Thursday, February 25, 2010

NEW - Trail to Eagle Specialty Camp

Trail to Eagle Specialty Camp
Week 5 - July 25-31, 2010*
Camp Minsi - Minsi Trail Council, BSA

Join us for an exciting specialty week at Camp Minsi this summer. The new "Trail to Eagle" specialty camp program will be run for one week only this summer at Camp Minsi! Scouts are invited to come to camp to participate in this exclusive opportunity to work specifically on four Eagle-required Merit Badges, planning and understanding Eagle leadership projects, understanding the specific parts of the Trail to Eagle process, and experiencing advanced leadership development. This special one-week program will be run July 25-31, 2010 at Camp Minsi.

Merit Badges:
  • Citizenship in the Nation
  • Citizenship in the World
  • Communications
  • Personal Management
*If you already have one of these Merit Badges you will be able to work on other Merit Badges offered in our regular 2010 camp program.

Be prepared! Some Merit Badge requirements involve a long time span to complete, these must be completed prior to camp. Pre-requirements must be done to the satisfaction and standards of the Camp Minsi Trail to Eagle counselors. The outline of pre-requirements and how to complete them will be made available in April on

Due to the advanced level of the program, Scouts must be at least 14-years-old (as of June 1, 2010) and have attained the rank of First Class in order to participate in the Trail to Eagle program at Camp Minsi.

Scouts will spend the week as a member of the special Trail to Eagle Troop, which will have adult staff Scoutmasters to supervise them in their own Troop site as they function in a model Boy Scout troop.

Spaces are limited, sign your Scout up for the Trail to Eagle specialty week at Camp Minsi today!

Rates: $260 per Scout

Questions: Contact Mike Wiencek, Camp Minsi Program Director at

Register: Contact Jane Chase, Field & Camping Secretary at the Minsi Trails Council office (610-465-8568 or

Update: April 12, 2010 - Dates and price change*

Historical Merit Badges Provide Unique Opportunity For Scouts This Summer

In honor of the Boy Scouts of America's 100th anniversary, the BSA's has launched a special centennial Merit Badge program for Scouts. The 2010 Historical Merit Badge program features a set of four previously discontinued Merit Badges. Scouts will get the opportunity to experience some of the activities their predecessors enjoyed by earning these unique badges.

This is a limited-time program and boys must start and finish all requirements within the year 2010 - because on December 31st these badges go back into the vault. However these are full-fledged Merit Badges and, just like any other Merit Badge, these special badges can be used towards rank advancement.

This summer Camp Minsi will be offering Scouts a chance to earn all four historical Merit Badges - Carpentry, Pathfinding, Signaling, and Tracking! These are badges aren't easy, but you won't want to miss out on the once in a lifetime opportunity to earn them!

History: First offered in 1911 and discontinued in 1952.
Location: Handicraft (11:00-11:50am)
Sample requirements: demonstrate the use of tools, such as a miter and bevel; build a simple piece of furniture for use at home.
Notes: Scouts should have prior experience working with wood tools. This badge challenges Scouts to make a piece of furniture while using various carpentry tools and techniques.

History: First offered in 1911 and discontinued in 1952.
Location: Scoutcraft (Open in afternoon, MWR)
Sample requirements: be able to guide people to important places within a three-mile radius of your home; submit a scale map of your community.
Notes: Counselor’s will work with Scouts on an individual basis. Scouts must come fully prepared to show they can satisfy all requirements.

History: First offered in 1910 and discontinued in 1992.
Location: Scoutcraft (2:00-2:50pm)
Sample requirements: build a simple buzzer or blinker capable of sending Morse code messages, and send a message of at least 35 words; send and receive messages using semaphore flags at a rate of at least 30 letters per minute.
Notes: Scouts must bring a hand-made device that can be used to send Morse Code. Scouts should practice their Morse Code and Semaphore prior to camp to earn this difficult badge.

History: First offered in 1911 (as Stalking) and discontinued in 1952.
Location: Ecology Conservation (3:00-3:50pm)
Sample requirements: recognize the tracks of 10 different animals; give evidence to show you have tracked at least two different kinds of birds or animals, documenting their speed and direction.
Notes: This merit badge involves a lot of independent field work. Scouts must bring a digital camera to capture their findings. Scouts are encouraged to begin capturing animals on camera prior to camp.

Detailed requirements and additional information will be posted to a special section of the BSA's web site, located at

Update: April 7, 2010
Below are the complete requirements for each of the Merit Badges.

To obtain Carpentry Merit Badge, a Scout must:
  1. Demonstrate the use of the rule, square, level, plumb-line, mitre, chalk-line and bevel.
  2. Demonstrate the proper way to drive, set, and clinch a nail, draw a spike with a claw-hammer, and to join two pieces of wood with screws.
  3. Show correct use of the cross-cut saw and of the rip-saw.
  4. Show how to plane the edge, end and the broad surface of a board.
  5. Demonstrate how to lay shingles.
  6. Make a simple article of furniture for practical use in the home or on the home grounds, finished in a workmanlike manner, all work to be done without assistance.

To obtain Pathfinding Merit Badge, a Scout must:
  1. In the country, know every lane, bypath, and short cut for a distance of at least two miles in every direction around the local scout headquarters; or in a city, have a general knowledge of the district within a three-mile radius of the local scout headquarters, so as to be able to guide people at any time, by day or by night. 2.
  2. Know the population of the five principal neighboring towns, their general direction from his scout headquarters, and be able to give strangers correct directions how to reach them.
  3. If in the country, know in a two mile radius, the approximate number of horses, cattle, sheep, and pigs owned on the five neighboring farms; or, in a town, know, in a half-mile radius, the location of livery stables, garages and blacksmith shops.
  4. Know the location of the nearest meat markets, bakeries, groceries, and drug stores.
  5. Know the location of the nearest police station, hospital, doctor, fire alarm, fire hydrant, telegraph and telephone offices, and railroad stations.
  6. Know something of the history of his place; and know the location of its principal public buildings, such as the town or city hall, post-office, schools and churches.
  7. Submit a map not necessarily drawn by himself upon which he personally has indicated as much as possible of the above information.

To obtain Signaling Merit Badge, a Scout must:
  1. Make an electric buzzer outfit, wireless, blinker, or other signaling device.
  2. Send and receive in the International Morse Code, by buzzer or other sound device, a complete message of not less than 35 words, at a rate of not less than 35 letters per minute.
  3. Demonstrate an ability to send and receive a message in the International Morse Code by wigwag and by blinker or other light signaling device at the rate of not less than 20 letters per minute.
  4. Send and receive by Semaphore Code at the rate of not less than 30 letters per minute.
  5. Know the proper application of the International Morse and Semaphore Codes; when, where, and how they can be used to best advantage.
  6. Discuss briefly various other codes and methods of signaling which are in common use.

To obtain Tracking Merit Badge, a Scout must:
  1. Demonstrate by means of a tracking game or otherwise, ability to [track] skillfully in shelter and wind, etc., showing how to proceed noiselessly and “freeze” when occasion demands.
  2. Know and recognize the tracks of ten different kinds of animals or birds in his vicinity, three of which may be domestic.
  3. Submit satisfactory evidence that he has trailed two different kinds of wild animals or birds on ordinary ground far enough to determine the direction in which they were going, and their gait or speed. Give the names of animals or birds trailed, their direction of travel, and describe gait and speed; or submit satisfactory evidence that he has trailed six different kinds of wild animal or birds in snow, sand, dust, or mud, far enough to determine the direction they were going and their gait or speed. Give names of animals or birds, their direction of travel, and describe gait and speed.
  4. Submit evidence that he has scored at least 30 points from the following groups:
    brGroup (f) and 4 of the 5 groups (a), (b), (c), (d), (e) must be represented in the score of 30 and at least 7 points must be scored from (a), (b), or (c). Make clear recognizable photographs of:
    (a) Live bird away from nest - 4 points each
    (b) Live woodchuck or smaller wild animal - 3 points each
    (c) Live wild animal larger than woodchuck - 4 points each
    (d) Live bird on nest - 3 points each
    (e) Tracks of live wild animal or bird - 2 points each
    (f) Make satisfactory plaster cast of wild animal or bird tracks with identification imprint on back of cast - 2 points each

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Boy Scouts of America Celebrates 100 Years!


On this date in 1910, the Boy Scouts of America was incorporated by publisher W. D. Boyce. Boyce first learned about Scouting when a Scout refused payment for helping him through a fog. He was simply doing a Good Turn. For 100 years, Scouts across America have kept to that example, doing Good Turns daily.

Having served more than 100-million members since its founding, the Boy Scouts of America has made a lasting and positive imprint on the fabric of the nation. Its mission: "Preparing young people to make ethical and moral choices over their lifetimes by instilling in them the values of the Scout Oath and Scout Law," enables Scouting to address many issues that are important to young people and families, including health, civility, education, leadership, diversity, and service to others. Today, Scouts celebrate the 100th anniversary of this great movement and begin our next 100 years of service.

"This country needs strong leaders and healthy young people more than ever before, and that is what Scouting is all about," said Bob Mazzuca, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. "This is our time in history to remind the nation that Scouting is more vibrant, more vital, and more relevant than ever before. Every day, millions of Scouts and adult leaders make a huge difference in our society. We look forward to continuing that commitment in the next century."

This landmark anniversary provides a great opportunity to remember how the Boy Scouts of America got here, and to re-explore the deep traditions that make us unique. For that, check out Scouting Magazine's comprehensive BSA timeline, or pick up Chuck Wills' outstanding new book The Boy Scouts of America: A Centennial History. This historical knowledge serves as an excellent foundation for moving into the next 100 years of the Scouting.

However, though Scouting is firmly rooted in a steady set of core values, Scouting is committed to remaining current and relevant by adapting how it delivers programs and reaches it audiences.

"During this year we recognize the achievements of our past, but our focus is on the future of millions of young Scouts, their communities, and the nation as a whole," Mazzuca said. "Scouting is ready for the next 100 years!"

In honor of the 100th anniversary of Scouting, Camp Minsi has assembled a summer camp program packed with lots of exciting opportunities for celebration, fellowship, adventure, advancement, and fun. Special centennial events include: a camp-wide 100th anniversary Troop challenge, unique historical Merit Badge programs, special "Scouting Through the Years" events and demos at ScoutCraft, plus tons of other special and enhanced programs for Scouts and Scouters of all ages.

From all of us at Camp Minsi: Happy Birthday, BSA!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

2010 Summer Camp Brochure

Click on a page to enlarge

Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Tale of the Unknown Scout

Scouting was brought to America by William D. Boyce, a Chicago publisher, and the way Boyce discovered Scouting is one of the movement’s most colorful stories.

Boyce, it seems, was in London in the fall of 1909 and was out in a famed London fog looking for an office in the center of the city. Nearly at his wit's end, Boyce stopped a young man and asked directions. Not only did the youth tell Boyce how to reach his destination, he actually led Boyce there to make certain the American found his way without becoming lost again.

Boyce, to show his gratitude, offered the youth a tip, but the youth would not accept it. When asked why, the young man told Boyce he was a Boy Scout and taking a tip would negate the good deed he had done and violate his Scouting code.

The youth's gesture impressed Boyce, who later visited with Lord Baden-Powell himself. Boyce was so taken with Baden-Powell and the Scouting idea that back in America he and other men interested in youth development founded the Boy Scouts of America in Washington, D.C., on February 8th, 1910.

No one knows who the Scout was who performed his Good Turn for Boyce, but he has not been forgotten. In Gilwell Park in London, American Scouts had a statue erected in his honor. The statue bears the inscription, "To the Unknown Scout Whose Faithfulness in the Performance of the Daily Good Turn Brought the Scout Movement to the United States of America."

Text adapted from: Troop Program Resources: Founders of the BSA.