BSA Updated Easier Requirements for 2016!!!

The number of requirements you need has changed, all the activities on this blog are still good, they just changed how many you need to do and some slight wording changes. but please check the new Requirements above to be sure you don't do unneeded work.

Bear Reqs. Webelos 1 Reqs. Webelos & Arrow Of Light Electives Arrow Of Light Reqs. Miscellaneous

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Requirements NOT finished at Lost Pines summer camps Eagle Quest/Trail program (New post 2016 requirements)

I dug this info up form the scouts who used to be in my den, and thought others might be able to use it.

Eagle Quest
Fee for Eagle Quest
Need money for Leatherwork Project (Bought at the scout store)
List of Requirements NOT done at Summer camps Eagle Quest/Trail

6 & 7
1a-b, 2a, 6b, 6c, 7b, 9-11
Details: (only for tenderfoot, but you can google the rest)
1a. Present yourself to your leader, prepared for an overnight camping trip. Show the personal and camping gear you will use. Show the right way to pack and carry it.
1b. Spend at least one night on a patrol or troop campout. Sleep in a tent you have helped pitch.
2a. On the campout, assist in preparing one of the meals. Tell why it is important for each patrol member to share in meal preparation and cleanup.
6b. Develop and describe a plan for improvement in each of the activities listed in Tenderfoot requirement 6a. Keep track of your activity for at least 30 days.
6c. Show improvement (of any degree) in each activity listed in Tenderfoot requirement 6a after practicing for 30 days.
 Push-ups ________ (Record the number done correctly in 60 seconds.)
 Sit-ups or curl-ups ________ (Record the number done correctly in 60 seconds.)
 Back-saver sit-and-reach (Record the distance stretched.)
 1-mile walk/run _____________ (Record the time.)
7b. Participate in a total of one hour of service in one or more service projects approved by your Scoutmaster. Explain how your service to others relates to the Scout slogan and Scout motto.
8. Describe the steps in Scouting’s Teaching EDGE method. Use the Teaching EDGE method to teach another person how to tie the square knot.
 Scout Spirit
9. Demonstrate Scout spirit by living the Scout Oath and Scout Law. Tell how you have done your duty to God and how you have lived four different points of the Scout Law in your everyday life.
10. While working toward the Tenderfoot rank, and after completing Scout rank requirement 7, participate in a Scoutmaster conference.
11. Successfully complete your board of review for the Tenderfoot rank.
Second Class
1a, 1c, 2e, 7a-c, 8c-e, 10-12
First Class
1a-b, 2e, 8a-b, 9b-d, 10-13
First Aid Merit Badge

           Should be Completed at Camp

Swimming Merit Badge
 Only weather and swimming skill will determine if this gets finished

Leatherwork Merit Badge

           Should be Completed at Camp

Monday, May 14, 2018

Chess Merit Badge

I'm teaching chess merit badge in my sons boy scout troop

I've gathered some resources, thought I'd share them here for others who wind up teaching the badge.

Here is My Gathered notes, which has all the info needed to answer the questions posed in the merit badge.(ie all the answers)

Chess Mb Notes2

Here are the work sheets for week 1 and too that the boys fill out.

Week 1 worksheet (I was in a hurry it's not very polished, first two pages are lecture stuff, last 2 are worksheet problems)

 Week 2 worksheet, (much more organized)

Answers for Worksheet 2

 Some more useful info

How to play chess videos on Youtube

Here is a link to the boy scout pamphlet for the merit badge that's been scanned by another troop, one he understands the basics of chess, he can
look through this, everything he needs is here.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Finding the new 2016 rank requirements work sheet

I had a hard time finding the updated rank worksheets for the Boy scout ranks using the 2016 2017 requirements.

Scout, Tenderfoot, Second Class, First Class, Star, Life, Eagle

But here they are!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Guide to advancements BSA

Boy scout level guide to advancement, I'm posting this here so that I can find it later.

It answers just about all questions about the subject

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Picking a Pocket Knife for your Cub Scout

    Picking a pocket knife for you cub scout.


    So I’m going to lay down a series of opinion on how you should pick a pocket knife for you boy.

***Obligatory disclaimer ***

These opinions are for entertainment purposes only, if someone gets hurt that's totally on you...


    First the TLDR Version –

  •          Get a Single bladed,single edged, folding knife that is legal in your area and unit, 
  •      With a locking non serrated blade, Stainless is good, but not required.
    • which you are 100% sure he can open and close with ease.
  •          I prefer a liner lock, but make sure he can open and unlock and close it easily.\
  •          Make sure it has a pocket clip or a lanyard hole or both.
  •          A thumb hole is best for opening.
  •          Do not get a spring assisted or Flipper knife.
  •          I recommend a bigger knife, 3-4.5”Blade…
  •          Pick a bright color your son likes that is seldom found on the ground in nature.
  • ·         Don't spend much on it, because it will get lost several times. Don't buy too cheap... 
    • Around $20 usually does it.

    Okay lets break it down.

    Legal in your area. – This is pretty obvious but often nearby areas are overlooked, a knife legal in my home town , may not be local in Austin, and a knife perfectly legal in Austin can Be illegal in San Antonio, because any locking knife is illegal there.

   Single Bladed- Multi tools and Swiss Army knives are cool, but cub scouts are young and need the thinner profile of a single blade knife to make it easier to grip.

   Single Edged- blades that are sharp on both sides are designed for stabbing, not whittling, and are both more dangerous and difficult to use, and are Illegal in many areas...

    Folding- A folding Knife is safer in your pocket, and most scout camps don't allow sheath knives. Plus IMHO boys just cant' seem to resist throwing sheath knives trying to get them to stick.
    A Locking Knife – Check your local rules, and the rules at teh local BSA summer camp some do not allow locking knives, I personally think this is stupid, as a locking knife is way safer than a slip joint or non locking knife.

I prefer a liner lock, as I think it takes the least finger strength to close if you pick one with a long thin liner. (see below) IF you want to test if he will be bale to open the liner lock (as the stiffness varies) try opening it with one of your weaker fingers, as i have strong hands i use my pinky to open and close it to test.
 A lock back is my second choice. The truth is, as long as your son can easily unlock and close it, that will do...A locking blade is just safer for your scouts fingers especially when he’s learning to use it. Whatever kind you get, have him open and close it several times, so you know he can do it easily before you buy it. If you are getting it online, look at photos and reviews.. The most important thing your son is going to do with the knife is close it safely. Make sure he can do it easily, and that it stays closed.

A liner Lock
Notice how both here have a thick liner, and thus the lock is from thicker metal, This will take more effort to unlock. The liner is the metal between the handle material (wood or composite) and the blade.
Below is one thin enough to be gamble on with without playing with it first.
 A thin liner means a thin liner lock, which means less strength is required to unlock it. You really want the strongest one he can unlock easily, but when not sure, err on the side of thinner.

If you want to learn about other kinds of locks, here are 5 common ones explained, and here are more but with diagrams of how they work.

    A Non-Serrated Single Edge Blade – Many people will disagree with me on this, but IMHO a serrated blade is great for cutting rope and similar things, or food…But not terribly useful for much else. They are harder to sharpen without special tool, (Though they remain sharper longer) Add to this that the serrations are usually right where the boy is going to need to use the knife to whittle. So a non-serrated or “plain” blade is best. For him to use and easier for him to learn to sharpen.

Partially Serrated on top, Plain on the bottom.  Both have thumb holes sticking out of the top. Serrations suck for whittling. Great for cutting rope...  but not whittling.

   Pocket clip or lanyard hole. (Or both) - If its attached to his clothes he's less likely to lose  it outdoors. It's that simple. I prefer a simple lanyard, slightly longer than his arm(pit to middle finger tip), tied to the knife, with a loop big enough to fit the knife through easily on the other. Tuck the loop behind a belt loop, fish the knife through the small loop, pull it snug, stick the knife and the excess rope in his pocket. When needed, Pull everything out of your pocket, and you can do most tasks with removing the lanyard..

   Easy to open with young fingers. Easiest to open, is the blade with a thumb hole, plenty for the buy to grip, next the thumb stud, last the little groove for your finger nails. The easier it is to open and close safely, the more often it will be opened and closed safely. Plus when he's older he can open the hole and thumb stud with one hand, which is super helpful.

   Do not get a Spring assisted knife, Spring assisted knifes are too easy to open at this level, and can pop open in their pocket, so pass on them. Flippers, have a little lever to assist opening, but usually are not held closed with much friction to make this easier. But the flipper lever works as an extra guard to keep fingers off the blade.. so make your own call on flippers...(Flippers are very popular right now)

   A bigger knife over a smaller knife. - I used to be a small knife for small hands believer, until I paid close attention to my lads learning to whittle, the handles that were longer, taller, yet still thin in depth just gave them a better ability to shift grips around and position the knife for each cut. And they had more control when making the cuts. So I changed my tune. I found that the 3- 4.5” blade was about the sweet spot. But the boys did get it done with smaller or bigger knives, they just got a lot more frustrated hanging on to the tiny ones... Be aware that some scout camps want knives with 3.5" or shorter blades... Check your local camps, or go 3"-3.5" to be safe.

  Pick a Bright Color – so if it winds up on the ground in leaves or debris, it’s easy to see. Preferably ones not found in nature on the ground. The truth is this is the least important Criteria, Black is better than Tan and Tan is better than camo, but if your boy really likes that Camo Knife, explain the downside of it being camp (hard to find in leaves) and let him get it.

  Don’t Spend Too much… or Too little. There are a lot of Cheap knives with injection molded plastic handles like Frost Cutlery made with garbage steel… They don’t stay sharp and break, Try to get one with metal in most of the handle.If you know nothing about blades, 440c stainless is a good place to start. I tend to aim $20 , but you know your boy and your budget. Don't obsess about edge retention as long as it's half decent... That way lies big buck knives.

Additional Notes:

Don't stress out, that's a lot of criteria, A perfect knife will be hard to find, and what's perfect for your son may not be perfect for mine. Read the explanations , so you understand the compromises and pick the best knife you can that your son will like, hitting as many of the goals below as you can. In the long term, if he's super pumped about it and can take it to camp... That's the best knife

Try not to get a super heavy knife... Composite handles like Micarta and g 10 are fine and light, but the goal of a pocket knife is to forget it's there till you need it. A heavy knife is annoying in your pocket.

If you know nothing about knives, stick to brand names, especially if they are familiar to you. Gerber, Scharade, kershaw, Spyderco, Victorinox/ Wenger(Swiss Army, get a Locking one, most don’t), Case, Buck, Ontario (makes Us issue survival knives) etc. They will cost more, but hopefully keep you from getting a real stinker, especially combined with looking up reviews online.

If you buy it on Amazon, just look at liner lock knives with a 4+stars Rating, and Ignore the ones with single digit review counts, look at the liner lock and go for a longer and or thinner one. This will have less resistance, and be easier to close (but weaker in use)

What if my son is a Leftie, Several of the models below have dual thumbstuds so it can be opened with either hand, a few also have 4 position pocket clips, so you can rig it to go in the left hand pocket,and change which end is up (I like that even as a righty)

Since young lads love knives, but also lose them, here is what I do. Every Christmas I get them a cheap (<$15) liner lock off Amazon in their favorite color to go in their stockings.

Here is my technique.

Search for ‘liner lock knife –assisted –spring” the – means only ones without the next word.

Then filter by 4+ star ratings only, then order by cheapest to most expensive. Start at the top, and work your way down till you find one that fits. If he has a plain blade already, serrations are not that bad in a 2nd knife…Well a 4th knife...

Buying online, you have more risks about how hard the knife is to unlock, as a lot of pics don't show the liners

If this is all too much... Go get one from the scout shop, they will probably not be lock blades, but will be solid middle of the road knives.

Why don't a show you the perfect knife on amazon, well, all the knifes in the price range that I have personally handled are out of stock, and finding one that fit every criteria was taking along 

Suggestions from a face book group, asking for knives that fit the criteria above.
(FYI I don't get any money from the links)
I have not owned these knives and can't say, but the guys on the budget EDC group like them.
Make sure these Locking blades are allowed by you local laws and pack before getting anything... YMMV, at your own risk, on your own recognizance, No warranted implied or given, yadda yadda...

Dozier orange
Dozier green
Case Bsa Lockblade
Ontario Rat 2 (black) (Ambidextrous thumbstud, and 4 position pocket clip )
Ontario Rat 1(black) (Ambidextrous thumbstud, and 4 position pocket clip)
Newer Ontario Rat 1i (Black)(Ambidextrous thumbstud, and 4 position pocket clip)
Kershaw Injection(black)
Buck Bantam (orange camo)

Gerber Bear Grylls Scout (Dual thumbstud)

If you prefer a more classic look, Rough Rider Linerlock Trapper(44a stainless, so it will need to be sharpened more often, but only $10 at time of posting)

If for some reason you can't use a locking blade, here is one option 
Marbles Gi Utility Knife

Monday, July 10, 2017

The 6 scout knots

Here is the best handout I've found for the 6 scout knots, note that it has a couple extra things on the back that are not required.

Friday, June 2, 2017

AOL - Required - Scouting Adventure

Scouting Adventure

Note: Most of this is pretty self explanatory, so several Reqs will have no links on this one, if you have ideas for more resources drop me a line, Thanks Eric-

Complete the following requirements.
     1. Prepare yourself to become a Boy Scout by completing at least A–C below:
          A. Repeat from memory the Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan.
          In your own words, explain their meanings to your den leader, parent, or guardian.
          B. Explain what Scout spirit is. Describe for your den leader, parent, or guardian 
          some ways you have shown Scout spirit by conducting yourself according to the 
          Scout Oath, Scout Law, Scout motto, and Scout slogan.
          C. Give the Boy Scout sign, salute, and handshake. Explain when to use each.
          D. Describe the First Class Scout badge, and tell what each part stands for. Explain
          the significance of the First Class Scout badge.
          E. Repeat from memory the Pledge of Allegiance. In your own words, explain
          its meaning.
                 Handout for #1 covers alot of ths stuff for this badge

     2. Visit a Boy Scout troop meeting with your parent or guardian and, if possible, with
     your den members and leaders. After the meeting, do the following:
          A. Describe how the Scouts in the troop provide its leadership.
                  Great video from another scouter, Many Thanks to Scouter Rob!
          B. Describe the four steps of Boy Scout advancement.
                   Another Video
          C. Describe ranks in Boy Scouting and how they are earned.
                   Video 2c
          D. Describe what merit badges are and how they are earned.
                   Video 2d
     3. Practice the patrol method in your den for one month by doing the following:
          A.  Explain the patrol method. Describe the types of patrols that might be part of a
          Boy Scout troop.
                      Video 3A
          B.  Hold an election to choose the patrol leader.
                      Video 3B
          C.  Develop a patrol name and emblem (if your den does not already have one), as           
          well as a patrol flag and yell. Explain how a patrol name, emblem, flag, and yell   
          create patrol spirit.         
          D.  As a patrol, make plans to participate in a Boy Scout troop’s campout or other    
          outdoor activity.

     4. With your Webelos den leader, parent, or guardian, participate in a Boy Scout
     troop’s campout or other outdoor activity. Use the patrol method while on the outing.
                      Video 4a
                      Video 4b
     5. Do the following:
          A. Show how to tie a square knot, two half hitches, and a taut-line hitch. Explain how
          each knot is used.
                        The 6 scouting knots
                        cheat sheets for the above. Can be cut an pasted into flash cards
          B. Show the proper care of a rope by learning how to whip and fuse the ends of 
          different kinds of rope.

     6. Demonstrate your knowledge of the pocketknife safety rules and the pocketknife
     pledge. If you have not already done so, earn your Whittling Chip card.