Eagle Scout Extension

posted Apr 24, 2020, 7:37 AM by BoyScout Troop967   [ updated Apr 24, 2020, 7:42 AM ]

For those Life Scouts working towards Eagle who feel they may not be able to complete their project or Merit Badges due to the caronavirus, an extension is available by completing the following form at the bottom of this post.

No Glamping Allowed — Here’s What Does and Doesn’t Count

posted Apr 24, 2018, 12:40 PM by Kerry Saylor   [ updated Apr 24, 2018, 12:41 PM ]

In Scouting’s early years, camping was pretty simple. You slept under the stars. Or the roof over your head was an Army surplus pup tent — or maybe a lean-to shelter you built. These days, Scouts spend the night in cabins, yurts and museums — or even on aircraft carriers.

So what kind of camping counts for Boy Scout advancement? Read on to find out.

What do the Boy Scout rank requirements say?

For Tenderfoot requirement 1b, a Scout must spend at least one night on a patrol or troop campout in a tent he helped pitch. For Second Class requirement 1a, a Scout must have tallied five separate troop/patrol activities, at least two of which must include overnight camping. First Class requirement 1a calls for 10 separate troop/patrol activities since joining, at least three of which must include overnight camping. In all cases, the Scout must “spend the night in a tent that you pitch or other structure that you help erect, such as a lean-to, snow cave or teepee.”

What do the camping merit badge requirements say?

For requirement 9a, a Scout must camp in a tent or under the stars at least 20 nights at designated Scouting activities and events, which may include one long-term camp experience of up to six consecutive nights.

What about an overnight in the church basement?

For rank advancement, that could count as one of the troop/patrol activities but not as overnight camping. It wouldn’t count for the Camping merit badge.

What about cabin camping at our council camp?

Same answer as above.

What about camping with a family or school group?

That wouldn’t count. Both the rank and merit badge requirements specify that the camping must be part of a patrol or troop activity.

What about participation in a council high-adventure trek?

Both the trek (up to six nights) and any shakedown trips that involve camping would count toward the Camping merit badge. These trips wouldn’t count for rank advancement, which specifies troop and patrol activities.

Our summer camp sets up tents before we arrive. Is that OK?

For the Camping merit badge, yes. For rank advancement, no.

Am I missing any other details?

Be sure to look at the requirements that surround the camping requirements. For example, on one of the Second Class campouts, a Scout must explain how he practiced Leave No Trace (requirement 1b), and on a separate campout, he must choose his campsite (requirement 1c). For requirement 9b of the Camping merit badge, a Scout must do two specific activities on any of his campouts, such as hiking up a mountain or planning and carrying out a snow camping experience.

Can camping nights count for both rank and merit badge advancement?

Yes, since the requirements match up and have the same basic intent.

Deducting Scouting from your Taxes - It CAN be done!

posted Apr 12, 2018, 8:49 AM by BoyScout Troop967   [ updated Aug 25, 2018, 5:45 AM by Kerry Saylor ]

I never thought of deducting Scouting expenses from my taxes, but, here is some info that may make us all rethink it and take notice!  Read on and learn!

8 Amazing Scout Camps

posted Jul 6, 2017, 6:31 AM by Kerry Saylor   [ updated Jul 6, 2017, 6:46 AM ]

Posted From Boys' Life Magazine:

Swim, climb, paddle, fish and earn lots of merit badges. At summer camp, you don’t have to pick just one awesome activity. But you do have to pick a summer camp — and with hundreds of incredible options, that isn’t easy. Here are just a few that stand out.

Click here to see more Scout Camps featured in previous years


Denver Area Council
Ward, Colorado

PEOPLE PUZZLE: Tahosa’s ropes courses are some of the nation’s best. Use your hands, feet and brains to conquer high-flying challenges — and your fears.

NICE CATCH: Fly fishing at 9,000 feet? Yes. Lessons in tying your own flies and making the perfect cast? You bet. Fishing licenses or experience needed? No, sir!

CHOOSE YOUR ADVENTURE: They call it “summer camp at your own pace.” Go all-inclusive, where the staff prepares meals and runs the program, or take the reins and plan your perfect week. The choice is yours.

YouTube Video

Find out more: denverboyscouts.org


Theodore Roosevelt Council
Livingston Manor, New York

THE PAST: Giddyup and go back to the Wild West with lassoing demonstrations, horseshoe-throwing competitions and choice cowboy cuisine.

THE PRESENT: Get hands-on experience — and earn merit badges — in essential skilled trades like Home Repairs, Welding and Automotive Maintenance. Just don’t be surprised when Dad asks you to fix the family car.

THE FUTURE: Become an early adopter at the new STEM pavilion. Test a 3-D printer, build a robot from scratch or design a new game.

YouTube Video

Find out more: trcbsa.org


Grand Canyon Council
Parks, Arizona

DON’T LOOK DOWN: When stargazing, light pollution is your enemy. But Camp Raymond’s isolated location and elevation of 6,700 feet offer perfect conditions for seeing otherwise invisible stars and earning the Astronomy merit badge.

LEVELING UP: The Flintlock Trail Awards will make you want to return to Raymond every summer as you progress through the ranks: Pathfinder, Trailblazer, Frontiersman, Mountainman and Guide.

THAT’S COOL: Don’t forget your camera — and a jacket. During the day, you could spot elk, bears and deer. At night, temperatures can dip into the 40s. Hot cocoa at summer camp? Cool.

YouTube Video

Find out more: grandcanyonbsa.org


Indian Nations Council
Talihina, Oklahoma

A LAKE TO LIKE: Climb the floating iceberg. Speed down the waterslide. Get a friend to bounce you off the giant pillow affectionately known as the blob. At the Lake Bohannon Aquatic Center, everybody makes a splash.

ON TARGET: The Hale shooting sports complex teaches confidence as you learn to safely fire a rifle, shotgun, and bow and arrow.

THE ULTIMATE TEST: Scouts ages 14 to 17 can leave the traditional summer camp behind for a rugged 14-mile backpacking trip. You’ll hike, raft, rock-climb, cook your own food and purify your own water. Those who complete the trip become Kiamichi Warriors.

Find out more: halescoutreservation.org


East Carolina Council
Blounts Creek, North Carolina

GO COASTAL: Explore the Carolina coast by kayak on Pamlico’s most popular trek. You choose the route, and Pamlico provides the equipment. Keep an eye out for wild horses, lighthouses and boatloads of fish.

SET SAIL: Even if you don’t know the difference between starboard and Star-Lord, Pamlico’s sailing treks will make you a first-rate sailor in no time. You’ll even learn celestial navigation, or the practice of finding your way using the stars.

SPOKES MEN: Prefer a land adventure? Pamlico’s cycling treks let you pick your distance, destinations and activities. Will you surf or bodyboard? Hunt for crabs or go fishing? The power is yours.

YouTube Video

Find out more: pamlicoseabase.com


Narragansett Council
Rockville, Rhode Island

READY, SET, H2O: With sailing, snorkeling, swimming, paddleboarding, basketball, volleyball and a campwide swim carnival, you’re in for a wild week at the waterfront.

ELEVATION GAINS: The second G is silent in Yawgoog, but you’ll shout for joy at the camp’s high-ropes course. Twenty-three different activities challenge you to climb, swing and balance — all 50 feet off the ground.

MAKING HISTORY: Yawgoog looks pretty great for 101 years old. It is actually three separate camps, each with unique songs and traditions for you to discover.

YouTube Video

Find out more: yawgoog.org


Northern Star Council
St. Paul, Minnesota

BIG UPGRADE: What happens when you convert a 1907 cavalry drill hall into an adventure destination in the heart of the city? You get Base Camp, an innovative facility for overnight lock-ins, weekend retreats and summer camp.

INSIDE OUT: Most of Base Camp is indoors, meaning the climbing walls, archery range and space shuttle simulator can be used even on winter’s coldest day.

PERFECT PIT STOP: Make Base Camp a part of your trip to the Northern Tier National High Adventure Bases in Ely, Minn. You can spend the night at Base Camp before making the five-hour drive to Ely.

YouTube Video

Find out more: explorebasecamp.org


Montana Council
Flathead Lake, Montana

YOU’RE SURROUNDED: Where you’re going, you won’t need roads. That’s because Melita Island is an island. Literally. The only way to get to this camp is by boat. It’s just you, the trees and the water.

BIG LAKE: Speaking of water, the camp is on Flathead Lake, the largest natural freshwater lake west of the Mississippi River in the lower 48 United States. Translation: Plenty of space for activities like waterskiing and windsurfing.

THAT’S CRAZY TALK: With daily camp themes — mustache Mondays, tall sock Tuesdays, wacky hat Wednesdays — you have a license to be silly.

YouTube Video

Find out more: montanabsa.org

Troop Leader Resources Website

posted Feb 16, 2017, 9:57 AM by BoyScout Troop967

There is a new website in town that aims to help Troops conduct organized and useful meetings.  That website is:  www.troopleader.org 

Better troop meetings are a click away.

Troop Leader Resources — available at troopleader.org — is a new, BSA-authorized website that helps Scouts and Scouters plan better meetings.

With its videos of real Scouts in real troops, the site is a one-stop shop for new and experienced troop leaders.

Here are seven helpful things you’ll find there:

1. Troop meeting agendas
The Troop Meeting Agenda page breaks down each segment of the troop meeting plan with 11 short sample videos from actual troop meetings. There’s also a fillable troop meeting planning sheet, if the Patrol Leaders’ Council chooses to fill out meeting plans online.

2. Program features
Program Features is the site’s biggest section, presenting each of the 48 program features with explanatory information, ideas for troop meetings and ideas for monthly main events. Each page has its own navigation bar linking to corresponding program feature subsections.

3. Program resources
The Program Resources page contains Scout meeting activities, campcraft skill videos, troop ceremony ideas and a collection of Scoutmaster’s minutes.

4. Planning tips
The Planning page covers the annual and monthly planning process, including an illustrative video of an actual Patrol Leaders’ Council in action.

5. Training advice
The Training page covers both adult and youth training.

6. Outings ideas
The Outings page is a gateway of general information about camping equipment, troop site setup and camping trip activities.

7. General troop information
The General Troop Information page has topics relevant to running a troop. Each has its own page, covering topics like troop positions, the patrol, boards of review, courts of honor, fundraisers and the Scoutmaster conference.

Taken from Scouting Magazine Website - 2/9/2017

Scouting 101 for Webelos

posted Feb 8, 2017, 6:02 AM by BoyScout Troop967   [ updated Feb 23, 2017, 5:57 AM by Kerry Saylor ]

Attention Webelo Scouts!  

Here's your chance to see what it takes to be a Boy Scout and learn for your future piers in Scouting.  Troop 967 is hosting a SCOUTING 101 camp out at Camp Friedlander on March 4th thru the 5th.  Come join us as our Scouts become leaders.

UPDATE:  This has been postponed until April/May - after the crossing over of current Webelos.

How To Tie 10 Essential Scouting Knots

posted Jan 3, 2017, 7:31 AM by Kerry Saylor   [ updated Jan 3, 2017, 7:41 AM ]

Sheet-BendKNOT-TYING HAS LONG BEEN a part of the Scouting program — for good reasons. It promotes discipline and focus, and it teaches useful skills that can be used immediately. Most people can tie just one knot (the “overhand”); many Scouts know more than a dozen.

Here’s how to teach these knots to your Scouts or Venturers.

Need to tie two ropes together? This is the knot for you. The sheet bend won’t slip when ropes of dissimilar material and size are entwined.

When tying the knot, be sure that the working ends are on the same side; otherwise, the knot might be unreliable. If you tie a thick and thin rope together, use the thick rope to form the “stationary loop” and the thin rope as the “working line.”

Sheet Bend

For greater security, especially with plastic rope, use the “double sheet bend” by taking an extra coil around the standing loop. The double sheet bend can be used when you’ve tied two ropes together and the knot absolutely must not fail.

Double Sheet Bend

This knot is popular among mountaineers, climbers, sailors and others. Use the bowline when you need a non-slip loop at the end of a line. The knot won’t slip, regardless of the load applied.

Begin by forming a loop or “rabbit hole.” The “rabbit” (working end) of the rope goes up through the hole, around the tree, then back down the hole. The knot will slip as it tightens, so allow a long working end.


The trucker’s hitch is a powerful pulley with a locking knot. Use this when you need a locking pulley with a 2-to-1 mechanical advantage, such as hanging a bear bag, tying a canoe on a car or guying out a tarp. Unlike the taut-line hitch, this knot won’t slip when used with slippery line.

Form the overhand loop. Then pull the loop through. Make the loop exactly as shown; it won’t work if you do it backward. Run the working end of the rope through the loop and then pull hard to form the pulley.

Secure the pulley to a stationary object (like a pole or branch) with a quick-release half-hitch or, for extra security, two or more standard half-hitches.

Trucker's Hitch

Use two half hitches to tie a rope to a tree, ring or dock.

If you need more security, take a second turn around the tree, or just add more half-hitches.

Two Half-Hitches

To create an adjustable loop that stays in place, use the taut-line hitch. This is the knot to use for staking out the guy lines of your tent.

Taut-Line Hitch

prusik hitch can slide up or down a stationary rope, but it will hold fast when weight is applied. It’s used in a number of self-rescue situations. Mountaineers use the prusik for footholds to help them climb a vertical rope. Campers use it for rigging rain flies or rescuing rock-pinned canoes in a river.

First, use a sheet bend or double fisherman’s knot (instructions below) to make a loop from a length of parachute cord or rope.

Then, wrap the loop around the main line three times. The prusik hitch will slide easily along the rope, but it will jam when a load (horizontal or vertical) is applied.

Prusik Hitch

Use this knot to tie together the ends of one rope, forming a loop. The loop of rope can be used for many purposes, including the prusik hitch, shown above.

Double Fisherman's Knot

The clove hitch is a versatile knot that is often used in Scouting activities, including servings as the start or finish to many lashings.

Clove Hitch

The square knot can be used to join two ropes together. Generally, it works best with two ropes of the same diameter, and should not be used to hold a heavy load.

Square Knot

The timber hitch is often used to drag a log across the ground or to start a diagonal lashing.

Timber Hitch

Taken from Scouting Magazine - http://scoutingmagazine.org/2016/04/tie-essential-scouting-knots/
Author: Cliff Jacobson
Photographs by W. Garth Dowling
From the May-June 2016 issue of Scouting magazine

How to help youth leaders build a Scout-led troop

posted Jul 22, 2016, 6:24 AM by Kerry Saylor

This article was taken from Scouting Magazine - Jan/Feb 2015 Issue.  

Is it CHAOS or CONSTRUCTIVE DISARRAY? Here’s how you can help your troop’s youth leaders take charge.

ScoutLedTroop1IF YOU WANT TO KNOW how not to create a Scout-led troop, talk to Dale Werts. In the fall of 2012, Werts’ unit, Troop 714 in Edgerton, Mo., decided to become completely Scout-led. The adult leaders made the switch quickly — the youth leaders, not so much. Given the chance to sink or swim, the Scouts promptly sank.

“The adults got the message to step back and let the boys lead, but the boys had never done that before; they didn’t do it in Cub Scouts, and they hadn’t done it in Boy Scouts yet,” recalls Werts, an assistant Scoutmaster. “So when the adults stepped back and the boys didn’t immediately start humming like a finely tuned machine, it kind of foundered. Camping suffered; meetings were not organized; fun was not being had.”

The failure discouraged the troop’s adults, but it didn’t deter them. They regrouped and developed a transition plan built around three key strategies: training Scouts, training adults and training parents. In the fall of 2013, they tried their Scout-led experiment again — this time with better results.

“The boys are doing everything,” Werts says. “They’re feeling more empowered, and they’re also feeling more accountable. When something goes wrong, they don’t immediately point to some adult.”

And what about the adults? “The adults say, ‘This is cool. I don’t have to work as hard,’ ” Werts says.

With a solid plan, you and your fellow Scouters can also discover just how cool Scout-led troops can be. Here are some tips to get you started.

Define Your Terms — and Your Limits
One of the first things you should do is decide just what you mean by “Scout-led troop.” Consider these questions, for example: What is the role of adults in a Scout-led troop? How involved should adults be in troop meetings and patrol leaders’ council (PLC) meetings? When should the Scoutmaster exercise veto power? Should he or she even have veto power? What happens when the PLC drops the ball?

According to Assistant Scoutmaster Joe Smith from Troop 1002 in Richmond, Texas, many Scouters mistakenly think a troop is either Scout-led or it’s not. Instead, he points out that being Scout-led is “a spectrum, not a condition; the level of independence given to the boys is dependent on the maturity and cultural personality of the troop.”

Moreover, no matter how much authority you give your Scouts, you can never delegate your responsibility as an adult leader. That obviously means stepping in before health and safety are threatened, but it also means backing your Scouts when their good-faith efforts turn out badly. “Angry parents get to deal with me and not the Scouts,” says Patrick Provart, a pack committee member in Springfield, Ill., who has twice served as Scoutmaster. “Rest assured that the Scouts and I will be talking later.”

Unite Your Adults
If your adult leaders all have different ideas of what it means to be a Scout-led troop, your transition will be rocky at best. Before you make any changes, make sure everyone has the same vision in mind.

That was especially important when Troop 1882 was founded in Haymarket, Va., in 2012. The troop consisted of 15 graduating Webelos Scouts and their parents (along with one slightly older Scout), so it was important for the adults to make a smooth transition to Boy Scouting.

“We made sure the Scoutmaster and all assistant Scoutmasters were fully trained, and three adults immediately attended Wood Badge,” says Scoutmaster Matt Gallagher. “We felt the adults needed to set the tone and get as much knowledge as we could as to how it ‘should’ be done.”

Two years later, the troop has more than 40 active Scouts — and a group of leaders who continue to share a common vision. “That’s one very good thing we have, from the committee to the assistant Scoutmasters,” Gallagher says. “We all talk about being ‘checks’ on each other to make sure we don’t impose our will on the Scouts.”

ScoutLedTroop2Train Your Scouts
While many adults have led groups before, most Scouts haven’t. That’s why it’s important to hold Introduction to Leadership Skills for Troops (ILST) and to get as many Scouts as possible to attend National Youth Leadership Training (NYLT). NYLT has been a top priority for Werts’ troop, which subsidizes the cost for its Scouts. “This summer, we had two boys on staff and five boys attending as participants,” he says. “These boys are all seeing and experiencing how a boy-led troop operates.”

Since Gallagher’s Scouts have been too young for NYLT, he has made ILST a priority. He emphasizes the importance of running ILST for each group of new leaders. “We didn’t do one after the last elections we had, and I’m kind of kicking myself for not pushing that harder,” he says. “On our annual plan now, for the weekend after troop elections, there will always be an ILST.”

Besides formal training, Troop 158 in Shrewsbury, Mass., held a leadership retreat before it made the transition to youth-led, says Thomas Bodden, who was senior patrol leader at the time. Thomas, his assistant senior patrol leaders, the troop’s patrol leaders and a few adults spent a weekend at a cabin where they discussed the Patrol Leader Handbook and Senior Patrol Leader Handbook, watched the Scout movie Follow Me, Boys! and talked about how they wanted the troop to run.

“That really set the stage for us,” Thomas says. “We drew the line and said, ‘OK, we’re starting boy-led now.’ It was definitely a daunting task, but it was definitely successful.”

Orient Your Parents
According to Thomas’ mother, Erica, it’s important to get parents on board. Take the first day of summer camp, for example. “Dads would (previously) help the boys set up their mosquito nets and lay out tarps and things like that,” she says. “When our new Scoutmaster took over, we were basically told, ‘OK, everybody go home.’ That surprised us old-timers, but he was right.”

That doesn’t mean newer parents always understand the Scout-led concept. “When their boys were Cubs, the parents called the shots and ran things,” Werts says. “When their boys cross over to Boy Scouts, these parents generally need to be taught that Boy Scouts operate differently. This is not self-evident, although a lot of troops think it is and never explain it to the parents.”

To educate parents, Werts’ troop created Boy-Led Troop 101, an informal training course it offers alongside troop meetings in the fall. “Boy-Led Troop 101 is all about letting parents understand that it’s OK to let your kids fail; they learn from that,” he says. “Once you explain it, parents will usually make a good effort not to interfere, although they don’t always succeed.”

Support Your Youth Leaders
As you make the transition to a Scout-led troop, you can expect to work harder than ever — at least for a while. Your 11-year-old patrol leaders don’t know how to control their peers, and your 13-year-old senior patrol leader might never have run a meeting.

When Shaye Larsen took over as Scoutmaster of Troop 52 in Pleasant View, Utah, seven years ago, he focused on coaching his new senior patrol leader. “It takes a lot of work to make sure he is prepared — meeting with him before meetings, having reflections after meetings, meeting with him and his parents regularly, calling and texting often,” Larsen says. “It was a lot of behind-the-scenes work on my part, but it paid off. The SPL started getting more confident and capable, and the troop flourished under his leadership.”

Supporting your youth leaders also means giving them space — sometimes literally. Gallagher, for example, leaves the room during PLC meetings. He also gives youth leaders permission to tell him, “We’ve got this.”

“When I see them looking to me more,” Gallagher says, “I try to back off and start asking more questions.”

Embrace Chaos
Finally, you have to be willing to embrace a little chaos. “That’s a natural condition that’s going to exist anywhere you have boys in charge of anything,” Smith says.

The trick, he says, is knowing when and how to step in (short of obvious health and safety situations). “Ultimately, that chaos is the opportunity for these kids; it’s how they’re going to learn in a group,” he says. “You have to learn to be comfortable with some of it and to recognize when the chaos has become completely unproductive and is turning some other kids off.”

Just remember that when you end the chaos, you end the learning that boys can get only in Scouting. “If you don’t go through Scouting, how can you say you were in charge of 40 kids, the budget for a troop, the whens and wheres of everything?” asks Thomas Bodden, a former senior patrol leader. “You can’t do that without Scouting. If the troop’s not boy-led, the leaders are essentially a damper on this experience. They’re not giving the kids the full opportunity that Baden-Powell intended.”


posted Apr 16, 2016, 12:47 PM by BoyScout Troop967

Some Life Scouts race against the clock to earn the Eagle Scout award before they turn 18, including a handful who complete their board of review on the eve of their 18th birthday.

It doesn’t have to be that way.

Dial down the drama of eleventh-hour Eagles with these five tips for helping Scouts reach Eagle with plenty of time to spare.  The ideas were adapted from Mark Ray’s Scouting magazine article called “Game of Life to Eagle: Helping Scouts reach the finish line.” Find more great ideas there.

5. Set a target date.
Everyone needs a deadline. Encourage Scouts to set target dates for completing key requirements. For example: Have all Eagle-required merit badges completed by age 16. Have the Eagle Scout service project completed by age 17. An Eagle coach (known in some troops as a “Life-to-Eagle coordinator” or an “involved parent”) can help the Scout come up with these dates.

Make sure the target dates are several months before the Scout turns 18.

4. Manage expectations.

Hope for the best but plan for the worst. Emphasize to Scouts that every step along the journey will take longer than they think.  Then if they finish the requirements early, everyone wins. (And everyone gets to eat cake at the court of honor even sooner!)

3. Take it one step at a time.

The journey to Eagle isn’t easy. So it’s best taken one step at a time.

That’s why you suggest that Scouts concentrate on merit badges first and then the service project (or vice versa), so they won’t feel overwhelmed.

2. Finish the time-sensitive merit badges ASAP.

The Eagle-required Family Life, Personal Fitness and Personal Management merit badges have requirements that take several months.

Urge Scouts to get those time-sensitive requirements out of the way early.

Those requirements can’t be altered in any way, so a Life Scout starting on Family Life requirement 3 — “Prepare a list of your regular home duties or chores (at least five) and do them for 90 days” — two months before he turns 18 would not be able to earn the Eagle Scout award.

1. Remember your role.

A basketball coach encourages and guides his players from the sidelines, but he doesn’t take the shots himself.  Similarly, encouragement along the journey to Eagle Scout is fine — and preferable to not paying attention at all.  But don’t take the shots for them.

And never work harder than the Scouts you’re working with. After all, they’re the ones who get the Eagle Scout badge once all requirements are completed — not you.

Make sure they’ve earned it.

Winter Weather Camping

posted Feb 2, 2016, 8:32 AM by BoyScout Troop967

Hey Scouts!  

The Klondike Derby is just around the corner.  This has the potential for some to experience Winter Camping.  Scouting Magazine recently ran an article about Winter Camping and provided some Tips and Tricks that will help you get the most out of this winter adventure! 

Topics include:
  • Traveling in snow
  • Fueling your body
  • Cooking gear
  • Dressing for the cold
  • Sleeping warm
  • Avoiding cold-weather dangers

To read the entire article, click on this link:  http://scoutingmagazine.org/2015/12/winter-camping-tips/

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