Monthly Archives: December 2008

Got an email and a comment posted to the blog from a reader that has a great site on winter camping.
Please check the site out at

Some real good stuff there.
At the site they have an “About page”.
I love their Charter:

We endorse and strive to achieve the following principles:
1. It’s the journey, not the destination. We strive to enjoy our time in the woods. Some of our most memorable trips did not achieve the targeted destination.
2. The Jamboree Spirit. We have mutated the boy scout theme to encompass the notion of teamwork and individual sacrifice for the good of the team experience.
3. Leave No Trace ( ). We endorse and strive to embody the principles of LNT.
4. 6 P’s (Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance). Winter camping deserves to be taken seriously to avoid unpleasantries.

Thanks Jim for the info about the site.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Teaching Scout about the COLD

We are in the Cold Season and its time to dust off the snow shoes and pull out the poly pro underwear… get out there and go camping.
There is nothing more exhilarating than challenging yourself in a harsh environment. Crisp clean vistas, the chilly breeze, being prepared and having a memorable time in the winter camping.
But when we get ready to go, we need to go PREPARED and that starts with teaching our Scouts skills that will ensure their success in the winter environment.

A great place to start is by introducing your Scouts to COLD.

COLD is a tool that makes learning about cold weather camping lasting. It is an easy tool that the boys can remember and it is simple enough to retain.

C- Clean. You need to stay clean in a cold weather environment Dirt on clothing acts like a wick for wet and cold. Keeping your clothing clean will keep you dry and warm.
Keeping your body clean is a great way to stay warm also.
Oily skins gets your sleeping bag dirty. As you sweat in your sleeping bag you can start to break down the warming qualities of your bag. Opening the pours of your bag.
You need to maintain a clean body. A simple wipe down before heading into the bag for the night will keep you snug and warm.

O- Overheating. KEEP from overheating. Control your temperature by watching what you do and what you wear. As activities increase, loose clothing. Use zippers and hats to regulate heat/cold. If your get cold, put more on, as you warm up, unzip arm pits and take off the hat.
Reduce the amount of sweat sitting on your skin. Sweat freezes and as it evaporates it takes away your body heat. A real fast way to loose heat and lower your core temp is to sweat. Keep from sweating.

L- Loose in Layers. Dress for Success.. Loose and in layers.
Loose creates air pockets. Those air pockets heat you up as they fill with the body heat. Keeping the heat in those layers will keep you warm. Layers are key. Start with your base layer, the clothing on your skin. Sweat wicking and NO COTTON. Then throw on your mid layers. The clothing that keeps you warm. Outer layers that keep you away from the elements. And all of this layered. Remove or add layers as needed.

D- Dry. Staying Dry is the key to warmth. Weather that is dry from wet conditions or sweat. Staying dry with keep you warm. Staying warm will ensure a great time in the winter camping.

Use gaiters, water proof layers, and of course stay out of wet elements when you can not effectively stop it from getting you wet.

These four simple letters remind us how we can stay warm… by knowing COLD.

Have great winter camping experiences..
And Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Let it Snow!

Nothing to profound just a simple request.
We have had our first “Official” snow fall of the year, in fact as I sit and stare out of my window, the light dusting of Updates every 5 minutes….”THIS JUST IN… another snow flake has hit the ground”…
And panic as unfamiliar drivers hit the road to stock up on winter rations, preparing to batten down the hatches and ride out the …. Storm?

The word of the day…. Courteous.
Yep folks, the world will not stop spinning because of snow, and for those of you wrapped up in the global warming cause, well…after you put your snow shovels away, turn down your heat and and put away your sweat shop made polar fleece, and just be nice.

I just went out to our local store to pick up some Christmas lights, and sure enough the panic stricken populous was out en mass. Fighting for the up close parking lot, jocking for pole position at the check out line, and snarls to those that dare take the last of…well…anything.
That’s all I ask… just be courteous.

While the weather outside is frightful, inside it’s soooo delightful… let it snow..let it snow… let it snow…
But be courteous out there, sure makes the place better, don’t it?

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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So what’s with the Buffalo?

A week or so ago, I was asked to participate in a “Trivia Contest”. This was a unique contest as it was to be part of a Scouting Podcast called The Leaders Campfire, hosted by Cubmaster Chris and his sidekick Scoutmaster Steve.
Steve played the role of “Game Show host” and the contestants were, Shawn (Commissioner’s Corner), Chris (Leaders Campfire), a fellow names Michael who is a Scout leader in New Zealand, and me.
The game was based on knowledge gained from the 1986 Boy Scout Handbook. Now I thought I had this licked as I remember most of what I was taught as a Scout in the 80’s. But as the game progressed the chap from New Zealand pulled ahead with amazing aptitude about the Boy Scouts of America.
There were categories such as Scout craft/skills, citizenship, and communications, and more.
We got to a question in the citizenship category that asked what our National Mammal was?
Michael shouted his name and answered…”THE BUFFALO”!

He is right. Now how many of you knew that?
But here is an interesting side note about our National Mammal as it pertains to Scouting.
I am sure you all know about our Nations Highest Scouting recognition.. the SILVER BUFFALO award.
But did you know that in Gilwell Park, just outside of London, The Buffalo Lawn is so called because of the replica of the Silver Buffalo award that was presented to the Boy Scout Association by the BSA in 1926. This was to honor the Unknown Scout that helped William D. Boyce bring Scouting to the United States. The Buffalo Statue was originally mounted on a large tree stump. The stump has been replaced by a brick pedestal. The inscription reads: “To an Unknown Scout Whose Faithfulness in the Performance of the Daily Good Turn Brought the Scout Movement to the United States of America.”

The First presentation of the Silver Buffalo award was in 1926, the same year the statue was presented to Gilwell. And not so oddly enough it was presented to Lord Robert S.S. Baden Powell, founder of the Scouting Movement and Chief Scout of the World.
Since then the Silver Buffalo has been presented annually. As of 2008 674 men and women that have made noteworthy and extraordinary service to youth on a national basis, either as part of or independent of the Scouting program have received the Silver Buffalo award. 13 of which have been Presidents of the United States. The First President to be presented the award was William Howard Taft in 1927. Of note, that same year Brother Barnabas McDonald, the founder of the Columbian Squires of the Knights of Columbus also received the Silver Buffalo.

Other Noteworthy recipients are; Charles Lindbergh, Theodore Roosevelt Jr. (Medal of honor Recipient), William Temple Hornaday, Norman Rockwell, Eddie Rickenbacker, Walt Disney, Jimmy Stewart, Bob Hope, Douglas MacArthur, John Glenn, Vince Lombardi, Neil Armstrong, Gerald Ford, William “Green Bar Bill” Hillcourt, Ronald and Nancy Reagan, Hank Aaron, Charles Schulz, Jim Lovell, Joseph Csatari, and Archie Manning.

The Award is representative of all that is good in America. The buffalo, a strong animal that is far ranging and able to withstand harsh weather and adapts to changing conditions. This is as American an animal as we can get.

So what’s up with the Buffalo? It’s the Boy Scouts of America’s highest recognition, but it is as world wide as Scouting itself.
I learned a lot playing our little trivia game, there is so much neat stuff to know and pass on in Scouting. Aside from first aid and knot tying, there is much that we can learn and share.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Good ending to a day

If you have followed the blog for any length of time, you know a couple “Non Scouting” things about me. First, I am a huge Football fan, and second, I can’t stand the way professional athletes throw their status around and set terrible examples.
And just when you think it is safe to go back in the water… Plaxico Burress and Terrell Owens stumble back into the lime light with bone head decisions and drama. Great if that’s what you want from your sports figures, but the fact that all day long sports talk radio could not seem to get off of the subject.
Last night Tim Tebow of the University of Florida restored hope when he was awarded the Maxwell award for colleges most outstanding player for the second time (only the second player in history to recieve this award twice), well deserved. But what impressed me was when he was called to the stage to receive the Disney Spirit Award. Given annually to college football’s most inspirational figure. As I watched ESPN as they presented his giving attitude and how, unlike other Florida College students, Tim spent his Spring break in the Philippines on a humanitarian mission instead of partying it up on South Beach.
He truly is the kind of young man that we could use in Sports these days. I did not hear to much about that on the radio today, it seems that talking about how a bone head who shot him self in a strip club is far more interesting, and how a loud mouth, selfish receiver is unhappy with the number of catches he gets must be head line news. I won’t bang on the media here, because they only air what we have told them we want to hear… but it sure would be nice to see a great story like Tebow receiving the Spirit Award.

But all was right in my little corner of America tonight. I had the privilege of attending one of my Scouts “Holiday Concerts” tonight. And No he’s not my son, but I was invited to attend, so I went. This Scout just made Second Class on Sunday, a rank that really tested him and demonstrated that he was willing to do the hard work. He plays the violin in the 6th grade orchestra, and he’s pretty good too. I sat with his parents and when he turned to look at them and saw me sitting there, he waved at me and smiled.
I could not help but feel pride in his accomplishments. The orchestra played a number of Christmas songs and wrapped up the show with We wish you a Merry Christmas.
After the show his parents and I met him in the lobby of the Performing Arts center. He thanked me for coming and asked if I could see him up on the stage. “Of course I did.. you did well.. I am proud of you”, I said to him and thanked him for inviting me. He told me I was welcome to come to any of his concerts. I am happy that I am worthy of being a part of his life.

All the thoughts of T.O and Plaxico seemed minimal after the concert. What really mattered was an 11 year boy playing the violin in his 6th grade orchestra. It won’t be on the news, and more than likely won’t make the head lines in tomorrows paper. But it was a great ending to the day.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Laughter… really the best Medicine

What medicine works fast, cures the blues, lowers blood pressure and much more?
What medicine can be found anywhere, can be shared with friends- you actually want to it to be addicting- and it’s totally free?

Share a joke with your friends. If you hear laughter, ask whats so funny. Laughter is contagious. It brings people closer together, lightens up a too serious moment and makes us feel good. But it’s more than that.
Laughter is a powerful medicine that comes with many health benefits. It’s good for your heart, gives your body a healthy workout, improves brain function and is a great stress buster.

At the company I work for, we often talk about Stress reduction. Studies have shown that laughter is one of the best stress reducers we know of.
What a better stress buster than a good hearty laugh.

Here are some other stress busters (we can all use them this time of year)
1. Stare at people through the lines of a fork and pretend they are in jail.

2. Count how many minutes it takes to stare at the phone before it rings. This one does not work at my house.. they phone does not stop ringing.
3. Bill your Doctor for the time spent in the waiting room.
4. Write a message to your doctor on your hip so he can see it during the next exam.

A study from the Center of Preventative Cardiology at the University of Maryland Medical Center suggests that laughter may help prevent heart disease. In the study, participants with heart disease were less likely to laugh at something funny, or even embarrassing. Living a life with less laughter apparently has its consequences. While it is not yet known exactly how laughter protects the heart, studies have connected mental stress to increased chances of fat and cholesterol build up.

Laughter has also been linked to lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels. After a good laugh, you tend to breathe more deeply and send oxygen rich blood throughout your body.
The best part is you will experience a state of relaxation, which can help you get a good nights sleep… All stress reducers.

So whats this got to do with Scouting. First. There should be no stress in Scouting. It’s a game with a purpose. Second. Laughter is a part of Scouting. He who tells you otherwise forgot about the Cheerful part of the Law.

To keep my self Physically Strong, mentally awake, and morally straight. Well.. you can do this with Laughter!

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Backpacking tip of Week

For the Backpacking tip this week.. I want to share a recipe with you.
Borrowed from, it is a great tasting, easy recipe that will warm you up while filling you up.
Check out more recipes at this site. I have been trying these and I must say.. YUM!
So give this and other recipes a try…

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Giving and getting… Less?

Sitting here this morning watching the morning news, having a cup a coffee, and there was a report on Christmas giving.
The point of the story was that the economy sucked. Well… if you have a pulse and believe absolutely everything you hear..sure it sucks… So lets go with that.

And just when you thought the story was taking you down the path of doom and gloom, two ladies appeared on the screen and they were talking about going with less, but giving More.
Giving more to those that need it and going with less under their own trees. I thought now there is someone that gets it.
I had a conversation with one of my customers yesterday about charitable giving and how this year in particular it seems that giving is up. I think that people are finally realizing that those that have should be grateful and maybe, especially during the Christmas season, share a little.
Now, I won’t get political, because I am all about Capitalism and believe that we all should work hard for what we get, but you sometimes we all struggle and need a little help.
My customer was telling me his wife works for a non profit and that giving was down for some non profits. We concluded that it was because of the nature of some of them. For example, the United Way is not getting as much these days. Well is it because they support Planned Parenthood and other questionable organizations? People are being more selective about where their hard earned money goes.
Scouting is seeing an increase in giving. People realize the value they get for their buck in Scouting.
This weekend we saw a huge increase in the amount of food given during Scouting for Food. It warmed the heart.
So back to the ladies on the news this morning.
They were suggesting that, especially those that have older kids, could possibly just go with less presents this year, share gifts, or look at that special gift and call it good. Take the rest of the Christmas budget and look at charitable giving.
Good Idea.
I believe that is the spirit of the season…right?
I mean, Christ was a gift from the Father, no flashy XBox or new Car.. just a baby in a manger.
Christ is the gift that keeps on giving. God gave us his son, and then the son gave his life for us. Surely we can give a little to something that means a lot to us.
Take care of your families, charity starts at home. Then look outside your doors and take care of your neighbor.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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Picture of the Week

Red Sky at Night…. I can’t remember the little poem, and I am not sure how it applies to Scouters..
This picture was taken the other night, an incredible sun set here in the Northwest.

This at the end of a Great Scouting Day!

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The Golden Rule?

I had a talk with a good friend of mine about a sermon he heard at his church on Sunday.
The Pastor of his Church gave a talk about the “Golden Rule” and how it is supposed to guide our lives. The preacher had a problem with peoples understanding of the rule and in particular why people did not understand it and live it.
Why, said the preacher, do people fail to understand that simply living within the rule of “Doing unto others…” makes the whole world a better place.
The more we talked I thought about this topic and applied it [as always] to Scouting. I had the same question? Why, don’t they understand?

And then it hit me. I can fix all the worlds problems with 12 words.
Yeah.. you know what they are. Starts with Trustworthy… ends with Reverent.
SO… Why is the world the way it is???

Lazy, Greedy, Selfish, Self absorbed, Arrogant, Mean, Stupid, Lack of Knowledge…
Almost sounds like a group of Dwarfs waiting on Snow White…
Why don’t people just see the forest for the trees? It is so simple.
Why cant we be Trustworthy?
Why cant we be Loyal?
What do we gain by not being helpful?
What would happen if we were actually friendly to people, other than their friends?
Wouldn’t it be better if we all were more Obedient?

I think you get the point. It’s the same old song.. different verse, same chorus.
So why not? Why can’t we live the Scout Law? Are we not aware of the impact it can have on our world?
Are we so self absorbed that we forget about those around us?
Are we so arrogant that we can not get past our self to be helpful?

You know, we can turn the economy around by being Thrifty.
We can help the environment by being clean.

We can solve crime by being obedient, Brave, and Trustworthy… and loyal to each other.
No one needs to be hungry because we are kind. No one needs to be cold because we are cheerful and helpful.

But it only works IF everyone lived it.
There was a guy.. about 2008 years ago that called us to Love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Pretty darn simple, but I guess it’s just to hard.
Man is just not meant to have it easy. But, ever since Adam took a bite from that apple, we have been learning.
Thank goodness some of us understand and want to.

The Scout Law.. Live it like you would have others live it.
Just think about what a great world this would be.

I long for the day… But its been 2008 years since the golden rule hit the scene and it still meets resistance.
The Scout law may need some time to catch on too.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

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