Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


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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      It looks like the Boy Scouts of America may be heading back t the Supreme Court of the USA. According to information found on the BSALegal.org website: Boy Scouts of America and San Diego-Imperial Council, Boy Scouts of America have filed a petition for a writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court of the United States asking the Court to review the Ninth Circuit’s recent decisions about Scouting leases in San Diego. The case is Boy Scouts of America v. Barnes-Wallace, No. 08-1222.

      All I know about the case is the few articles I have read online, and I may be a bit bias, but it seems to me like the BSA is being unfairly treated by the city of San Diego. The article also states:

      The City of San Diego leases two park properties to San Diego-Imperial Council, Boy Scouts of America, which built a campground on one and a youth aquatic center on the other, each of which is open to the public. Boy Scouts have paid millions of dollars to provide these facilities and services to the public while San Diego taxpayers pay nothing.

      and

      The City has over 100 leases to community organizations on similar terms as the leases to Boy Scouts. The Girl Scouts, for example, lease property for youth camping on park property adjacent to Boy Scouts’ Camp Balboa.

      The ACLU filed the Barnes-Wallace lawsuit against Boy Scouts and the City of San Diego in 2000, just two months after the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale holding that Boy Scouts have a constitutional right to select their members. The ACLU tried to force the City to discriminate against Boy Scouts because of their constitutionally-protected membership policies.

      The rest of the article can be read at: http://www.bsalegal.org/bsa-legal-blawg-200.asp?i=135

      What do you think about this?

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        Whether you like it or not, I am back! I have not posted for awhile because I have been on vacation for the last week. My parents, my brother and his family, and myself all went to Florida to visit Mickey and friends at Disney World. We also swam with the dolphins at Discovery Cove, and watched the killer whale show at SeaWorld. It was a great, but very busy trip.

        It is also great to be back home. Time to get back to a regular retinue. Time to get back to work. Time to get back into Scouting, this blog, and the podcasts. Before I left, I began work on the next podcast video which will feature that rascal Buttons being asked questions by a few Cub Scouts. Unfortunately, you probably will not see it until next month because I am working on making albums and dvd’s of the pictures and video taken while on vacation. Family comes first, you know.

        Next month, March, I plan to get back into the regular blogging and podcast schedule. Stay tuned.

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          I don’t know about you, but I take plenty of pictures when I am on an outing with the Boy Scouts. It was not too bad when I used a 35mm camera. If I filled one roll of 24 pictures on an outing I considered that a lot of pictures. Now that I have a digital camera I have been know to take a LOT more pictures per outing. Hundreds more. The boys dread seeing me coming with the camera these days. Yet, they always enjoy seeing the pictures.

          I use an Apple Mac Pro computer at home so I use iPhoto to store, label, and sort my digital photographs. And there is a lot to sort. I have nearly 9000 photos of Scout and events. That does not include any family photographs. I will usually label the photos right away by event and date to make them a bit easier to find, but it can still take awhile to find that one picture I may be looking for to use in a project.

          This week Apple came out with their new version of the iPhoto software. It has a couple of features that I am looking forward to using. The first is called Faces. It is a program that will recognize the faces of people in the photos. After applying names to those faces the program will label other pictures in which it finds that person and create an album for that person’s pictures. This feature could come in quite handy for preparing that Eagle court of honor presentation, or a family birthday or anniversary show.

          The second new feature is called Locations. If you have a camera with a built in GPS feature (like some cel phones) information about the location of the place the photo was taken could be embedded in the photograph. The new Locations feature will group photographs taken at locations. Want to find all your pictures taken at Many Point Scout Camp or Philmont, just ask iPhoto to find them. I do not see myself using this feature as much as Faces, but it could come in handy.

          I hope these new features work as well as Apple says they will. This could save me a lot of time when working on future projects. After all, it can be quite challenging finding that perfect picture when you have hundreds or thousands of pictures to scan through. My program arrived this week and I am looking forward to playing with it this weekend.

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            In honor of the fiftieth video posted to the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast at the beginning of October, we decided to hold a drawing. One person who left a comment at the iTunes Music Store, or a comment at PTC Media under forums post MSPP #50, during October would win a dvd of Buttons videos. It is time to announce the winner.

            The winner is… LibertyF.

            LibertyF left a comment at the iTunes Music Store. I now need LibertyF to contact me with an address to send the dvd.

            I would like to thank those of you who took the time to leave a comment at iTunes or the PTC Media forums. I really do read them and appreciate you leaving the feedback.

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              There is a lot of talk today in the media about “being green”. Isn’t it funny that Scouting has been teaching some of these principles for decades already? Like conservation and recycling. But just in case you need a few more things to keep in mind, here are a few more green statistics.

              If just 25 percent of U.S. families used 10 fewer plastic bags a month, we would save more then 2.5 billion bags a year. (Yes, that is billion.) -www.thinkquest.org

              The average person comsumes twice as much as fifty years ago. (No wonder we have an obesity problem in this country.) – www.bikeroute.com

              Every ton of recycled office paper saves 380 gallons of oil. (Not to mention how much trash it keeps out of our landfills.) -www.thinkquest.org

              And here is one fact that I found to be pretty interesting: There are more roads in our national forests than in the entire U.S. Interstate Highway system. (I am not quite sure what to think about this one.)

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                I have collected dozens of videos over the years that were produced by the Boy Scouts of America. Some od them were commercials, some were training films, and some were inspirational films. A few were a bit corny, but that only added to the charm.

                One little piece of video that seems to have caught a few people’s attention is the animated BSA logo that I use at the start of the Eagle Scout slide shows that I make. A few months ago I posted one of these slideshows to the Melrose Scouting Productions Podcast as an example of an Eagle Scout video. A few of you have wondered where they could pick up a copy of that animation to use in their own slideshows.

                I found the video on a VHS tape produced by the BSA nearly twenty years ago. I have a VHS tape deck near my computer so I copied the animation onto my hard drive. The full size video, 640 x 480 pixels, is a Quicktime movie that is 32.4 MB in size.

                I couple of you have contacted me if I would be able to email the video. Well as you can see, it is a bit large to email. So, I have now posted it online for you to download. If you have access to a way to download Quicktime movies (like Quicktime Pro) you can find this animation at
                http://melrosetroop68.org/QTmov/BSALogo.mov
                Of course, if the BSA sends me a letter telling me to remove it from this site then I will have to take it offline, so I hope they do not mind if other troops use it for their Eagle court of honors and other Scouting films.

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