Trash for Cash

Remember Trash for Cash clean up is this Saturday (October 4) for our troop.  Please meet at the St. Therese parking lot at 8:30am.  The more people we have, the less time it will take to earn funds for our troop.

Thank you

Leadership Training this Sunday

Leadership training is this Sunday at 2:00 in the St. Therese Cafeteria.  All Scouts in a leadership position (troop or crew) should be there.  Be sure to eat before you come, and we'll order some pizza toward the end.  Training will wrap up by 7:00

Game Design - Analyzing Super Mario Bros. Level 1-1



How does Super Mario Bros teach you to play purely through level design? Game Designer Dan "OtherDan" Emmons breaks down the mechanics and offers a lesson in game design techniques.

Good stuff to keep in mind for the Game Design merit badge.

Gear on Sale

Backpacks
It can be difficult to size a pack online,  but the adults can help with this at a meeting if you'd like.  There are many things to consider, but these are a couple of great overall packs.

This is an amazing pack for the price.  Under 2 lbs (compare to 5 or 6, which makes a big difference on the trail), under $100 on sale, and still over 3000 cubic inches of space.  This is a pack I'd personally love to have.  It's less than half the price of comparable packs, but built to last.

Heavier at 5 lbs. 4 oz, it has over 5300 cubic inches of space.  This $200 bag is on sale for $110.  We're going to be training the scouts on smaller and lighter, but for those who insist on a large pack this one is comparable to the Kelty Red Cloud that I and several others have, but is half the price.

Here's the Kelty for comparison - http://www.backcountryedge.com/kelty-red-cloud-90-2013.aspx.  I have one, it's a good pack, but it's a lot weight and space.  Generally you want to choose a pack after you know how much you'll need to take.  For what it's worth, I'll be encouraging them to take as little as is necessary.  Lighter pack = more fun.


Hammocks
The Scouts know that I'm a hammock camper, and I can't recommend it enough.  There are cheaper ways to make your own, and I may encourage that later, but there are a couple of ENO hammocks on sale right now for more than $10 off each.

This is what I use and I love it.  Perfect size for Scouts.  As opposed to a tent, you get the same comfortable hang every time without having to worry about level ground, bumps, wetness, etc.  There is some additional gear you'll need, but you can do so very cheaply.  Or expensive if you prefer... 

Same hammock, but a little longer and wider.  Not really for two people, but better suited to those 6 ft and over.  I have my eye on this one.

June Family Campout - June 6-8

Our June campout will be at Cowan Lake, and the whole family is invited. Parents, siblings, and grandparents are all welcome to camp with us and see how the boys do things.  Prepare to be amazed!  We will provide directions as we get closer to the date.  Be forewarned - do not just Google the address.  Use the directions we send, or end up on the wrong side of the lake! (Ken and I can tell you all about it...) 

Cost is $15 per person.  The troop has a limited amount of gear available to be borrowed if you need it.  Please see Ken if you need anything.  And they do have a restroom, so no excuses!

Camp Physicals Needed

The form has been updated again this year.  It can be found on our website under Forms, or here -  http://www.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/680-001_ABC.pdf.  Please make sure your form is turned in by June 17.  Scouts cannot attend camp without an updated form!

We're forming a Venturing Crew!

Some of the members of Troop 751 are forming a Venture Crew.  Venturing is a unit of Scouting with more of a specific focus than a pack or troop.  In our case, the focus will be on high adventure.

What It Is
Venturing is a program of the BSA for young men and women between the ages of 14 and 20.  Scouts who are 13, but are about to graduate 8th grade are also able to join.  Scouts who have developed their skills are able to do more and go further as part of a crew.  A crew can focus on almost any area, but ours will be on adventures like backpacking, canoeing, kayaking, etc.

Venturing is a co-ed activity, and like the troop, is youth-led.  Scouts will be responsible for planning activities and preparing in advance.  While we will be very closely associated with the troop, it is technically a separate unit, which means we will need adult volunteers to serve on the committee and act as advisors.  There will be a lot of troop overlap, but we'd love to see some new faces if you're interested.

What It Is Not
Venturing is not a replacement for the troop, but rather a way to supplement it.  Older scouts are able to apply what they've learned in a more advanced setting than would be appropriate in the troop.  I would expect to see any Scout who joins the crew continue to stay active in the troop.  Due to the nature of the activities, the crew will not have outings as often as the troop, at least initially, so this won't be something that eats up what little free time they had left.  

Cost
There is no additional cost to boys registered in a troop.  Venturing is part of the BSA, and they'll be considered "dual registered".  There will continue to be costs for each trip.  My main purpose in forming the crew is to provide the type of high adventure that a Philmont trip offers, at a much more affordable price.

Uniforms
There is no "official" required uniform for a Venture crew.  There is a green shirt available, with patches similar to a troop uniform.  However, unless the kids vote to use them, I think we'd probably end up with a synthetic material t-shirt that we could use on outings.  

Timing
To allow for current 8th graders who are not yet 14 to be a part of the original charter (and earn a Founder's patch), our unit will officially form on June 1.  That is the BSA's new scout year, and even if the kids are in school for a few more days, BSA considers them "graduated". 

Our first outing will be joining the troop's family campout at Cowan Lake June 6-8.  This will allow families to meet each other, and let the scouts try kayaking.  

As long as this email is, I know it only scratches the surface.  Let me know if you have any questions.  This is new for all of us, and I can't say that all details have been ironed out yet, so I welcome any questions or comments that you have.

Please let Eric know if your Scout is interested or not.  I'd like to know by May 6 so that we can move forward with the paperwork.

UPDATED: Swim Test - May 21

UPDATE:  Swim test is moved to Wednesday, May 21, at 6:00 at the Ft. Thomas YMCA.

Our annual troop swim test will be on Tuesday, May 20 Wednesday, May 21 at 6:00, at the Ft. Thomas YMCA.  We'll have instructions for the Scouts as it gets closer, but this is the only opportunity the scouts will have to take the test prior to arriving at summer camp.  Taking the test at camp means time away from other fun things.  I strongly encourage those who aren't attending summer camp to still take the test.  We'll be able to have their results on file for future events in the next year.

May Campout - May 16-18


Our May campout will be at Camp Friedlander.  Among our troop activities, we'll also be welcoming some of the Webeolos from Pack 751, and teaching plant identification to the other packs in the council.  Cost is $15 (cash for campouts).