Archive | Activities

scouting news camp seesaw

Scoutcraft is not dead!

Posted on 22 September 2014 by ScoutAdmin

scouting news camp seesaw

SCOUTPIONEERING.COM IS PUTTING THE OUTING IN SCOUTING

We were happy this week to run across a great website thanks to a video that was shared on Facebook. The video linked in below was taken over the weekend at a community event in the town of Aynor, South Carolina. What you’ll find is a great example of a Boy Scout troop building a sharp pioneering project – in this case a camp seesaw. This classic Scoutcraft is being kept alive on a website we discovered from the author of the video – Larry Green. Check out the website www.Scoutpioneering.com if you want to see a really motivational blog on what is a powerful but sometimes forgotten part of the program.

Comments (1)

philmont gate

Tags: , ,

Tale of Two Philmonts

Posted on 08 May 2012 by MikeD

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

Philmont sits at the apex of the Scout backpacking experience. For skilled backpackers the Philmont routes are not difficult. However, most Scouts are not accomplished backpackers and the challenge of being on the trail for almost two weeks makes any trip to Philmont incredibly worthwhile. In addition, the fun activities and camaraderie with hikers from every state makes Philmont a kind of “Scouting Disneyland.”

Philmont is much more than backpacking. There are months of prep meetings, practice hikes, and shopping sprees. Commemorative shirts have to be designed and ordered and new equipment purchased. There is often an exciting cross county trip by train, plane, or automobile and groups stop at popular attractions along the way. Nearby cities like Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Taos are teeming eager Scouts (in uniform) during the summer months. Afterwards, reunion parties, slide shows, and campfire discussions keep the Philmont experience alive for a long time.

Philmont sits at the apex of Scout wilderness experiences

My first trip to Philmont was a disaster. We trained hard for a difficult backpacking trip and that is not what we got at all. A forest fire broke out before our arrival and a large part of the Ranch was closed to hikers. Everyone got crowded into the southern section of the Ranch, where campsites and trails were overflowing with Scouts. There were lines at every Red Roof Inn and our assigned Ranger was an idiot incompetent. Stringent rules put everyone on edge. Programs were impacted and long wait times or even oversubscribed activities were daily occurrences. A lingering drought meant no swimming or showers for the entire trek. (Ten days on the trail days without anyone bathing even once!)

Our difficult 80 mile planned backpacking trip turned into a 35 mile romp with nothing to do most afternoons. The Scouts got bored and turned on each other and then on the adults. Eventually the adults started taking out their frustrations on the Scouts. It was, by all measures, a miserable trip.

Almost a decade passed before my new Troop became serious about backpacking and started talking about Philmont. It was with mixed feelings that I was swept up in their collective enthusiasm and put my name on a list to go again. The goal was to make my second trip a different experience altogether.

This time we focused on the overall Philmont experience and not just the backpacking. Practice hikes were important of course, but the hikes were filled with stories about Philmont history, camps, activities, and potential service projects. Along the way everyone learned the Philmont Grace and Philmont Hymn, which we all sang with increasing fervor every day we were on the trail together. The song became a unifying force of surprising power. (Even now, one year later, they sing the Philmont Hymn at the drop of a hat!)

Philmont is more than a hike - it is a lifetime memory

Arriving at Philmont base camp in the middle of the night, we tried to slip quietly into our tents so as not to wake the backpackers in our assigned area. Morning soon arrived, with the staff welcome at breakfast, paperwork processing, review of the routes, and introduction to our Ranger, who would be with us for a couple of days. The boys swarmed into the Philmont Trading Post to stock up on candy, belts, hats, shirts, and assorted mementos, some of which might be valuable on the trail. We finished the pack check, stored our extra stuff in the lockers, attended an inspirational Scout’s Own, and were ready to leave the next morning.

The first morning on the trail, our Ranger woke us up before dawn, and in the dark, we scrambled to the top of a mountain to experience the sunrise. Sitting together in the gathering light, we watched the valley come into focus under an azure sky. When he had our attention, the Ranger said, “Before you is a unique opportunity to have an incredible experience at Philmont. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do things you don’t think are possible. Create memories for your lifetime. No one can do it but you.”

For the next ten days we had a glorious time together, punctuated by burrow racing, lumber jacking, black bears, beautiful sunrises & sunsets, cantinas, campfires, horseback riding, singing songs, petroglyphs, porch talks, rock climbing, shotgun shooting, card games, storytelling, challenge courses, and, of course, backpacking. Everyone had a fantastic time.

Some trips are good and some are not so good, but every visit to Philmont is transformative in its own way. Boys become men and men become better. For that reason, every serious Scout and Adult Leader should hike there at least once.

…………………….

Mike Dubrall writes about backpacking, snow camping, and other high adventure outings at 50Miler.com.. His email is miked@50miler.com or you can be connected through the “50miler.com Outing Resource Center” on Facebook.

 

Comments Off

Buster

Tags: , ,

Photo Friday: Aperture

Posted on 13 April 2012 by BrandonQ

Aperture

Overview:

Last time we talked about the shutter speed on your camera. I want to focus on aperture this week.

Aperture

Did you know that the human eye works like the aperture on a camera lens? If you were in a dark cave, your pupils would get bigger to try and let more light in. When you are outside on a sunny day, your pupils get smaller because of the amount of light coming in. Aperture is referred to the lens diaphragm opening inside a photographic lens. The size of the diaphragm opening in a camera lens REGULATES amount of light passes through onto the film inside the camera the moment when the shutter curtain in camera opens during an exposure process. The size of an aperture in a lens can either be a fixed or the most popular form in an adjustable type (like an SLR camera). Aperture size is usually calibrated in f-numbers or f-stops. i.e. those little numbers engraved on the lens barrel like f22 (f/22),f16 (f/16), f/11, f/8.0, f/5.6, f/4.0, f/2.8, f/2.0, f/1.8 etc.

Aperture affects the image in two ways. The first is the relationship to shutter speed. The smaller the aperture (large number), the longer the shutter speed needs to be. This can create blur in a photo. The best use of this is when trying to make a stream look like lace (small aperture, long shutter speed). If you would like to stop motion then use a large aperture (small number) and a faster shutter speed.

The second way aperture affects the photo is the depth of field – the area of a photo which appears in focus. A small aperture (like f/16) has a very large depth of field. The foreground and background will appear in focus. This is helpful for landscape photographs. A large aperture (like f/2.8) will have a shallow depth of field. This allows the subject to be separated visually from the out of focus background or foreground.

The images below shows how a small aperture works, (what is in focus?):

If you look at what is in focus on this photo, you see that the leaves and the dew drops are in focus when the background in not in focus.

Taking a look at Buster, his head is in focus when the rest of his body is not.

What is Aperture?

Lets put this as  simple as possible– Aperture is ‘the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken, this helps regulate the amount of light let onto the sensor.

Comments Off

RELATED SITES

INFORMATION


ScoutingNews is an independent publication and is not affilated with the Boy Scouts of America, Girl Scouts of the USA, or World Organization of the Scout Movement.