Scouting September 2000

Letters Letters

What patch are they wearing?

I enjoyed the article in the May-June issue about the importance of earning the Quality Unit Award. However, I find it hard to believe that 10 of the new Scouts in Troop 1011 pictured on page 36 can be members of the Order of the Arrow.

Each Scout is wearing what looks like an OA lodge insignia on the flap of the right shirt pocket. Are those indeed OA insignia?

Jack Scott
Brimfield, Mass.

The new Scouts of Troop 1011, Marietta, Ga., are shown wearing the Rawhide Campers patch, an Atlanta Area Council award for new Scouts who complete the first-year summer camp program at Bert Adams Scout Reservation.

Hats off to Turkish Scouts

Following the devastating earthquake that hit Izmit (Kocaeli), Turkey, in August 1999, many victims were housed in tent cities throughout the quake region. I had the privilege of serving in an effort to feed residents in the Cephanelik Tent City on the outskirts of Izmit, where the Turkish Protestant Churches' Aid Group had helped to set up a kitchen that provided two meals a day for 1,000 to 2,000 camp residents.

There, too, I met Scoutmaster Behzat Gonul and a contingent of Scouts from all across Izmit.

The spirit of Scouting could not have been displayed in a more exemplary manner. The Scouts had to camp out for several weeks because there was no other way to house workers. It was also the safest way, considering the daily tremors and aftershocks.

The lack of safe buildings prevented schools from opening, and hundreds of smaller children were present during the day in the camp. For hours at a time, teams of Boy Scouts would lead the children in games, crafts, and competitions. Many times I would look up from my work in the kitchen area to hear the pandemonium of children enjoying rough-and-tumble activity with the Scouts. In the evening, the Scouts were back at it, leading the residents in singing, cheers, skits, and games. Hats off to those Turkish Scouts who so well carried out their "duty to others."

Brian Bennetch
Advancement Chairman, Pack 457
Brussels American School
Brussels, Belgium

Zip line safety

I enjoyed seeing the winners of the magazine's latest photo contest in the March-April issue. Great pictures, lots of kids.

However, as a certified COPE director, I noticed that the boy shown using a zip wire is not wearing any kind of harness, nor is any back-up safety system (in case the pulley jammed) shown. Also, the boy is wearing a Tiger Cub shirt, which would indicate he is too young to participate in a zip line activity.

It is a great picture, but in a COPE high course, safety is of first importance.

Dave Pritchard
Carthage, Mo.

The national standards for Project COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience) specify that "Participants in high-course events must be at least 13 years of age by January 1 of the year of participation or have completed the seventh grade."

[The use of] a static belay backup, a climbing harness, and a helmet and gloves is standard procedure for operating a zip line. More details on COPE program standards, structures, and activities can be found in the new BSA publication Project COPE Manual (BSA Supply No. 34371A).

Scouting magazine online

Thank you for putting Scouting magazine online. For the first time in 11 years, I've been able to read the articles in the latest issue at the same time as most other Scouters.

Normally, because of my overseas location, I am lucky if I receive my copy of Scouting only six to 12 months after its publication.

The pages posted on the Web site from the current and recent issues of the magazine look great. Keep up the good work!

Cyndy Tschanz
Troop 253/Packs 253, 255
Dhahran, Saudi Arabia

The new Web address for Scouting is This makes it easier than ever to access the magazine via the Internet. Posted are the contents of the current issue and the five previous issues; the site also includes magazine indexes for recent years, rules for current reader contests, winning entries from past contests, and forms for electronic submission of a letter to the editor, a Worth Retelling item, or a response to a Front Line Stuff question.

A Front Line Stuff rebuttal

To really help someone who submits a question to the Front Line Stuff column, the replies should reflect both sides of an issue. However, all of the responses in the May-June column were absolutely against allowing electronic devices on Scout outings.

My view is that if you tell a kid not to do something, and he doesn't agree with your reasoning, then there's a good chance he will do it anyway, just to undermine what seems an unjust decision. Tell him he has a choice, and he won't feel the need to be spiteful. And if you feel limits must be set, make it clear when it is inappropriate to use electronic devices—and give a good reason why.

I feel it is inappropriate for Scouts to listen to personal tape players during group activities or when the sound is loud enough to bother someone else. What does it hurt if a Scout or Scouter wants to listen to a Walkman in his free time? As long as he is not disturbing anyone, where is the harm?

Boy Scouting is not a dictatorship; an adult leader should not tell an entire troop they cannot have electronics on Scout activities. Our troop has always believed that Scouting is run by and for boys as much as possible. The leaders offer guidance when needed but cannot tell the Scouts how to act and how to think. They need to make decisions for themselves; we need to give them both our guidance and the freedom to learn.

Jonathan Fenwick
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 474
Guilford, Conn.

Thank you for sharing another view on this question. All other responses for the May-June column were from the "absolutely not" camp.

Responding to a Front Line Stuff column, or submitting a new question, is now easier than ever.

The Scouting magazine Web site,, includes electronic "windows" for contributing to Front Line Stuff, submitting a Worth Retelling item, sending a letter to the editor, or contacting customer service regarding delivery of Scouting or Boys' Life.

JOTA event is merit badge fest

On Oct. 15 and 16 last year, 524 Scouts, adult leaders, amateur radio operators, and family members gathered at Hooper Park in Davis County, Utah, for the annual Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA).

The event enabled 275 Scouts to complete requirements to earn the Radio merit badge. Radio contacts were made locally, throughout the U.S., and around the world via amateur (ham) radio.

The event is sponsored by the Davis County Amateur Radio Club and the Trapper Trails Council. This year's event is scheduled for Oct. 20-21, and we invite everyone to join for a fun night of camping and a chance to earn the Radio merit badge.

Gary Smith (KC7IHZ)
Kaysville, Utah

The Jamboree-on-the-Air (JOTA) is sponsored by the World Organization of the Scout Movement and held every October. Look for details in next month's Scouting magazine; contact JOTA Coordinator, BSA International Division, S221, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079 [(972) 580-2405]; or check out

Thoughts about growing up in 'Hidden Valley' country

The story "Lessons of Hidden Valley" in the March-April issue brought back wonderful memories of growing up in Perry County, Pa. As an adult, my work has taken me all around this beautiful country, but my roots will always be in Perry County.

I spent many days as a boy in the mountains around Perry County, but I never had the opportunity to join the Boy Scouts. It wasn't until my oldest son joined Scouting that I realized how much I had missed in those years.

I now have been involved in Scouting for the nine years our family has lived in Illinois. My son is about to become an Eagle Scout, and I don't know which one of us is more excited.

My youngest son just became a Wolf Cub Scout, so it appears I still have many more years of camp-outs, knot-tying, and all the unknowns ahead of me.

Michael Wagner
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 32
Paxton, Ill.

Words from an Eagle

In my 19 years of association with Troop 41, including 10 as assistant Scoutmaster and the last four as Scoutmaster, I have attended at least 17 Eagle Scout courts of honor. The remarks of one Scout, however, were particularly memorable for myself and many of the others in attendance. And they were especially motivating for our Scouts.

Here is part of what Scott Luzzi had to say at his Eagle Scout court of honor in November 1997:

"... I would like to let you know how proud I am to be an Eagle Scout ... Boy Scouts has given me some of the greatest experiences in my life thus far and has been a major influence on who I am today.

"... I am most grateful for all those people who have helped me along the way ... However, I owe the greatest thanks for my Eagle Scout Award to my Scoutmaster, Kent Golden. Without Kent's help, I [would not be here] today. He was there to assist me in every stage of my Eagle project, constantly offering his help and know-how ...."

Kent R. Golden
Scoutmaster, Troop 41
East Bangor, Pa.

Acronym for heart symptoms

While testing Scouts for advancement on the five most important signs of a heart attack (as listed in the The Boy Scout Handbook), I was surprised to hear them name so many "extra" symptoms—headaches, dizziness, sleepiness, insomnia, dry mouth, numbness, etc.—which are not mentioned in the book. I work for Pacific Bell, where we use acronyms extensively, both to facilitate communication and to remember subjects more easily. I decided to use the technique to help the Scouts remember first aid and to help leaders better communicate with our younger generation.

Using the first letters of the five warning signs, I came up with "WASUP." This is something they seem to say to each other about 700 times a day; in our troop, it now stands for:

Rick Broffman
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 911
Simi Valley, Calif.

Annual Scouting magazine index is available—and appreciated

Please send me a copy of the 1999 index for Scouting magazine. I think it is a great magazine, and I read it cover to cover.

Mary Matelich
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 1001
Great Falls, Mont.

Thank you for sending me the Scouting magazine indexes for 1990 through 1999. I get a lot of use out of the magazine. I have changed leadership positions from Scoutmaster to pack committee chairman and left my other indexes behind for the troop.

Alfred L. Redden
Pack 291
North Platte, Neb.

The most recent index (1999) for Scouting magazine as well as an annual index for each year back to 1970 are available via regular mail. For each index requested, send a self-addressed, stamped (55 cents), business-letter envelope. For more than three indexes, send a larger envelope with a 55-cent stamp for each index requested. Send requests to Scouting Magazine Index, S204, P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079.

Also, the complete annual magazine indexes for the years 1999 back to 1993 are currently available on the Scouting magazine Web site,

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