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KNOW HOW Camping can bring good surprises and bad surprises.

Avoid the bad ones by checking with the appropriate land management agency for specific rules and regula- tions that may affect your trip. Are permits needed? Are there group size limits? Fees? Find the pertinent agency at

CLICK HERE Sounds Like a Plan

What makes a strong unit? Bill Evans of the program impact depart- ment likes to cite a Six Sigma study by the Crossroads of America (Indianapolis) council that found three basic components: the right leader, training, and annual program planning. And the BSA’s new electronic planning guides, Evans says, will

help“revitalize” programs with at least one of those—the planning process. The new guides will make it easier to set your unit’s course for the year. You can find all the relevant forms, including fillable PDFs and an Excel spreadsheet for building calendars, at Just click on Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, or Venturing. Once the plan is com- plete, the finished product can be shared with parents, who will appreciate being in the know. “If your unit doesn’t have a program plan, things just happen by accident,” Evans says. That doesn’t work for today’s

busy families who need to get that blue and gold banquet on the calendar ASAP.

WATCH THIS Are You Tough Enough?

Here’s one for your DVR list: a reality show devoted to Scouting. Filming is under way in California for Are You Tougher Than a Boy Scout?,

 by Thom Beers of Original Productions, creators of reality-TV hits such as Deadliest Catch, Ice Road Truckers, and Ax Men, the series will pit “super top- notch” Scouts against adults who almost made Eagle during their Scouting days. The show “pits current Scouts in friendly outdoor competition with adult men who didn’t quite make it to Eagle Scout,” says Stephen Medlicott, BSA marketing and communications director. “This is a tremendous chance to showcase the leadership, service, character, and skills of today’s Scouts in a totally new way.” Says Chief Scout Executive Bob Mazzuca: “This is a wonderful, unique opportunity to demonstrate the fun, value, and chal-

lenge of Scouting to audiences who might be wondering what Scouting today is all about.” Watch for a behind-the-scenes look at the show in a future issue of Scouting.

10 SCOUTING ¿  ADVISORY The Big Bang Theory

With the Fourth of July racing toward us, it’s time for a word about fireworks and cannon safety. That word, says Richard Bourlon, health and safety team leader, is “no.” “We don’t use fireworks in our program unless it’s done

by someone who is licensed, like at the jamboree or a big council encampment where it’s part of a planned program and licensed experts shoot them off,” Bourlon says. “We also have a prohibition against selling fireworks, even for money-earning activities. It seems that every year some council has well- meaning Scouters running the local fireworks stand. That is on the unauthorized activities list.” As for cannons used for salute activities or summer-camp

wake-ups, only council-owned cannons are allowed; no unit- level salute activities are authorized, Bourlon adds. Bottom line: Leave fireworks to the pros.




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