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.
Ready to take your pack, troop, team, or crew to new heights?
Schedule a ride in a tethered hot-air balloon. The activity, which previously wasn’t approved, was officially OK’d this week by the BSA’s Health and Safety team.
Notice I said tethered hot-air ballooning — not the kind where you ride for miles like the Wizard of Oz. Unlike traditional hot-air ballooning, the tethered variety uses at least three lines connected to the ground to keep the balloon from moving horizontally. The BSA has set the maximum permitted height at 70 feet.
Now, don’t go buying a balloon and trying this yourself. The balloon must be registered with the Federal Aviation Administration, and the pilot must be certified and insured.
Before planning a ride, familiarize yourself with some key requirements:
Find two trees, grab some friends, and work on your balance: Slacklining is now an approved Scouting activity — with qualifications.
After a thorough review, the BSA’s Health and Safety team officially OK’d the extreme sport this week for all Scout units, districts, and councils.
I first told you about the addictive, challenging, community-based activity that involves walking across a two-inch tightrope after an Eagle Scout slacklined at the Super Bowl.
At the time, though, the BSA hadn’t ruled on slacklining. “Don’t try this at home,” I wrote.
Times change, and now your Scouts have the go-ahead to follow in Eagle Scout Andy Lewis’ famous footsteps. Well, provided your Scouts also follow new BSA safety rules outlined below.
Thinking of ringing in the New Year or celebrating the Fourth of July by setting off some fireworks with your Boy Scout troop or Venturing crew?
Unless you and your Scouts are watching a show conducted by a “certified or licensed fireworks control expert,” these dangerous explosives have no place in Scouting. Continue reading