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Room Full of Eagles
Northern Star Council holds a "Gathering of Eagles" each year - an evening for all Eagle Scouts to get together and recognize a few special people.

Not being an eagle myself, I've never been to this event but last night I got to attend. My son, who just became an eagle in November, was presented with the council eagle scholarship he earned so I got to tag along.

Man, talk about a high-power room of folks! Our district executive was there. The council's scout executive was there. The regional director was there. Even the Chief Scout Executive was there all the way from Texas.

It was pretty cool to meet Mr. Mazucca and he gave a very good talk touching on the three parts of the scout oath tied into future plans.

But, the way cool thing about the night was when they had all the eagle scouts in the room stand up. Then, they asked those that received their eagle in this century to sit. Then, those that received it in the 1990s. Then, the 80s. Then, the 70s. And so on. There were still 7 or 8 men standing for the 30s! They took a microphone to each one and had them tell when and where they received their eagle.

This evening impressed on me the life-long impact the eagle rank can make on a person. Once a scout earns eagle, it's not the end - it's just the beginning of a life of higher expectations, obligations, and opportunities.

Scout On
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Posted: 14:26 04-16-2009 411
Elect or Appoint?
I was asked if "electing" a Senior Patrol Leader and Patrol Leaders was a rule, or if a Scoutmaster could just appoint them.

On page 13 of my 2001 Scoutmaster Handbook, it says " ... the senior patrol leader. He is elected by all members of the troop."
On page 13, it also says, "One patrol leader is elected by the members of each patrol."

Appointing the SPL or PL is not the way it is supposed to happen and there's absolutely no reason it should happen. But, an adult overrunning a group of boys can get away with doing pretty much whatever s/he wants unless someone points out the correct way to do things. Things are usually done wrong because: I always assume it's the last one until I learn different. Not much can be done about changing the first two, but the last just requires reading and training.

Every troop is constantly evolving and changing. I believe the larger the percentage of well-trained adults you have, the closer you will be to having the perfect Boy Scout troop. Not following simple program steps like electing the SPL rather than appointing him indicates a need for basic training for the scoutmaster and troop committee.

You can read similar words about electing SPL and PLs on the official BSA website here and here.

Scout On
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Posted: 7:50 04-15-2009 410
Volcano II Stove
On a recent campout, the Eagles patrol tried out the Volcano II stove for their meals. They really enjoyed testing this stove while fulfilling their Second Class 'cook over an open fire' requirement.

Since the temperature was 10F to 20F below zero the entire weekend, cooking on propane stoves was a real challenge. But, the Eagles had no problem getting their wood fire going and using it to cook. They boiled soup in a pot on the grill for lunch. Then, they grilled hamburgers directly on the grill for supper.

The Volcano II is a collapsible fire ring that is vented to promote hot, full burning of fuel. Like the scouts, it can burn wood or briquettes, and there is a propane attachment that can be added.

The Eagles found that in very, very cold temperatures it's better to let it burn out rather than dose with water. The water froze the ash solid and we needed to let it thaw before dumping it into an ash can. That was the only glitch they had, even on their first use so they were very impressed. They especially like being able to have their fire wherever they wanted, rather than right in the dirty firepit.

Scout On
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Posted: 8:51 04-05-2009 409
New Troop Fundraiser
18 scouts of our troop are expecting to raise enough funds this June to completely support the troop's program for the next 8 to 12 years. What started as a week-long camping trip, has turned into the best fundraiser ever.

Three adults associated with our troop were drawn in the 2009 National Sasquatch Hunt Lottery so they each have an opportunity to take a bigfoot this year. They've asked the scouts to help with the hunt tracking, herding, and packing out the game. The scouts will get to keep all the meat since the adults just want the publicity.
There has already been one sasquatch taken east of Mount St. Helens this year so we have high hopes of taking three more from that same area since they tend to live in small herds. We'll be flying into Seattle and camping in the Gifford Pinchot forest.
Once we get the animals, we've got a deal with to sell them all the meat for $200/lb so they can process it into their new sasquatch jerky. Since the average sasquatch weighs 600-700 pounds, that's 300 pounds of meat each. 900 pounds of meat will get us $180,000 so the scouts are quite excited at this opportunity. That's a lot of money, but you should go see how much they are selling the jerky for!

It's not too late to register for the lottery if your troop could use some more funds. The deadline for 2009 is April 3rd and the lottery entry fee is just $45. I'll let you know the results when we get back from our trip in June. Oh, and in case anyone is concerned, sasquatch was removed from the endangered species list last year according to U.S. Fish & Wildlife web site, so everything's cool.

Scout On
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Posted: 4:33 04-01-2009 408
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