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TREK TECH Learn the Ropes

Flemish Bend? Easy peasy. Monkey’s Fist? Gotcha covered. Thanks to some ingenious apps, even the more complicated knots can be conquered. Here are three apps (appearing clockwise from left) to help you get the bugs out of your Gnat Hitch.

ANIMATED KNOTS BY GROG From the Albright Knot to the Zeppelin Bend, this app shows you how to master mega-bunches of knots, arranged in categories including Basic, Boating, Fishing, Scouting and more. Grog also gives you detailed descriptions of each knot’s uses, advantages and disadvantages. Its motto? “Better to know a knot and not need it, than need a knot and not know it.” $4.99 for iOS or Android.

HOW TO TIE KNOTS 3D This 3-D animated app wants to be your “personal assistant” in learning more than 45 essential knots. Animated step-by-step directions — “Cross the running end over itself to make a small loop” — shed plenty of light on the subject. $1.99 for iOS, free for Android.

KNOTS 3D Good pause and speed controls for the rotational views make this app a standout way to learn more than 90 knots. You’ll fi nd brief histories of the knots and explanations of some unusual knot names, and you can use your fi nger to spin the knot and see how it looks from any angle in 3-D. 99 cents for iOS and Android.


Eagle Scout service projects completed with minimal or no expense are always preferred to those with high price tags. In other words: An Eagle project doesn’t need to cost a fortune to be meaningful. But the BSA knows that low-cost Eagle projects aren’t always pos-

sible or preferred by Scouts, meaning sometimes boys need to earn money for materials, equipment rentals or even professional services.

Some Scouts approach friends, family members and busi-

nesses for this money. Others try car washes, bake sales or spaghetti dinners. But given the rise of crowdfunding websites, some Scouts may wonder whether online fundraising is an accept- able option. The answer is yes. There are hundreds of crowdfunding sites

out there, and the BSA won’t endorse one over another. It’s best for Eagle Scout hopefuls to do their homework on these sites. They’ll want to know how much of a cut the site takes, whether they’ll get the money even if they don’t reach the stated goal and whether the site allows fundraising for projects benefi ting non- profi ts like the BSA. As anyone who has sought crowdfunding for a movie, book

or gadget knows, just because you ask for money doesn’t mean you’ll get it. Scouts should have a plan B in case the online funding route doesn’t succeed. Remember: Anytime money is raised for an Eagle project from

sources other than the Scout’s family, his unit or the project ben- efi ciary, an Eagle Scout Service Project Fundraising Application is required. That form is in the Eagle Scout Service Project Workbook, available at Crowdfunding sites work well for project-based fundraising but

are not the right approach for general unit fundraising. In other words, you shouldn’t use these sites to fi ll your unit’s coff ers as a substitute for traditional unit money-earning projects. – B.W.


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