Newsletter - 2002 - May

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

Thank you for subscribing to the InsaneScouter's monthly newsletter. It is our intention to provide you with information and resources to help you run your unit's program. Please reply to this newsletter if you have any suggestions on how we can better help you..

Please forward this newsletter to all your friends in Scouting.

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 - Magic Potion

What You Need:
Cauldron (see the link to craft below)
Baking soda
Pan or tray

How To Make It

1. Create the Cauldron (see below).
2. Place the cauldron on a pan or tray (or you'll get potion all over the place!)
3. Fill the cauldron with 2 tablespoons of water and stir in a tablespoon of baking soda until it dissolves.
4. Measure 2 tablespoons of vinegar into a separate cup.
5. Pour the vinegar, all at once into the water/baking soda mixture and watch your potion bubble up!


The bubbles that are created are filled with carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide is a gas that forms when the vinegar (an acid) reacts with the baking soda (a base). For all you bakers out there, this is also what makes cakes and quick bread (the no yeast kind) get all nice and fluffy.

Fun Activities - Cauldron

What You Need

Metal dip container (such as a coffee can)
3 Small wooden beads
Tacky glue
3 Large wooden beads
Gray paint or Gesso
Wax paper or plastic bag (to protect work area)

How To Make It

1. Lay out wax paper or plastic bag (turn the wrong side out) to protect the work surface.
2. Paint containers and beads with gray paint. Let dry. You may need to apply an additional coat. Let dry.
3. Turn container upside down and glue on beads, evenly spaced around the outside bottom of the container. Let dry.

Fun Activities - Witchs Brew

3 pints purple grape juice
1 1/2 pints club soda

Mix the grape juice and soda in a pitcher. Halve the grapes and take out the seeds if there are any.

Cut the apple into small chunks.

Float the fruit in the brew just before serving; by magic, the grapes and apples will look just like eyes and teeth.


How to use a Compass - Compass alone
How to use a Compass - Compass and Map interaction
How to use a Compass - Magnetic Declination and uncertainty
How To Use a Compass - Suggested Exercises
How To Use a Compass - when you have no compass

News - Registration Increase

The National Council of the Boy Scouts of America has decided to increase registration for youth and adults of traditional programs (Cub Scouting, Boy Scouting, Venturing, and Varsity programs) from $7.00 to $10.00 a year effective January 1, 2003.

None of the registration fees stays in your Local Council. It is passed in full to the National Council to cover the myriad of costs (including a portion of the liability insurance costs) associated with membership in the B.S.A.

It is also currently rumored that by January 1, 2003 Boys Life subscription cost will increase as well.

Web Article - Scouting Online

In a past issue of Scouting Magazine, I found an article on "www dot scouting" which gave me the inspiration to write this article. The Internet is a world of information that we utilize to Communicate with Family, Friends and those we work within and out of our Scout unit.

One of the best ways for Units, Districts, and Councils to reduce the cost of communications is by having a web site. There are many places that provide free or low-cost web hosting services. When choosing a hosting service carefully consider the following::

  •   features such as counter, guest book, ability to use CGI, FTP access and how much space they provide
  •   ad type and placement
  •   reliable - that they guarantee at least 99.9% uptime

The first Troop web site I build was hosted by a free web host, which had a tendency to display adult-related banner ads leading to many complaints from the Scouts parents. Furthermore, problems were caused by a lack of features desired for the Troop web site which were acquired through free web services. These free features only worked moderately well and in many cases required additional advertisements to be displayed. As problems increase we changed to another free hosting service, which was a great improvement over the first one.

The best way to find out the type of information your site should provide is by looking at other Scout Unit web sites. Generally, a Scout Unit web site should provide basic information about when things are happening, a calendar, printable flyers/forms and a method to contact an adult leader. At no time should a web site provide last names or contact information of any youth. Depending on your exact situation it may not be a good idea to provide meeting time and location information.

All the information provided on your web site will need to be maintained to keep it up-to-date, I would suggest you recruit a specific adult leader and possibly a few youths to manage the site. InsaneScouter is currently working on a video series to assist in training Scouts and Adults in building and maintaining your units web site, this series will be made available soon through the InsaneScouter web site.

Another great use of the Internet is E-mail. E-mail makes it possible to connect anyone else with an amyl address such as other unit members. Currently, many units relay on the telephone and regular postal mail to handle all their communication need not handled in person, don't forget to use e-mail as it is quicker than postal mail, and allows for the sender and the receiver to send and read the amyl when their time allows.

I would say the greatest use of the Internet today is to discover new things. This is, of course, one of the biggest features of InsaneScouter and this newsletter, but obviously InsaneScouter is not the only one out there - if you know of other great Scouting sites please have their owner submit them to InsaneScouter Links (click on add links).

Again please remember like any newspaper or magazine the Internet and your web site will be open to anyone to view. Yes, there are methods of password protecting sections of your site - but don't trust your child or another child's life on technology. Computer security can be compared to a series of fences, walls and guard dogs you can have around your house, but that does not mean someone won't find a way around it all.

For more information about online safety visit a site like Safe Kids

InsaneScouter Moment - Magic Rope - by David H. McKenzie



I picked some scraps of rope apart
To see how they were made.
Most of it was twisted hemp
Yet some were cotton braid.

And from the stuff, I played with
I thought aloud: "Rope size runs
To hawsers that hold battleships
of fifty thousand tons."

But there's another kind of rope
Not made by a machine
Stronger than the best steel cable.
Yet so fine it cant be seen.


Im not talking of the kind of rope
That anybody buys
But the magic line of friendship
That holds two friendly guys.

I learned a lot of things at camp
But the best trick that I got
Was to take that line of friendship
And tie the proper knot.



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