Archive | December, 2011
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Scouters Are Wonderful People

I can’t think of a better way to end one year and start the New Year than to say thanks to all of the wonderful Scouters that have been supportive of our move to a new format and our efforts to try new things!  You really have proven once again that Scouters are different – that Scouters are a positive force for change and the kind of people that you can count on when you have a challenge. 

When I decided to move the NetCommish suite of web sites to WordPress, I did so with some trepidation.  There were some nagging doubts about whether I could make everything work, how well people would receive the changes to the site, and whether making the sites more accessible to social media was a good idea. 

With no really good grounding in what Twitter was or how it worked, I signed up and got started trying to find Scouters on Twitter and to share information.  The response back from people and the supportive Tweets from @ScouterAdam, @bobwhiteblather, @okscouter, @TimGiorgi, and many others were encouraging.   I learned quickly that I even had a Klout Score thanks to @Hoosi3r  – wow.  And thanks to you guys, the score has been rising.  Wow again!

And when I was flummoxed on who to set up email subscriptions in WordPress, Ron Blaisdell came to the rescue with kind advice on how to make it work.  Thanks Ron – got that squared away with your help.

All of this shouldn’t be any surprise though.  I got my start with the Internet thanks to two local Scouters that came over to the house back in 1992 and helped me install a modem to start seeing email from Scouts-L.  They were back again many times to help me build a computer, learn how to do web sites with HotDog, and recover after the first of many computer crashes.  Along the way hundreds of other Scouters have given helpful suggestions, provided content, shared and made it possible to bring you this web site.  Thanks to each and every one of you for making this site possible and for your support.




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What’s Your Favorite Scouting iPhone App?

For those of you with an iPhone who love Scouting, yes – there is an app for that. Well actually there are a lot of apps that may be useful to have in our iPhone Scouting library. Here are few that I’ve found in no particular order and I suspect there are more. If you have a favorite app, drop us a comment and tell about it.

In addition to these there may be iPhone apps for your Council, your chartered organization, trails and so on. For example there is an app for the Muskingum Valley Council and a companion app called MVSR Guide that is a Guide for Leaders at Summer Camp – Muskingum Valley Scout Reservation.

My wish list for apps:

  • Boys’ Life
  • Scouting
  • Bechtel Family Summit Scout Reservation
  • 2013 Jamboree

If anyone has a similar list of apps for the Android series of smartphones, I’d be happy to publish that list here.


Disclaimers – These apps are not necessarily BSA approved.  The list includes Scouting related apps that may not be specific to Scouting.  Prices were current at the time of writing and may change without notice.

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GPS Gadget for High Adventure Enthusiasts

For units heading out on any extended trail event, a high adventure trek or a canoe trip; you may want to give some thought to packing the SPOT Personal Tracker with one of the leaders. This handy little device works even where cell phone coverage is poor or non-existent and has some neat features:

  • 911 Emergency Notification
  • Non-Emergency Help Request
  • Check in notifications
  • Progress tracking on a Google map

These functions would allow somebody back home to track your unit’s progress and notify authorities with your location if you missed a check-in point or if you were not progressing on schedule. The device is a little pricey and requires a subscription, but could be very handy if an emergency situation developed. For more information check out the manufacturer’s web site:

Spot Personal Tracker

The NetCommish is not associated with SPOT LLC and derives no benefit or profit from this posting. I just thought this was pretty slick and might be helpful, so thought I would share it with you.

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Theme Based Pack Meeting Plans Enhance Core Values

With thanks to Commissioner Dave of Baloo’s Bugle fame, here is a list of theme based Pack Meeting plans Meetings for the 2011-2012 Scouting year. The themes for January through September have just been released.

  • October – Responsibility – Jungle of Fun
  • November – Citizenship – 50 Great States
  • December – Respect – Holiday Lights
  • January – Positive Attitude – Abracadabra
  • February – Resourcefulness – Turn Back the Clock
  • March – Compassion – Planting Seeds of Kindness
  • April – Faith – Cub Scouts Give Thanks
  • May – Health and Fitness – Cub Cafe
  • June – Perseverance – Head West Young Man
  • July – Courage – Cubs in Shining Armor
  • August – Honesty – Kids Against Crime
  • September – Cooperation – Hometown Heroes

BSA is continuing to add theme based Pack meeting plans to the Core Value Pack Meeting plans on their web site. The goal is to have three supplemental Pack Meeting plans for each month. These theme based Pack Meeting plans are specifically crafted to bring out important points of the Core Value in a fun way. However, you should remember that the focus is still on the Core Values and that these themes are just there as enhancements and not as a substitute.

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BSA’s Key 3 Holiday Greeting

BSA’s Key Three send you their holiday greetings via YouTube:

(Holiday Greeting from National President Rex Tillerson, Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca, and National Commissioner Tico Perez)

Thumbs-up guys for a great holiday message!

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Great Wood Badge Promo Video


Hat’s off to Blackhawk Area Council for this excellent Wood Badge promotional video!

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