Special camp-out for new Scouts
I appreciated the May-June 2004 article on Troop 1113's new-Scout patrol. Our troop also uses the new-Scout patrol system, and, as a way to introduce both the new Scouts and their parents to our organization, we have added an event called the new-Scout camp-out.
Our older Scouts plan and manage most of the camp-out, including setting up a model campsite on Friday. The new Scouts and parents arrive on Saturday. The senior Scouts then introduce the new Scouts to basic camping skills and how our troop functions while the Scoutmaster and assistants introduce the adults to the program and go over the material in our Troop New Scout Packet.
The camp-out lets the new Scouts get to know some troop junior leaders on a personal basis. Likewise, the new parents get to know the key adult leadership.
We really try hard to make sure that the prospective Scout has a positive experience with his first troop visit and first camp-out.
Flag awareness program a success
I read with great interest the article in "News Briefs" on flag books being distributed by Scouts in southeastern states, in your January-February 2004 issue. These troops should be highly commended for this outstanding civic program.
The Susquehanna Council in north central Pennsylvania, in partnership with my office, has conducted a similar program since 2001. Over the course of the past three years, thousands of Our Flag booklets (published by Belleair Consultants, Inc., Clearwater, Fla.) have been distributed at schools, churches, government buildings, and to numerous community and civic organizations. The response to this patriotic endeavor by Scouts has been overwhelming.
A special note of thanks is owed to Mr. Anthony DiSalvo, a Distinguished Eagle Scout and Susquehanna Council vice president of program for spearheading our project. I hope more troops from around the country undertake flag awareness projects to better educate our citizens on the care, display, and history of our American flag.
Steven W. Cappelli
A canoeing lesson
With almost 58 years in Scouting, I love receiving Scouting magazine.
However, as an old waterfront director at Ten Mile River Scout Camps in Greater New York City Councils in the 1950's, I was surprised to see the photo on page 35 of the May-June issue. The Scout in the stern of the canoe is grasping his paddle in a completely incorrect manner.
And whatever happened to kneeling in canoes?
Dr. Karl E. Bernstein
According to the Canoeing merit badge pamphlet (BSA No. 33305A), "Paddling from the seat is acceptable on quiet waters" (such as those shown in the May-June photo). However, it would have been better had the Scout in the stern imitated the grip used by his partner in the bow.
How to avoid 'burnout'
Thank you for the Front Line Stuff column, "Can a Leader Be Too Involved in Scouting?" in the March-April issue. While serving as committee chairman of Pack 911, I wanted a quality unit for my son, so I took on way too many responsibilities.
My husband (like the spouses of some Front Line Stuff respondents) complained that my Scouting involvement was becoming the center of everything we did. As a result, I became "burned out" and had to learn to say "no" tactfully and assume less involvement.
We are more balanced as a family during my son's years as a Scout in Troop 911. I still am involved as a parent, but I have learned to step down and not volunteer every time I am asked.
I'm glad to see that I am not alone!
Family enjoys the magazine
We look forward to receiving each issue of Scouting magazine every couple of months, and our whole family enjoys the articles. (Sometimes I even find information I can use in school reports!)
It is exciting to see what other Scouts are doing, and it makes me want to strive onward and upward to Eagle Scout.
Thanks again for a great publication. Keep up the good work.
Copyright © 2004 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.