One study says chocolate is good for you, while another swears it’ll kill you.
When it comes to information about nutrition and health, cutting through the fat to get to the good stuff online isn’t easy.
Enter the BSA’s new SCOUTStrong site. The news aggregator collects Scout-approved, health-related news articles, podcasts, and videos in one spot for easy viewing. The goal: making Scouts and Scouters physically strong, mentally awake, and completely prepared for the jamboree and other BSA adventures ahead.
After spending a few minutes on the site, any adult — leader, volunteer, parent — should feel empowered to pass on the lessons learned to their Scouts. Continue reading
In Scouting, knives are a double-edged sword.
Used safely, they’re part of a rite of passage for boys and a chance for leaders to impart important lessons to help Scouts become “Prepared. For Life.”
But inevitably, some Scout will do his best Crocodile Dundee impression and show up at summer camp with the 10-inch sheath knife his uncle bought him.
The BSA keeps its knife policy intentionally vague (see below), offering suggestions but leaving specific policies up to individual units.
Does your pack, troop, team, or crew have a policy? Continue reading
Parents in your troop expect you’ll help mold their boys into better young men.
They also have another, equally important expectation: that you’ll keep Scouts safe while doing so.
Before you drive Scouts to your unit’s next campout or other event, ask yourself: Am I safe behind the wheel?
Your life — and the lives of your Scouts — may depend on it. Continue reading
We know in graphic detail what happens when “happy mountaineers” use the restroom.
What we don’t know, until today, are other clever ways to remind Scouts — and ourselves — to remain hydrated in the great outdoors.
That’s why last month I asked Scouters like you to send in your best hydration slogans.
In all, I received 157 submissions. I made an initial cut, removing slogans that weren’t Scout appropriate or didn’t follow the contest rules. I sent the 85 remaining to Richard Bourlon, hydration hype-man (and BSA health and safety guru).
Here are Bourlon’s selections, in no particular order: Continue reading
Fewer than 100 of these water bottles were produced, and they aren’t sold in stores. Win one of 10 I’m giving away by entering below!
“A happy mountaineer always pees clear.”
That simple, off-color rhyme does its job by reminding Scouts, Scouters, and other outdoor lovers about the importance of proper hydration.
It stems, of course, from the fact that urine color is an excellent indicator of your hydration level.
Face it: It’s easy to forget about drinking water when you’re having fun in the sun with your pack, troop, team, or crew. By the time you feel thirsty, you’re already dehydrated.
That’s why you should consult this BSA-produced heat index and urine color chart (PDF), which can be printed and distributed to the members of your unit. It’ll tell you how much water you need and whether you’re dehydrated.
Another great way to keep hydration in mind? A catchy slogan.
Think you have one? If so, you could win a limited-edition water bottle! Read on to learn how. Continue reading
Most of my best memories from summer camp involved the water.
Where else but Camp Cherokee’s epic waterfront could I swim, canoe with my friends, or sit on a massive airbag called “the blob” and get propelled 15 feet into the air?
At camp or not, summer isn’t summer without water activities. But with great fun comes great responsibility, and that’s where you come in.
Hey, you with the post-hole digger! Let me see some ID!
When it comes to service projects, nobody does it better — or safer — than the Boy Scouts.
But before you gather equipment for your next Good Turn, ask yourself some questions:
Can my 14- and 15-year-old Boy Scouts use lawnmowers and string trimmers to cut the grass at the local church?
Can my 16- and 17-year-old Venturers use a chain saw and log splitter to cut firewood for elderly residents?
In this case, the answer is no and no.
That’s why it’s critical to follow the Age Guidelines for Tool Use and Work at Elevations or Excavations, a new document that details how old Scouts should be to use certain hand tools and power tools at service projects (including Eagle Scout service projects).
I’ve got complete details below.
Thanks to The Hunger Games, archery is cool again. Your move, Scout leaders.
In the megahit film and book, the character Katniss Everdeen (above) uses a bow and arrow to hunt for food.
And she does it in style.
Sounds like a great opportunity for Scouters to get their troop excited about Archery merit badge, right?
Turns out it’s not that simple.
Your 10-cents-per-text plan seems cheap when you consider this: Pressing send behind the wheel will soon cost you 3,000 times that amount.
Thanks to a new bill signed into law this month, handheld cell phone use in West Virginia — the home state of the Summit Bechtel Reserve — is against the law and punishable by a fine of up to $300.
The law, sure to make West Virginia’s roads safer, comes as Scouts and Scouters prepare to descend on the state for next summer’s national Scout jamboree.
If you’re among the tens of thousands who will attend, visit, or serve on staff, here’s what you need to know:
Every hour in the United States, a child dies from a preventable injury.
Car crashes, suffocation, drowning, poisoning, fires, and falls took the lives of more than 9,000 children in 2009, according to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report released this week. Preventable injuries kill more Americans under age 19 than any other cause.
And for every one child who dies, 925 more are treated in emergency rooms.
Fortunately for Scouts and Scouters, the BSA has been a health and safety pioneer for more than a century, working with medical and risk management experts to make the program one of the safest out there. (Sweet Sixteen of BSA Safety, anyone?)
That doesn’t mean injury prevention happens by itself, though. Following the BSA’s carefully worded safety guidelines can help you avoid a trip to the emergency room on your next campout — but only if you’ve actually read them.