gather outside the door, the Trading Post Staff introduces featured-items on Day 1 as the store officially opens for business.

temperatures dipping into the 30s, Scouts learned how to pack extra warm at their last meeting before Winter Camp. Like any campout, preparation is absolutely essential. Although Camp Strake provides meals and activities, Troops must bring their own patrol boxes and camp gear for campsite set up. For Troop 557 from Katy, Texas, their first priority was to get camp set up, and second to plan for the week ahead. The Scoutmaster and other adult leaders gathered the Scouts around the camp tables for the debriefing.

Winter Camp offers rank advancement like First Class Emphasis and the opportunity to earn merit badges led by knowledgeable volunteer Scouters, who are also professionals in their fields of expertise. Archery, Rifle Shooting, and Athletic Merit Badges were among the most popular, while Environmental Science, First Aid, and the three Citizenship

Program Director Bobby Warren updates the schedule in preparation for the night ahead.

Merit Badges are offered for First Class, Star, and Life Scouts as they journey ever closer toward Eagle. The combination of board games, dodge ball, tag football, fellowship, skit and movie nights, and the outdoor setting turn an ordinary classroom into a fun-filled week of learning.

Registering your troop’s summer and winter camps with your council is a great way to circulate funds back into where it matters for Scouts registered in that council. “By attending their council’s summer and winter camps, Troops can help fundraise for new camp amenities and programs,” states Program Director Bobby Warren. Maintaining the campground is no simple task. Dedicated camp residence and volunteers put a great deal of time and effort into keeping the

Scouts learn valuable skills in First Aid Merit Badge class and having fun at the same time.

premises properly maintained and functional for Scouts to enjoy. It is very important for Troops to support their council camps, so that the camps could continue to build new and upgrade existing facilities.This year’s Winter Camp was a great success. If your Troop missed this year’s Winter Camp, consider signing up next time around!

You can find more photos of Scout Odyssey Winter Camp on our Facebook page at


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Words of Wisdom Wednesday: We are Leaders

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: We are Leaders

Posted on 04 January 2012 by ScoutingNewsStaff

Words of Wisdom Wednesday
The Words of Wisdom Wednesday series is composed of anecdotal segments to inspire and supplement a Scout’s personal development, building core values and moral character. An anecdote on WWW is similar to a “Scoutmaster’s Minute”. These anecdotes are intended to be shared with your units. We will strive to publish updates to Words of Wisdom Wednesday weekly.
We Are Leaders
Quote by: Peter Drucker
The leaders who work most effectively, it seems to me, never say “I.” And that’s not because they have trained themselves not to say “I.” They don’t think “I.” They think “we”; they think “team.” They understand their job to be to make the team function. They accept responsibility and don’t sidestep it, but “we” gets the credit…. This is what creates trust, what enables you to get the task done.

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Earning the 50-Miler Award in Yosemite NP

Earning the 50-Miler Award in Yosemite NP

Posted on 03 January 2012 by Guest Poster

The following is a Guest Article by Mike Dubrall. Mike “Uncle Dub Zero” Blogs and writes informative articles on backpacking at 

Earning the 50-Miler Award

There is no place in the world like Yosemite National Park! Scouts can wander through the Mariposa Grove, climb Half Dome, look out from Glacier Point, swim in Tenaya Lake, hike along the Tuolumne River, or backpack through hundreds of miles of pristine wilderness . That’s why, for over 50 years, it’s been a popular place for Scouts to try and earn the BSA 50-Miler Award.

To receive this award, a unit must cover a distance of 50 miles over at least five days without the aid of motorized vehicles, so the distance can be covered by foot, boat, cycle, or horse. There must also be adequate planning, potential advancement opportunities, and a ten-hour service project along the way (or back at home). The reward is a nice patch and bragging rights in your local District.

Troop 60 of Danville, CA had completed the required planning and was ready for their 50 mile hike in Yosemite. When we picked up our wilderness permits in White Wolf, however, the Ranger told us that our route through the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne was closed because of a fire in the area. So the group decided to hike around to Glen Aulin instead (around 25 miles) and try to enter the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne from the other direction.

Our first night was typical for a public campground in Yosemite during the summer: crowded, noisy and frequented by bears. After dark we crawled into our sleeping bags; but, every 30 minutes the food boxes started rattling and someone would start yelling, “Go Away Bear” while banging their pots and pans. With all the rattling, yelling, grunting, and banging, we didn’t get much sleep.

Overlook Hiking Out of Ten Lakes - Yosemite NP

The next morning, after a quick breakfast of cinnamon rolls and cereal, everyone was glad to hit the trail. The destination was Ten Lakes, but without revised trail profiles and detailed maps, we were caught off guard by the steep climb at the end of the day. The last two miles (at 9,000 feet elevation) were slow going.

The hike out of Ten Lakes was challenging but the mountain views were stunning. After a long lunch near a creek (perfect for splashing around) we worked our way up and over Tuolumne Peak, noticing the snow patches (in August) and beautiful little ponds. Then it was down, down, down past May Lake, until we finally came to a trail junction and found a suitable place for a wilderness camp, 200 feet off the trail. Tents were pitched in the deepening twilight. Twelve miles with a full backpack makes for a long day.

We allowed ourselves a small campfire, ate a cold dinner and went to sleep. Just before dawn, however, we awoke to the smell of smoke, and crawled out to take a look, worried that the forest fire that diverted us had changed direction. But, the source of this smoke was much closer!

Our “fire man” had built the campfire three feet from a rotting tree that had been shredded by bears looking for insects. So, even though he dug a hole and lined it with rocks, the not-quite-extinguished fire had lingered in the sawdust, eventually breaking into flames again – and these flames were rapidly spreading towards our tents. We had to move fast to put out the fire with water from the creek. (Lesson learned. There are reasons to follow fire safety rules.)

Glen Aulin - Yosemite NP

We broke camp and set off for Glen Aulin, one of the best trail camps in the Sierras. It was an easy day and we got to our destination before lunch. A major attraction at Glen Aulin are the Tuolumne Falls, which is a perfect place for swimming. (The water is cold, but real backpackers have no problem with it.) Nearby, a few minutes of hard climbing gets you to a vantage spot with impressive views down the entire Valley.

Our plan was to hike down to Waterwheel Falls from Glen Aulin, but the forest fire was still burning and Rangers had closed that trail the day before we arrived. So we turned around to find our way towards Tuolumne Meadows along the Pacific Crest Trail. The miles melted away as we followed the Tuolumne River east, working our way around several waterfalls then marching into spectacular Tuolumne Meadows. The last few miles were marked by a sudden snow storm, freezing rain, hail, and sleet. We hiked with a cold wind in our faces, our hands in front of us trying to our faces from the hailstones. It was a memorable ending to our adventure – but at least everyone on the trek earned the 50 Miler Award.


At Mike has many more tales and advise about hiking in Yosemite.

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