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REPORT TO THE NATION


Delegation director Keith Christopher (left) joined the nine young people selected to present the BSA’s Report to the Nation to members of Congress. They were (from left): Jocques Ross Jr., a Life Scout from Fairburn, Ga.; Nick Dannemiller, an Eagle Scout and the National Order of the Arrow Chief from Tualatin, Ore.; Annaliese Parker, National Venturing President from Saratoga, Calif.; Andrew Bonney, an Eagle Scout from La Plata, Md.; Edwin Tout, a Webelos Scout from Sandy Hook, Conn.; Scott Niles, a Star Scout from Williamson, N.Y.; Billy McElligott, National Sea Scout Boatswain from Boca Raton, Fla.; Shane Uribe, an Eagle Scout from Santee, Calif.; and Paul Thao, a Life Scout from St. Paul, Minn. The group’s host couple was Ellen and John Lea from Nashville, Tenn.


GOOD READ


The Right Fieldbook (And e-Book!) For Right Now


Hot off the press: Pick up a copy of the new Fieldbook by Robert Birkby at your local Scout Shop or at scoutstuff.org — and even at the amazon.com digital bookstore for Kindle tablets and the Kindle app. Lovers of the outdoors know that Robert Birkby’s name on a book means a wealth of


experience and insight. Among other works, Birkby, the 2010 recipient of the William T. Hornaday Gold Medal, wrote Eagle Scouts: A Centennial History and three editions of the Boy Scout Handbook (1990, 1998, 2010). He also penned the 2004 Fieldbook and was involved with the 1984 version. Birkby (right) says each edition of the


Fieldbook has been the right book for its time. The latest version, with its digital counterpart, is no exception. “Times are changing rapidly now in


terms of technology, our knowledge about ways to enjoy the outdoors responsibly and the kinds of adventures people want,” he says. So the new edition weighs in on the increasing power and usefulness of GPS systems, but the time-honored map- and-compass method isn’t ignored. “We still stress the traditional navigation skills, because a GPS or a cellphone with a dead battery is about as useful as a rock on the trail,” Birkby points out. The new edition also emphasizes ways


of traveling and camping responsibly using the principles of Leave No Trace, but Birkby’s new “Stewardship” chapter goes further, urging readers to take part in proj- ects like repairing trails and campgrounds and removing invasive species. Like previous editions of the Fieldbook,


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Birkby says, the 2014 edition draws from the wisdom and know-how of “world-class mountaineers, naturalists, adventurers and wilderness educators,” most of whom were introduced to the outdoors by Scouting. Birkby points out one other advantage


of the new book: “This one is much more compact, so you can slip it into a side pocket of your backpack and take it with you.” Scouts can choose from two print bindings, perfect-bound ($19.99) or coil- bound ($26.99), or the e-book ($9.99). Like its predecessors, the new Fieldbook


makes a compelling case for the value of the outdoors: “Away from the concrete of freeways and the glass and steel of cities,” Birkby writes, “we can more fully appreci- ate the environment and perhaps be moved to seek a larger role in defending it.”


S COUTING ¿ MAY•JUNE 2014


FIELDBOOK


Scouting’s Manual of Basic and Advanced Skills for Outdoor Adventure


FIELDBOOK Scouting’s Manual of Basic and Advanced Skills for Outdoor Adventure


RANDY PILAND


KAREN POVEY


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