Saturday, August 29, 2009

A trip to the Hardware Store

Once again, I found a project that required a trip to Hodges Hardware.

To fix a lamp for my Mom, I needed a socket, plug, lamp cord, and craft glue; the glue to replace the felt on the bottom that I will need to tear off to get the old cord off. The other parts should be self-explanatory.

The filing system at Hodges must be experienced first hand. It is nearly always faster to wait in line for the key cuts, glass and screen door repairs, and propane tank refills and just ask for a part. The staff knows right where everything is, and even more, knows where the part you really wanted and didn't know to ask for, how to describe, much less knew it existed.

I found the socket after prowling the aisles, couldn't find just the right plug, did find the glue, but totally missed the lamp cord. It's in the back room where paint, blinds and other household repair items are. The clerk said "pick out what you want, bring it up and I'll cut it."

Here's what I faced:

The brown cord was behind the white spaghetti on the middle right side of the image.

I'm now confident this lamp will light up again.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Scout Camp The Movie - A Review of Sorts

I watched "Scout Camp - The Movie" on DVD over a couple nights last week. I would have shared it with my troop, but the Scoutmaster and SPL went on vacation, and I like to keep my Netflix queue churning. Can rent and/or buy later.

Though Netflix had said there was a delay, the movie shipped right away after it came to the top of my list. This is a review (of sorts), but a little background. I heard about the movie a few weeks ago, but then looked for it online.

  • Home from meeting at Baltimore Area Council and meanwhile Netflix has delivered "Scout Camp" ( #scouts the movie). Maybe tomorrow night zzzz
After I posting that, I got replies:

So, a few of my takes:

  • I enjoyed the movie, on the whole, and particularly liked the Spirit Stick emphasis, although I failed to see the point of the "free sticks" subplot.
  • The scenes with Scouts doing flag ceremonies, falling out, patrol yells, and general pranks were about as accurate as you can get, without resorting to plain silliness or typical Hollywood script-by-committee tinkering. Likewise with uniform wear.
  • Biggest downside from my view was lack of 2-deep leadership in many situations. We don't go on solo trips. Dangerous in several ways.
  • Do not miss the outtakes with the assistant directors [incorrectly] herding cattle. I was tipped off to this with the altered text of "no animals were harmed during the making of this film. However..."
  • Troops are rather on the Caucasian side. But, that's probably a truism, unfortunately. Working on it.

Now, how will we use this film? It's definitely superior, from a reality check standpoint, than the training clips distributed at round table and similar sessions. Will it recruit more boys into Scouting? Possibly, though my guess will be it will help Webelos and other Cubs get a better idea of what camp is like than the brochures and web sites tell them, much less the incomplete (almost said incoherent - and realized that is untrue) stories from our not-yet-First Class Scouts.


p.s. They're going to need to alter the lettering from this:

To this:


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Trail work at Camp Saffran

We were asked to upgrade water bars on the trail between Lookout cabin, Timberline adirondack and the Nentico Pavilion. A couple of the "before" shots depict the prior water bars, steps, or 2x8 dirt barriers installed with the runoff slope facing up the trail instead of down, weathered or kicked away, or only part way across the trail.



The 'During' photos show a bit of the work done by Troop 350, starting with 6x6 treated lumber at the top, pieces rescued from a previous live elsewhere on the reservation.

Stakes were made on site, with points sharpened and the other end wrapped to prevent splitting during installation.

Lower water bars were made from various tree limbs found around camp, such as Scoutcraft, Pioneering and a couple of fire rings. The largest limb is about a foot in diameter.


Only 1 'after' picture is shown, although a couple of the 'during' pictures depict the troop testing the stability of the installed logs. We watched as Scouts moved up and down the trail to see if the distance between water bars was correct, and if there was any motion of the logs.

We finished 6 of the water bars, ending up removing one older step that was loose and just backflling the area. Several Scouts commented we should have one more at the lower point of the trail, but as we ran out of time during our Summer camp week we deferred that to another day.