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By: webmaster      

Ever since I became an adult Scouter, tour permits have been required for certain troop outings-typically those beyond council borders, although local rules varied. I long ago lost count of the tour permit applications I filled out. But no more. Tour permits-both the local and national variety-have been replaced by the tour plan form. The change is more than just a semantic one. The new form is quite different from the old one. In...[More]


By: JenFletcher      

My boys just joined Cub Scouts - I can't tell you how proud I am of them! Not only are they starting out on a great life path, but they're also continuing their parents' Scouting legacy.In an effort to learn more about the "other" side of Scouting, I went on a web hunt and came across a website called TroopTrack. What a cool site! This website is basically web-based scouting software! I know, there...[More]


By: JenFletcher      

I remember, as a child, hearing my parents say they would never forget where they were and what they were doing the day "they killed Kennedy". I also remember wondering how one little thing could stand out in their memories so strongly that they would always remember such mundane things as sweeping the floor or buying a pack of gum. I understand now.Ten years ago, at 9:45am CST, I was playing a game of...[More]


By: webmaster      

Scouting's newest merit badge, Robotics, debuted this week, just in time for National Robotics Week. It made quite a splash, too. Hundreds of newspapers ran a wire-service story about it, and the merit-badge pamphlet even showed up in lights in New York's Times Square. Robotics is being billed as the first interactive merit badge. At http://boyslife.org/section/about-scouts/merit-badge-resources/robotics/, your Scouts can find extensive resources to help them earn the badge. Robotics is just one aspect of the...[More]


By: webmaster      

At our last troop committee meeting, our Scoutmaster announced that he's ready to step down. He has done a great job in his four years or so at the helm, but he has also traveled the path from on fire to burned out. Three names immediately surfaced as likely replacements, but then someone suggested one of our 20-something Eagle Scouts as a possible candidate. And that got me to thinking about another of our...[More]


By: JenFletcher      

Sept. 1 marks the first day of Scout Surge 9/11, a blitz of service projects and other activities designed to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2011. Troops across the country are holding flag-retirement ceremonies, participating in community events, and gathering to watch the film “New York Says Thank You,” which tells the story of New York City first responders. (The film has a special Scouting connection because some of...[More]


By: webmaster      

In Scout troops across the country, Facebook and Twitter have become increasingly important communication tools, often edging out phone trees and email as the most popular ways to send and receive information.For all their benefits, however, social media have their limitations as well. You have to be 13 to sign up for Facebook, for example, and social-media sites create the potential for the sorts of inappropriate adult-to-youth contact that would never be acceptable in the...[More]


By: webmaster      

If you're the typical Boy Scout leader, your kids are probably long past the car-seat stage, but that doesn't mean that you don't need to be aware of safety issues related to kids and cars. Earlier this year, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) issued new guidelines that could have a direct bearing on how troops transport kids. Two longstanding rules still apply: everyone buckles up and kids under 13 ride solely in the backseat....[More]


By: JenFletcher      

Hi readers! Please enjoy the following post sent to us by guest blogger Skipper Bob. If you are or were a Sea Scout, please speak up! I would really like to hear more from and about this section of Scouting. If you are a Sea Scout then you are one of the luckiest people in Scouting! Why? Sea Scouts have the opportunity to celebrate in a second Centennial Celebration. That's right! Last year we celebrated...[More]


By: webmaster      

In the midst of March Madness-when all the world seems obsessed with college basketball-I had the chance to speak to a world-class athlete in a less-familiar sport: shotgun shooting. The athlete is Jon Michael McGrath, and he and the other members of USA Team Gold just tied a world record in men's skeet in Concepcion, Chile. The feat was impressive, but it was just one more accomplishment for the young Olympic hopeful, who began winning...[More]


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