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tabletopdaylogoA friend of mine recently posted a link on Facebook to something called International TableTop Day which will be held on Saturday, April 5th. I have never heard of this but it caught my interest so I decided to check it out. It is pretty much just like it sounds. Here is a short quote from the website found at http://www.tabletopday.com/about/ :

International TableTop Day is a celebration for all the fans of tabletop gaming. A single day where the whole world is brought together in a common purpose of spending time together and having fun. We hope you find the resources you need — to connect new fans to experienced group organizers, retailers with their community, and publishers with the international community — all in one place.

This sounds like an event that would be right up my alley. I like to play board games, card games, and Dungeons and Dragons. Gosh, they all happen to be tabletop games! I enjoy the thrill of competing against my friends as we sit around a table playing Munchkins or Risk. Of course, I also prefer to win, but as they say, you can’t win them all.

As I considered this event I thought this could be an excellent activity in which Cub Scout packs and Boy Scout troops could participate, even if it was just within their own units. I can vision dens of Cub Scouts playing Sorry, CandyLand, Pokemon, or various card games. I can see Boy Scouts playing Monopoly, Scrabble, Magic, or D&D. I see scoutmasters and cubmasters being beaten at their own games by competitive Scouts of all ages. Could you imagine local packs and troops getting together for this one day of gaming that does not involve a video screen?

What do you think of this? Would your troop or pack be interested in joining an event that is international?

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    I was looking around YouTube tonight and discovered an interesting video about the founders of the Scouting program. Hear is what is written on the page:

    Uploaded on Mar 6, 2010

    Boy Scouts of America Centennial Tribute to the founders of the Boy Scouts of America (Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Ernest Thompson Seton, William D. Boyce, Daniel Carter Beard, and James E. West). This video was presented at the Longhorn Council’s Chisholm Trail District Awards Banquet on Saturday, March 6, 2010 at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.

    This video was produced by James Williams and Alecia Jarrett of Venturing Crew 153, Temple, Texas. The technology used was Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 9, Microsoft Photo Story 3 and Adobe Fireworks CS3.  The music used was from Ken Jenkins’ “Adiemus Live” album. Featured tracks used were “Dawn Dancing” & “In Caelum Fero”.
    This video was inspired by the online video “Centenary of Scouting” which can found at www.scout.org.
    For more information about our unit please visit www.scouting153.info.   11087

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      I usually get a bit irritated when only three of the ten members of the troop show up for a troop meeting, but tonight it worked out very well. It was a true boy run meeting.

      The boys in attendance were the assistant senior patrol leader and the two newest boys. After the opening, the ASPL discussed the points of the Safe Swim Defense and Safety Afloat. The new boys had a couple requirements left to finish their Tenderfoot Rank so he worked with them to complete the rank.

      Eymard, the troop’s assistant scoutmaster, took the new boys to one side of the park shelter for their Tenderfoot scoutmaster conference. I sat down with the ASPL to review his upcoming Eagle service project. The boys then played a few holes of disc golf, did some planning for the menu for this month’s outing, and closed the meeting.

      I was proud of the boys for what they were able to accomplish during the meeting. I look forward to Tuesday night when two Boy Scouts attend the committee meeting for their Tenderfoot board of reviews.

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        This week has been a very busy week. I have had something going on every night, usually Scouting related. I seem to be tired all the time. I never get caught up with my work at home. I am not as patient as I used to be.

        I think it may be time for a change. I have been doing this Scouting thing for over 30 years. That includes nearly a thousand troop meetings, hundreds of of camping trips and activities, six trips to Philmont, and a National Jamboree. I have seen hundreds of boys come and go through Scouting, including dozens of parents and other adult leaders.

        I am the webmaster for the website of Boy Scout Troop 68. I produce the Melrose Scout Productions Podcast, and Around The Scouting Campfire. I am a co-host for The Leader’s Campfire. A few month’s ago I began a Facebook page for the troop. I sometimes feel like I am spending too much time online.

        Like I said, I think it is time for a change. I need to get out and meet more people. I need to be more social in real life. I need to find more time to do this.

        So, I would like to announce that I am retiring as the scoutmaster of Melrose Boy Scout Troop 68. In fact, at least for a year or two, I will step away from anything Scouting related. It is time to reorganize my schedule and restart my life in a new direction.

        Now, before you write me about my decision I want to remind you that I have had thirty great years as a leader in Scouting. Nothing will ever change that. I also want to remind you that today is april first, and that you should keep this date in mind as you read this article.

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          Monday nights are troop meeting nights. Tonight the older boys will be reviewing things for the Personal Management merit badge. Our two younger Boy Scouts will be finishing their Tenderfoot Ranks requirements (at least, that it the plan). I am hoping that the boy who came to our meeting last week to “test the Scouting waters” will be back this week. I also plan to show the Cubmaster the first draft of the Pinewood Derby trading cards I made to see what he thinks about them.

          It will be a busy night, but I am used to it. I have been doing it for 30 years. In fact, if this troop ever folds, or if I decide to resign someday, I am going to have a hard time filling all the free time I will suddenly have.

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            If you are like me and kept putting off the day to buy the Boy Scout Uncirculated Silver Dollar, well, you are too late. According to coinnews.net:

            The 2010 Boy Scouts of America Centennial Uncirculated Silver Dollar sold out today, April 26, 2010, leaving only the proof option open for unrestricted ordering. The United States Mint online store is now asking customers to join a waiting list, indicating new orders will be processed on a first-come, first-serve basis and only if an old order is canceled.

            Not too bad. The coins have only been available for sale since March 23, 2010. Did you get your coin?

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              I have to thank jillzemp for sending the link to this Youtube video which pokes fun at Boy Scouts by doing a parody of the Kesha Tik Tok song. It was posted on February 3 and already has over 96,000 views.  Please have a sense of humor when you watch it. Everyone join me in doing the “Robin Hood”.

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                There has been a lot written about the Kindle vs. the iPad debate. My question is this, is either one useful for the wonderful world of Scouting? I do not own either one, but I do see possible uses for both gadgets.

                Amazon’s Kindle, an e-book reader, would seem like a natural place for a Boy Scout leader to gather a lot of Scouting information in one place. Like a Boy Scout Handbook. Like a scoutmaster handbook. Like program helps and the Guide To Safe Scouting. I hear the Kindle is easy to read outdoors. Imagine having all this information on one devise at summer camp. And I could download novels to read while I relax in the campsite. No more paperback books to pack.

                Unfortunately, the Kindle is a grayscale devise so there would not be any color photos. I have read that the Kindle is not very friendly with pdf files so that eliminates much of what is found on scouting.org. Worse of all though is that there is not much Scouting related material available on Amazon.com, other than the first Boy Scout handbook and a few books written by people about the program.

                The iPad sounds more promising since it is closer to a netbook. There are already several Scouting themed programs available for the iPod Touch which I think would be easy to reformat to an iPad. The Boy Scout Handbook is available in the app store. I understand pdf files will work well on the iPad so the Guide To Safe Scouting and other files could be used on the gadget.

                However, I am hearing about a few drawbacks. I could easily see myself using the device on camping trips, like summer camp, which means I would be using it outside. I have been reading that the iPad screen is hard to see in sunlight and reflections can be pretty bad. The ten hour battery life is not very long when you are away from a power source for three days or more. Game apps and movies could be very distracting, especially when the Scouts start wanting to play with it.

                As it stand right now, I do not see a reason to get either device to assist me as a Boy Scout leader. I will admit the iPad has more potential than the Kindle, but there is not enough there yet to justify the purchase.

                What you think about using either devise to help you with the Scouting program in mind? Leave your comment below.

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