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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

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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.

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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: (Word) (PDF)

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

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USSSP Web Sites Unavailable


We regret that our USSSP web sites are currently unavailable to visitors at this time due to technical difficulties. Please try visiting at a later time. We are working to bring our web sites back online as soon as possible. Thank you for your consideration and patience.

Settummanque/Mike Walton on behalf of the USSSP

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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

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

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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

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.

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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.

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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 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

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Scouting Alumni Page on Facebook Opens

There is a brand new Scouting Alumni Association page on Facebook. Mike Walton, fellow USSSP Board Member, wrote on our Facebook page:

“Bill Steele, the BSA’s point person on so many program items, and his team has set up a new resource for people like myself — and many of you — and our friends. Check out the Scouting Alumni Association now on Facebook and contribute where and when you can!!

Head on over to Facebook and like the page. Feel free to comment on the page’s timeline. You’ll find some great information there.

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USSSP – Potential Disruptions Due to Hurricane

The U.S. Scouting Service Project is operated by volunteer Scouters across the U.S. Three of our team members are located in the path of Hurricane Sandy and near where the storm is projected to make landfall. Because authorities are warning of power outages which may disrupt local communications, we ask that you please be patient over the next several days if you write to us and do not get an immediate response.

Virginia’s Governor has declared a state of emergency in advance of the approaching storm. So, Scouts and Scouters, if you are in the projected storm path, this is a good time to live “BE PREPARED” and be ready to lend a hand.

Local authorities are offering these tips for those in the path of the storm:

Get a Kit! Stock or re-stock your emergency supply kits (including extra batteries, etc.). Don’t wait until the last minute to shop for supplies.

Stay Informed: Have a NOAA Weather Radio at home and at your worksite. Like a smoke alarm, NOAA Weather Radios sound when there is an emergency in your area. You can also sign up for weather alerts and emergency messages from your local government.

Keep up to date with local conditions – follow TV and radio reports from your area, or visit ( on your phone) for the latest forecast.

Make a Plan and Plan Ahead: You can design your family emergency plan at or get a family emergency plan worksheet at Here are additional reminders:

Communication – be sure friends and family know how to contact you in an emergency. Teach family members how to use text messaging, because text messages can often get through when a phone call won’t.

Prepare your Home: Clean out your gutters and storm drains to improve the flow of rain waters, and reduce possible flooding and ponding situations.

Flood Safety: Hurricanes bring heavy rains, storm surges, and possible flooding. Avoid walking or driving through any flooded areas – it takes only six inches of fast-moving flood water to knock over an adult, and two feet to move a vehicle. Remember: Turn Around, Don’t Drown!

Food safety – power outages and flooding may happen as a result of a tropical storm or hurricane, so have a plan for keeping food safe. Have a cooler on hand to keep food cold, and group food together in the freezer so it stays cold longer.

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