Saluting in uniform

In addition to the official Class A Scout uniform, the BSA also has a Class B uniform—official Scout pants or shorts with a troop or camp T-shirt. My question regards protocol during flag ceremonies: Should a Scout use the Scout salute while in a Class B uniform or place his right hand over his heart?

Christopher Dillon
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 24
Bloomsburg, Pa.

First, when referring to uniforms, Class A and Class B are military terms that are not used in the BSA. The correct Scouting terms for the two versions of the uniform are "official uniform" and "activity uniform." Although less formal, the activity uniform is still considered an official uniform, and therefore it is appropriate for boys to use the Scout salute while wearing it during a flag ceremony.

Cub Scouts meet German counterparts

Last April, a Bear Cub Scout den from BSA Pack 284, Patrick Henry Village, Heidelberg, Germany, visited a group of Wolflingers—German Cub Scouts—in the latest in a series of visits between the two groups that began when the boys from Pack 284 were Tiger Cubs.

A BSA Cub Scout and a German Wolflinger toast marshmallows during a joint den meeting in Heidelberg, Germany.
Photograph Courtesy Of Molly King

During our den's Tiger Cub year, we called several German churches looking for a group to meet with and found one at St. George Catholic Church in Kierscheim. We then met for one regular den meeting at each other's location. During our Wolf year, we visited the Wolflingers' campfire, and they came to our cookout.

During the April visit, the German Cub Scouts showed their BSA counterparts how to bake bread on a stick over a fire and then stuff it with sausage.

They also taught [us] to play "Murder in the Dark," a popular game of observation and deduction. (It was interesting to hear the directions for the new game given in German, then have our second-grade Cub Scouts who spoke German—but had never played the game before—translate the rules into English for the rest of the den and the adult leaders.)

The Cub Scouts learned that German Scouts are called Pfadfinders (pathfinders). There are no ranks, but the Scouts are grouped together by age. The Wolflingers (little Wolves), ages 6 to 10, are the youngest. All German Scouts wear the same tan color shirt regardless of their age or level of Scouting.

Germany has three Scout associations, one for Roman Catholics, one for Protestants, and one interdenominational. All are part of the World Organization of the Scout Movement, and their Scouts wear the same World Crest emblem on their uniform as BSA Scouts.

In June, the Pack 284 den hosted the Wolflingers at a cookout at the American military base. They roasted hotdogs, made s'mores (toasted marshmallow, graham crackers, and chocolate), and competed in sack races and a tug-of-war.

American Cub Scouts then assisted the German visitors with interviews for the American Armed Forces Network (AFN) television station, which had sent a crew to cover the event.

In October, the two groups met again at the BSA's Transatlantic Council's Barbarossa District Camporee in Stuttgart, an event attended by more than 500 BSA Scouts and 100 Pfadfinders.

For the camporee's Lewis and Clark theme, the Cub Scouts from both countries enjoyed dressing in frontier costumes. They participated in frontiersman-style events and toured each other's campsites.

At the end of the weekend, both groups were already looking forward to meeting during the December holidays so they could make cookies and drink apple cider.

Rick and Molly King
Den Leaders, Pack 284
Heidelberg, Germany

Contributing to a new edition of The Boy Scout Handbook

Do you know when the next edition (12th) of The Boy Scout Handbook will be published? And are suggestions from the field welcome?

William Florence
Assistant Scoutmaster, Troop 1849
Springfield, Va.

Tentative plans are for a new edition to be published in early 2010. In the meantime, any suggestions can be sent to Joe Glasscock, Boy Scout Division, Boy Scouts of America, 1325 W. Walnut Hill Ln., P.O. Box 152079, Irving, TX 75015-2079, or share your thoughts via the online survey available at www.scouting.org/boyscouts/survey/index.html.

The value of family mealtime

I enjoyed the Family Talk column "Mealtime Magic" in the January-February 2006 issue about the powerful effect eating together can have on every member of a family.

Our family (mom, stepdad, grandmother, and me) eats dinner together every night at 5:30. This time together is a chance to discuss our activities and to make plans.

Soft music in the background is relaxing and makes our meal even better. My mom usually cooks things we like but sometimes adds a new item for us to try.

I feel sad both for the more than 50 percent of families who do not sit down together for a daily meal and for those who do but eat while watching TV.

This article may be just what these families need to see the benefits of eating together around the family dinner table.

Tyler Gurley
Goldsboro, N.C.

The January-February 2006 Family Talk column, as well as all Family Talk columns published since September 1998, is available on the Scouting magazine Web site, www.scoutingmagazine.org. Click on "Departments" and then on "Family Talk in previous issues."

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Copyright © 2006 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.