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Big Wins

On my first campout with the scouts since returning from my hike across WI. We picked a cold, wet weekend but still had a good time making a trebuchet and launching tennis balls. With just 8 poles, you can build a very nice little launcher.
Food was the major chore yesterday and today. Here's a scout making pancakes over the fire. They also made bacon and hashbrowns while the rain turned to sleet and a few bits of hail.
It's important for us to keep expectations realistic for new scouts. I believe scouts can do tremendous things, usually much more then they think. Just remember that small steps of experience build their abilities so they are able to tackle the big things. Sometimes, just having the pancakes come out not burned and not gooey IS a big win!

A few people asked about the trebuchet, so here's a picture of what we built. Click it to see a larger picture. See the comments for a link to the plans.
Scouts only needed to learn the clove hitch and square lashing to create it. It's a good beginner lashing project.
A plastic serving spoon from a patrol box was lashed to the end of the throwing arm with a round lashing to create the bucket to hold ammo. At the troop meeting last week, some scouts volunteered to bring items to throw, but none followed through. :-( So, the scoutmaster conveniently had a few tennis balls, just in case.
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Posted: 7:55 10-20-2013 1069
Top Cook Contest
dutch oven enchiladas

Are you the best chef in your troop?
Do the scouts rave about your meals months later?
Well, here's your chance to prove it!

Scouting magazine is holding a Camp Cuisine Contest this month. Submit your entry at their contest page and you might win an MSR Dragonfly stove. Way cool!

There's a category for adults and one for scouts, so share the word and see if someone in your troop can win.
Even if you don't win, your recipe might earn you $50 if it gets published in Scouting magazine.

But, hey, don't submit Enchiladas because that's my favorite and I have dibs on it!

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Posted: 15:12 10-18-2013 1068
Programming Patch Secret
Programming merit badge
At the Scout Shop today, I saw the new Programming merit badge patch. It was a pretty boring looking patch, to tell the truth. Kind of bland shades of green in the green border, and no picture of a computer, or any electronic device.

But, if you have an old school programming degree ( like me :-) ), you would recognize that the image is actually three highlighted strings of 1s and 0s - that's Binary code and each digit is called a BIT.
There are eight digits in each of the three highlighted lines - 8 bits make a BYTE.

Looking up the three BYTES in this chart, shows them to be the ASCII codes for B - S - A
Now, I thought that was pretty clever and could be a fun tidbit to start out with when counseling for this badge.

Oh, I bought the Programming merit badge pamphlet at the shop since I hope to counsel for this one, and on page 14, there is more info about this visually plain but thoughtfully done patch.

Scout On
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Posted: 13:44 10-02-2013 1067
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