Time to take those skills you’ve learned in Scouting and put them to good use! As you maintain social distancing, the best place to be is still OUTSIDE! Here are some suggestions to keep us from going stir-crazy inside. Plus, your family will get a kick out of seeing you practice these skills and perhaps, you can pass along the knowledge using the E.D.G.E. method.
Show off those fire-starting skills – Can you build a one-match fire? Better yet, do you have the skills to start a fire with flint and steel….or a bow drill? If you have a fire pit and fire bucket….this would be a perfect opportunity to do some s’moring with your family, sing campfire songs, tell ghost stories…or just enjoy each other’s company.
Pitch a tent in the backyard. Sure mom and dad can help you put that tent together but do you have the know-how to assemble yourself? Most scouts are familiar with a Eureka Timberline tent and know what a “dogbone” is… but not all tents are created equally. Great opportunity to learn something new and have a backyard adventure of your own…or with siblings.
Take a hike. Fresh air and the peace of nature are just what we needed in this time of uncertainty. Time to print out a trail map, grab your compass or GPS, walking stick and show your family the orienteering skills you have learned!
Locally, we have Rocky Neck State Park, Oswegatchie Nature Preserve, the Richard H. Goodwin Trail, Bluff Point State Park, or the John Lohman Preserve in Old Lyme…location of our Eagle Scout, Alec Russell’s reflection benches overlooking the CT River. Here is a list of some of the best hiking trails in CT. https://www.rei.com/blog/hike/best-hiking-connecticut
Dutch oven/campfire cooking – Do you have a cast iron dutch oven that doesn’t get much action? Time to stoke up charcoal and prepare a delicious campfire meal for the family! While our troop has a VERY BIG binder of paper recipes, there are plenty of resources online to stoke the ideas. http://www.scoutorama.com/recipe/
Practice your lashings/knots …build a useful camp gadget. Do your parents need you to clean out the first floor gutters and you don’t have a secure ladder? Not enough camp chairs for a fireside chat? Looking to build a tripod to support your teepee for an overnight campout? Put the knot-tying/lashing skills to use and make it fun. Bring the family in on the action. All you need is some fallen timber, staves or broomsticks, and a spool of twine or paracord. https://boyslife.org/hobbies-projects/funstuff/3421/build-a-camp-chair/
Geocaching or letterboxing course in your yard/neighborhood – A compass, GPS or even phone along (not required for letterboxing) along with some basic things that can be found around the house can be put to use to design a simple treasure hunt to pass the time. Definitely need some family participation for this one…otherwise it won’t be much of a hunt. 😊 https://www.farmersalmanac.com/become-a-treasure-hunter-letterboxing-geocaching-11785