Even the best-looking troop trailer designs can’t hide ugly insides. You know the ones I mean: cavernous, unorganized spaces into which gear is deposited and never seen again.
That’s why many troops add the Scouting touch to their trailers, installing shelving and other improvements to make storing and finding gear a breeze — even if it’s after dark on Friday night when you pull into camp.
So last month, I asked for troops to send me photos of the insides of their trailers. I wanted to know: How do troops keep things organized and avoid the all-too-familiar sight of 20 boys rummaging through a pile of backpacks, bags, and patrol boxes to find what’s theirs?
Here are five great examples: Continue reading
Perhaps your pack or troop meets Monday nights. Or maybe your family doesn’t have the National Geographic Channel.
Whatever your excuse for missing Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout? — the six-episode reality series that matched Eagle Scouts against grown-ups who didn’t reach Eagle as boys — now’s your chance to see it all from the start.
Yes, Are You Tougher? is now available for purchase and download on iTunes, meaning you can watch on your computer, Apple TV, iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
You can buy individual episodes in high definition for $2.99 each or in standard definition for $1.99 apiece. Or get the entire series for $13.99 in HD or $9.99 in SD.
Click here for the HD version or click here for the SD version and get ready to see who is Tougher. Continue reading
When tragedies strike — be it a major accident, natural disaster, or act of violence — Scouts quickly answer the call to respond. It’s in our DNA.
That often manifests itself in drives for clothing, blood, and/or supplies. Nobody questions the value of these drives, but Scouters often wonder whether they’re acceptable as Eagle Scout service projects.
Take this email received yesterday from a Scouter who will remain anonymous:
A council has long-held that “drives” in general and blood drives in particular are verboten as Eagle service projects. The usual argument supporting this ban is that “other people do most of the work, including the leadership” and/or “there’s no way the Scout can ‘guarantee’ a particular outcome (e.g., a specific number of books collected, clothing collected, etc.).” Does the BSA have a written position on drives and their appropriateness as service projects for Eagle rank?
Great question. As usual, we turn to Advancement Team Leader Christopher Hunt for the official response. Chris says: Continue reading
Who doesn’t love a good sequel?
After last summer’s successful premiere of the BSA’s Visual Storytelling Workshops in Atlanta and at Philmont, the return engagement is almost upon us.
Two more workshops are scheduled for 2013, including one set for this weekend — May 3 to 5 — in St. Louis. If you hurry, there may still be spots available.
But there’s certainly time to register for the second workshop, held Aug. 4 to 10 at the Philmont Training Center in Cimarron, N.M.
Participants will learn the basics of editing photos with audio to create compelling Scouting stories to share via social media. You’ll leave ready to build an army of Scouting storytellers and get the word about our great movement to those who haven’t yet come aboard.
Go to this site for more information or to register for either workshop.
Photo by Greg Crenshaw
If a Scout camps several nights with his troop before getting a signed blue card from his Scoutmaster, do those nights count toward his earning Camping merit badge?
That’s what a Scouter, who I’ll call James, wondered last week in an email. James wrote:
I have a question concerning when a Scout must have a blue card. Our troop has a merit badge counselor that told boys that none of their camping nights count prior to them getting a signed blue card from the Scoutmaster.
It seems that I have read that this is contrary to BSA policy. Could you point me to a specific BSA reference for this?
Well, James, there’s no greater authority on this than Christopher Hunt, advancement team leader here at the BSA’s National Office. Continue reading
There’s just one problem with all that Tweeting, Facebooking, and Instagramming Scouts and Scouters will do at this summer’s national jamboree.
All those Web-connected devices can only go as far as the batteries inside them.
So, hook up with Samsung and AT&T, an official sponsor of the 2013 National Scout Jamboree.
Now, when you purchase a new Samsung smartphone or tablet and sign up for a two-year plan with AT&T, you’ll get a commemorative, jamboree-edition Goal Zero Switch 8 solar charging kit (a $100 value) for free.
The pocket-size kit will fully charge a smartphone and gets its juice from the sun’s rays, meaning you won’t be tethered to a charging station at the Summit all week — though those will be available for the non-solar Scouts and Scouters among us. Continue reading
Pay attention, because there’ll be a test later.
Boy Scout families — both current and former — can score $250 SAT or ACT test-prep computer programs for less than $20. That means the study materials, shipping, student support, and streaming content can be yours for less than half what it costs to take the actual tests themselves.
It’s $19.99 for either the SAT or ACT test-program, which includes 11 hours of video instruction, 3,000 files of supplemental test prep material, thousands of interactive diagnostic tools, sample questions, and practice tests.
Have a student who’s taking both tests? Grab both programs for $39.98 — a huge savings over the $499.98 list price.
Mac or PC? Doesn’t matter, because the software — available either as a DVD or streamed online — works on either platform.
Longtime blog readers might recognize this program as a continuation of the eKnowledge and the SAT/ACT Donation Project I mentioned a year ago and in 2010. In the years since it began, eKnowledge, which says its mission is helping Scouts and Venturers to Be Prepared for these important standardized tests, has sent more than 4,500 Scouting families this software. And it has received hundreds of thank-you notes from Scouting families, with comments such as: Continue reading
Updated, April 30: Apple iOS version now available
They say this summer’s National Jamboree will be the most-connected ever. Well, this is a great start.
Version 1.0 of the Jamboree Summit App is available on Apple and Android devices. The Android app clocks in at just over 10 MB and costs $0.99 in the Google Play store. The iOS version for Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch weighs 15 MB and costs $0.99 at the App Store.
The AT&T-sponsored app, intended for use by participants, staff, and visitors to the 2013 National Scout Jamboree, provides up-to-date information on all programs and activities being held at the Summit this summer. See some screenshots below. Continue reading
Doing Your Best, even in adverse circumstances, is part of Scouting’s core.
So we shouldn’t be too surprised that Justin Wilson, driver of the No. 19 Boy Scouts of America IndyCar, finished third in Sunday’s Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach — even after starting third-to-last.
A qualifying mishap forced Wilson to start the race in 25th place, so he had to make up a lot of ground. But he and his team did just that, propelling the Dale Coyne Racing BSA car to its best-ever finish.
That’s great news for the Coynes, longtime supporters of Scouting. But it’s also great news for the BSA’s brand. Seeing the BSA’s website and logos on a car competing for the checkered flag essentially means free advertising for the BSA. And a better finish equals more air time.
The ultimate goal: Get non-Scouts talking about the Boy Scouts of America and get current Scouts and Scouters thinking about the ways they can use BSA Racing to promote STEM initiatives in their own units. Continue reading
Which merit badges had Scouts rushing to counselors and Moms and Dads rushing to the sewing machine last year?
Here’s your answer. In January 2012, I presented a list of 2011′s most- and least-popular merit badges based on sales numbers from the Supply Division. This year’s numbers come from the BSA Program folks and are based not on sales but on the actual number earned, meaning they should be more accurate.
As you’d expect, the 12 most-earned merit badges from 2012 were all Eagle-required. Those merit badges provide extra motivation for Scouts to finish them on their journey through the ranks. But the badges that ranked 13 to 130 have some interesting takeaways: