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TREK TECH Weather Wake-Up

There’s an app for just about everything, but here’s one that just might save your life on a camping trip. The iMapWeather Radio app “wakes up” on your Apple or Android device when there’s breaking news about danger- ous weather in your area.

The iMap app provides

voice alerts from the National Weather Service, interactive maps and radar, and video programming so that you can get real-time streaming video from local television stations moni- toring the weather. $9.99 on Apple’s App Store for iOS; free for Android on the Android Market.

WHAT’S NEW Good Move

This past summer, BSA added the Chess merit badge, a move that couldn’t come soon enough for Scouts who love the 1,500-year- old game. Jerry Nash, consultant to the United States Chess Federation, says the game is not only great fun but will help Scouts develop important skills that serve them in later life. “Chess helps young people with the

ability to think ahead, to have patience, and to think through the consequences of their choices,” Nash says. “To lead, you must think beyond where others are thinking.” Among other requirements for earning the badge, Scouts will

have to explain concepts such as clearance sacrifice and double attack. They also must set up and solve five direct-mate problems. Nash, who worked with Scouting to develop material about the national and international chess communities, disagrees with the stereotype of good chess players as narrow, nerdy types. “Some really good players I’ve known have become quarterbacks on high school teams,” he says. “Chess teaches you how to make quick choices under pressure.” Find the Chess merit badge pamphlet and badge at your local Scout Shop or at

POINT OF VIEW Why Should Scouts Read?

“There are millions of kids in this country who have never read one book they loved. Many of them are boys. And that’s a national tragedy.” Those strong words come

from a man who knows some- thing about books: James Patterson, megaselling author

of thrillers and detective yarns such as Beach Road and Along Came a Spider. Patterson has written 19 consecutive No. 1 New York Times best-selling novels and holds the Guinness World Record for the most best- selling hardcover fiction titles by a single author (63). Patterson is proud of his

literary output, but these days he’s eager to talk about, the Web site he started to help teachers, librarians, and parents estab- lish a love of reading in young people. The site offers hundreds of recommendations for books kids will love and interviews with young-adult authors such


as Jeff Kinney (Diary of a Wimpy Kid) and Rick Riordan (the Percy Jackson series). “A lot of parents don’t under-

stand it’s their job to go find books for their children and turn their kids on to reading,” says Patterson, who spoke to Scouts at last year’s jamboree. Patterson’s inspiration for

ReadKiddoRead started close to home with his son Jack, now 10. “He was a bright boy, but he wasn’t a big reader,” says Patterson. So one summer, the Pattersons told Jack that he had to read for a while every day. “He didn’t have to cut the lawn, but he did have to read.” It worked, and eventually, the seasoned adult-fiction writer began writing kids’ books himself, including the popular Daniel X series.

“Learning about reading is

as important as anything that a Scout learns,” Patterson says. “If you can’t read well … you’re probably going to be kind of one-dimensional.” Though Patterson was not a

Scout growing up, he enjoys his Scouting involvement today. At the jamboree, he was impressed by the “terrific” response he got from Scout reporters. “They were really engaged,” he says. “They asked better questions than I get from some reporters at big newspapers.”

James Patterson



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