Monthly Archives: March 2008

Backpacking meals

As we started to plan for our next camp out (Backpack), we began to prepare by planning meals.

We have become a bit lazy with this skill. Try something new, here is a cool site that can give you some good ideas for our up coming camp outs.
One of the reasons I like this site is that it incorporates one of my favorite pieces of gear, the zip lock bag!

Check out the Freezer Bag Cooking site.

For those of you that just can not seem to plan a menu without Ramen… try this one that I tried from the Freezer Bag cooking site.

Ramen Pot Pie:
In a quart freezer bag put:
1 package chicken flavored ramen with seasoning packet. Break up the ramen.
1 pouch or can of chicken (3-7 ounces depending on your taste)
A quart freezer bag with instant mashed potatoes. (I would recommend the Idahoan® ones that have everything in them, or use the cup version that has everything in it.)

In camp add 2 cups boiling water to the ramen. Add in the chicken.
Pop in a cozy for 10 minutes or so, then start adding the potatoes till it becomes nice and thick.

Serves 2.

Happy Scouting!
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Building your Foundation

If you were to travel across the country and start up a new town, what would you build first?
A city hall? Fire Department? Police station? Water works? Garbage facility? Medical services?
Every town has the same structures or infrastructure to make it a solid town. The ice cream parlor, the barber, and the city park come after a firm foundation has been build and working to keep the town stable.

The same can be said about building our foundation, our Character.
You need to start with a solid foundation from which the rest of your Character can be built and measured.
Your Faith, your Family, and the Scout Law are all foundation stones to build your Character on.
The Scout Law gives you a solid foundation of those things that you should be in your daily lives. It is a list of principles that others can measure you by and 12 characteristics that others expect of you.
Your foundation must be solid. Even the tallest building in your town can crumble in an instant if it does not have a firm foundation. You too, need to build your foundation to withstand the daily bombardment of bad things in our world today. You need a firm foundation to resist temptation to hang with the wrong crown, even if they are popular and “Cool”. Your foundation needs to shine for others to see that you are strong of Character and that you are reliable person that will stand strong against those with less Character.

It all starts with your foundation. Building a solid foundation, made of Faith and Family and the Scout law will make your Character strong and good. It will make you and those around you better and we will all benefit because of your good Character.

Happy Scouting!

Categories: Character, Scout Law | Leave a comment

Eco Challenge

The Eco Challenge race has always been an event that draws my attention. It is a test of outdoor skills and endurance.

The race in 2008 is right here in my backyard… The HQ for the Challenge is in my hometown of Troutdale, OR. The event will take place from Mt. Hood, Oregon to Astoria, Oregon on both Bike and Kayak.

You can learn more about Eco Challenge, the Race, and competitors here.
This year all of the competitors are women. 3 of them are from the Portland area. They will compete in 2, 4 women teams.

Great quote from the Eco Challenge Website:

“We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors…we borrow it from OUR children”- native American proverb (courtesy meet the planet)

While I do not agree with EVERYTHING the Eco Challenge organization stands for, I appreciate their zeal for the outdoors and our wilderness areas, I love their passion of outdoor back country skills, and I like that they turn it into a competition.

You can learn more about Adventure Racing here.

Happy Scouting!

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BE Prepared… for the morning after

Winter camping is challenging and test your skills. Boy Scouts that learn and develop good camping skills and have a keen sense of what it takes to be a good camper have a great time.

The Scout Motto– Be Prepared takes on a new meaning, aside from “Be Prepared for anything”, the motto speaks to a Scout that thinks two steps ahead while camping. This skill is found in those that really understand good camping.
Whether you are talking about leave no trace principles or camping gear, Being Prepared rings true for all good campers.

In the winter you must be prepared for anything and know how and what to use and when.
Good campers keep their packs packed all the time, only taking out what they need for a task or situation, then back to the pack it goes.
A good camper knows that once the sun goes down and the temperature drops basic skills become more difficult and challenging. Being prepared for those tasks makes them easier. Cooking on a chilly night is made easier by preparing the cooking area before dark, a wind screen, attaching fuel cells, doing the prep work at home can make you dinner meal something to enjoy rather than a laborious task.
Preparing for the next day starts the night before and even earlier than that. Before it gets dark, packs should be packed and stored properly, either in the tent vestibule or under a pack cover in a place that affords easy access. All your gear should be in the pack except for what you need in the tent for sleeping. Your clothing for the next day placed in a stuff sack and used as a pillow will ensure you have warm, dry clothing in the morning. Your boots should be inside the tent, under your sleeping pad. This will keep them warm too, or at least not frozen. They will be there in the morning, ready for you to put on. The laces will not be frozen and you will not have an couple inches of snow in them.
Gloves and damp items can be hung in the tent or placed under the sleeping bag. They may not dry, but they won’t get any more wet. If your gloves are slightly damp, putting them in your sleeping bag may be enough to dry them for the morning.
A quick check around your tent, snow cave or shelter before you call it a night in is a must. Check for shovels, water bottles, and other gear that need to be stored.
Make sure to relieve yourself in the appropriate area before you settle down for the night. Doing it in the middle of the night can be a bit unpleasant.

Being Prepared for the morning after a winter camp starts by being a good camper and knowing how to camp. You need to practice this all the time, develop good habits in good weather and you will enjoy winter camping.

Happy Scouting!

Categories: camp skills, Motto | Leave a comment

A big Welcome…

To the newest members of Troop 664. 8 new Scouts joined us tonight. 7 Webelos from Pack 717 and a new member to Scouting.
Let the Adventure begin!

After having had the opportunity to meet with all the new Scouts, it looks like the Troop just got a whole lot better.

A word of advice. Live the Scout Oath and Law daily. If you do this you will be rewarded with a life of riches and blessing beyond your wildest dreams.
Those around you will notice and see you as a great young man. A young man with potential to do great things. Scouting offers you all of this. Take advantage of the opportunities that Scouting offers you. You will get out of Scouting exactly what you put into it.

The Troop is a place where you can make it all happen.

Welcome to Boy Scouts!!

Happy Scouting!

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Pod cast update

I know that this does not interest everyone, but I have received many emails regarding the first pod cast on Winter camping. I would like to say thanks to the kind comments and the encouragement.
Having said that, there will be more.

Here is what is in the works right now.

We are working on some topical shows. One on the role of the OA in the Troop and the duties of the OA representative. The other show will center on the Webelos to Scout Transition and relationships between the Troop and the Pack. Venturing out, I will even be joined by some special guests and co hosts. So I am looking forward to those.

I have also created a blog for the pod casts. It can be found at

Thanks again, and if you have any ideas or suggestions, let me know.

Happy Scouting!

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They never cease to impress me

If you ever loose faith in what a young man can do, or get discouraged watching the evening news, or read in the paper that our youngsters are not making the grade. Then I encourage you to look at your Scouts… In particular your members of the Scouting Honor Society, the Order of the Arrow.

I have posted these sentiments before, but they truly never cease to impress me.
This past weekend our Lodge held it’s largest event of the year, the Rendezvous of the Order. The event is 100% youth driven. And I must say that the Scouts that put this years on did a great job. The youth leadership really put together a first class event. Well organized and executed. The Lodge holds its elections during the event also. Again, I was impressed with the way in which they conducted themselves as they elected a new Lodge Chief and Vice Chiefs.

I was happy to hear the accomplishments of the youth that were tapped out for the Vigil Honor after the Banquet. To hear the Scouting resumes of these young men was impressive. A true demonstration of the Spirit of Scouting that lives within each of them. It gives us great hope to see such fine young men.

And then again, tonight as the Scouts from my Troop held a practice for an upcoming Arrow of Light and Crossover ceremony. I watched as each of them transformed into their part. I watched as they practiced giving the gift of Scouting to new boys that will join our ranks. I can see that they take it seriously and that they want to do well. This is a far cry from the nightly news and the daily paper.

I am proud of these young men, both the Scouts from my Troop and those fine Arrowmen that put on one heck of a Rendezvous weekend. I look forward to our next event knowing that with the boys in charge and running it, it will be a great time and an experience that leaves us all proud.

Happy Scouting!

Categories: Order of the Arrow | Leave a comment

Three Duties

Last night I held the final Scoutmaster Conference for a group of Webelos that will crossing over next week. The last Scout came to our meeting and asked for a conference to finish his Arrow of Light requirements.

I love doing these conferences, I get to learn a little about the new Scout and they get to know me a bit too. But most of all I am impressed with the preparation they all put into this. I suppose the campaign hat may give them butter flies, but they all have done exceptionally well.

So last night I went through the standard list of questions including, knowing the Scout Oath and Law, the hand shake, salute, motto, etc. When I asked about the Scout Oath, the Scout raised his arm and presented a crisp Scout sign and began to rattle off the Scout Oath. When he finished I asked him what he had just said. He raised his arm and again rattled off the Oath. I then asked again, “no… what did you just say?” “The Scout Oath” he replied. I agreed and then asked, “But what did you say when you said the Oath?” He answered that he was making a promise. RIGHT! He knew that the Oath is a promise we make to ourselves and to others. Then we got into the meat and potatoes. I asked him if he knew what duties he had as a result of making the promise? He said yes. And I knew from his smile that he did in fact understand the three duties of the Scout Oath. He quickly pointed to his three raised fingers and said; “Duty to God and Country, Duty to others, and Duty to myself”. He got it.

I think at times we just rattle off the Scout Oath and skip by its meaning and forget about the duties that we promise to uphold in saying the Oath. I think that in our Monday evening ritual of the Pledge and Oath, we loose the meaning of the words in the Oath. We are in a hurry to move to fun and skills that we do not take the time to listen to each other as we pledge on our Honor that we will live up to our Duty to God and Country, other people, and our selves.

The next time you say the Oath… slow down and give it some thought. It is a powerful thing to give your Honor, so you should make it count.

Happy Scouting!

Categories: Oath and Law, Scoutmaster minute | Leave a comment

First Pod Cast

Well, I thought it was about time that I venture into the world of Pod casting.
So here it is… my first podcast. The beauty is that you do not need an IPOD. Just click and listen. You can “RIGHT CLICK” on the link and “SAVE AS” then throw it on your MP3 player or listen on your computer. It is a lot faster if you save it to your computer and listen to it, rather than click and listen here. For some reason, which I don’t know, “Saving As” is super fast while listening online is real slow. That and you can have later to listen to or start and stop when you like. Either way I hope you like it.

This podcast discusses Cold weather Camping, some gear tips and clothing ideas.

Depending on how this goes, there may be more. So enjoy, and please let me know if the podcasts are worth doing. Remember, be kind (but honest), its my first one.

So Click here for the Cold Weather Camping Podcast.

Happy Scouting!

Categories: podcast | 1 Comment


There is a video floating around the Internet that is about a man named Randy Pausch that is dieing of cancer. He is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University and specializes in Virtual Reality, a real interesting fellow. Some versions of the video are about 70 minutes long this one is kind of a readers digest version;

The reason I am sharing this with you is I watched the 76 minutes lecture he gave to his students and faculty at Carnegie Mellon called “Really Achieving your Childhood dreams”. This lecture is said to be his “Last Lecture”, a tradition in which they ask a professor, “if you were dieing what you would you say at your last lecture”.

Dr. Pausch says a lot in 76:26, but his take home thoughts are those about living right. His main point is that we should all have a vision and carry that vision out. This ties so well into our NYLT, where we talk about developing vision and setting goals, then seeing those goals to reality. Dr. Pausch had a vision of what he wanted his life to look like, and now he is at the end of his life, can clearly see how his “Movie is going to end” and he has taken the time to reflect and share some things that made him successful. Interestingly, he said he wrote his “Last lecture” not for his students or faculty, nor the 400 people that attended the lecture, or the millions that have downloaded it on You tube. He wrote it for three people. His children.

You can watch it on your own and learn from it. I just want to share one of his thoughts that really struck me as poignant. He talked about three keys to living well. They are:

1. Tell the Truth.
2. Apologize (Properly)
3. Wait, People will show you their good side (Be Patient)

I want to elaborate on number two. Like he says, there are many bad apologies out there today. We see it all the time in our politicians and sports figures. It seems they are always on the tube telling us they are sorry for this or that. But notice it says Apologize (PROPERLY).
What we see from our sports figures and politicians are by (his) definition, and I tend to agree, bad apologies.
If you are going to say you are sorry… do it right, be sincere. There are three elements to a good apology. 1. I am Sorry. 2. It was my Fault. 3. How do I make it right.
It is the third part that most people leave out. It is not enough to say you are sorry. What are you going to do to make it right. Children most usually get it right, at least in principle. You always hear little kids say, “I am sorry, I’ll give you this…” Now its not about give and take, but the principle of making it right shows sincerity. Without it you have not apologized correctly.

As I watched Dr. Pausch for 76 minutes I did not see a man about to die. I saw a man that was living his life to the very end. A man that understood what it took to have a good life and how to share that life with others. He did not apologize for being happy with his life, even though he could see the part of the movie where the credits start to role.

Take some time, 76 minutes if you have it, or 11 for the shorter version, and watch the video. Take some notes, because this guy understands life and how it should be lived.

Happy Scouting!

Categories: Character | Leave a comment

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