Why a physical exam is worthwhile
It is with sincere thanks I write to the Boy Scouts of America for saving my husband's life. Like many men, my husband (who is a committee member with Troop 116) dreaded going for a physical exam. If the BSA had not required one for participation in certain activities, I have no doubt he would have postponed it until "next year."
On his routine physical, he was diagnosed with an enlarged prostate, and eventually an aggressive cancer. The cancer surgery went well, but in turn unveiled underlying heart disease, requiring a quadruple bypassall in one week.
As I write this, he is in the hospital, on the mend, and soon to be coming home. Thank you BSA for your policy and for those who enforce it. I marvel at how God's hand is in everything, even a BSA policy!
Photos bring back memories
I have four sons, so you can imagine how many Scouting events we attended and what a pleasure it was to relive those experiences through the images captured by the winning photographs.
The BSA program is the best. Thanks for the memories.
If a copy of the March-April 2002 Scouting isn't available, the prizewinning "Capture the Spirit of Scouting" photographs can be viewed on the magazine Web site. Also available on the site are the winning images from the magazine's two previous photography competitions, "Take Your Camera to Camp" (2000) and "Promise of Adventure" (1998).
'A great pioneering effort'
All wood must be [obtained] from local wooded areas. The work is done entirely by the Scouts, with the older boys teaching and helping the younger Scouts to work hard and get the job done.
The gateway has a rope bridge at the top. The boys climb around on it and rappel off of it as well. It must be strong enough to hold all the Scouts from the troop who are attending camp.
For the past five years I have taken the troop's annual camp picture, which is now done on the gateway; the enclosed photo is from the summer of 2001.
Mitchell E. Parker
Senator Glenn not an Eagle Scout
In Scouting magazine's March-April 2002 article about activities for Space Day, the caption with the photograph showing Senator John Glenn and a group of Boy Scouts refers to "Senator John Glenn, an Eagle Scout." As a result of my effort to verify this, I received the following e-mail from Senator Glenn's office at Ohio State University:
"...Senator Glenn was not an Eagle Scout. When he was a boy, New Concord, Ohio, did not have a Scout troop, [but] Senator Glenn and his pals organized themselves into something like the Scouts...[Sincerely], Mary Jane Veno."
Thank you for the correction. In composing the caption, Scouting magazine confused John Glenn, the first American astronaut to orbit the earth, with Neil Armstrong, the first man to set foot on the moon, who is an Eagle Scout.
A question about training
I recently took Fast Start training, New Leader Essentials, and Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training. However, at the end of the day we were told that we do not get a "Trained" patch until we also finish Outdoor Leader Skills training.
Is this correct? I have been a leader (five years in Cub Scouting, four in Boy Scouting) and was in Scouts for six years as a youth. With my [work] schedule, it was difficult to complete the [first] three parts and now I am looking at another full weekend.
Richard L. Barraco
Scoutmasters and assistant Scoutmasters need to complete New Leader Essentials, Scoutmaster and Assistant Scoutmaster Leader Specific Training, and Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills in order to wear the Trained patch.
"However, there are several ways you can accomplish this," says John Alline, director of Boy Scout Training in the BSA Boy Scout Division. "All training has been designed for personal coaching, small-group or large-group presentation. Given your experience level, you may sit down with a knowledgeable trainer or commissioner to review the content of the Introduction to Outdoor Leader Skills. With your coach's approval, you may complete the session without attending a formal course. That would enable you to finish the requirements to wear the Trained patch."
Training pays off in emergency
I can testify to the usefulness of the skills learned in a wilderness first-aid course like the one described in the March-April article "Ready for the Worst."
Last spring my wife and I attended a SOLO (Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities) wilderness first-aid course hosted by the BSA's Cape Cod and the Islands Council. Then, in September, in the deep woods, this knowledge helped her take action credited with likely saving the life of a hiking buddy who had gone into insulin shock.
I would encourage other Scout leaders to take a wilderness first-aid course. The skills are different from those used in urban and suburban first aid, and the training is both interesting and fun.
Wilderness first-aid training is available from a variety of sources. The American Red Cross now offers Wilderness First Aid Basics, a course the BSA recommends for Scout leaders. In addition, these organizations were listed in the March-April article as sources of training: Wilderness Safety Council (www.wfa.net); Wilderness Medicine Institute (www.wildernessmed.com); Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities (www.stonehearth.com); and Wilderness Medical Associates (www.wildmed.com).
March-April issue was helpful
I loved the March-April issue! All of the "Visions of Scout Spirit" photographs were truly award winners. And the two articles on wilderness first aid were particularly timely, as units at that time of the year begin to come out of hibernation and increase their outdoor activities.
Thanks to those first-aid articles, I signed up for a Wilderness Safety Council program when it came to my area in April.
Speaking of resources, thanks again for a first-rate magazine!
Two for 50
I read with interest the article on the five 50-mile hikes in the March-April 2002 issue. I was privileged to participate in two 50-milers in one of the wilderness areas featured in the article, the Three Sisters Wilderness of Oregon.
We did the hikes as a loop, which included going up the east side and down (south) along the west side of the area. As a final part of the trip, we did the nontechnical ascent of The South Sister on the final day. It gave the Scouts and Scouters the fantastic view of the Cascade Mountains from Mount Shasta to Mount Rainier.
Two advantages of doing the loop was having the opportunity to show the differences in climate between the two sides of the range and seeing the effects of volcanic activity over the centuries.
Lawrence R. Craig
Mystery Day at the park
After reading the article, "Mystery Voyage to Yesterday," in the January-February 2001 issue, we decided to try a similar "secret trip" for our Cub Scout pack. We planned a day trip to a "secret destination"Stephen C. Foster State Park, located at the western base of the Okefenokee Swamp, near Fargo, Ga.
At the start of the pack year in mid-August, I began handing out a different clue each month, building up the boys' excitement for the trip. (I knew they had figured out where we were going when one final clue was the Indian name for Okefenokee Swamp, which all the kids from this area knew.)
Several Boy Scouts from Troop 410 (also chartered to the First Christian Church in Valdosta) went on the trip with us. At the park, Interpretive Ranger Jackie Clay organized a scavenger hunt for the boys, gave a presentation on local trees, and provided each Cub Scout with an information packet. The boys were also able to see some wild animals, because the park is a wildlife reserve.
Everyone had a great time on the trip. Pack leaders agreed that it was a great way to boost membership in the pack.
Stephanie H. Morris
September 2002 Table of Contents
Copyright © 2002 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.