Newsletter - 2002 - April

Historic: We consider this item to be historic and as such it may no longer be appropriate for todays Scouts. Please refer to your local scouting policies and use your best judgment.

InsaneScouter News

Volume: 2

Issue: 4

April 2002

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What's New at

I am proud to announce many of the new features and content now available at InsaneScouter. Below you will find a list of what these updates are and where to find them.

Fun Activities

Daisy Chains

Kids can either do this by themselves or together, to create one long chain, see who can make the longest chain, or just to make pretty natural jewelry for themselves. This can also be done with other wild flowers - ones with stiff stems work the best.

First you have to start by picking a lot of daisies (or whichever flower you are using). Next you make a cross out of two daisies laying one over another sideways. Bend the stem of the top daisy under the stem of the bottom daisy, then up and over both stems. Pull the stem tight so that it makes a knot. Keep adding daisies in the same manner - tying them on, until you run out of flowers. You can make necklaces, bracelets and head pieces by tying the end daisy back to the beginning daisy to make a complete circle.

Acorn Finger Puppets.

Very quick and easy! Pull the tops off of acorns and use them as hair or hats for finger puppets. Simple stick them on your fingers and draw a face on your finger. Presto! Instant finger puppets!

Whistle from Grass

Crabgrass works best for this, but any long fat piece of grass will do. Pull the blade of grass and place it between both of your thumbs holding it tightly together at the top and bottom. The natural curve of your thumbs should leave a small opening in the middle. Put your lips to your thumbs and blow hard through the opening. Different kinds of grass will make different sounds. Experiment and see what you can find!

Frog and Toad Jumping

Frogs and toads are in abundance throughout the United States and can be found just about anywhere, although wet areas are the easiest place to find them. You must explain to your children however, that they must be very careful with these animals so they do not hurt them, and when done playing with them, put them back where they found them. Kids can draw "race tracks" on poster board or cardboard for their toads or frogs to have their

Main Article - COPING WITH THE UNEXPECTED NIGHT OUT - By Peter Kummerfeldt


Each year many people find themselves trapped by bad weather, caught out after dark, are injured or lost and end up having to spend a night or two surviving on a distant mountainside until rescuers arrive. Surviving, defined as the ability and desire to stay alive, is a learned skill that first requires that you admit to yourself that "it could happen to you" and, having admitted the fact, you plan for it. In a survival, situation panic will be your greatest enemy and must be prevented. Surviving an emergency has been said to be 80% mental, 10% skill -- use your head and you can survive.


Being lost is serious but it does not have to be dangerous if you react properly. An acronym to help you remember what to do is STOP.

Sit down, don't panic. Talk positively to yourself -- out loud! Have a drink or eat a candy bar. Remember your brain is the best piece of survival gear you have -- use it!
Think about your problem. How bad is it really? Are there injuries that you need to take care of? Are you losing body heat? What needs to be done first? How much time do you have?
Observe the area. What resources are available to help you survive? What natural hazards exist?
Plan what to do next - but be flexible. Remember, you have no control over the weather or the onset of darkness. But you do have control over your actions.

When you become lost the first thing you must do is admit to yourself that you don't know where you are -- you're lost! Or more accurately you don't know how to get back to your starting point. While you are sitting, go over in your mind what you did since leaving your car or camp earlier in the day and compare your recollections with the information provided by your map. What landmarks did you see along the way? Can you see any of these landmarks from where you are sitting? Can you locate these landmarks on your map? Have you gone uphill or down? How many rivers did you cross? How many ridges did you climb? Did you leave enough tracks to follow back to where you started from?

Unless you can positively locate yourself the best advice to follow is to stay put and not travel. Do not wander around looking for something familiar. Not only will this further confuse you ... it will exhaust you! It will make the rescuers job much more difficult -- you may move into an area that has already been searched! Wait for the rescuers to find you. They are trained and equipped to rescue the lost and injured. Sit tight, protect yourself, signal and let them find you.

All outdoor users should carry and know how to use a compass before they go off into the backcountry. The first step in staying found is locating your position (and marking that position) on your map before you leave your vehicle or camp. Then identify the boundaries that surround the area in which you will be traveling. These boundaries could be prominent roads, railways, power lines or large rivers. Preferably you should identify boundaries on all four sides of the area. Having located yourself on the map and knowing the boundaries, you can leave camp with the knowledge that, if you get lost, all you will have to do is determine which boundary is closest and walk to it, relocate yourself, and then return to your vehicle or camp.

Many people in trouble experience great difficulty walking in a straight line and have wandered in circles until exhausted. The simplest way to walk a straight line is to use a compass, preferable an "orienteering" style compass. Having determined the direction to the nearest boundary, point the direction of travel arrow on your compass towards your destination then turn the dial of the compass until the "N" coincides with the north end of the compass needle. Follow the direction-of-travel arrow always keeping the compass needle pointing at "N". Look up, sight on a landmark, and walk to it. Repeat these steps until you reach the boundary and can relocate yourself. In some areas, only one significant boundary may be present. In this situation, determine, before you leave camp, the direction you will have to travel to get to the boundary in the event you become lost.

Often the road or trail leading to your camp will serve as a primary boundary. If you walked in a westerly direction away from camp you will have to walk opposite that, or easterly, to return to the road your camp is located on.

A compass needle is radically effected by any metal object that is nearby -- do not let firearms, knives, belt buckles near your compass when taking a reading or following a compass heading.

The cardinal directions, north, east, south and west can be determined without a compass using the following procedures. Using a watch that has hands, point the hour hand directly at the sun. The point halfway between the hour hand and 12 o'clock will be SOUTH. North will be directly opposite. At night, a line drawn through the two "pointer stars" in the bowl and extended approximately four times identifies the North Star. Lay a stick on the ground aimed at the North Star to show north when it gets light again.

You can obtain maps from the county, state, or provincial agencies, the Forest Service, and other sources. The most useful maps are called topographic maps and may be purchased at many sporting goods outlets, some book stores or ordered directly from US Geological Service (with offices in Washington DC and Denver) or the Canadian Department of Mines (in Ottawa). These maps show both man-made features (drawn in red or black) and natural features (drawn in green for vegetation and blue for water). Contour lines, lines drawn on the map joining points of equal elevation above sea level, are drawn in brown and show altitude and the terrain features of the landmass covered by the map. Also shown on topographic maps, in the marginal information, is a scale that enables the user to measure the distance between two points on the map; and the declination diagram which shows the difference between True and Magnetic north. Remember, unless shown otherwise, the north is always at the top of the map.

Web Article - Lesson 2

Over the next several months, I will be writing a series on Building A Web Site. It is my plan for this series to be easy to follow, and take anyone thorough the steps of building a web site for themselves, or their unit.

Lesson 1 - Planning

Lesson 2 - Planning (coming soon)

The owners of InsaneScouter / specialize in creating, managing, and re-building web sites, as well as graphic design and desktop publishing. If you or anyone you know is searching for high-quality professional web services, please contact us at

InsaneScouter Moment - PLANTING SEEDS

If I gave you a choice, which would you rather have, the apple or the seeds? I guess most of us would choose the apple.

A long time ago there was a guy who would have taken the seeds. He was a nut about apple seeds - so much so that people called him Johnny Appleseed. For many years he walked across hundreds of miles of our country, back when most of it was frontier land, and everywhere he went he planted apple seeds. The trees from those seeds fed many thousands of people in later generations. That's real long-range planning!

Many of us are interested mainly in the present. We don't think ahead like Johnny Appleseed.

Maybe you don't want to go around planting apple seeds as he did. But there's another kind of seed you should be planting every day - the seed of good feelings between you and your fellow man.

You can do it by living our slogan, "Do a Good Turn daily. " Every time you do a Good Turn, you are planting a seed of good feeling. That seed may start the growth of a tree of Good Turns in each person you help. So that one Good Turn may lead to many other Good Turns through the years, affecting the lives of hundreds of people.


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