While we forge ahead with creating our inclusive, outdoor-focused scouting tradition here in Cascadia, it is not lost on many of our leaders that a large debate lingers at the Boy Scouts of America. We are only tangentially involved, having made the decision to strike out and not wait for a long drawn-out evolution that many former BSA scouts and leaders still hope will occur. Waiting a decade, or perhaps more, for this process to yield co-ed, inclusive scouting is not an option for many of us who have scout-aged kids now, nor is the desired outcome a foregone conclusion. Continue reading
Last week had quite the rain downpour, but like it often does, the sun came out for us. Today, scouts from all sections met at the Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge (Washington) to experience a Chinookan Plankhouse, based on descriptions from Lewis and Clark’s Discovery expedition, and evidence gained during archaeological work on what was the Chinookan town of Cathlapotle. Continue reading
August was a month of Ffffffs–Funding, Fun Times, and First Aid.
Funding: Scout Sale
We organized a fundraising event that held to our core beliefs of fundraising: (1) the fundraising endeavor should not be lengthy, such as months; (2) the fundraising endeavor supports the ideals of thrifty, resourcefulness, and community; and (3) the fundraising endeavor involves as many people in our 55th Cascadia group as can participate. We were strategically located just off of the busy Mississippi St/Skidmore intersection in Portland, Oregon. As our first fundraiser, it went well. We took notes on what worked, and ways to improve for next time. Yes, there will be a next time so put a box in your basement and start filling it with good items for a sale. Funds from the sale will be used to support the group with gear, adventures, and scholarships. Continue reading
The July Otter Raft was held at the Children’s Arboretum. We had a few stations to rotate skill building: jump rope, ball toss, leaf rubbing, and general Otter knowledge. The Otters walked around the park to read tree labels and build tree vocabulary. Dan, one of our scout parents, lead the discussion of the differences between tree species. Continue reading
Hullabaloo was a great success. A staggered arrival allowed each section to pursue age-specific pursuits. Ninety-two people scouted in the outdoors, partaking in the events, activities, and ceremonies. Highlights are hard to nail down as there are many. Some scouts will remember being celebrated by their peers as they get invested. Others will remember their search for the perfect staff. While others will remember camp fire, knife use, flag ceremony, waking up early, or the desire to make an announcement. Continue reading
The NE Otter Raft visited Ladder 14 Fire Station to learn about fire safety. Otters worked in Dens to make thank you cards for the fire fighters and had their first Opening and Closing Ceremonies. Each Den has one or two Otters who are getting very close to completing their investiture requirements, and Dens will probably have their first investiture ceremonies at the next Raft meeting–Bull Run Education Center on Sunday June 23rd from 1-3 pm.
Service is a large part of Baden-Powell scouting. In fact, older scouts have “Service” as their motto.
Today, our Pathfinders provided service during Sunday Parkways. Sunday Parkways is an event where about eight miles of road is closed to motorized traffic, freeing up the space for people to bike, run, walk, and everything else…skipping? Yes, we saw a person skipping the route. Continue reading
Above, is the newly named Owl Patrol for our Pathfinder section. These scouts took to the weekend like owls–they swooped in and learned a great deal about what a backpacking trip would be like. The goal of this excursion was to (1) show scouts how to pack for backpacking, (2) demonstrate a hike in to camp, and (3) how to set up camp and deal with food needs.
One draw to traditional scouting is a return to nature. The outdoors provide great adventures from simple means–Adventurer, Explorer, and Pioneer are feelings that our scouts get when engaged with an outdoor activity.
This last weekend, we had our first All-Section Hike in Forest Park, a park seen by William Clark when exploring the Willamette River by boat (1803). As we walked the trails, we saw some of this old beauty.
So much going on in the 55th Cascadia realm. Last weekend was our All-Section Hike and next weekend is our Timberwolves and Pathfinders Camp Out. Busy, busy. To add to the activity, Group Scoutmaster Ethan was a guest speaker on Think Out Loud, a radio program of Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).
The conversation on today’s program is a discussion of the Boy Scouts of America’s (BSA) policy on gay scouts. We share this link because GSM Ethan spoke on the program, and the conversation is one of scouting and much to our hearts.