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By: webmaster       On: 2014-06-24

To me, one of the most underused parts of Boy Scout advancement is the merit badge program. Oh sure, our Scouts earn lots and lots of merit badges. But outside of summer camp and merit badge fairs, I’m not sure many do it the old-fashioned way by working one on one with an expert in the topic. When a Scout uses a highly qualified counselor—instead of a troop leader with a passing knowledge of the...[More]


By: webmaster      

You might think after more than a hundred years, we as Scouters would have mastered the basics of uniforming. If so, you would be wrong!One of the persistent questions people ask about the Scout uniform is whether the shirt must be tucked in. As of this month, there’s a clear answer:Effective Oct. 1, 2013, the official stance on the Boy Scouts of America’s uniform policy is that shirts are to be worn tucked in, regardless...[More]


By: webmaster      

Submitted by Lynda LitherlandLooking for a quick, colorful, and cheap decorating idea for your next court of honor? Lynda Litherland was too—until she remembered her popcorn tins.Lynda’s troop has been selling Trails End popcorn for years, and she has accumulated quite a few popcorn tins, which generally feature Scouting themes and scenes. To decorate for a recent court of honor, she found a way to use these tins as table decorations.Here’s how: Tie two or...[More]


By: webmaster      

In case you haven’t noticed, kids today are fully immersed in pop culture. And they often learn better from watching videos than from hearing someone talk. So where does that leave you if you still give traditional Scoutmaster’s minutes that you heard when you were a kid? In the Stone Age, perhaps.A good way to bring your Scoutmaster’s minutes up to date is to tee them up with movie clips. Show a quick clip from...[More]


By: webmaster      

I recently participated in a campout with a dozen high-school students from my church’s youth group. We camped at a local state park, took a very short (two-mile) hike, and ate what I would consider pretty straightforward meals, including trail lunches, Dutch oven cobbler, and pancakes.But here’s the deal. Some of the students had never been camping beyond their backyards, and they were amazed. They loved seeing the stars at night, they loved exploring a...[More]


By: webmaster      

There’s little doubt that Mike Rowe, best known as host of TV’s “Dirty Jobs,” was the star of the closing arena show at the 2010 National Scout Jamboree, a role he reprised again this summer. But did you know that Rowe, an Eagle Scout from Baltimore, will send a personalized letter of congratulations to any new Eagle Scout?You can read the letter, and learn how to request a copy, at http://www.mikeroweworks.com/scrap-yard/eagle-scout-letter/. Quite different from the...[More]


By: webmaster      

In my last tip, I argued that no slide show at a court of honor should last longer than three or four minutes, the length of the typical pop song. Of course, you may have many more slides of your honoree that you’d like to show.If that’s the case, never fear. A great time to show additional slides is as guests arrive. It’s a great way to introduce your honoree in a fun way before...[More]


By: webmaster      

I recently came across a Scouter with an intersting problem that I thought I would share. Maybe you can gain some insight by what they are dealing with and some of the suggestions they received.I was baffled by some events at scout camp this past week. Attending with my troop were two 16-year-old boys. They tented together and are generally good boys.During the week, however, it seemed they may have been more intimate than what...[More]


By: webmaster      

After two weeks at the National Scout Jamboree, I’m finally getting used to hot-water showers and a real bed again!Although it was not without its challenges, the Jamboree was a great event, and it showed the potential of the Summit Bechtel Reserve in West Virginia as a major new high-adventure destination. Programming at SBR will be very different from programming at the BSA’s other high-adventure bases, however.First, the trips will be shorter (just one week),...[More]


By: webmaster      

One of my favorite impromptu Scout games is minute judging. It works like this: Everyone sits on the floor, and a judge with a stopwatch shouts “Go!” Without looking at their watches, the Scouts stand up when they think a minute is passed. Some pop up after 30 seconds; others wait much longer than a minute. The winner, of course, is the Scout who gets up the closets to the one-minute mark. So what does...[More]


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