December 15, 2007

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This free wordpress site grew too large so I now have my own domain name. All updates (and there are many of them so far) will be on the new site.



Hike of the Knox Trail (F&I, American Revolution History)

November 9, 2007


Major battles in the French & Indian war occured in this area and many soldiers endured extreme hardships here for the good of our nation. After the French set up shop, the British came, then the colonials (Benedict Arnold, Ethan Allen, Henry Knox to get the canons that ultimately forced the British out of Boston), then Burgoyne came through in 1777 on his way to a defeat at Saratoga. Ben Franklin, Jefferson, & Washington, later visited. Then we came.


Few of the scouts understood what the Council patch on their shoulder represented, so this was meant to bring meaning to it all.  Ft. Ticonderoga is between Lake Champlain & Lake George (on NY/Vermont border). Ft. William Henry nearby at the south end of Lake George, is the setting of James Fenimore Cooper’s “Last of the Mohicans.” A great book/movie to take in before visiting. 

There is a scout camp on one of the islands in Lake George that I hope to learn more about. Curtis Read Scout camp is about 30 mins. west in the Adirondacks.

Cedar Badge

November 9, 2007

The Grand Teton Council puts on this wonderful scout leadership program in June every year. It is at a beautiful location, the people are very nice, and they put a huge amount of effort into this. This is scouting the way you want it to be, at least it looked that way when I was there dropping off my son (but he told me he really enjoyed it). I had air-miles saved and vacation time, so I called and they welcomed my son’s attendance. I hiked all week while he was here. Very cool trip, we took in Yellowstone the next week. We also took interest in the whole Lewis and Clark expedition while we were out here and made our way to their route across Idaho. I’ll post photos once I figure out how to use wordpress better. See:


(The scout camp is on the very back side of the Grand Teton, the centermost mountain on my webpage header. When seen from the scout camp, the back of the Grand Teton looks like the Matterhorn in Zermatt. The scout camp was also at the base of this large waterfall, it really was beautiful).

Personal Management Merit Badge

November 9, 2007



Investing Options

There was a great Far Side clip with two scientist who discover that time is actually equal to money. I wish I could have found it for this class. I will post a zipped file with all the training material I produced. So far I’ve managed to attach the introductory handout as well as a worksheet I did to help the kids understand investing options. I thought this class was particularly instructive. As I mentioned in the Energy MB, a big upside of scouting is it’s ability to introduce topics to kids at a very early age. They will hopefully always remember the messages in these classes and become just better equiped for life.

Kaaterskill Falls Hike (Hudson River School Art)

November 9, 2007


Besides suggesting someplace interesting to go, the secondary point of this presentation was to help the older venture crew understand that what we were collectively after was something very special. That when we did events, knowing that time was valuable, we really spent time considering and planning what were were going to do and what we wanted to accomplish.


If you like the idea of this hike and want to go, let me mention just a few more things – when you drive up Rt.23A, you’ll know you’ve reached the trailhead when you do a sharp hairpin turn right at a beautiful waterfall (Bastion Falls). Park up the road a bit, there is a small parking lot on the right. You’ll have to be extremely careful walking down the road. When you walk up the trail after the first waterfall, don’t stop at the next one you see and think you’ve reached it. Keep going. The high falls are spectacular. If you feel so inclined, hike up the left side of the falls. If you look carefully, you’ll find some engravings chiseled in the wall. One is to Vite the wonder dog who tragically jumped to his death back in the 1800’s. At the top, there are hundreds of names and dates chiseled into the stone. No such thing as leave no trace back then, but you know what, it is really kind of cool to see.

A good book telling the story of the area is “The Catskill Mountain House” by Roland VanZandt.

Presidential Traverse Hike, Mt. Washington

November 9, 2007


This is a great overnight hike for the older scouts. Hike up above the treeline across the entire Presidential Range and up and over Mt. Washington, the highest mountain in the northeast (6288ft). It is quite a challenge and achievment. I wanted to revise this slightly but ran out of time. I’ve also attached a copy of a map we used when we first introduced the Whites and this hike to the scouts.



AT “100 Mile Wilderness” 30 mile Hike

November 9, 2007


A great hike idea if you are looking for something the scouts can be quite proud of  –

From Monson, Maine, the Appalachian Trail begins its journey through the fabled 100 mile Wilderness. This is the longest stretch on the AT that doesn’t cross a paved road. Many of its best highlights are packed into the first 30 miles, including the Lower Wilson falls, rock strewn rivers, and great views. Campsites are abundant and there are 4 shelters along this route. The 27-mile Gulf Hagas hike starts on the gravel road to Katahdin Iron Works off ME 11, 5.5 miles north of Brownville Junction.  I’ll post more on this later.