Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Easy-as-pie dessert

I heard about this from someone in the next cube who had it on a river running trip in Wyoming.  Take a ready-made dough-in-a-can, like a crescent roll (or make your own dough), and wrap thin strips of it around a dowel or other food-safe pole. Then slap another bit of dough over the end and cook it over coals, a la toasting a marshmallow.  When that's done, remove the toasted pastry from the cooking stick, and add a filling of your choice: jams, pie filling, Nutella or whathaveyou. That's it.

Prepared. | For Life.™

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Another one joins the ranks

My wife is off buying a new Cub Scout uniform for my younger son, who turns 8 this week.  I've already filled out the paperwork for him, and we're ready. My only fear is, are they ready for him?  Do they understand that a Cub Scout leader needs to take the boys outside to play in the mud? That (another *sigh*) 4-generation chart just won't hold their attention?  I hope so.

Prepared. | For Life.™

Sunday, July 21, 2013

What the Scouts missed



They stayed up so late that they couldn't get up in time to see the sun rise over the Wasatch Mtns.

(plus, I finally figured out how to make my wood gas stove work right.)

Prepared. | For Life.™

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Easy dinner - Taco Bags

We did this for a family camp-out the other day.  Delicious over Nacho Cheese Doritos.®

Ingredients:
Personal-size bags of chips (Doritos, Fritos, etc.)
Taco fixins – meat, tomato, cucumber, beans, olives, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, salsa, etc.
Taco seasoning for meat, beans

Procedure:
Brown the meat, adding seasoning according to package instructions. If desired, add beans to mixture.
While meat is cooking, chop tomato, cucumber, olives and whathaveyou into bite-size pieces; shred cheese if you didn't by it pre-grated.
Either make or purchase guacamole, if all y’all like this gooey goodness.

Consume!
Break chips into bite-size pieces (still in the bag).
Add fixins to the bag and dig in!

Clean-up is a cinch - a skillet, a couple of knives, a cutting board and a trash bag.

"The objective is not great food, but good cooks" - however, they'll think they're great cooks after this one.

Prepared. | For Life.™

Friday, July 12, 2013

BLM recognizes Eagle Scout with national award

In May, Eagle Scout Joshua Barlow of Price, UT was awarded the Bureau of Land Management's 2013 "Making a Difference" National Volunteer Award for his Eagle Service Project. Congratulations, Joshua, on a fantastic achievement and a job well done!

Prepared. | For Life.™

Bear shot in Scout Camp

A letter I sent to my ward and stake leadership:

Image courtesy of Michael Elliot
at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Here's the story (see KSL):  Yesterday, a Scout leader shot and killed a black bear at the Hinckley Scout Ranch (formerly East Fork of the Bear Scout Camp, south of Evanston, WY).  Apparently, the camp site had been left in disarray, with food and other "smellables" left out rather than properly stowed, and the bear was attracted to food/debris left out on the table.  The adult leader made an attempt to scare off the peckish ursine, and when that proved impossible, he shot three rounds into the bear, killing it.  The Troop was sent home for putting everyone at risk. Their fees will probably not be refunded.  This situation would not have happened had appropriate procedures been followed.

My thoughts are these: this shows a fundamental lack of awareness and understanding of both Scouting and common-sense outdoor practices. Here are the two main problems:  1) The Scoutmaster and Scouts of the affected campsite apparently disregarded, and/or did not enforce, clearly-stated instructions to keep clean in camp (hygeine is still important at camp!), endangering everyone there.  2) He was "carrying" on a Scout activity.  The Guide to Safe Scouting clearly states, in BOLDFACE, that except for law enforcement personnel who may need to use them in the line of duty, firearms are not permissible on Scout camps, hikes, backpacking trips etc. (p.33). When (not if) the state prosecutes this man ('wanton take" is the term I am hearing), BSA will leave him out to dry for both negligence and violating BSA policy, concealed carry laws notwithstanding.

What does this mean for the Stake and its constituent wards?  To me, this underscores the need for training oversight (a function of the Troop* Committees) of all those involved in Scouting to make sure we have (in the words of master craftsman Norm Abram) "read, understood and followed" the safety/policy documents that will keep our boys safe, us out of trouble and mitigate liability.

UPDATE 12:55PM: Initial reporting being what it is, I had believed that the shots were fired by an errant Scoutmaster, but they were in fact fired by the Camp Director (who does have authorization to use firearms in an emergency).  The fact remains, however, that this was preventable by following basic bear precautions and NOT leaving candy bars out in the open (or worse, in tents). Basically as I understand it now, the CD took steps he felt necessary to protect 500+ people from a mess made by a handful.  I've added a few clarifications above, underlined and struck out. Although the statement about carrying your piece remains true, with clarification, it's no longer relevant to the story.

* Cub Scout Packs, Boy Scout Troops, Varsity Scout Teams and Venturing Crews
(bonus arrow points if you spot the Monty Python reference)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

What I've learned about Scouting

The product of a wandering mind on the bus ride in to work this morning.  Kind of like "Andy's Rules," it's a list that is by no means complete, and I'll be adding to it as things occur to me. But my brain isn't big enough to keep it all together, so it needs a good home. I'll probably share this with parents at the start of each year.

Being a Scouter has taught me:
  1. It’s not about the patch, it’s about the process.
  2. The journey is much, much more than simply the destination.
  3. Working with people is as important, if not more so, as fulfilling (not “passing off”) the requirements.
  4. The Scout Oath and Law are the only rules that the boys need.
  5. My job is to provide opportunity. It's up to the boys to take advantage of it. 
  6. Real growth comes with discomfort – fatigue, heat, cold, sore muscles, blisters, wind, rain, snow, hunger, getting lost – and reflecting on how you got there and how you solved the problem.
  7. Cooking (and burning) dinner is really a vehicle to learn planning and execution.
  8. Your mom isn’t here; take responsibility for yourself and your buddy. I'm not here to take care of you.
  9. Hygiene is more important at 9,000 feet.
  10. Sitting in a class where _(fill-in-the)_ was discussed doesn't actually fulfill any requirements. The reqs state: Demonstrate, Explain, Show - DO! That would imply learning the material first
  11. The corollary to that is, learn by doing, then figure out what went wrong and do it again.
  12. You have to teach the parents, too.
  13. Yes, it's difficult. Oftentimes it's like installing a car seat - if it seems like it was easy, you did it wrong. If it were easy, it wouldn't be worthwhile. 
  14. No one else feels as strongly about it as you do, except for those you meet online and at Wood Badge.
  15. "On my honor, I will DO my duty to God," not just my "Duty to God" book.
  16. It's hard to be both a Scoutmaster and a dad to the same boy.
  17. The trail doesn’t care that you’re tired: the food - or the car - is at the end.
  18. It’s easier to do a two-arm pushup than a pushup with one strong arm and one atrophied “activity arm” behind your back; both arms need continual strengthening.
  19. You get out of it what you put into it. Your Troop is like your football team that way.
  20. Put as much effort into your family as your Troop.
  21. Scouting is an inspired, maybe even a revealed, developmental system which dovetails perfectly into an Aaronic Priesthood quorum (or Primary class, and I daresay, a Young Women class); it can even stand alone, thankyouverymuch.
  22. Eagle doesn't mean "finish line."
  23. It’s not about the badge, it’s about the boy.

Prepared. | For Life.™