Author: Scoutmaster Jerry

Talking about Lanterns

Sorry about all the videos lately.. but sometimes (When I am lazy).. this is a great platform to get some information out there.
This time we are talking about lanterns. There are many types out there and they all seem to shed some light on what you are trying to do out in the woods.
From candles to Coleman we have lots of choices out there to meet your camping needs.
Enjoy this video I shot about 3 years ago. Hope in lights up your day.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Sleeping Bag storage

In this Saturday Quick Tip video.. I show a quick and easy way to store your sleeping bag.
Your sleeping bag is an essential piece of gear.  Part of the “Big 3”, your sleeping bag is a piece of gear that you count on when you are in the woods.
Taking care of your sleeping bag or quilts will take care of you.
If you have suggestions on how you take care of your sleep system.. leave us a comment and share your ideas.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Mountain Hardwear Bandito Gloves

A little gear review of a nice pair of gloves.
If you are like me you are looking for gear that works.  My hands typically get real hot when I am hiking, a heavy glove is too much and a real light glove is not enough.  The Mountain Hardwear Bandito glove is as the baby bear discovered.. just right.
This glove provides protection from the elements of rain and wind and keeps your hands comfortable.
It is a mitten and a finger less glove perfect for hiking and doing camp chores and setting up camp on a chilly day.
Let me know what you think and what kind of gloves you use.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Trangia 27 series

Happy New Year!
I hope that every one is well and is gearing up for the new and exciting year that will be.  I am not a fan of resolutions.. but my 2017 Ticket is written and I am ready to work it for a successful year.
To start off the year, I am re tooling my cook kit for backpacking. In an effort to “practice what I preach” I am switching my alcohol stoves from the Blackcat stove to using nothing by my Trangia stove.
The Trangia switch addresses all of the BSA’s concerns about using Alcohol stoves and so I can use it and share that with the Scouts of the unit.. many already use the Trangia or one of the like stoves.
Here is a little video showing the set up and discussing why I am going with it.  Hope it is at least informative.

Thanks for reading and watching the blog.. let me know what you think.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Christmas 2016

norman_rockwell-christmas_homecoming-1948bWe all have an image of the “perfect” Christmas.  It is one of those images that we hold deep in our hearts.  An image of a Christmas from our childhood, a vision of the ideal Christmas from It’s a Wonderful Life.  We think of bells and decorated trees, the smell of baking and cinnamon covered pine cones.  Whatever the image of Christmas you have in your mind the common thread is more than likely time spent with family.
That will always be the perfect Christmas for me.  No matter where we lived, who was visiting, or whether we had snow or California sunshine, Christmas has always been a celebration with the people that mean the most to me.
While I think that we all strive for that Norman Rockwell vision of rosy cheeks and snow covered wonderlands, it really comes down to family.  That is where we can all find our perfect Christmas.
I have spent Christmas’s deployed and away from family and no matter what I thought about Christmas looking like, it always came back to home and family.
This year has been a good year for me and my family.  We have worked hard this year and are blessed with the rewards for that work.  Our friendships have grown and we were blessed with a new addition to the family, a wonderful Daughter in Law.
Our life is good.
I have been blessed with the friendships I have made through this blog.  It has been nice to correspond with some of the readers and realize that what we are doing here does in fact make a difference.
2017 is going to be a year of blessings.  As the journey of another Wood Badge course steps off we again will look to the impact to the lives of Scouters that will make a huge difference in our world.  Our Wood Badge family will grow and friendships will be made.
Next Christmas that will be part of our thoughts as we again envision a “perfect” Christmas.

“And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger’.”Luke 2:8-12

From My Family to Yours.. Have a Perfect Christmas!
Merry Christmas and Blessing in your New Year!

Nerds

concordtotranqI had a talk with a group of Scouts a week or so ago.  I asked them what they thought of Scouting and how their classmates viewed it.  My point was to illustrate that the “pressure” that they feel for being Scouts is no different than it was when I was I kid and a Scout.
They overwhelmingly feel that their classmates view them as nerds, geeks, or whatever the current term is for it.  At that I said that is awesome.  Look at it this way.
All of the movie stars started out as nerds.  They were in the drama club or acting class.  No one thought that was cool when I was in School.. now they are all over the spot light and people think they are the trend setters.  They make it on the cover of People Magazine and are all over TMZ.
Think about the stars that are topping the music charts.  Band geeks to say the least.  They played in the School Band or hung out in dark garages.  Then all of a sudden, they are pop stars and have millions of screaming fans.
What about the science nerds.  The guys and gals that hung out in the library or stayed after School to enter the Science fair.. yeah.. those uncool students have launched into space and circled the planet.  They are driving Mars rovers and finding a way that cars can drive themselves.  They are the reason we have cell phones that fit in our pockets and can function better than a 1990 main frame computer.
Speaking of computers.. how about that Steve Jobs weirdo.. he was the king of the nerds.  No one gave him the time of day.. not voted most likely to be cool in high School.  But every time we see that little apple we know a geek is behind it.
So just how bad is it to be a nerd?  The same as it ever was.  It is what we make of it.
Seems to me that they end up ok in the end. So if Scouting is nerdy, geeky, or un cool.. count me in.

Have a Great Scouting Day!

Simple things

20161214_194806We teach our Scouts to focus on the little things and the big things will take care of themselves.  I have lived by that train of thought since I became a Sergeant in the Army.  Little things always add up.  And the other thing that I know for sure is that numbers never lie.
So lots of little things done well will add up to the big things being multiplied.
This theory of mine hit me full force this weekend as we were preparing for our December Court of Honor.  A group of us were putting together the recognition for the Scouts and we started looking at numbers.  We have never really been a “Numbers” driven Troop.  We have always believed that if we do the little things well we will have a great Troop.  We started a bead program to recognize the Scouts for the activities, service, training, and other great Scouting fun they participate in.  It has become a real hit within the unit.  It is a simple thing but makes a big difference.
When the tally was all final it reaffirmed my pride in the Scouts of our Troop. 1330 hours of service last year.  When we talk about the little things. that is a lot of little things that add up to a big impact in our community.  The big thing of teaching Character and Citizenship and Helping People at all times all are added up in that number.  While there are units that may have more or less, this is our number and I think it is fantastic.
Along with Service we added up our nights of camping and other out door activities.  Again this speaks to the greater part of our program.  If we are doing Scouting right, then participation will reflect a positive number.  We gave our Scouts an opportunity to camp 29 nights last year.  That would be 1131 nights of camping if 100% of our Scouts participated in every camp out.  We did not have 100% unfortunately.. however we did have a good percentage attended and we came out with 70% of our Scouts attending everything.  70% I am pretty happy with.. It could be a lot better.. but a number we can live with right now.  It is a little thing that tells us that our program is healthy.  It also caused us to look at the 30% of the Scouts that did not attend.  What we found was a group of Scouts that are growing older, are active in sports, choir, drama, and other activities away from Scouting.  In a year that produced more Eagle Scouts than any other year, we started seeing the decline in some of our Scouts being at Camp outs.  I can understand that.  So we will do better to plan around some of their activities and allow them opportunities to be active in Scouting.
We had a large crowd at the Court of Honor.  It was so nice to see the parents that are supportive of their Scout.  Aunts and Uncles, Grandparents, and family friends.  I was happy to see them as they saw all the little things added up.
We will continue to focus on the little things.. they take care of the program.
On a personal note.
I apologize for slowing down the blogging the last couple weeks.  It is December and as you can imagine, life as a UPS driver is a bit hectic this time of the year.  Long days and short nights have left me without a lot of time or energy to share my thoughts on the blog.
Thanks for sticking around.

Have a Great Scouting Day!