Archive | February, 2012

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: BP Quote

Posted on 15 February 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.

 

By Sir Robert Baden-Powell

“The most important object in Boy Scout training is to educate, not instruct.”

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nikon

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Photo Friday: Choosing the Right Camera

Posted on 10 February 2012 by BrandonQ

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. Photo Fridays are brought to you by Brandon Queen Photography.

Overview:

We talked about the different types of cameras on last weeks tip. Now we will talk about choosing the right camera for you. Many factors go into choosing a camera and what might work for you or your Scout might not work for someone else. Here are some key points you will want to consider.

  1. Size and portability
  2. Durability
  3. Ergonomics and Features
  4. Price

Ask yourself – What will I be using this camera for? If you are taking your camera on backpacking trips a smaller, more durable model might be better. Shooting the candle lighting ceremony at your unit’s upcoming banquet? Then a dSLR will allow you to control the aperture, shutter speed, and white balance to get a tack-sharp image of your youth.

Size and Portability

Point and Shoot cameras are getting smaller, slimmer, and more feature packed as time goes on. These are easily slipped into a ski jacket or a backpack pocket.  The Canon PowerShot SX230HS is a great small portable camera. DSLRs are larger and less portable.

Durability

Point and Shoots also have some good features for your less than careful scout. The Panasonic Lumix DMC-TS3 is both rugged and waterproof.  DSLRs like the Nikon D3100 and the Canon EOS Rebel T3 are durable but not waterproof. They will need a little more care with the interchangeable lenses as well.

Ergonomics and Features

DSLRs have a great feature set. You can change the arperature, the shutter speed, the white balance – basically everything that effects your photos. They also feel sturdy in your hands with buttons and dials at the ready. Point and Shoots have good “mode” settings that try and take the thinking out of exposure. They will select the settings that should take the properly exposed picture – but sometimes this doesn’t always work. In 75% of situations however it will take an decently exposed photo.

Price

Do doubt about it Point and Shoots win this category.  A good point and shoot will run around $100. A great one will be in the $250 range. An entry level dSLR on the other hand starts at $600 and the sky is the limit from there. Take a look at the Nikon D3 to put on your “if I ever win the lottery” list. They are an investment to consider wisely if you see using the camera a lot.

Accessories you might want to purchase as well

  • A tripod
  • Camera bag
  • Extra batteries
  • Extra Memory Cards

 

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Girl Scouts Win UN Forest Heroes Award

Posted on 09 February 2012 by ScoutingNewsStaff

Two Michigan Girl Scouts, Madison Vorva of Plymouth and Rhiannon Tomtishen of Ann Arbor, received the first ever International Forest Heroes Award for North America. The U.N. is recognizing the two girls for their efforts to bring international attention to the possible extinction of orangutans. The  orangutan habitat is effected by palm oil production. The girls realized that palm oil is used in all Girl Scout Cookies. The girls have been campaigning since 2007 to convince GSUSA and Kellog, the maker of Girl Scout Cookies, to find an alternative for their tasty cookies. This past fall their efforts paid off when Kellog and GSUSA agreed to  move to sustainable palm oil products for their cookies. Congratulations to Madison and Rhiannon!

Source: Huffington Post

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Igloo Building

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Beyond Ski Trips – Winter Outings

Posted on 07 February 2012 by MikeD

The following is a Guest Article by Mike Dubrall. Mike “Uncle Dub Zero” Blogs and writes informative articles on backpacking and snow camping at 50Miler.com. 

It may come as a surprise to Scouters in Montana and Wisconsin with their cold weather camping traditions, but for many Scouts in other areas, winter has become a camping holiday.  Parents and Scout leaders in warmer climes point to the high cost of acquiring cold-weather clothing and the risks associated with driving boys to the mountains on snowy or wet roads.   In addition, many don’t like hiking, cooking, and camping in bad weather – not to mention all the planning and safety issues to consider.  For them, real camping in winter is just too much trouble.

To keep their program going when the weather is bad, some units organize outings in the city.  Overnights in museums, park gazebos, rock climbing gyms, and fitness centers are possible; and, if they are lucky, the boys might even sleep in decommissioned battleships or submarines in some areas.  Many Scout Camps are also open year round and they often have enclosed areas for sleeping and daytime activities.  A few boys even organize winter campouts in the backyard of their Patrol Leader where they can easily evacuate to the living room if it starts to rain.  And while all of these are great Scouting experiences, they do not always deliver the adventure of Scouting that is described in the Scout Handbook.  Real Scouts spent at least part of every year dealing with real winter weather.

If your unit does not have a tradition of overnight camping in the snow, then it No Wimpsmight be wise to start out with some winter day trips.  They are usually less challenging than overnights and more accessible to participants with little cold weather experience.  All you need for a day trip is an idea, a destination, and some leadership. (Plus a new Tour Plan.)

The majority of Scouts live within a day’s drive of a ski resort – so for most, there is no excuse for not organizing a one-day Troop ski or boarding outing.  Sledding is also a possibility in many areas.  Most resorts provide group discounts – some even offer snow sports merit badge programs.  Just remember the safety issues.  BSA now requires boys to wear helmets on the slopes and it’s a very good idea to make sure boarders are wearing wrist protection.  Older Scouts can resist both helmets and wrist protectors, so you might have to make a big deal about it ahead of time.

However, a winter day-trip does not have to be about downhill skiing or boarding.  Here are some other ideas to consider:

Snow Shoeing is possibly the fastest growing winter sport in America.  Just Snow Shoeingstrap the snow shoes over your boots and start walking away from the parking area.  It delivers immediate gratification.  Head down to your local REI or sporting goods store to rent some snow shoes.  Then pack a lunch, put on your clothing layers, and head to any wilderness area with snow.

Cross Country skiing is not as exciting as its downhill relative, but it’s still pretty fun.   It’s easy to learn for even the most uncoordinated boys and adults.  Cross country skiing does not require expensive lift tickets, and will not usually result in scary falls while hurdling out of control down a blue diamond slope.  Most cross-country resorts and sporting good stores will rent skis at very reasonable prices.

Igloo Building is not easy, but a group of Scouts can certainly put together a Igloo Buildingcredible structure in an afternoon.  This gives everyone a taste of what snow camping is all about and proves that they can actually create a safe place to spend the night no matter how cold it gets.  (Note: it is a bummer to spend all afternoon building a structure, only to tear it down without sleeping in it.)

Photography takes on a whole new aspect in a snow covered environment.  Find a counselor and work on the merit badge or pass out disposable cameras for a photo scavenger hunt.  Then post the pictures on the Troop website.

Snow Sculpture Contests can be organized in a number of ways.  Picture an entire army of snow men in a field, each built by individual Scouts hoping to win a grand prize.  Larger Patrol sculptures could be built and judged around a theme (animals or Scout Leaders are examples) or judge them on originality, height, sex appeal, or difficulty.  Make sure you plan ahead and bring the right tools and decorations to finish your masterpieces.

Overnight outings are more difficult to organize and execute, but they are usually worth the trouble.  With this in mind, many Districts organize Klondike Derbies or winter Camporees.   Most Klondike Derbies welcome visitors from other areas so find one in your state and participate.   (A search in Google for  Klondike shows an astonishing 790,000 results from which to choose).

Older Scouts need to be challenged, summer or winter.  That means helping them find exciting activities and convincing trained adults to participate – not always an easy task.  However, if you don’t keep them engaged in January and February, your Venture Crew might not be around when the weather finally does improve.

Mike Dubrall writes about backpacking, snow camping, and other high adventure outings at 50Miler.com. His email is miked@50miler.com and you can friend him on Facebook.

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Photo Friday: Camera Types

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Photo Friday: Camera Types

Posted on 03 February 2012 by BrandonQ

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. Photo Fridays are brought to you by Brandon Queen Photography.

Camera Types

Overview:

In this tip you will learn the three basic cameras with photos of each along with a few photography terms and picture.

There are three different types of basic cameras that you should know about. Each camera does something different or similar depending on you settings. Here are the basic cameras you need to know:

  1. Film Cameras – they can are usually known for there 35mm film.
  2. Digital Point and Shoot – these are usually small pocket size cameras that use a sensor and a memory card to capture its memories. Some point and shoot camera give you the option to change lens but majority do not. With a point and shoot your zoom is built into the camera making it compact and easier to carry around. These will be the best choice for Scouts and Scouters due to their portability and low cost.
  3. DSLR – stands for digital single lens reflex. This means that the camera uses a mirror with a sensor to capture its photos. With a DSLR camera you can change your lens along with your aperture, shutter and white balance (gives you a more control over your photos).

Photo Terms:

Film: A photographic emulsion coated on a flexible, transparent base that records images or scenes.

Figure 1: 200 ISO Film, 35mm

“C Format”: “Classic” format – one of the three selectable Advanced Photo System print formats; identical to the 2:3 aspect ratio used in 35 mm photography and suitable for most general-purpose shots. See also Aspect Ratio and Interspersed Aspect Ratio, “H”-format and “P”-format.

Film Camera: Device used to take photos using film.

Figure 2: Canon EOS Rebel X S Film Camera

Point and Shoot:Term used for a small digital camera or to pick up a camera and take a picture.

Figure 3: Canon Power Shot SX130 IS

DSLR: Digital Lens Single Lens Reflex.

Figure 4: Canon EOS 5D Mark II DSLR

“Photography is not just taking pictures, It is capturing moments that will last a lifetime”

– Brandon Q

 

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BSA Launches E-Funding Website

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BSA Launches E-Funding Website

Posted on 02 February 2012 by Press Release

Boy Scouts of America Launches New E-Funding Website, Enables Support of Scouting Online

Site provides options to donate to local council programs,  support development of the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve  

Irving, TEXAS (Jan. 24, 2012) Supporting the Boy Scouts of America, one of the nation’s largest and most prominent youth character development organizations, is now just a mouse click away. A new website, http://aplacetogive.scouting.org/ , provides the ability to support Scouting programs in local communities, provide funding to send a youth to camp, and to support the development of the Summit Bechtel Family National Scout Reserve, the BSA’s newest national high-adventure base and the future home of the national Scout jamboree, with online donations.

As a nonprofit organization, the Boy Scouts of America relies on the generosity of charitable donations to support its ongoing operations and future capital expenses at the local and national levels. Each gift, regardless of size, provides invaluable funding for BSA programs that benefit Scouts all across the country. The introduction of this new website offers supporters of Scouting the ability to help nurture youth development in a convenient, meaningful way.

“The e-Funding website represents a quantum leap forward—both in the way it enables people to donate to Scouting and in the way it enables councils to customize their page to provide donors with a number of options,” said Assistant Chief Scout Executive Brad Farmer. “Despite tough economic times, supporters continue to graciously invest their time and resources to help the BSA develop young people into the leaders of tomorrow.”

Most youth members’ day-to-day experiences with Scouting come through their individual packs, troops, teams, crews, and ships. These units are overseen by local councils, which receive an annual charter from the National Council. The new e-Funding website offers multiple options for each council page. Initially, when an individual navigates to the website, the site will identify where that individual is located and will automatically populate the information for the nearest BSA local council. Donors can also enter a different zip code or council to which they wish to donate.

In addition to supporting local council programs, visitors tohttp://aplacetogive.scouting.org/  will be able to select the “Send a Kid to Camp” option, provide funding for the James E. West Endowment, and/or support the development of the Summit by purchasing new trees and sponsoring walkway paving stones, wooden sustainability benches, and stone benches. Other options will be introduced in the future, providing donors with a variety of ways to personalize and individualize their gifts to the Scouting program.

“Our supporters and members want to see the amazing Scouting program continue to grow and thrive in meeting the needs of today’s youth,” Farmer said. “One of the ways we are doing that is by expanding our reach in the digital realm and giving supporters and members more ways to connect with Scouting.”

About the Boy Scouts of America :

The Boy Scouts of America provides the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training, which helps young people be “Prepared. For Life.™” The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21 and more than a million volunteers in local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.

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Major League Soccer

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BSA Teams Up With Major League Soccer

Posted on 01 February 2012 by Press Release

Relationship will support BSA’s athletic, leadership, and character-driven program

Major League SoccerIRVING, Texas, and NEW YORK (January 12, 2012)—Today, at the 2012 MLS SuperDraft in Kansas City, Major League Soccer (MLS), the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada, and MLS W.O.R.K.S., MLS’ community outreach initiative, announced a alliance with the Boy Scouts of America, providing avenues for the league to support the BSA’s youth-focused program of athleticism, character, and leadership. Beginning with the 2012 MLS season, which starts on March 10, Scouts across the nation in MLS markets will receive special programming and connection opportunities at MLS games.

Major League Soccer, which was founded in 1996, features 19 clubs in the United States and Canada, each playing 34 regular-season matches.

Through the BSA’s focus on healthy living initiative SCOUTStrong, Scouts participating in MLS markets will be provided access to MLS players, coaches, league and club executives, and unique programming tailored to the Scouts. Future plans include an opportunity for Scouts to conduct community service projects and be selected for in-game ceremonies at MLS stadiums, for “Scout Nights” that support local councils in the recruiting and retention of Scouts, and for local MLS players and executives to partake in formal discussions with Scouts on topics such as fitness and leadership.

At today’s MLS SuperDraft, Scouts from the Heart of America Council in Kansas City will deliver the official adidas MLS PRIME match ball to the stage to kick off the event. The ball will be autographed by the 2012 first-round draft picks and will be auctioned off to benefit the Kansas City council. Visit www.MLSsoccer.com/mlsworks to bid on this and other MLS memorabilia.

About Boy Scouts of America
The Boy Scouts of America prepares young people for life by providing the nation’s foremost youth program of character development and values-based leadership training. The Scouting organization is composed of 2.7 million youth members between the ages of 7 and 21, and more than a million volunteers, in nearly 300 local councils throughout the United States and its territories. For more information on the Boy Scouts of America, please visit www.scouting.org.

About Major League Soccer 
Headquartered in New York City, Major League Soccer is the top-flight professional soccer league in the United States and Canada. MLS features many stars from the U.S., Canada, and around the world. Major League Soccer’s 17th season will feature 19 clubs each playing 34 regular-season matches. Those clubs include the Chicago Fire; Chivas USA; Colorado Rapids; Columbus Crew; D.C. United; FC Dallas; Houston Dynamo; 2011 MLS Cup champion LA Galaxy; New York Red Bulls; New England Revolution; Philadelphia Union; Portland Timbers; Real Salt Lake; San Jose Earthquakes; Seattle Sounders FC; Sporting Kansas City; Toronto FC; Vancouver Whitecaps FC; and, in their inaugural season, Montreal Impact. For more information about MLS, log on to the league’s official website at www.MLSsoccer.com .

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George Washington

Words of Wisdom Wednesday: The Unexpected Guest

Posted on 01 February 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.

George WashingtonThe Unexpected Guest
Retold by Kristi Bell

One night, a soldier had been out scouting the area for enemies. On his way back to camp he stopped at a humble cottage and asked for shelter. An older couple answered the door, took pity on him and told him that he can stay the night. The stranger was exhausted and retired as soon as he was shown his room.

Before the mistress of the home went to sleep, she locked up all of her valuables in case this man was a thief. As she was locking up her valuables, she heard speaking in the next room. She listened closer and heard a prayer offered in gentle yet solemn tones. It was the stranger praying for his country, for the soldiers who were fighting for the noble cause. The woman became ashamed of her suspicious fears, got up and put the key back in the cupboard door. She slept peacefully and soundly through the night.

The next morning, the stranger could not stay, but offered to pay for his night’s lodging. The old couple refused. “Then,” said the guest, “you deserve to know who I am, who you have entertained and treated so nobly. I am General Washington.”

A .pdf of this article can be found here.

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