Month: November 2009

The Scoutmaster Minute Podcast Show # 44

In Show 44 we share some feedback and our 5 star rating on iTunes.  We also talk about some Scouting Technology in the news and Cold Weather Camping.  I even thow in a great tip for good eats on your next backpack adventure.
Here are some links from the show that we talk about:
Boy Scout Handbook online:
National Hall of Leadership
Bear Creek Soups
Check out those links for more information and details.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

How do you use Electronics on Scouting Outings?

There is an on going debate about electronics used in Scouting.  While “Traditional” Scouters shun the new technologies and do not embrace what is the future, others seems to grab ahold and run with the new ways to “DO” Scouting.
No matter which side of the debate you fall on.. or even if you are somewhere on the fence, I want to know how you use electronics on your Scouting Outings.

So thats the question…
Let me tell you about how electronics helped our last camp out.
We were all gathered around the camp fire settling into a great evening, I pulled out my iPhone and flipped to my Coleman Creepy Campfire tales app.    The Scouts loved the stories with the sound effects.  Now we could have done ghost stories with sound effects without the iPhone, but I figured since I carry my phone on camp outs and all outings, I thought this was the time and place to use it.  The other app from my iPhone that we used while on this last camp out was the Pocket Universe.  It runs with the iPhones GPS.  Where you point your phone it shows the stars and planets that are in the sky above.  It is a pocket planetarium.  It was great to be able to point out constellationsand planets and have a pocket directory and information about distance, size, and facts about the planets and the stars to share with the Scouts.
Those are just a few ways we used electronics this last camp out.  I also have a great animated knots app on my iPhone.
So lets here it!!! How do you use new technologies and electronics!
Leave your responses/comments at the Scoutmaster Minute on 
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Veterans Day 2009

I would like to wish all of our Nations Veterans a Blessed Veterans Day!
Our Nation maintains it’s freedom because of those few that stand up and say I will serve.
Thank you all.
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.  ~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Happy Veterans Day
and Have a Great Scouting Day!

Scoutmaster Jerry
US ARMY Retired
Operation Iraqi Freedom 2003-04

The Scoutmaster Minute Twitter Edition

The Scoutmaster Minute has now hit the big time.. errr.. well maybe not the big big time.. but at least 2009 and Twitter!
I have been on twitter for some time now, but until recently have not really used it “to it’s potential” as they say.
I found a new app for the iphone that is going to help deliver the promise of Scouting!  And so the Scoutmaster Minute Twitter edition was born today.
It will provide tips, tricks, and thoughts about delivering the promise of Scouting via an audio tweet.
You can follow it and me on twitter  @
Thanks for listening to the Scoutmaster Minute and all the Quality Scouting podcasts on!
Have a Great Scouting Day!

The Eagle Project

Recently I had a chat with a number of the Scouts in my troop about their Eagle Projects.  Landscaping, fence building, compost bins, flag pole/ memorials etc… were among the list of ideas that hit the table as these young men begin the process of completeing their Eagle requirements.
There is a trend that I have noticed lately within our District and reading about other Eagle projects within our Council that the Scouts seem to be really taking the easy way out, what I mean by that is very little thought or imagination is going into the projects.
Now to be fair, the requirement (of which a Scoutmaster can not take away.. nor add too) is this;
While a Life Scout, plan, develop, and give leadership to others in a service project helpful to any religious institution, any school, or your community. (The project should benefit an organization other than Boy Scouting.) The project plan must be approved by the organization benefiting from the effort, your Scoutmaster and troop committee, and the council or district before you start. You must use the Eagle Scout Leadership Service Project Workbook, BSA publication No. 512-927, in meeting this requirement.
So thats it.. that is the requirement.. but what is the intent or reason for doing a service project?
Is it so that lots of things get done in our communities?  Is it to teach the Scouts to be of service to the community?  I mean, really, they should have learned that by First Class.  The first line of the requirement says “PLAN, DEVELOP, and GIVE LEADERSHIP”.
And that is the discussion I had with the soon to be Eagle Scouts of my troop.  The intent of the project is not to spread bark dust or build park benches.  The reason they do the project is to demonstrate leadership.
I told our young men that no matter what the project, they should challenge themselves in leadership.  If they insist on bark dust and building fences, make sure that they go through the process of planning, developing the plan, to include resources (man, material, and money) and then Lead.
I think the problem I have with the easy “Cookie cutter” Eagle projects are that they are so easy, that even your average 14 year old really does not get a challenge out of it.
I am not suggesting it be too hard that it overwhelms the young man, but what is this Scouting thing all about?  Learning.. a Game with a purpose.. Character… all of that.  Well, then they need to be challenged in what is the most significant life lasting achievement in Scouting.
Again, we can not add or take away from the requirements, but we can suggest that our young men learn something as they become Eagle Scouts.
Have a Great Scouting Day!

Gortex and your Winter Jacket

We have been talking about winter camping at the Troop the last couple weeks in an effort to be prepared for some terrific Cold weather camping experiences.
I talked extensively about the word COLD (Clean, Overheating, Loose in Layers, and Dry).   I have talked about keeping clean and why we need to keep clean to stay dry and warm.
Here is a good video that explains this concept.
Recently a friend of mine, avid backpacker, and blogger/DYI video guy Jason from Denver posted this video on his blog.  It is from a trip that he made to a Gortex plant/lab.  He was invited with other out door enthusiasts to take a tour and learn more about Gortex.
Have a Great Scouting Day!