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Updated: 1 week 15 hours ago

The Rules of Fishing – How to Be a Good Neighbor While Angling

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 2:42pm

When we say rules, we’re not talking about the secrets to landing a huge catch. We’re talking about the actions you take to keep yourself, others and your environment safe.

When it comes to fishing, there are important rules for every angler to follow. Not only should you be familiar with your state and local fishing rules, there are also some other rules you should know.

What Are the Rules of Fishing?

• Always ask permission before fishing on another person’s property. Never trespass.

• Always leave the area cleaner than you found it. Remember, Leave No Trace is always in effect.

• Always let an adult know where you are going and when you will be back. Be sure to check in with this adult if your plans change.

• Always fish with a buddy. It’s safer (and more fun).

• Do not intrude on a spot where others are already fishing, which can scare away fish. You’ll appreciate the same courtesy directed toward you.

• Do not fish in a swimming area. People might step on lost hooks. That’s the same reason you don’t want to swim in a fishing area.

• Never fish when lightning is striking in the area or when there is a possibility of flooding.

• Be sure the place you choose to fish is safe.

• Discuss any other rules your family has so you will be safe while fishing.

Fishing can be a relaxing and exciting experience for you and for others. Following these simple, common-sense rules will ensure you, your buddies and other anglers at your fishing hole have a great time (and hopefully catch the big one).

What other rules would you add to this list? Are there any precautions you or your family always make sure to take on a fishing trip? We want to hear from you so be sure to post your comment below!

Youth Angler Education Day Gets Scouts Fishing

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 2:07pm

There’s a lot more to fishing than catching fish.

At the Greater St. Louis Council’s annual Youth Angler Education Day in Webster Groves, Missouri, Cub Scouts and older Scouts learn fishing skills from local BSA Certified Angling Instructors and a club called Fishing’s Future. There are more than 30 stations, and each one focuses on a different part of fishing.

First, you have to learn how to use a rod and reel. Casting is easy once you get the hang of it. But like everything else, it takes practice.

What’s the Bait Deal?

No matter how good you get at casting, if you’re using the wrong bait, it won’t matter. At this event, the Cub Scouts and older Scouts learn which baits to use in certain situations.

Sometimes, an artificial lure that looks like a tasty fish treat is the best option. At other times, fishermen might use a live bait.

>“I touched live bait,” says Alex Harrell, a 9-year-old Webelos Scout from Pack 449 in St. Clair, Mo. “They had maggots. They had worms. They had a lot of bait.”

To learn how to actually put the bait on a fishing hook, the Cub Scouts put gummy worms on fake hooks.

“My job was to teach kids how to bait a hook,” says Francisco Becerra, a 10-year-old from Pack 314 in Webster Groves. “I like to teach fishing to the younger kids like the older kids did for me when I was a little Cub Scout.”

Other stations include fish identification, habitats, rules and regulations, fly casting, boating safety, Leave No Trace and first aid. (Trust us: Those hooks are sharp. They hurt when they poke your skin.)

But there’s one fishing skill that might be more important than all the rest: patience.

After all, that’s why they call it “fishing” and not “catching.”

When did you learn to fish? Drop us a comment after the jump!

The Great Scout Community Campout

Fri, 03/15/2019 - 12:10pm

Community service is an important part of every Scout unit. That’s why two troops in and around the township of Radnor, Pennsylvania, join forces every summer to play host to Radnor’s Great Backyard Campout in a local park.

It’s an opportunity for the older Scouts to teach camping basics to more than 200 members of their community. And it’s an opportunity for those members of the community to learn more about the kinds of things older Scouts and Cub Scouts do.

At one station, Scouts teach kids about backpacking basics. At another, they show kids how to cook food on a campout. There is an orienteering area and, of course, an area for a campfire with s’mores.

After dark, the community learns about astronomy and all you can see outside at night.

“I gave instructional talks to children about fire safety, knife safety and first aid,” says Clarke Piatt, 15, from Troop 284 in Radnor. “They were really into it.”


Troop 284 and Troop 219 from nearby Wayne provided most of the older Scout manpower. Cub Scouts from packs 284 and 19 helped out, too.

The activities start in the early afternoon and last well into the evening. Families are invited to camp out in the park. For many of them, it’s their first time spending the night outdoors.

“There were a lot of tents,” says Avery Tyrrell, a 10-year-old Webelos Scout from Pack 284. “Way more than we have for a regular Cub Scout campout.”

While Clarke was talking about fire safety, one of his fellow Scouts was building a campfire using the log cabin method, in which you stack the wood as if you were building a mini log cabin.

“I feel like not many kids get to truly experience nature and what it is to camp,” Clarke says. “This event allows us to show young kids what it is to be a Boy Scout and what it’s like to camp, and hopefully they’ll want to join Scouts in the future.”


Some of the youth participated in a scavenger hunt. They split up into one team of boys and one team of girls, and competed to see who could get to all of the spots the fastest.

We won’t tell who won, but we will report that everyone had a blast.

The older Scouts also led some community members on a short hike along a nearby stream.

“It was nice because my neighbors that live across the street from us were there, and one of my dad’s friends and his grandchild was there,” says Alex, Avery’s 9-year-old brother, also from Pack 284.

As the sun sets on Radnor, Clarke helps a family set up a tent for the very first time.

“I think people came away really happy,” he says. “They had a good weekend and had a really good time.”

Check out photos from the campout in the gallery below!

Love stories like this? We’ve got exclusive stories just for subscribers. Get a year’s worth of the best and funniest and most interesting things you need to know for $12.

When Severe Storms Threaten, Jim Cantore Is on the Front Lines

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 5:01pm

When Hurricane Harvey slammed into the Texas coast as a Category 4 storm in August 2017, its winds raging at 130 miles an hour, The Weather Channel meteorologist Jim Cantore was right in the thick of it.

During the flooding that followed, he was covering a fire rescue team as it evacuated residents from a flooded apartment building when he realized more aid was needed. He and other rescuers helped several people to safety, including one man in casts from a double knee operation.

“Instead of just standing there, we went over and helped people out of the boats and just kind of became part of the rescue,” Cantore says. “Anyone would have done it; I just happened to be there doing a broadcast.”

It’s just another part of the job for Cantore, who has become the public face of The Weather Channel’s disaster coverage.


Like most meteorologists, Cantore caught the weather bug early when growing up in Vermont.

“I talked about it so much my dad finally said, ‘Why don’t you go study the weather? You don’t want to wake up 50 years from now and realize you spent your life doing something you didn’t like to do.’”

Those words resonated so much that, after high school, Cantore enrolled in Lyndon State College and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in meteorology in 1986.

Most aspiring broadcast meteorologists spend time at local TV stations before moving to national markets, but Cantore took a different path: After high school, he created some demo tapes and began sending them to various news outlets, and one of them ended up in the hands of The Weather Channel’s news manager. Not long out of college, Cantore found himself on the way to Atlanta, Georgia, for an interview.

He began his career there the next month as an intern.


Now in his 32nd year at The Weather Channel, Cantore has covered every type of severe weather the atmosphere can dish out, including hurricanes, tornadoes, ice storms, blizzards and floods. As the go-to guy when bad weather threatens, he’s often one of the first reporters on the scene before a storm, and that can make people nervous. The Weather Channel even made a commercial in which Cantore goes to the beach and everyone flees, leaving him alone.

“It was all I could do to keep a straight face while we were filming it,” he says. “I wish they’d run it more often.”

As a confirmed weather geek, Cantore feels very lucky to be a broadcast meteorologist.

“I really do have the best job in the world,” he says. “I get to work with the weather, and I genuinely believe I help people.”

Sometimes that help is quite literal. In January 2018, Cantore was covering a so-called “bomb cyclone” in Rockport, Massachusetts, that became one of the most intense in several decades. While doing a broadcast near the ocean in near blizzard conditions, he and his cameraman noticed a woman stuck in a car that was being engulfed by the storm surge. The two men pushed her car to safety before resuming their broadcast.


Not every assignment is so serious, though. Cantore is a huge fan of thunder snow, a rare phenomenon caused by positively charged ice crystals high in the atmosphere interacting with areas of negative charge. During the winter of 2015, he was sent to Plymouth, Mass., to cover a storm, while his colleague Reynolds Wolf was dispatched to Boston. During his broadcast, Cantore learned that Wolf was experiencing thunder snow — and he wasn’t. Dejected, he did a faceplant into a snowbank.

“It was really demoralizing,” Cantore remembers. “I felt like a kid who didn’t get what he wanted for Christmas.”

Then it was time to do his broadcast, and as the camera started to roll, a peal of thunder rang out. Cantore leaped into the air, fists pumping, and yelled, “We got it, baby! We got it!”

There was another crack of thunder and then another. In all, six thunderbolts split the air, and Cantore was ecstatic.

“It was right over the top of us,” he says. “I went from complete demoralization to euphoria.”

Now that’s a guy who loves his job.

One of the things Cantore enjoys the most about his career is the teaching aspect — not just reporting on the weather, but explaining the processes that cause it. And he’s well aware that his timely alerts and warnings can actually save lives. Cantore still credits his father’s advice for all his successes: “He told me that there’s plenty in life to make you unhappy, so don’t think about the pay — do what you love.”

JOB FACTS: Meteorologist

WHAT TO EXPECT: Meteorologists are scientists who study Earth’s atmosphere and use mathematical models to predict the weather in both the short and long term. They use various instruments to measure temperature, humidity, pressure, wind speed, rainfall and air quality, and use data from satellites to improve their forecasts. Climatologists are meteorologists who study how the atmosphere changes over long periods of time.

JOB OUTLOOK: Between now and 2026, the demand for meteorologists is expected to grow by 12 percent, with the private sector producing most new jobs. Not all meteorologists work on TV, although they’re the most visible. You’ll also find them working for airlines, government agencies such as the National Weather Service, private companies, public utilities and universities. Reported job satisfaction is high.

EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: “You can do it with a B.A. in science,” says Cantore, “although because it’s so science- and math-based, it may take you five years to get a degree.” If you want to teach meteorology or work in atmospheric research, you’ll probably need a master’s or Ph.D.

SALARY: Annual pay ranges from around $32,000 to more than $100,000, depending on experience and education level. The average salary for all types of meteorologists is around $51,000. The highest average salaries are paid by the National Weather Service, at about $72,000 annually.

» (National Weather Service)
» (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
» (Average weather in your area)

Wizard Westy

Tue, 03/12/2019 - 12:32pm

It’ll take strategy, skill and a little magic to beat all the levels in our newest game.

It’ll take strategy, skill and a little magic to beat all the levels in our newest game.

Write a Funny Caption For This Photo

Mon, 03/11/2019 - 5:45pm

What’s going on in this picture? What is that rubber duck saying, doing or thinking?

If you can think of a funny caption for this photo, just post it in the comment form at the bottom of this page. After we approve it, your funny caption will be on this page for everyone to read.

Click here to write captions for more funny photos.

Practicing Wilderness Survival with the ‘Survivormen’ of the Rockies

Mon, 03/04/2019 - 3:09pm

A patrol hikes to a Survivorman Challenge station, where they will be tested on their wilderness survival knowledge.

Your flight home turned into a disaster. The plane crashed in a dense forest during a storm. Fortunately, you survived, but now you’re cold, wet, thirsty and lost.

You scour through the plane wreckage and find a bottle of water. You guzzle down the refreshing drink and then start to move on. But wait — don’t throw away that bottle!

You can place your thumbs over part of the bottle cap’s underside and blow, creating a makeshift emergency whistle.

This is wilderness survival. It’s using your wits to make the most of what’s available to help you get home safely.

It’s what the Scouts in Troop 16 of Parker, Colorado, practice every year in their Survivorman Challenge.


For nearly a decade, Troop 16 has held an annual wilderness survival campout at Peaceful Valley Scout Ranch, south of Denver. Since it’s springtime, the Scouts have a large part of the camp to themselves, including about 1,000 acres of undeveloped land. Each year, leaders plan a new theme — the Hunger Games, a military rescue mission, an ATV trip gone wrong. This time, it’s a plane crash.

Also this time around, survival expert Les Stroud will be there. He created the hit television series Survivorman, a show in which he survives for a week alone in remote places all over the world, sharing survival skills and how important it is to Be Prepared.

Survivorman Les Stroud shares some orienteering tips with Scouts.

“Survival has never been about recreation; survival is about real-life skills,” Stroud says. “There are many skills to learn, and the Boy Scouts of America [is] touching on them all: navigation, how to set up a fire, shelter construction, first aid … ”

This campout, named in honor of Stroud’s show, is a competition; each patrol will earn or lose points based on its members’ skills and decisions. But the bigger prize is Scouts enhancing their knowledge of what to do should this be a real emergency.


While first-year Scouts stayed at base camp, older Scouts ventured into the backcountry, allowed to carry very little for their weekend in the woods. No tent. No sleeping bag. No mess kit. This wasn’t going to be comfortable.

“It was a little cold because we didn’t get a sleeping bag or a sleeping pad,” says Ian Baldwin, a 17-year-old Eagle Scout.

Maybe they could light a fire to stay warm? Sorry; the county was under a fire ban. It’s important to follow local laws. You’ve got to adapt to different situations.

Scouts work on a shelter using sticks and plastic they collected.

So instead of worrying about not having a fire, the Scouts focused on building lean-to shelters out of tree branches and crawled inside for the night.

“You have to make sure your shelter is good,” 14-year-old Life Scout Josh Hilgartner says.

“Otherwise, if it rains, you’re going to get wet, and you don’t want that to happen.”

The next morning, the first-year Scouts set out to navigate a 5-mile orienteering course and practice knot tying, plant identification and first-aid skills as part of their challenge. Meanwhile, the older Scouts hiked to a fake plane crash site, where a couple of “injured” Scouts lie awaiting help. The Scouts quickly assess the area and move in to treat the — whoa! Is that a blood-covered bone sticking out of his arm?

Scouts assess the scene of a “plane crash,” where “injured” Scouts await their help.

It sure looks like it. But it’s a fake bone and blood. Even though it looks gross, you’ve got to be brave; these Scouts need your help.

Calm the victims, stop the bleeding, treat for shock. First aid is a top priority in wilderness survival.


After the victims are bandaged up, the Scouts discover a note with coordinates indicating where the plane was headed. This could be helpful, considering that the plane was flying toward civilization. To get their bearings, the Scouts create a compass by magnetizing a sewing needle and floating it in water.

They head the right way and come across more plane wreckage they can use: a tarp for shelter, CDs for signaling, a few bottles of water and granola bars.

“The teamwork of my group surprised me; I thought we weren’t going to work super well as a team, but we got together and did it,” says Travis Payne, an 11-year-old Tenderfoot Scout.

Adult leaders score Scouts on how well they know their stuff.

As part of the competition, the adult leaders keep score and reward the patrols when Scouts demonstrated proper survival techniques at various checkpoints. Identify edible plants, like dandelions and wild onion, and they’d win some spices to add flavor to their provided rabbit dinner. Tie a strong lashing at the knot-tying station, and they might get paracord to stabilize their shelter for the night. Explain how to start a fire with a 9-volt battery and steel wool, and they’d get a backpacking stove to cook the quail eggs they found.

Patrols also received points for reflecting sunlight with their CDs to signal adult Eagle Scout Trevor See, who piloted a Cessna 172 single-engine plane above the camp.

“We were about 600 feet above the ground; honestly, you could see the signals from 2,000 or 3,000 feet,” See says.


Scout Keaton Milerowski, 12, considers the Survivorman Challenge to be his favorite campout of the year other than summer camp.

“The challenges were fun because it was preparing you,” Keaton says. “It’s going to be useful in the future when you actually need it.”

Les Stroud poses for a portrait with members of Venturing Crew 16.

Part of the challenge involved teamwork and maintaining a positive attitude. Those skills will prove extremely useful, not only in the wilderness, but in life.

“The first time I ever got a fire going just from the bush, my confidence level went through the roof,” Stroud says. “That is the magic of wilderness survival. It lends itself to building confidence within you for all the other things you’ll face in life.”


Inside the March 2019 Issue

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 4:53pm

Here’s what you’ll find inside the March 2019 issue of Boys’ Life magazine. Remember, many articles are only available to subscribers and are not available online.

Please visit to subscribe to the print or digital editions of Boys’ Life magazine.


The ‘Survivormen’ of the Rockies

It might be a made-up contest, but what Scouts learn in the Colorado wilderness could prove vital in a real survival situation.

9 Things to Know About Wilderness First Aid

Here’s how to Be Prepared to treat injuries and ailments in the backcountry.

Learn about wilderness first aid

To Infinity and Beyond

The New Horizons spaceship flew to the edge of our solar system … and then kept going.

BL How To Make It: DIY Survival Kit

This 2-pound kit could save your life for at least three days in the wild.

How to make a DIY survival kit


Scouting Around: Stay on Target

Archery is more than a fun way to pass the time at Scout camp. It’s a popular sport with all kinds of different competition formats.

Visit the Scouting Around blog

Best Week Ever

Summer’s just around the corner. Make plans for fun with our guide to eight amazing Scout camps.

Check out 8 cool summer camps

Don’t Panic!

The key to surviving if you’re lost in the wild? Managing your fear.


Let’s Look at Pyramids

Read it! Color it! Get it all in this special Cub Scout section.

Welcome to Earth!

Alien invasion? Don’t worry. These Cub Scouts learned just what to do.


Look for the regular score of comics, jokes, games, Scouts in Action, Tradin’ Post and more! Only in the March 2019 issue of Boys’ Life!

The Wacky Adventures of Pedro
Pee Wee Harris
Tales From the Campfire
Scouts in Action
More S.I.A.

Amazing Pinewood Derby Car Designs of 2019

Fri, 02/22/2019 - 1:01am

Take a look at these photos of awesome Pinewood Derby car designs sent to us by Boys’ Life readers, and then send us a photo of your 2019 Pinewood Derby car.

Do you have a photo of your Pinewood Derby car? Send us a photo!

Pinewood Derby Car Design Photo Gallery

Click on images to see cars in a photo gallery.

Name of your car
Describe your car

Important Note: Please only upload photos of your car. Because of privacy rules, we can’t post any photos that show people’s faces. Always ask for your parent’s permission before uploading anything to a website.

15 Funny St. Patrick’s Day Jokes and Comics

Thu, 02/21/2019 - 1:01am

Even if you remember to wear green on March 17, you’ll still get a “pinch” of humor from these funny St. Patrick’s Day jokes submitted by Boys’ Life readers.

Do you know a funny St. Patrick’s Day joke? Click here to send your joke to us.

Tom: What do you get when you cross a four-leaf clover with poison ivy?
Pee Wee: I don’t know.
Tom: A rash of good luck on St. Patrick’s Day.

Joke submitted by Tommy F., Aberdeen, Md.
Comic by Daryll Collins

Seth: What do you call a fake Irish stone?
Spencer: What?
Seth: A shamrock!

Joke submitted by Seth F., Frederick, Colo.

Comic by Scott Nickel

David: Mom, I met an Irish boy on St. Patrick’s Day.
Mom: Oh, really?
David: No, O’Reilly!

Joke submitted by David K., Shelby Township, Mich.

Comic by Scott Nickel

Joe: Why shouldn’t you iron a four-leaf clover?
Bob: Tell me.
Joe: You might press your luck!

Joke submitted by Eric H., San Diego, Calif.

Comic by Scott Nickel

Jack: On what musical instrument did the showoff musician play his St. Patrick’s Day tunes?
Ally: I have no idea.
Jack: On his brag-pipes.

Joke submitted by Jacqueline S., Moline, Ill.

Keenan: What do you call leprechauns who collect aluminum cans, used newspapers and plastic bottles?
Liam: What?
Keenan: “Wee-cyclers!”

Joke submitted by Jacqueline S., Moline, Ill.

Comic by Scott Nickel

Ian: Where do leprechauns buy their groceries?
Colin: I don’t know.
Ian: Rainbow Foods!

Joke submitted by Ian C., Minneapolis, Minn.

Comic by Daryll Collins

Peyton: What did the leprechaun say on March 17?
Cody: I dunno.
Peyton: “Irish you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!”

Joke submitted by Andy K., Perkasie, Pa.

Comic by Scott Nickel

Carrot: Knock, knock.
Potato: Who’s there?
Carrot: Irish stew.
Potato: Irish stew, who?
Carrot: Irish stew in the name of the law.

Joke submitted by J.S., Hayward, Calif.

Comic by Daryll Collins

Evan: What’s Irish and stays out all night?
Steffan: What?
Evan: Paddy O’Furniture.

Joke submitted by Evan R., Wylie, Tex.

Comic by Scott Nickel

Do you know a funny St. Patrick’s Day joke? Click here to send your joke to us.

9 Things to Know About Wilderness First Aid

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 3:00pm

Here’s how to Be Prepared to treat injuries and ailments in the backcountry.

During a wilderness first-aid course, instructors will present participants with mystery injuries. It’s up to the participants to figure out what to do next.

What Is Wilderness First Aid?

If your unit is planning a remote adventure, you need wilderness first aid.

If you’d like to Be Prepared to help out your community after a major disaster, you need wilderness first aid.

The BSA’s wilderness first aid (WFA) curriculum focuses on prevention, assessment and treatment for an ill or injured person in an environment where professional medical care is an hour or more away.

“You could easily be three hours away from professional medical help,” says Luke Brewster from Troop 325 in Grand Rapids, Ohio. “Now you can do what you need to do to help.”

At Camp Lazarus in Delaware, Ohio, Luke and other members of Troop 325 took a WFA course offered by the Simon Kenton Council that follows the BSA curriculum. The troop had a high-adventure trip coming up on its calendar, and the Scouts wanted to be ready for anything.

Rescuers prepare a plan to help an instructor who’s pretending to have slipped and fallen.

First, Size Up the Scene

If you come across an injured person, take a few moments to stand back, survey the scene and do a safety check. Are there clues suggesting what happened? Is it safe for you to approach the victim?

Try to gather information from the patient. Ask something like, “Can you tell me who you are and what happened?” How was the patient injured?

During the Simon Kenton WFA course, students are presented scenes of “actors” with fake injuries.

“They put us in a scenario with many different ‘victims’ to see how we would handle it,” says Blake Litz, 16, also from Troop 325. “We had to piece together what happened.”

Scouts prepare to perform first aid on an instructor who is pretending to be injured.

Then, Do an Initial Assessment and Than a Hands-on Exam

An initial assessment checks for urgent medical issues, like severe bleeding or breathing problems. Treatment for issues like these requires immediate care.

Don’t forget to protect yourself from infectious diseases by donning personal protective equipment like disposable gloves, goggles, etc.

Once these concerns have been either resolved or are determined not to be a problem, a hands-on exam is the next step in determining what is wrong with the patient. It involves checking the patient from head to toe. Ask where it hurts and if it hurts when touched. Be aware of unusual behavior, such as coughing.

A patient’s vital signs can tell you how they are doing. Changes over time are indicators of changes in the condition of your patient. Check things like heart rate and respiratory rate — and keep checking regularly.

Write down the time and the results so you can track any changes. And while you’re doing all this, remember to stay calm.

“You have to focus on what’s at hand,” says Logan Smith, 14, from Troop 417 in Columbus, Ohio. “Just focus on what you’re performing.”

A Scout assesses the status of his father, who is pretending to be injured.

Treating Chest Injuries

Any significant injury to the chest might lead to difficulty breathing, a potentially serious and life-threatening problem. Pain is usually present, and the patient might complain of pain when taking a deep breath.

Increased difficulty in breathing usually indicates the injury is becoming worse. Any patient who has sustained a chest injury associated with increasing difficulty in breathing must be evacuated quickly.

How to Handle Shock and Heart Attack

Shock is a condition in which the patient’s brain and body aren’t getting enough oxygen. It can occur from a great variety of injuries and illnesses, but the signs and symptoms are similar.

Patients in shock might appear anxious, have a rapid and weak heart rate, take rapid and shallow breaths, and appear pale with cool and clammy skin.

Shock can kill, so it’s important to treat it quickly. Keep the patient warm, calm and lying down. Raise their feet up to 12 inches as long as the patient doesn’t have any spinal, pelvic or leg injuries. Don’t do it if it causes the patient any pain.

Heart attack patients might complain of heaviness; crushing or squeezing pain in the chest; pain radiating to the left arm, shoulder, back or jaw; nausea or vomiting; shortness of breath; severe sweating (without exertion); lightheadedness or dizziness. If any of these symptoms appear and a heart attack is suspected, Be Prepared to perform CPR. Give them an aspirin to chew unless they are allergic or there is any other reason not to.

A Scout treats an “injured” hiker.

Treating Head and Spine Injuries

A period of unconsciousness during which the patient does not respond to aggressive stimulation might indicate serious brain damage.

It’s important to establish and maintain an airway in all unconscious patients.

Moving a spine-injured patient must only be performed when absolutely necessary, and proper planning must be in place to decrease unnecessary movements.

Bone and Joint Injuries

Muscle and joint injuries can range from mildly annoying to debilitating. They are indicated by pain — and sometimes by swelling and bruising — in the area of the injury.

Immobilization may lessen pain. Applying ice or a cold pack can help reduce swelling and ease pain. Elevate the injured area above heart level to reduce swelling, and always make sure there is a thin layer of fabric between the ice pack and the skin.

A broken bone might be obvious. If it isn’t, take a look at the site of the injury. Is there discoloration and swelling? Does the patient move the injured area easily or prevent motion? Compare the injured side to the uninjured side. Does it look different?

A splint can restrict movement of the broken bone, which might prevent further injury and help the patient be more comfortable until a medical facility can be reached.

During a WFA training course, you might have to question an “injured” person to determine the best treatment.

“Some people would be lying on the ground, and they would tell us their injuries, and we would treat them with the materials we had on us,” says Toby Dush, 15, from Troop 16 in Columbus.

The injuries might look bad, but it’s really just makeup used at the Simon Kenton Council training course.

Wounds and Wound Infection

The best method for cleaning a wound is irrigation. It involves directing a stream of disinfected water — or at least drinkable water — into the wound to wash it out.

You can use a water bottle or punch a pinhole in a clean plastic bag. Wounds that are large, deep or very dirty, such as an animal bite, will need immediate advanced medical care after initial treatment.

A dressing is the primary covering of a wound.

Allergies and Anaphylaxis

Allergic reactions can come from foods, drugs, pollen, bugs and plant oils. A severe reaction, known as anaphylaxis, is a true emergency. Swelling of the face,
lips and tongue is common. Anaphylaxis can lead to extreme difficulty breathing and death if not immediately treated.

Anaphylaxis is reversible only by an immediate injection of epinephrine. Injectable epinephrine is available by prescription only in spring-loaded syringes that are pressed into the thigh.

All of this can be intimidating to the untrained Scout. One of the most important aspects of providing first aid is keeping your cool despite the situation in front of you.

“If something occurs, hopefully I’ll be able to stay calm,” says Will Ray, 14, from Troop 474 in Columbus. “Now that I know what to do, I can go into more depth in helping.”

Where Do I Sign Up?

Adults and youth 14 years and older can become BSA wilderness first-aid certified. Upon completion, the certification is good for two years. By participating in classes, participants will learn how to assess, treat and — when possible — keep emergencies under control within the scope of their training.

Contact your local council for WFA training near you. There are also courses available through the American Red Cross and the Emergency Care & Safety Institute (ECSI) that follow the BSA WFA curriculum.

Learn more at

Have the Best Week Ever at One of These Chill Summer Camps

Fri, 02/15/2019 - 12:43pm

Summer’s just around the corner. Make plans for fun with our guide to eight amazing Scout camps.

Click here to see more Scout Camps featured in previous years

Camp Morrison

Ore-Ida Council

McCall, Idaho

DIVE IN: There are waterfronts — and then there’s the waterfront at Camp Morrison, located high in the Rocky Mountains. The clear glacial waters of Payette Lake offer the ultimate swimming, sailing and snorkeling experience.

LOOK AROUND: As you walk to merit badge class, keep your eyes open for deer, foxes and eagles. You might spot a black bear, too, which is a good reminder to keep food out of your tent.

CLIMB ON: Here, you don’t get the Climbing merit badge; you earn it. Instead of climbing an artificial wall, challenge yourself on natural rock. Learn advanced techniques and how to stay safe while having fun.

Learn more here!

Camp V-Bar

Southeast Louisiana Council

Perkinston, Mississippi

COOL IT: Wild Water Wednesday offers a break from merit badge instruction and a chance to take advantage of open aquatics areas — especially the 40-foot slip-n-slide by the lake!

STAY LATE: The V-Bar fun doesn’t stop when supper ends. Each evening features something special. We’re told the Watermelon Bash, ice-cream social and Friday night closing campfire are not to be missed.

GO GUMBO: They’re called “gumbo troops,” and they’re made up of individual Scouts who, for whatever reason, couldn’t attend summer camp with their troop. Now everyone can experience summer camp and make new buddies.

Learn more here!

Camp Raven Knob

Old Hickory Council

Mount Airy, North Carolina

JUMP RIGHT IN: The docks at Lake John Sobotta give you multiple jumping-off points into aquatics awesomeness. Earn a merit badge (or three) — or just have fun kayaking, rowing, sailing or getting your lifeguard certification.

SHINE ON: At 9 p.m. each Tuesday, the nature staff invites you to a “frog hunt,” where you’ll search for nighttime wildlife. It’s required for Scouts earning the Reptile and Amphibian Study merit badge but open to all.

GET CRAFTY: Head to the handicrafts area to tie-dye a T-shirt or braid your own paracord survival bracelet. You can also finish up requirements for merit badges like Art, Basketry and Wood Carving.

Learn more here!

Camp Buffalo Bill

Central Wyoming Council

Cody, Wyoming

FIRE IT UP: Bring long pants and sturdy shoes if you want to earn Metalwork, one of the camp’s most popular merit badges. Learn to manipulate red-hot metal that was heated in a handcranked coal forge.

GET OUT THERE: Venture into Yellowstone for an unforgettable experience at the country’s first national park. Choose from a menu of five-day backpacking, kayaking, rafting or climbing adventures.

JOIN THE CAST: The fast-flowing North Fork of the Shoshone River is one of the nation’s best fly-fishing spots. Lucky for you, Camp Buffalo Bill is right on the river, giving you a shot at catching trout all week long.

Learn more here!

Great Lakes Sailing Adventure

Michigan Crossroads Council

Mackinaw City, Michigan

For vessels more than 20 feet in length, like the one pictured, life jackets need not be worn when the qualified supervisor determines that it is prudent to abide by less restrictive regulations concerning the use and storage of life jackets.

SET SAIL: Step aboard the Retriever, a sailboat that’s your home for a week of crisscrossing the northern Great

Lakes. The 52-foot Retriever has room for up to 12 participants — usually 10 youth and two adults.

LEARN ON THE JOB: No sailing experience? No problem. A seasoned sailor will teach you the basics of sailboat handling, navigation and marine safety — plus the right way to cook, sleep and live on a boat.

DROP ANCHOR: Pick which ports you’ll visit on Lake Huron or Lake Michigan. Sample that famous Mackinac Island fudge, hike the trails of Beaver Island or fill your camera roll with photos of lighthouses.

Learn more here!

Fire Mountain Scout Camp

Mount Baker Council

Mount Vernon, Washington

GAIN ELEVATION: Climb, jump, balance and swing at the Fire Mountain COPE course. COPE, or challenging outdoor personal experience, takes teamwork and confidence-building to new heights.

STAY COOL: Want a break from the summer heat? Average summer temperatures at Fire Mountain are in the upper 70s, and the camp’s huge evergreen trees offer plenty of shade. Bonus: The bug population is low.

TAKE THE PLUNGE: Fire Mountain’s lake features a swim beach complete with palm trees and sand. Head to Sea Dog Marina to try sailing, rowing, canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddleboarding.

Learn more here!

Camp Chawanakee

Sequoia Council

Shaver Lake, California

PICK A SPOT: Find Chawanakee on the banks of Shaver Lake, a popular recreation destination in the Sierra National Forest. One look and you’ll see why vacationers visit to water-ski, fish for trout and camp among the pines.

MAKE A SPLASH: Head to Boy Scout Cove on Shaver Lake to earn your Canoeing, Kayaking, Lifesaving, Rowing, Small Boat Sailing or Swimming merit badge in a setting that belongs on a postcard.

SAY ALOHA: Celebrate Hawaii on the mainland during Aloha Friday. Wear your Hawaiian shirt to the luau-style barbecue in the afternoon. That night, head to the Point Campfire Bowl for an unforgettable closing show where troops show off their best skits and songs.

Learn more here!

Massawepie Scout Camps

Seneca Waterways Council

 Tupper Lake, New York

BREATHE IT IN: The camp’s location in the Adirondacks means cool temperatures at night and the call of loons in the morning. But don’t sleep in! With nine ponds and lakes on property, there’s more climbing, kayaking, biking, swimming and log rolling than you could fit in a week.

SWITCH IT UP: For something different, try the Mountain Fox program for older youth. Leave your troop after breakfast to enjoy daylong outings to climb a mountain, conquer Class IV rapids and more — while still making it back for dinner!

GO FOR IT: Massawepie is the launch point for three- and six-day backpacking, canoeing or fishing treks through the Adirondack Mountains. Choose one of 12 predesigned treks — or customize your own.

Learn more here!

Where are you headed this summer? Whether it’s one of these camps or another, let us know below.

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How to Make a DIY Wilderness Survival Kit

Thu, 02/14/2019 - 5:34pm

This 2-pound do-it-yourself wilderness survival kit could save your life for at least three days in the wild.


We suggest storing these items in a single zip-close bag.

STAY SHARP: You should have a pocketknife during most outings, anyway, but never go into the wild without a dependable, easy-to-use blade.

TAKE COVER: Even in wilderness survival situations, you need a good shelter. A tube tent is a great lightweight option that’s easy to pack and very affordable.

SLEEP WARM: It’s not a long-term option, but an emergency sleeping bag will keep you warm and takes up only a few square inches of space.

FIRE SOURCE AND TINDER: Store fresh strike anywhere matches in a waterproof case to get a blaze going fast. Throw in a handful of dryer lint or petroleum-jelly-covered cotton balls as tinder.

SIGNALING: Get the attention of rescuers with a signal mirror and high-quality whistle.

INSECT CONTROL: A pack of insect-repellent towelettes takes up far less space than a spray bottle.

SHINE BRIGHTLY: A small LED flashlight will provide plenty of visibility in unknown environments. Don’t forget fresh batteries, too.

WRAP IT UP: We suggest wrapping a length of duct tape (a few feet) around your flashlight handle.

DRINK UP: Safe water is scarce in the wild. Make the water you do find safer to consume with a personal water filter and potable water tablets.

A survival kit does not replace the 10 Scout Outdoor Essentials. Learn more at

How Much Would You Weigh on Other Planets?

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 5:27pm

Gravity on the moon is about 17 percent of what it is on Earth. That means you can figure out what you’d weigh there by multiplying your weight by 0.165.

Use this calculator to find out what you’d weigh on the other planets in our solar system.

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Microsoft Just Released the World’s First Adaptive Controller

Tue, 02/12/2019 - 11:09am

Microsoft recently introduced a first-of-its-kind Xbox controller that adapts for gamers with limited mobility. The standard controller costs $100, and extensions personalized to each gamer’s specific needs can be purchased separately.

Check out the trailer above to see how the controller helps gamers of all abilities have fun and keep gaming.