Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Why do people wait so long to register for events in the Indian Waters Council?

A long-standing trend in our local BSA council is late registration for events; it may be worsening.  The nature or origin of the activity seems to have little or no impact on the lateness with which people commit to participating.  The last minute 'mad dash' of recruiting  and constant extending of registration cut-offs is, quite frankly, ridiculous.  In an organization such as the BSA this flight of the bumble bee scenario should be completely unnecessary.
Unfortunately, Decisive, Timely or Punctual is not mentioned in the Scout Law (or the Scout Oath).
Over the years, I have observed (with discontent) this trend of last minute commitment in:
  • Unit Activities (Pack outings & Troop events - camping trips, service opportunities and summer camp)
  • District banquets
  • Council events: Cuborees, Camporees, University of Scouting, MBU, Jamboree registration, and training (IOLS, NYLT, Wood Badge, etc.).
  • OA Lodge events: Ordeals and Fellowships, banquets, Section Conclave (aka Dixie) and service/work days  
The pattern cannot be denied: it is fact.  But, why?
  • Is everyone so busy they just don't have time?  No. They usually wind up registering eventually, so there is no time savings.
  • Are they uninformed of upcoming events? No (or, they should not be). Units, districts, the Indian Waters Council, and Muscogee Lodge all publish calendars, have social media (I.E. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) and utilize email, phone, text or mailings.
  • Are they overwhelmed with information? Perhaps: a partial Yes.
  • Are organizational skills (prioritizing) lacking? Perhaps: a partial Yes.
  • Are they over-committed? Between school, sports, church, clubs and the like for children, plus adults' work schedules, this is likely a Yes.
  • Are they inconsiderate? Yes. Absolutely, no question about it. 

Regardless of reason or excuse, the consistent lack of on-time commitment and registration wreaks havoc on organizers, both professionals and volunteers alike. Resources are over-spent (time, effort and money) constantly recruiting. Walk-ups are gladly accepted, but this process is inherently  inefficient. Food is wasted, because a good headcount is not available. Events are sometimes scaled back, rescheduled or canceled due to lack of participation.  Planning becomes more and more difficult.
So, the moral of my story is: lack of commitment and late registration is Un-Scout-Like behaviorA Scout is Loyal? A Scout is Helpful? A Scout is Courteous?  A Scout is Thrifty?  Maybe even, A Scout is Trustworthy? Undoubtedly, not knowing the number of participants makes it difficult to Be Prepared
Just sayin'...We can do better.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Congaree District - Cub Scout Twilight Camp (mid-June 2016)

**Congaree District - Cub Scout Twilight Camp**

Who:  Any registered Cub Scout
What: Fun week of evening activities (divided, so rank appropriate)
When: June 13-17, 2016, 5:00-9:00pm (program from 5:30-8:45pm)
Where: Timmerman School
2219 Atascadero Dr., Forest Acres, SC 29206
Why: Cub Scouting is fun! ...and fun never stops!
How: Register here 
This year's theme is Cub Scout Investigators. Cost is $75 (a $25 early bird discount applies, if paid by May 16). Additional discount is available to volunteer camp staff.
Come, join the ADVENTURE!

Program each evening to consist of: archery, BB range, field games, arts & crafts & a rank related activity. Special guest attractions also being planned.

The Congaree District, Indian Waters Council, Boy Scouts of America, extends our sincere appreciation to Mrs. Liz Jordan and Timmerman School for hosting our Summer Cub Scout event.  Timmerman School is home to Cub Scout Pack 3 and Boy Scout Troop 3.  Many thanks also to Mr. John Timmerman, the chartered organization representative, a long-time supporter of Scouting in the Midlands.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

Beware the Bear - food, yum-yums and other smellables can spell disaster

"Scouts have also been know to throw unwanted food down the latrine, thinking that the odor will mask the food smell.  This is also incorrect, and instead of simply having a habituated bear, you'll have a habituated bear with poop all over its face, as well as a destroyed latrine!"  - A Backpacker's Guide to Philmont, p. 89: Bill Sassani, Virtualbookworm.com Publishing Inc., 2008
If that doesn't make you understand the need for hanging Bear bags (or using Bear canisters) and following all recommended precautions, when in their territory, maybe this will...

Susan Carney
This is how big a grizzly bear's paw is - by the way, the bear is sedated and about to be tagged. I'm in absolute awe!

Of course, we have black bears in this part of the country.

How to best survive a black bear attack
Article from The Washington Post


Congaree District Cub Scout Twilight Camp coming mid-June, 2016

Save the Date...Congaree District Cub Twilight Camp.
Indian Waters Council, BSA
Dates: June 13-17, 2016

Time: 5:30pm-8:45pm (check-in/out 20 min before & after)
Location: Forest Acres area (specific location pending)
 ...Registration is open now: Early Bird discount if paid by 16-May-2016

Register Here:

This is the start of my blogging, having never done so before. 

My initial thoughts are to commit to writing (or photo, video, audio, etc.) my observations, opinions, experiences and musings: for the most part, as they relate to Scouting (I.E. Boy Scouts of America).

Obviously, I expect this to evolve with time; perhaps morph into something different all together.


Darrin Luksik
BSA ID 113388773

Added disclaimer: this site is a personal blog.  As such, the contents therein are selected by me and opinions expressed are mine alone.  There is no official affiliation between this web site and other persons, groups or organizations.  While protected speech under U.S.C. Amendment 1, I shall endeavor to keep things appropriate, guided by the Scout Oath and Scout Law

Shaun White - snowboard & skateboard legend @ the 2010 National Scout Jamboree

July 2010, Fort AP Hill, VA - National Scout Jamboree

Legendary Olympic gold medalist, X-Games champion, skateboarder and snowboarding pioneer, Shaun White signing autographs.  He traveled cross country, from the X-Games in California, where he competed the evening before, to be with Boy Scouts and Venturers.

It's a shame the POTUS, Barack Obama, did not find time to make the 12 minute flight in Marine One.  Instead of helping celebrate the Centennial Anniversary of the Boy Scouts of America, the honorary President of the BSA visited the TV show The View and later met with Jewish community leaders in a NYC deli.  Sure, the stops were on his agenda, but I guess addressing 40,000 males aged 12-20 and 3,000 females aged 14-20 just wasn't important enough to bump those critical meetings.  But really, these things are extremely difficult to schedule: just how often would he have the chance to meet prominent Jewish people in a NYC deli?  Plus, The View only airs 5 days a week, year-round.

The hard truth is, the BSA is simply not Mr. Obama's demographic. Although, the annual address to the nation does make for a convenient photo-op.  After all, the BSA is charted by the US Congress. Just as well, then Secretary of Defense, Robert Gates, gave a wonderful speech during the daytime arena show.  See, Mr. Gates himself is: an Eagle Scout, a Vigil member of the Order of the Arrow and recipient of The Distinguished Eagle Scout award.  Later, in May 2014, Mr. Gates began his two-year term as voluntary, national president of the BSA. So, the POTUS patch of the day became more valuable, with the distinguished Mr. Obama declining to appear; the Scouts and Scouters got to listen to a man who knows the importance of, and cares about, our youth organization.

Anyway, above photo is Shaun White signing my son Jacob's hat. Needless to say, it made a twelve year-old's day!  Our Scouts woke up early and got in line: waiting and waiting.  As they got close to the front, it was announced that Mr. White would have to leave soon, to catch his plane back to Los Angeles. The older Scouts, from his Indian Waters Council Jambo Troop, rolled Jacob under the temporary orange fencing to make sure he got a chance to meet the iconic X-Gamer and Olympian.  Jacob has never worn that hat again - it is a cherished keepsake of youth.  Now 18, he can still tell you exactly where that autographed hat from 2010 is.

Thank God, some people of importance and fame still get it.  They understand how positive and life-changing Scouting can be for our nation's youth.  I remain ever grateful to Secretary Gates and Olympian Shaun White for cheerfully sharing their time, visiting the last Jamboree ever held at Fort AP Hill.


Friday, March 4, 2016

2017 National Scout Jamboree - Live Scouting's Adventure!

2017 National Scout Jamboree: July 19 to July 28, 2017 at the Summit Bechtel Reserve, Glen Jean, WV.

I am fortunate to be attending as an Assistant Scoutmaster with our council's contingent.  My wife and I both served on staff in 2013, during the inaugural Jamboree at SBR.

1) Register with the Indian Waters Council contingent here:

2) Register with the BSA National here:

Promo videos...

What's Next: Jambo 2017

Summit Bechtel Reserve (SBR): The River

Who will be T324's next Eagle Scout?

Harrison Garcia's Eagle project work day, June 22, 2013. Pictures of the fire pit and benches built at Poinsett State Park's primitive camping area are below.

It has been a while; T324 has two Life Scouts that age out this year.  August and November birthdays are closer than these Scouts imagine.

Who will be T324's next Eagle Scout? It should be a high school senior or junior, but they could miss their opportunity.  I sure hope not.