Monthly Archives: October 2007

Winter camping skills- Clothing and Gear

As we get into the winter camping season, it is time to start looking at your gear.
The gear changes as we get into the colder season and the activity that we do out there.
Lets start with some discussion about clothing:

1. Cotton kills! No cotton clothing against the body. Cotton absorbs sweat and retains it. Once activity stops the sweat freezes and you are now wearing a fine cooling system.
Cotton socks and t-shirts are a NO NO! Cotton underwear (Briefs) are OK as that area of the body stays pretty warm and does not sweat like your torso and feet.

2. Wool is still in fashion. Yep.. Wool will keep you warm even when it is damp. You don’t want to stay in wet wool, but wool tends to dry as you wear it. Wool socks with liners are a great way to keep your feet warm, but make sure your socks are not to tight.. you need room to wiggle to maintain circulation.

3. Polypropylene or sweat wicking materials are king! The advances in clothing technology are great! Light weight clothing that keeps you dry and warm. You may spend a little more, but the pay off is incredible.

4. Boots. Water resistant insulated boots are a must in the winter. Your feet need to stay warm and dry to have a good experience in cold weather camping. Changing socks often is also a must. Dry feet in your boots will keep you warm. The use of gaiters are a good way to keep snow and water out of your boots. They also keep your laces from getting wet and later freezing. Walking in the snow without gaiters or high boots is a good way to get cold.

5. Remember when it comes to clothing- LOOSE IN LAYERS! Many layers that can be added and taken off as activity increases is the way to go. Regulating your temperature by adding layers and taking them off will keep you comfortable and warm.

6. Always wear a hat. A lot of your body heat escapes from your noggin. Cover it up and retain that heat!

7. Cover up your hands. Wear gloves. A good pair of water resistant gloves will keep your hand warm.

8. Coat. Layer your coat. A good fleece jacket and water shedding outer layer is great. Fleece is a wonderful thing. It is comfortable and warm, and it doubles as a pillow at night.

Now lets talk about some gear. We get into gear in more detail later, but some things that need to be considered when planning for cold weather camping.

1. Sleeping bag. We tell everyone in our Troop to buy nothing higher than a 20 degree bag. That is pretty good for 3 seasons and a mild winter in Oregon. You may want to consider a lower rated bag, 0 to 10 degrees will surely keep you warm. Sleeping bag liners are also a great way to add warmth to your bag. Most liners add 10 degrees to a bag (a 20 degree bag becomes a 10 degree bag) What ever bag you have you can add warmth by using more ground cover.

2. Foam pad. Most of us have self inflating pads. These are comfy and light, but that air gets cold. Add an additional ground cloth (Blanket or tarp) to the floor of your tent or shelter. This will provide some more insulation and keep you warm. Foam pads take away the “air factor” and do not require additional insulation. Weigh it out and go with what suites you.

3. Extra clothing. I know we are now in the gear section. But remember that Clothing becomes part of your gear once it is inserted into your Pack. Do not get caught in the cold without extra clothing… in a dry bag!

4. Backpack. Winter camping tests your packing skills. Clothing is bulkier, you carry more stuff, and if you are going with a winter sleeping bag, it will be slightly bigger too.
I do not suggest going out and getting a winter backpack, but what I would suggest is that you carefully look at every item you put into it. DO NOT take stuff you don’t need. Check and recheck your gear.
Take it if you think you may need it, but then second guess yourself.

5. Stoves. In most cases you will be taking stoves and fuel for cooking. Fires are possible in some locations, but in high use areas, it is best to rely on a stove as firewood can be difficult to find in the winter. Your stove should have good heat output. In order to insulate the stove from the snow (so it doesn’t melt itself into a hole) place something underneath it like a pot lid, or a piece of fiberboard. Since the burner is usually significantly smaller than the pot bottom, placing a metal pot lid on top of the burner can also help spread the heat more efficiently to the pot. Wind shields are also helpful in the winter to concentrate the heat. Canister fuel burns more efficient, but the cold makes it burn slow. Keep your fuel canisters as warm as possible. Put them in your socks at night or in your sleeping bag. In the morning your stove will work a lot better. Liquid fuel stoves need to be primed. Adding a little fuel to the burner and CAREFULLY lighting it will get the burner hot and allow for fuel to flow more efficiently.

Plan your fuel use carefully. You may burn more fuel just boiling water to drink. You will use 3 times more fuel in the winter than you do in the summer. A planning consideration not to overlook.

6. Tents. Your tent can be your friend. It needs to be tough enough to keep you out of the elements. Strong enough to stand up to snow and wind and water resistant enough to keep you dry. Guy lines are a must. Small repair kits are also a great idea for at least one person on the trek to have. A broken pole will make for a miserable outing. Adding a tarp to your tent is also a good idea. Use it either as a ground cloth or for additional overhead cover. Tarps are light and can be used in many ways. String it up between a few trees for a wind break in your cooking area. This makes for a more comfortable experience.

Planning and preparation is critical in winter camping. The more you consider your plan and evaluate your past experiences, the better time you will have winter camping.

Happy Scouting!

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Trek Safely: A Guide to Unit Trek Planning

THIS INFORMATION IS FROM THE GUIDE TO SAFE SCOUTING.
This information is a must for planning, both for youth and adult participants.

This material is from the “Trek safely” section.

Each of the following elements plays an important role in the overall Trek Safely procedure.
Fun and safe overnight trekking activities require compliance with Trek Safely by both adult
and youth leaders.

1. Qualified Supervision
All backcountry treks must be supervised by a mature, conscientious adult at least 21 years of age who understands the potential risks associated with the trek. This person knowingly accepts responsibility for the well-being and safety of the youth in his or her care. This adult supervisor is trained in and committed to compliance with the seven points of the BSA’s Trek Safely procedure. One additional adult who is at least 18 years of age must also accompany the unit.
The lead adult is responsible for ensuring that someone in the group is currently trained in first aid appropriate to the type of trek and the environment. American Red Cross
Wilderness First Aid Basic (a 16-hour course) and CPR are recommended. A signed
parental informed consent form for each participant under 18 years of age may be used for
adventurous activities such as whitewater, climbing, and horse packing treks.
2. Keep Fit
Require evidence of fitness with a current BSA Personal Health and Medical Record—
Class III form, No. 34412A. A regular fitness regimen is recommended for trek participants.
They are urged to start slowly, gradually increasing the duration and intensity of their
exercise. The adult leader should adjust supervision, protection, and planning to anticipate
potential risks associated with individual health conditions. Neither youth nor adults should
participate in a trek or activity for which they are not physically prepared. See Passport to
High Adventure, No. 4310.
3. Plan Ahead
Planning a trek includes filing a tour permit application with the local council service center
at least a month before the departure date. If travel of more than 500 miles is planned,
submit the National Tour Permit Application, No. 4419B. For activities off the local council
property and within 500 miles of home base, submit the Local Tour Permit Application, No.
34426B.
The trek should match the maturity, skill level, and fitness of unit members. A youth or adult
leader must secure land-use permits to use public land or written permission from the
owner to cross or use private land. It is also crucial to learn about any requirements and
recommendations from the local land manager. Find out about the terrain, elevation
ranges, trails, wildlife, campsites, typical weather conditions, and environmental issues for
the period of the trek.
Training in Leave No Trace using the Principles of Leave No Trace, No. 21-105, and the
Leave No Trace Training Outline, No. 20-113, is crucial. Units should anticipate a range of
weather conditions and temperatures and develop an alternate itinerary in the event that
adverse conditions develop.
4. Gear Up
Procure topographic maps, as well as current trail maps, for the area of the trek. Take
equipment and clothing that is appropriate for the weather and unit skill level, is in good
condition, and is properly sized for each participant. A qualified youth or adult leader
ensures that participants are trained in the proper use of specialized equipment, particularly
items with which they are not familiar, such as climbing ropes, ice axes, crampons,
watercraft, bridles, saddles, and cross-country skis and poles. A shakedown must be
conducted to be sure each person has the right equipment without taking too much.
Crew equipment includes a first-aid kit stocked with current medications and supplies. The
leader reminds youth and adults to bring and take prescribed medications. Every crew
must have the means to treat water for drinking by boiling it, treating it with chemicals, or
using an approved water filter. When ultraviolet light (sunlight) is prevalent, it is critical that
participants have adequate sun protection, including broad-brimmed hats, sunglasses, and
sunscreen.
5. Communicate Clearly and Completely
Communication is one of the keys to a safe outdoor adventure, and staying in touch with
home base is the first step. A youth or adult leader should complete a trip plan and share
these details of the trek—including time of departure, overnight stops, the time of expected
return, the trailhead (where vehicles will be parked) and the itinerary and alternate
itinerary—with a contact person in the home area. At any time the itinerary changes, one of
the leaders relays the changes to the contact person, who in turn relays them to the
Scouts’ parents. A plan for communicating with each parent is developed before the trek.
A means of electronic communication—with backup power—may be helpful should an
emergency occur. The leader should carry the telephone numbers or contact information of
medical and emergency services in the area of the trek. Before calling for emergency
assistance, the exact location and nature of the patients injury or illness should be
determined.
Youth and adult leaders are responsible for making sure that everyone knows what to
expect and what is expected of them. Leaders should communicate with each other, as
well as with the entire crew, to avoid unpleasant surprises.
6. Monitor Conditions
The leaders are responsible for making good decisions during the trek, conservatively
estimating the capabilities and stamina of the group. If adverse conditions develop, the
group is prepared to stop or turn back. The unit is responsible for monitoring weather
conditions and forecasts before and during the trek—a small National Oceanographic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) radio is helpful for learning current weather forecasts.
Leaders continually assess conditions, including weather, terrain, group morale, food and
water supplies, group physical condition, and other factors to determine the difference
between what is difficult and what is dangerous. Dangerous conditions are avoided.
7. Discipline
Each participant knows, understands, and respects the rules and procedures for safe
trekking and has been oriented in Trek Safely. Applicable rules should be presented and
learned prior to the outing and should be reviewed with participants before the trek begins.
When participants know the reasons for rules and procedures, they are more likely to follow
them. Adult and youth leaders must be strict and fair, showing no favoritism.

Happy Scouting!

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Prior Planning Prevents Poor Performance

Said many ways this little saying remains true through the ages.
Planning consumes much of our time in Scouting. Stream lining the planning process with checklist and guides is a help but the simple truth is you still have to take the time to plan.

Here are some principles of effective planning:

1. Plan ahead. We have our Troop calendar available for the year. We begin our planning for the next camp out of major event immediately after we conclude the current event. In most cases we are planning three months in advance.

2. Write it down. Put the plan in writing, that way you know who is tasked for what and when it needs to get done. What meals are going to be prepared, by who, and who is cleaning up the mess.

3. Have to’s and Want to’s. Plan not only the things that you have to do to accomplish the task or stay focused on the event, but also plan some want to’s. You may need them as a plan “B”.

4. Over plan. get into details. Throw in more than you can do, you don’t have to do it all, but if you allow time for two tasks, those two tasks will take all your time, weather it really takes that long or not, you will not throw in extra stuff once the plan is in motion. Over planning gives you more options.

5. Prioritize your tasks. Know what is important and what is just for fun. Remember that there is a time and place for everything.
Lets use setting up camp as an example:
First get the tents up and gear put away.
Set up dining area.
Set up cooking area.
Set up ax yard and cutting area.

The use of checklists will assist you in prioritizing tasks.

To plan effectively you must demonstrate those leadership foundations of BE KNOW and DO.
You need to be able to keep your group focused on the task of planning with the groups understanding that if you plan well you will have a better time on the camp out or other event.
You must BE a leader that is organized. You need to stay on task and keep those with you moving in the same direction.
You must KNOW what goals are to accomplished on the outing. To do this you need to understand the goals of the Troop and Patrol. You need to know the guys in your Patrol and you need to know what resources are available to you.
You must DO your planning in a consistant manner. You plan for the next event, just like you planned for the one you are on. All planning is the same, the times, places, and events will change, but the way you plan will be the same.
This will make you an effective planner and your performance will reflect your plan.

There are many little sayings that remind us about planning..
“Failing to plan is planning to fail”
“Plan your work…work you plan”
and the all time favorite… “Prior planning prevent poor performance.”
It all says the same thing. Planning is important! In fact nothing in Scouting should be done without a plan.

Happy Scouting!

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Winter Camping

It is time to prepare for the Winter Camping season.
I recently went through my “lessons learned file” on the computer. Little notes that I make after each camp out.
I re read the notes from our January 07 camp out on Mt. Hood. As I read it I thought that I should share some of the lessons we learned as they may help other units that may have younger Scouts or Scouts that have not spent time winter camping.
I did delete personal comments regard specific Scouts.
If you are not in the habit of jotting down a few notes, I would recommend you try it. You will be amazed at the lessons learned file you will build, and as you do, your unit will become better campers and good outdoors men.

Lessons Learned: Winter Camp out- January 12-14 2007

First and foremost everything we do we can learn from. The Winter Camp is without a doubt the hardest type camping, especially when in involves youth.

Pre Camp:

Shake down is a must. We need to use our Checklist of the items we consider to the most important.
We need to stress to the parents that camping gear should not be cheap and that the Winter camp out is not the time or place to skimp on gear.
Items that are a must:
GOOD Boots. Cheap boots do not cut it. We learned that this weekend.
Gloves- Waterproof gloves and extra gloves.
Good outerwear. Water resistant, warm.
Sleeping bags. Not sure what to say about this, but if we have 20 degree bags we need to consider liners.
Hats, some of the boys did not have “Snow hats” I think a spare hat is in order also.
Sleeping pads. This was not an issue (except for one Scout), but we need to stress the importance of layers that insulate.
Stuff sacks. The Stuff sacks that come with most sleeping bags are too small for these boys. We need to encourage the parents to buy bigger (Waterproof) stuff sacks to make it easier for the Scouts to pack their sleeping bags. 8 out of 10 boys need a new stuff sack. If it is difficult to pack your sleeping bag in the Knights hall (our meeting place)it is almost impossible to pack it in the cold.
Packing. We need to revisit (Good Patrol time activity) packing Backpacks and what to take. This is good for regular camping also. We are still seeing the boys take too much “Extra” stuff and items that are not needed. Packs are too heavy with the “Extras” and it takes to long to pack and find items. Encourage the use of ditty bags to compartmentalize the packs.
Tents. We need to continue to encourage the Scouts to have their own tents. What I find is that when it is theirs, they take better care of them. And it reduces the recovery time at the Knights hall.
Planning. I think that maybe next year we make the over night portion an option. This will require more adults and more transportation. If we spend the night at the Knights Hall, shake down etc, then head to the mountain for a “Day trip” we can ease the Newer Scouts into the Cold Weather. The older boys then can remain over night in more manageable sized groups.

In camp:

I thought everything went well until Sunday morning, however this is a short list of things that we can do better in camp. I think these are universal and can be applied in all our camping experiences.
Camp set up. We did a good job of setting up with little impact. Spread out, yet maintaining Patrol integrity.
Established cooking areas. When we back pack we should have multiple cooking areas for each Patrol. Garbage collection at the time it is created is a must. The Cobra patrol had the biggest problem with that this weekend. Cooking areas should be kept clean and all cooking items put away immediately after use (once stove have cooled). They need to be kept in a bear bag, or placed back in pack.
Stoves and Fuel. It is encouraging to see so many of the Scouts have their own stoves, and from the looks of it, they are all good stoves that should last them years. Cooking takes longer in the cold and more fuel is burned, therefore we need to teach the Troop that fuel storage and consumption needs to be different. Fuel cells kept in a sock and placed in the tent at night (Sleeping bag or in a boot).With many of the stoves having Auto lighters or ignitors, less matches are required, but we need to ensure the boys carry a small amount of matches in a waterproof case and striker.
Meals. I did not have an issue with most of the meals “Prepared” this weekend. One buddy team had peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, this would not be an issue in June. We need to watch this I do not mind the backpacking prepackaged “Add water “ meals. They are filling and easy to prepare. Less clean up and fuel used.
Wet or frozen gear (clothing) We need to do a better job or providing an opportunity for these items to get dried. As well as standard backpacking techniques such as placing items in the sleeping bag etc, we might want to consider bringing the fire pit and wood. Additional propane heaters etc. We need to get boots, gloves, and Jackets dry BEFORE the Scout goes to bed the best we can. This would have take some of the bite out of Sunday morning. Adult leaders need to check on the Scouts to ensure they have their boots inside the tent, gloves inside the sleeping bag, and the next days clothing ready and positioned so they can wake up and dress, pack and get moving.
Everything that is not being used or positioned for the following day needs to be packed in the Backpack. Backpacks need to be kept in a “ready to go” mode all the time, this will make it faster to pack up and hit the trail. In the event that we have another super cold morning like this weekend, we need to give the Scouts an advantage in the morning, knowing that all they really have to do is wake up, stuff the sleeping bag, and take down the tent. We can reduce the stress and confusion.
General comments about in camp activity: I think that we are doing a good job with the way we camp. I think we need to do more training to get the Scouts up to speed on Leave no trace, and camp set up. Water became an issue and melting snow is not the “Best” option. We need to encourage more Scouts to get pumps, or we need to carry more into camp. Trash is an issue, we can reduce this by doing a better job of teaching the boys how to break down meals and packaging. Containing gear (keeping it packed) is an issue that needs to be corrected immediately.
Breaking Camp and Recovery:

Most of the above comments will assist in the breaking of camp.
We need to instill in the boys a sense of urgency when breaking camp.
If they used it.. they clean it and put it away. We need to have some consequence for those that fail to carry their share of the load and do their own work.
Recovery at the Knights Hall. I like the idea of seeing the parents before they take their Scout. I do not want to have the “Talk” for each camp out, but at least have the ability for an ASM or Myself to say a few words to the parents before they leave. Critical information is not being communicated while it’s fresh.

General comments and issues:

I think one of the biggest issues about this weekend was the gear. Boots, gloves and other clothing. Those items that meant the most Sunday morning. We need to do a better job talking with the parents, teaching the Scouts, and enforcing proper wear and getting the right gear.

Adult leaders can not panic or demonstrate any behavior that will cause the boys to feel stress. When things get tough, the Adult leaders need to get tougher and calm the situation. Remaining calm and providing positive reinforcement will get us further.

After reading this now a few times, I am certain that we will have a much better experience this January in the snow.
Sharing this with the Patrol leader Council and the Assistant Scoutmasters will ensure success the next time we venture in the winter wonderland.

Happy Scouting!

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Comment to the Scoutmaster Minute

I have become pen pals with a guy named Brian.
He wants to leave a comment on the post “What were they thinking?

I am not going to give Brian a forum to bash Scouting, but I think it fair to at least let his comment get out there. As much as Scouts are friendly, Courteous, and Kind.
We are also good Americans and believe in the Freedoms that God.. yeah God (that’s what the Declaration says) gave us. “When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.”

So what does that have to do with anything?
Well Brian’s comment is as follows: “Why should gay taxpayers subsidise a private organization that excludes them?”
Well I guess the answer is simply there is no such thing in the course of Government as a “Gay Tax payer” as much is there is no such thing as a “White Tax payer” or “Straight tax payer” or “Male or Female tax payers”. Last I checked we are just “Tax payers” the government does not discriminate when it comes to receiving your dollar or mine.

Brian must be unaware that the Congress of the United States is the Chartered Organization for the Boy Scouts of America and that the President of these United States (republican or democratic) is the Honorary President of the BSA. What he also does not realize is that we tax payers pay for a lot of “subsides” that we do not agree with. Planned Parenthood is one that I absolutely detest… yet my tax money goes there. Let me see, I live in Oregon.. I pay taxes out of the nose for roads. We have not had a road built in this state in decades. I pay for floundering schools, I pay for a homosexual City government which I disagree with… but I pay.. why.. because I am an America and that is my obligation.

Brian you fail to see the forest for the trees.. while you argue over a petty issue such as a City Government doing the right thing by renting for a $1. You fail to tackle the issue on the other side. These young men in the Scouting program are now going to miss out on opportunities to make life better for all.
Brian, when was the last BSA sanctioned “Gay bashing” event?
When was the last time the BSA disrupted a gay pride parade?
When was the last time the BSA did anything to harm the gay movement?
Hmmm… you don’t have an answer other than to say a Private group MUST admit homosexual members. NOPE. The 1st Amendment of Constitution of the United States gives us the implied right of association. This 1st Amendment right is the same that allows for the gay rights parade etc.

In the case of Philadelphia hosing the BSA… it is simply the caving in of government to please a minority that has a big voice.
I am sure the BSA will survive as it has for almost 100 years.
You know the United Way up here in liberal Oregon does not contribute a penny to the Boy Scouts.. and you know, we have managed just the same. No camps closed, services still go on. The BSA is resourceful and will manage this crisis.

Remember the old Cowboy movies where the Good guy wears the white hat and no matter what the situation he always wins.
Brian, Good and Right always win. And right will win the day here too.

In the mean time Brian, just enjoy the recipes and the camping tips, that is why we are really here. Scouting is not about politics, it’s about Character and Citizenship and Physical fitness. The boys really don’t care who’s gay or not. They don’t get wrapped up in all that… and you know neither does the BSA, until of course you folk bring it up.

ON MY HONOR!

Happy Scouting!

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One stop clicking

After months of “IN THE FUTURE” the Boy Scouts of America official web site has finally launched it’s Scouting Portal called MY SCOUTING!
This is good stuff.
At the portal you can keep up with online training, instead of having to surf the net and find it.
You can update your profile.
Tour permits can be filled out and submitted.
Your unit can get its recharter completed and update advancement.
All of this in one area. Personally, as a Scoutmaster with an appreciation for what the World Wide Web has to offer, I like it. It is nice to see the BSA get on the techno band wagon.

The WWW has much to offer [thanks Al] Scouts and Scouters. Merit badge information, skills, meeting ideas, awesome blogs that inform, entertain, and share ideas.
Troop websites that let the Troop and visitors know whats going on.

Our Council has online registrations available too. It is nice to pay Order of the Arrow dues, register for events and keep track of unit rosters all on line.

There are some out there that are skeptics.. and that is understandable. But with the Internet security that is in place now, I feel safe. Many of us use Troopmaster software. One of the features our unit uses is the Troopmaster.net server. It is nice, all the adult leaders have the ability to track patrols, enter advancement data and more. It is helpful for the committee as they can track the progress and activity of the troop and update and print reports as needed.
It also makes communication more effective as all the data is in one place.

Computers and technology have made life easier and more efficient. It is the future and we need to embrace it or you will get left behind. The boys in the Troop already are in this age and are learning for tomorrow.

So welcome BSA! It’s nice to see the Portal up and running.

Happy Scouting!

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TOP 10… Recipes (HINT HINT)

It has been a while since the last TOP 10 list…
As the troop gets ready for our 1st Annual Cook off camp, I thought I’d list my top 10 camping recipes…
So here they are (and don’t forget… I am a judge):

10. Italian Sausages With Peppers And Onions

4 lbs. Italian sausages; browned
5 cloves garlic; minced
1 (26 oz.) jar spaghetti sauce
2 tsp. dry leaf basil; rubbed
2 med. yellow onions; halved and sliced
2 tsp. dry leaf oregano; rubbed
2 green bell peppers; sliced into strips

Combine all ingredients in a 12″ Dutch oven and stir to mix. Place lid on oven and bake using 6-8 briquettes bottom and 12-14 briquettes top for 2 hours.
Serve on hard or hoagie rolls.
Serves: 8-10

9. Mountain Man Breakfast Omelet

1 lb. country sausage
2 cups chopped; mushrooms
1 lb.bacon
18 eggs
1 large yellow onion; diced
3/4 cup milk
3 cloves garlic; minced
salt and pepper to taste
1 green bell pepper; chopped
3 cups grated Cheddar cheese
1 red bell pepper; diced
picante sauce

Heat a 12″ Dutch oven using 20-22 briquettes bottom until hot. Add sausage to oven and fry until brown. Remove sausage from oven. Cut bacon into 1 inch slices. Add to Dutch oven and fry until brown. Add sausage, onions, garlic, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Saute until vegetables are tender. Whisk together eggs and milk. Season with salt and pepper. Pour eggs over vegetable mixture. Cover and bake using 8 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 20 minutes until eggs are set up. Cover top with cheese and replace lid. Let stand until cheese is melted.
Serve topped with picante sauce.
Serves: 8-10

8. Meat Roll-Ups With Rice

2 cups long grain rice
1 tsp. thyme
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 tsp. marjoram
1 can cream of mushroom soup
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup sour cream
8 slices deli roast beef
1 yellow onion; diced
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 1/2 cup fresh mushrooms; sliced
16 slices bacon; partially rendered
1 green bell pepper; diced
6 cloves garlic; minced
2 cans water
1 1/2 tsp. poultry seasoning
1 tsp. rosemary

To a 12″ Dutch oven add rice, soups, sour cream, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, water, herbs, salt and pepper. Stir to mix completely.
Place a chicken breast between two pieces of wax paper and pound to about 1/4 inch thickness using a meat mallet. Repeat for each breast. Lay a piece of roast beef out flat. Place a chicken breast over the roast beef. Sprinkle garlic over chicken breast and season with poultry seasoning. Place two pieces of bacon over chicken breast then roll up. Repeat process making 8 meat rolls. Place meat rolls over rice mixture.
Cover Dutch oven and bake using 10-12 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 60 minutes.
Serves: 8

7. Corned Beef with Dijon Glaze

3 lb corned beef brisket
4 c water
1/4 c vinegar
1/4 c Worcestershire Sauce
2 bay leaves
8 whole cloves
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 c Dijon mustard
1/2 c orange marmalade
2 tbs horseradish
2 tbs Worcestershire Sauce
Place brisket in Dutch oven. Add water and next 5 ingredients, bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 2-1/2 to 3 hours or until tender. In a small saucepan, combine Dijon mustard, marmalade, horseradish, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until bubbly.
Remove brisket and drain. Return to oven and spread with 1/2 c glaze. Bake at 350 for 20 min. Serve with remaining glaze.

6. Cashew-Ginger Chicken and Rice

2/3 cup raw cashews
1 cup + 2 tablespoons (2.6 ounces) freeze-dried corn
3 tablespoons chopped dehydrated onion
1 1/2 cups instant brown rice
6 dried mushrooms, sliced thinly
1 1-ounce packet Coconut Ginger soup mix (or similar Thai flavoring or soup mix)
1 5-ounce can chicken in water

At home: Spread nuts on a cookie sheet and toast at 300 F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool, then store in a zipper-lock plastic bag. Combine corn, onion, rice, and mushrooms, plus seasoning packet, in a second zipper-lock plastic bag. In camp: Place bagged corn mixture and chicken in a pot and cover with water; mix well. Bring to a boil; simmer 5 minutes (adding more water as needed) or until done. Garnish with nuts.
Serves 2.

5. Mexican Fiesta

1 pkg. Knorr Vegetable Soup
Freeze-dried Refried Beans
Corn Tortillas1 pkg.
Lipton Spanish Rice Mix
1/2 can Marie Calendar’s Corn Bread Mix
1/4 cup sugar
Crystal-Lite Drink Mix
1/4 lb. cheddar cheese
Several packages of taco sauce from a fast-food restaurant
or dried red pepper flakes
Dried onion flakes or several green onions
Optional: frozen hamburger, crumble and fry for burritos or tacos.

Fix soup according to package directions; add “some” red pepper flakes to spice up the soup and give it a Mexican flavor. Fix some freeze-dried refried beans according to package directions. Heat tortillas one at a time in the bottom of a frying pan over high heat. Cut up the cheese into very small chunks so it looks grated. Cut up the green onions; put beans, cheese, and onions into tortilla, add taco sauce, and eat. For sweet corn cake, make the corn bread according to directions, adding the sugar before baking. Pour the batter into a Silverstone frying pan, cover with another upside-down frying pan, and put over low heat for 10 minutes. Hold both pans together, flip, and cook other side for 10 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting a fork into cake; if done, the fork comes out clean; if not, cook a little longer.
Serves 2.

4. Wild Mushroom Stuffed Beef Tenderloin Roast

Marinade
3 lb. beef tenderloin roast
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 Tbs. olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
Stuffing
3 Tbs. molasses
1/4 cup butter
5 cloves garlic
1/2 cup red onion; diced
2 tsp. finely grated fresh ginger
1 cup chanterelle mushrooms; diced
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup pine nuts
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh thyme; rubbed
4 cups dried bread cubes
1 Tbs. fresh rosemary; chopped
1 1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary; chopped
1 Tbs. fresh sage leaves; rubbed
1 1/2 tsp. fresh sage leaves; rubbed
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
3 Tbs. fresh parsley; chopped
1 tsp. fresh cracked black pepper
2 eggs; beaten
1tsp. salt
3/4 cup chicken broth
salt and black pepper to taste

Prepare the marinade in a blender by adding vinegars, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, garlic and ginger; blend to puree. Continue blending while adding olive oil slowly until oil is completely emulsified. Add herbs, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and stir to mix.
Put tenderloin in a large ziploc bag and add marinade. Seal the bag and shake to completely coat loin. Refrigerate for 12-24 hours turning meat twice.
Heat a 12″ deep Dutch Oven using 14-16 briquettes bottom. To the oven add butter, onions, pine nuts, and mushrooms to saute. In separate bowl combine bread cubes, and herbs. Mix in egg and chicken broth. Add sauteed vegetables and stir until well mixed. Salt and pepper to taste. Cover and set aside.
Reheat original oven using 18-20 briquettes bottom. When oven is hot add olive oil. Remove tenderloin from marinade and place in preheated oven. Sear on all sides 3 minutes per side until meat turns a nice dark brown. Remove from oven, cover, and allow to cool.
Cut a deep pocket lengthwise down the narrow side of the loin and put as much stuffing as you can inside. Be careful not to rip the ends while stuffing. Tie with cotton string to hold together if necessary.
Place roast back in oven and roast using 12-14 briquettes bottom and 14-16 briquettes top for 40-50 minutes basting meat once with leftover marinade, until internal temperature of thickest part of meat reaches 145° F. (Medium rare). Remove roast from Dutch Oven and let stand for 5 minutes before service.
Serves: 6

3. Oktoberfest Ribs

2 16 ounce cans of Sauerkraut, drained
1 tablespoon of Caraway seed
2 medium Onions, halved
2 Tart green apples, peeled & cut into wedges
1/4 cup of packed brown sugar
2 pounds of Pork spareribs

In a Dutch oven, layer all ingredients in the order listed. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 2-3 hours or until the ribs are tender.
Serves 6

2. White Chili

3 cans Great Northern beans
4 cups cooked chicken breast chopped
1 tbs olive oil
2 medium onions chopped
4 garlic cloves minced

2 cans mild green chilies
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp dried oregano, crumpled
1 tsp cayenne pepper
6 cups chicken broth

3 cups grated Monterrey Jack cheese
Sour cream

Cut chicken breasts into cubes. Heat oil in same pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until translucent. Stir in garlic, chilies, cumin, oregano, and cayenne. Saute for about 2 minutes. Add undrained beans and chicken stock. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat, add chicken and cheese to chile. Season to taste, Garnish with Sour cream.

1. THE CAMPOREE FAVORITE….
SMOOTHERD PORK CHOPS!

8 slices of bacon
1/2 cup of flour
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
4 tbs vegetable oil
12 Pork loin chops
2 medium onions sliced thin
4 cloves of garlic minced
1 tbs dried thyme
4 bay leaves
2 tbs fresh parsley, minced.

Make your gravy.
Cook bacon in skillet, remove from skillet and slowly stir flour into oil (grease from bacon) cook until light brown. add chicken stock, reduce heat and keep warm.
Save bacon, crumple and serve over pork chops.
Cook the Chops.
Heat oil in skillet. Pat chops dry and season generously with salt and pepper. Place chops in a single layer and cook till golden brown. Remove chops and place in a large dutch oven. Cover with sliced onions, gravy, add bay leaves and parsley then cover.
Cook over 10 coals on bottom and 12 on top for about 30 minutes or until meat is tender.

MMMMMM GOOOD!
Now that is HAPPY SCOUTING!

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Take a minute…

Have you ever had a time that it seems you can’t get away from bad news or overwhelming circumstances? I am sure we all have at some point.
Well let me tell a secret.. Take a minute and reflect. Put things in perspective and soon it does not seem all that bad.
I’m not having one of those times, but a recent death in our family has caused me to do some reflection.
My dad and I had a great talk about this yesterday and so I thought it would be worth a minute to post it here.

Perspective. When everything around you seems to be crumbling, step back and put it in perspective. I am a pretty simple guy. Things with me are pretty black and white, on occasion I’ll see some grey, but by and large I see things for what they are and make no excuse for why they are that way. I enjoy simple things, hanging out in the front yard throwing the football around, backpacking, watching the tube, listening to my daughter play the Clarinet, just sitting on the couch with my wife makes my day. I don’t need a ton of money, as much as that would let me do more Scouting, I drive a Ford Truck and when I am not in a Scout uniform, it’s jeans an old camp t-shirt and a hoody.

So when I put things in perspective I start there. I am firm in my faith, I am healthy, have a great family, good group of friends, I eat every day and have a warm house to come home to. When I returned from Iraq in 2004, I spent a lot of time reflecting on my life. My family and I had just spent 14 months not knowing from day to day what was going to happen. My wife and kids were taken care of, and God for bid if anything happened they would continue to be taken care of. But the agony of not knowing, the pain of knowing that everyday could be the last. Every morning my kids awakened and went to school not knowing if they would ever see Dad again. The burden of my wife (my hero) to keep things in order at home. These thoughts weighed on me every day. So when I did get home, we had a new perspective. We have a new vision of what our lives should look like. Simple things like spending time together. Not allowing outside influence to decide our direction.

My Uncle who past away on Saturday morning was a good man. He was not a man of faith, but I know he believed in something. He had a great family, he had a sense of humor, and he had a lust for life. He was a fighter pilot way back when and flew for a major airline until he retired. He loved to travel and was committed to making his retirement years the very best years of his life. And he did just that.

Too many times, we let the little things in life get in the way of what is important. We let the gossip of the day ruin friendships, we let petty arguments cloud our views, we let the hip people on TV lead our values and principles. Too many times we do not stop and take a minute to remember what is important, stop and put it all in perspective.

It is too easy to allow outside influences to drive your perspective. It is always easy to go with the flow, to follow a popular crowd, but in the end will it get you where you want to be?
I look at the life of my Uncle. He was exactly where he wanted to be. He set a direction for his life that took him to his objective. A happy life. He was originally from Minnesota. He went to Ohio State University so he could become a Pilot in the Air Force. His next step on his journey to happiness took him to Texas. He then met my Aunt and found happiness and retirement here in the beautiful Northwest. They built a house overlooking his love. The Columbia Gorge and the approach path of the Portland Airport. He could sit on his deck and watch the planes come in and look at Mt. Hood and the Gorge.
He had direction that came from his perspective, his understanding of what life should be.

I am a Scout leader. It is what I am. It drives my perspective. It is something that can not be turned on and off. The Scout Oath and law are not just stanza’s I memorized they are values and principles that motivate me to get where I want to be in life.

Reflection is important. Take a minute and look at who and what your are. Are you where you want to be? And what is it going to take to get there? Are you there? Then share it.
Put things in perspective and soon you will see that life is just not that complicated. Life is simple, you just have to keep it in perspective and understand where you want to be and what you want it to look like.

Happy Scouting!

In Memory of Don Oberbeck
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There will always be leaders

Yep that is a given..there will always be leaders.
Now the question is are you one?

You see in every case leaders rise. On a play ground, watch the kid that the others follow. That is a leader. In the class room, there is always some one that sets the tone of the class. The teacher or a student, some one leads and others follow.
On a football team, there are leaders and not always the leaders elected by the team or appointed by the coach. Those silent leaders that motivate and challenge others to do their best.
In a Scout troop we have elected and appointed leaders. We also have informal leaders. Those Scouts that others follow. You know who they are they are the Scouts that the others follow.

Throughout history leaders have risen. Some do good and some have not. The fact is that there will always be leaders. What makes them leaders? Are they born that way? Or is it a skill set that they develop. I argue it is the latter. Leadership is developed.
It is developed either through formal training or through life experience but either way the leader must have the will to lead. The will to lead will drive him to develop his skills.
Yes…Skills. Like I have said before leaders must develop skills to understand the led, to know the principles that make successful leaders. Knowing those things like the 4 “C’s” the leading EDGE, and BE-KNOW-DO. Some people just come about it easier, but leaders know and understand it takes work to lead effectively.

Last night I had a chat with our Assistant Senior Patrol Leader. He is a good kid and has a ton of potential, what he has more than anything else is a desire or will to be a leader.
“Know yourself and seek self improvement” one of the principles of leadership the Army teaches you. He knows enough to seek improvement. Last night he asked what one thing he could do to make himself a better leader. I told him to be consistant. A message I have discussed here often. His problem is that the guys he is trying to lead have no clue weather he is serious, mad, or having fun. He lets his emotion over ride logical thinking. Consistency will help him with that. Once he decides what kind of leader he is, he needs to develop that…consistently.

These boys were not born to lead, they are in Scouting in some part to learn to lead, and weather they know it or not will be or at least develop some leadership.

But there will always be leaders. The kid in the park surrounding himself with followers, guys at work that can motivate and inspire. Some one will always step up and become the leader. When one leader moves on, another takes his place. Someone will always lead.

Will it be you?

Happy Scouting!

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Fitting Poem

Many Scoutmasters have used this little poem by Dale Wimbrow for Scoutmaster minutes.
It is a telling story about finding who you are.
Leaders need to often look in the mirror and see who they are and if they are happy with what they see. Sometimes the person staring back at you is the only friend you have as a leader.
Looking back at the last two posts here I feel it is fitting to share this poem with you.
I would hope the Councilors of the City of Philadelphia would read it as well as all of you that are Scouts and Scouters. Talk about making an impact. You first need to make one on yourself and understand who you are. Then evaluate how you can BEST make an impact on others.

The Guy in the Glass

When you get what you want in your struggle for pelf,
And the world makes you King for a day,
Then go to the mirror and look at yourself,
And see what that guy has to say.

For it isn’t your Father, or Mother, or Wife,
Who judgement upon you must pass.
The feller whose verdict counts most in your life

Is the guy staring back from the glass.
He’s the feller to please, never mind all the rest,
For he’s with you clear up to the end,
And you’ve passed your most dangerous, difficult test
If the guy in the glass is your friend.

You may be like Jack Horner and “chisel” a plum,
And think you’re a wonderful guy,
But the man in the glass says you’re only a bum
If you can’t look him straight in the eye.

You can fool the whole world down the pathway of years,
And get pats on the back as you pass,
But your final reward will be heartaches and tears
If you’ve cheated the guy in the glass.

-Dale Windrow

The word pelf means riches or wealth.

Take a look in that mirror.

Happy Scouting!

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