About NetCommish

Michael F. Bowman is Vice President for Services and Board Member, U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. He has served as the primary webmaster for the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. since 1997 and has operated the NetCommish web site since 1994. More information about The NetCommish
Author Archive | NetCommish
Author Avatar

Web Site Status

Fellow Scouters,

After more than 50 years of participation in the Scouting Movement, I had to pull back from a lot of my activities due to health issues a couple of years ago. One of the casualties was this web site’s blog. Although I have not been able to update this blog for some time, I have kept the site running so that you can get fresh information from our Ask Andy columns which are published on a regular basis. This week Andy published his 450th advice column.

You may have noticed a change in this site’s appearance. I have removed advertisements from Amazon because Amazon no longer supports advertising on sites that target youth 13 and under. These sites target adult leaders, but we also advertise the U.S. Scouting Service Project’s Internet Scout Patch which is available to all Scouts. While the ad revenue wasn’t much, it helped defray the costs of operating the sites here (hosting, etc.).

Will this site stay in operation? I hope so! I am looking at options for keeping the site alive. Ownership may transition from this being my individual blog on Scouting to a blog operated by the U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc.

The NetCommish

Comments are closed
Author Avatar

USSSP Web Sites Back Online

All U.S. Scouting Service Project, Inc. web sites are back in service and available. Technical issues that caused them to be offline starting yesterday afternoon have been resolved. Thank you for your patience.

Comments are closed
Author Avatar

Latest Baloo’s Bugle Edition

For those of you wanting to get your hands on the latest edition of the USSSP’s Baloo’s Bugle, you can download it at these alternate locations:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0WqgAQVIxewbGdIVWZRaGRST2s/edit?usp=sharing (Word)

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0WqgAQVIxewcnlfaEUwNHJBeGs/edit?usp=sharing (PDF)

Please be advised that it may take a few minutes for each of these to load due to their size.

Comments are closed
Author Avatar

Scouting Radio Coverage of the Jamborees

Thought I would pass on an email that was forwarded to me about Scouting Radio’s coverage of ten Jamborees in July at http://scoutingradio.com.

Dear Scouting Radio Listener,

July is just around the corner and it is the month of Jamboree, Jamboree, Jamboree! We will be providing LIVE up to date reports on:



If its Scouting related – We have it covered. Click any of the above links to bring you to the jamboree page on our Scouting Radio site, where you will gain the latest news and reports from the Scouting Radio team, whichever Scout camp it is! Don’t forget to read our Jamboree blog on our site!


That’s 10 Jamborees covered LIVE on Scouting Radio throughout the month of July! Are you attending? Please let us know!


Its back! The Scouting Radio badge (above left) is back in stock and available to order on the Scouting Radio store . We’re just after getting a new supplier for our woven badge along with our new woggles (pictured right!) If you like to order in bulk please contact us. Remember all proceeds will go towards keeping Scouting Radio broadcasting 24 hours a day.


Scouting Radio have teamed up with Scout-n-About to bring you a brand new competition of “Design a T-shirt”. Above is an example of one of our t-shirt winners. All you have to do is design a Scouting t-shirt. The winner each month will get the 1st print of their t-shirt which will also go on sale in the Scouting Radio shop! Cool huh?


Come and “Hangout” with the Scouting Radio presenters. If you are a young Scout or Scouter hows about getting involved with one of our monthly hangout sessions. We discuss Scouting related topics by webcam, its moderated, we never pass on any details of our attendees to any other person. For more information email us and we will tell you of our next hangout!


Hope you enjoy the month of July on Scouting Radio!


Best wishes,

Yours in Scouting –


The Scouting Radio Team

Comments { 0 }
Author Avatar

OA West Texas Disaster Relief Flap

In the wake of many disasters, Order of the Arrow Lodges have issued special flap patches for sale to raise money to help victims and families recover. Following the disaster in West, Texas, that took the lives of so many first responders and severely impacted the community, the local Order of the Arrow Lodge responded with a fundraiser flap patch that features emergency response vehicles. My hat is off to Netopalis Sipo Schipinachk Lodge for this.

You can order this special issue patch at https://www.kintera.org/AutoGen/Register/Register.asp?ievent=1072984

The patch description is as follows:

On April 17, 2013, the small, tight-knit Texas town of West suffered a devastating fire and explosion in a nearby fertilizer plant. This explosion left 15 dead, among them 12 firefighters and first responders, and over 200 others injured. It destroyed West Middle School and a two-story apartment building. Over 100 homes were also damaged or destroyed. The town of West, which sits between Fort Worth and Waco, needs our help and, as Arrowmen, we are obligated to aid in the recovery process.

The sale of the Lodge Flap shown above will be used to raise money to help in the recovery of West after this disaster. The Netopalis Sipo Schipinachk Lodge, the lodge in which West lies, will provide one flap for each purchase. The net proceeds will be given to West relief. The flap will be mailed to the address used in the order. Thank you for your contribution towards helping West recover from this disaster.

Comments { 0 }
Author Avatar

Should There Be A Knot for High Adventure?

John Pratt from Crossroads of America Council wrote via the feedback form to suggest that maybe there ought to be a new square knot for Scouts and Scouters that complete High Adventure events like the Philmont Trek. We chatted about it a bit and came up the idea that maybe there should be a knot called the “High Adventure Specialist Award” and then we came up with some proposed requirements.

High Adventure Specialist Award (Knot) Requirements

1. Attend two weeks of resident Boy Scout Camp (keeps local councils happy)

2. Participate in a high adventure program at any camp or at a high adventure base (local council, regional, or national).

3. Participate in a second high adventure program at a recognized BSA High Adventure Base like Philmont.

4. Take a leadership role in preparing a group for a high adventure experience – adult leader or youth leader role.

5. Help promote high adventure programs in your local council.

Of course this is just the musings of two old time Scouters and not anything even remotely close to official. Let me know what you think via the comments section.

Comments { 6 }
Author Avatar

Wood Carving Resource

After a tough time rowing up the Wildcat creek and a robust lunch in the old dining hall, the Scouts of Troop 13’s Fox Patrol marched down a set of steep steps to cross a ravine on a long plank bridge, then climb to the top of the hill for the afternoon’s program. They emerged from the woods some 50 years ago to a set of tables for instruction in the art of wood carving and quickly began trying to shape blocks of wood into wondrous neckerchief slides that were sure to be displayed at the next Troop Court of Honor where merit badges from camp would be awarded including Wood Carving.

We sat there in the hot Indiana sun, sweat rolling off our brows with intent faces and pinched grimaces as we carefully shaped those wonderful creations. While that was a long, long time ago; it was one of the more memorable experiences we had at camp and even now, I still have that neckerchief slide and still feel a sense of pride that it was something I made with my own hands.

That is one of wonderful things about Scouting. You learn that you can do things that you never thought you could do. You grow. And you feel a lot of self-esteem when you succeed at doing something difficult.

If you have similar memories and are wanting to share the fun of wood carving with your Scouts or if you are a Wood Carving Merit Badge counselor, you may want to pay a visit to Whittler Bob’s web site. Bob has had an enduring affection for wood carving and sells all the necessary stuff that you need to have a good experience with wood carving. Bob was a the 2010 National Jamboree showing his talents and sharing the tricks of the trade.

Comments { 0 }
Author Avatar

Game Design Merit Badge

BSA’s latest new merit badge, GAME DESIGN, is now available for Scouts to earn.  BSA released the requirements for the new badge on March 6, 2013.

The US Scouting Service Project has posted a copy of the requirements, and a note to counselors from the merit badge pamphlet, along with a workbook we prepared (with some input from BSA staff) that Scouts can use to help organize their work, at http://usscouts.org/mb/mb151.asp Although the workbook can help, Scouts will also need to create a Game Design Notebook to document their work as they create a new game, test it with others, and make modifications as they continue development.

BSA is also distributing a flyer to publicize the new badge. The flyer includes the full text of the requirements. Click here to see a copy of the flyer.


This post courtesy of the U.S. Scouting Service Project – Paul Wolf, author

Comments { 0 }
Author Avatar

Tough Scouting on TV

This just came in via email from NESA

Calling On All Eagle Scouts
Your Eagle Eyes Are Needed!

It’s fiercely competitive—the consummate outdoor adventure.

Watch “Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?” featuring an awesome, elite team of Scouts taking on adult challengers each Monday on the National Geographic Channel. Cheer on your fellow Scouts by tuning in each week at 7 p.m. Central/ 8 p.m. Eastern time through April 8.

More than 439,000 households tuned in for the premiere on March 4. That’s 439,000 households in communities across the country seeing the fun and excitement of Scouting!

You can count on the Scouts to give their “civilian” challengers a run for their money! It’s all in good—but not necessarily clean, fun. A variety of adventurous, Scout-based activities (which include being covered in mud) proves this is no day at the spa! Five more episodes await your viewing pleasure. Watch it, DVR it, tell your friends about it!

Comments { 0 }
Author Avatar

Scouts Rap to Sell Chocolate

You can order fudge from this enterprising Boy Scout Troop at http://www.cambridgescouting.com/csorder.html. Hey, even if you are on a special diet, you can order it for gifts!

Regardless of whether you order or not, the Troop deserves a virtual pat on the back for an outstanding video.

Comments { 0 }