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What’s a Scout Hour?

posted Apr 11, 2012, 7:52 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Apr 11, 2012, 7:53 PM ]

I posted this ‘study’ to Facebook earlier this week. The interest it created leads me to share  news of research by hard-working yet little known Scouters who staff the Large Baden Collider at Philmont Scout Ranch.

Some years ago Bernoulli (Harry Bernoulli, Pack 234) concluded Scout volunteers could fulfill their mission in an hour a week. This hypothesis has since been the subject of intensive study.

I was able to find the most current formula that accounts for the ages of the Scouts (younger Scouts require more time) and the influence of other volunteers.

(Sc x AuN)/1000=SH

Where ‘SH’ = Scout Hour, ‘Sc’=Scouts, ‘AuN’= Adjusted Unit Number

The value for Sc is determined by

(SoR x M) –Sa = Sc

Where ‘SoR’ (Socuts on Roster) = the base number of Scouts the volunteer is directly charged with supervising, M is the multiplier determined by the type of unit (Cub Scout Packs use 10, all others use 15),  ‘Sa’ is the sum of the Scouts ages.

The value of AuN is determined by

UN (if P then UNx2) – (1/3 AoR) =AuN

Where ‘UN’ is the last two digits of the unit number (‘P’ = Pack), ‘AoR’ is adults on roster (1/3 AoR is the traditional calculation recognizing 1/3 of the available volunteers do all the work).

Sample Calculations

Mary is the Cubmaster of Pack 33; she has a total roster of 45 Scouts and 18 adult volunteers. The sum of the Scout’s ages is 360 years

(45×10)-360= 540 (Sc)

The Adjusted Unit Number is

(33×2)-[18/3]=60 (AuN)

Mary’s Scout hour is worth 5.4 hours


John is the Scoutmaster of Troop 33, he has a total roster of 45Scouts and 18 adult volunteers. The sum of the Scouts ages is 540 years.


The Adjusted Unit Number is


John’s Scout hour is worth 3.6 hours


The nature of the Scout Hour itself is more ambiguous. Some volunteers insist that their Scout Hour represents total time spent per week, many others suggest various multipliers (Leatherman, Gerber, etc.).Some studies conversely suggest that the Scout Hour  is the amount of time remaining for a volunteer outside of  Scouting activities.Ongoing research at the  Large Baden Collider (LBC) involves accelerating particles of coffee, square knots and various Scouting literature and allowing them to impact each other.Scouters hope that the LBC will help answer some of the fundamental open questions concerning the basic laws governing the interactions and forces affecting Scout Hours.

Announcments Song

posted Jun 21, 2011, 11:22 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 21, 2011, 11:36 AM ]

Lyrics How to sing, say, chords
Announcements, announcements, announcements! sarcastically, drawn out words, slowed down pronunciations

What a terrible way to die,
A terrible way to die,
A terrible way to be talked to death.
A terrible way to die.
Farmer in the Dell
C G Am7 G
 Announcements, announcements, announcements! sarcastically, drawn out words, slowed down pronunciations

Make the announcements short and sweet,
Short and sweet,
Short and sweet.
Make the announcemnts short and sweet,
They're so .. (loud deep breath, shout) .. BORING!
London Bridge
D7  G
D  G
 Announcements, announcements, announcements! sarcastically, drawn out words, slowed down pronunciations
 Have you ever seen a windbag,
A windbag, a windbag?
Have you ever seen a windbag?
Well, there's one right now.
Swings this way and that way,
And this way and that way,
Have you ever seen a windbag?
Well there's one .. (loud deep breath, shout) .. RIGHT NOW!
Did you ever see a (lassie, laddie, turkey)
Lead In:  D A7 E7/B A7
D A7 D A7 D
D A7 D A7 D
D A7 D A7 D
D A7 D A7 D

A7 D A Bm Bm7 Em/G A7 D
 Announcements, announcements, announcements! sarcastically, drawn out words, slowed down pronunciations
We've got a silly cheer,
That you've just got to hear!
It makes no sense we're sure you know,
The announcements have to GO!
Farmer in the Dell
C G Am7 G

Uniform and Patch Sewing Service

posted Apr 18, 2011, 12:59 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jun 26, 2015, 11:33 AM by Unknown user ]

Dragonfly Sewing and Embroidery

Shea Mackin

16801 Brewer Blackbird
Pflugerville, TX 78660

Phone: (512) 568-7476

Bring uniforms to the address above (Shea's house).
There is a box on the front porch with forms inside.   Fill out the order form, and place the uniform, any patches to be sewn on, and the completed form in the box.  Put the patches in a ziplock bag and pin it or wrap it within the uniform along with the form.

Most patches are $2/each.  Patches that attach to a pocket, and require hand-sewing to keep the pocket usable cost $3/each, else, if the pocket is not needed, and the patch can be sewn with a machine, the cost will remain at $2/each. She also Hems scout pants ans embroiders Scout book covers.

You will be contact via email or phone when the uniform is complete.   Turn around time is approximately one week.  Contact Shea Mackin for any special requests.

Pinewood Derby

posted Dec 18, 2010, 8:44 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 30, 2011, 2:29 PM ]

Pack 409 Pinewood Derby
Rules and Instructions

This information is for reference only.  Rules may change from year to year.

Qualification: The top three from each rank from each pack derby will qualify to go directly to the finals. 

Philosophy: The Pine Wood Derby is set up to be a technical learning/teaching experience. Cub Scouts are to build the cars with the aid of an adult.

Length, Width & Clearance
  • Maximum overall width (including wheels and axles) shall not exceed 2-3/4 (2.750) inches. 
  • Minimum width between wheels shall be 1-3/4 (1.750) inches at the axles. 
  • Minimum clearance between bottom of car and track shall be 3/8 (.375) inch. 
  • Maximum length shall not exceed 7.100 inches 
  • Maximum height between the wheels and the top of the car shall not exceed 3.000 inches.
    ** NOTE: All dimensions will be verified by the official race templates. Failure to meet these specifications will result in the car not being allowed into the race.

The weight of the finished car shall not exceed 5.0 ounces. The reading of the official race scale is considered final.

Details such as steering wheel, driver, spoiler, decals, painting, etc. are permissible as long as all of the size and weight specifications are met. Paint and glues must be dry when submitted for inspection or the car will not be accepted.

  • All lubricants must be completely dry when submitted for inspection. Includes all wet products. 
  • (NYOIL) Dry powdered lubricants such as graphite or Teflon may be used as well. 
  • Lubricants must be applied before inspection and no lubricants may be applied after the car has been accepted.
** Please lubricate your car at home. Every year we find and have to clean up a graphite mess after the event.

Important, please read these very carefully. If your wheels are not as listed below your car will be disqualified.
  • Only official Scout wheels with “BSA PINE WOOD DERBY” molded on the outside may be used. 
  • Wheels may be sanded to remove the molding seams from the tread. 
  • Minimum wheel diameter is based upon the judge’s visual inspection of the serrated edge. The “bumped” edge must remain intact and unmodified, no exceptions.
    See photo below, you are looking at the dots that appear as bumps.

  • No “hub caps” are allowed. 
The goal of the wheel language is to not have to disqualify cars at registration. There are two rules for wheels:
The words “BSA” and “Pinewood Derby” must be unmodified
Material can be removed either from the front of the wheel as shown above or from the back.

Axles / Nail
  • Unlimited modifications to the nails are allowed. 
  • Free floating washers on the nails are prohibited. 
  • The distance between the front and rear axles may be changed from that of the standard derby car kit. 
  • Axles must be oriented to where at least three of the four wheels touch the track. (One wheel can be off the ground) 
  • Axles included in the kit must be used. No fixed axles. Cars using wheels and axles not included in kit will be disqualified. 
  • Use of any kind of ball bearings in the wheels or on the axles is prohibited. 
Wood Block
  • No pre-cut wooden blocks can be used (as purchased from the internet or other seller). 
  • Each Scout must build his own car from an official BSA block of wood. 
Build, Don’t Buy
  • Scouts and parents must build “their best” not “buy the best”.
  • No pre-made or store bought cars allowed. 
  • Official BSA parts must be used. The BSA wood block, nails and wheels can only be modified by the Scout and their parents / guardian. These items cannot be purchased, if they have been modified in any way. This is not a contest on who has the largest bank account. This is a contest of who can build the fastest cars themselves. The pack rules judge(s) will have final say on if the parts appear to have been purchased. Purchased parts will result in disqualification.
    ** To be very clear; any car perceived to have “purchased” parts will be disqualified.
Ground Rules
  • The race is open to qualified Tiger, Wolf, Bear Cub Scouts, and Webelos. Each Scout must enter only one car they built new for this year's race season. 
  • If a car suffers a mechanical problem, loses an axle, breaks a wheel, etc. and a repair can be accomplished within 5 minutes, the heat will be run again. If not, the car will automatically lose the heat. Repairs must be done in the pit area. Any car that has been repaired must be re-inspected before re-entering the race. Lubricant may not be reapplied during or after repairs. 
  • No cars or parts of cars from previous years may be used. 
  • The car must be freewheeling with no starting device or other means of propulsion. 
  • If a car jumps off the track, the heat will be run again. If the same car jumps off the track a second time, it will automatically lose the heat. 
  • An electronic timer will be used at the finish line. If the timer malfunctions, then the line judge at the finish line will call the winner. If the race was too close to easily call, then the heat will be re-run. 
  • Only race officials and boys racing in the current heat will be permitted in the track area. 
  • Scouts need to be present while their car is competing. If a Scout leaves during racing and/or judging, the Scout must appoint someone who does not have a car entered to be present when his car is racing or is being judged. Cars without a representative will be pulled from competition.
Inspection & Disputes
  • Each car must pass inspection by the official inspection committee of adults before it may compete. The inspectors will disqualify cars which do not meet these rules. Car owners will be informed of any violations and given an opportunity to modify the car to meet these rules. 
  • Any car identified as having “purchased” parts will be disqualified. 
  • Any participant (including parents) has the right to appeal to the Rules Committee for an interpretation of these rules. The Rules Committee, by majority vote, will be the final judge of these rules. If only one member of the Committee is present, they will have the final say. 
  • Good sportsmanship and behavior is expected. Race Officials may ask anyone not following these rules to leave. 
  • Remember that the focus of this event is not to win at any cost, but for each Scout to DO HIS BEST! 
Race Procedure
  • Each Scout must bring his car to the inspection table during their designated registration time. If the car fails to meet any of the rules listed below then the Scout will be given an opportunity to correct the problem up to the close of their registration time slot. 
  • After inspection, the car will be registered and placed on pit row for voting. From this point forward, the Scout cannot handle the car. Only race officials can handle the cars during competition. 
  • The starter/derby coordinator will call each Scout to the track when it is time for his car to race. The Scout will sit next to the track to where his car is running. Once the races are completed, the scout will be asked to leave track area. 
  • Advancing or winning cars will be announced shortly afterwards. 
  • When a car has been eliminated from competition, it will be placed in a designated area marked “PICK UP” 

Awards will be given for the “fastest” and three “best of show” categories within each rank as follows:
  • Speed: 1st, 2nd & 3rd place trophies will be awarded to the fastest cars from each of the four Scout ranks (Tiger, Wolf, Bear, Webelos).
  • Best Paint Job
  • Best Design
  • Funniest Design
  • Cubbiest Design

Knots: Scouter Recognition Awards

posted Dec 3, 2010, 10:09 AM by Unknown user   [ updated Jan 26, 2011, 7:18 AM ]

Throughout their Scouting experience scouts can get many different awards; merit badges, rank badges, etc. Well, guess what... they are not alone.  Scouters can receive many awards. These awards are typically displayed over the left pocket, in the form of "square knot patches".

Square knots can be awarded for many different achievements. 

The following link lists the various knots and their requirements.

If a Scouter has earned certain achievements, like Arrow of Light and Eagle Scout as a youth, he can wear certain square knots as an adult.

Some Scouters will tell you that they do not like to be singled out. These are RECOGNITION awards. It's our way of saying thank you for your hard work. In the long run, everyone likes to be recognized.

Finally, the District Banquet is coming up in February. This is the perfect opportunity to have awards presented to the Scouters in your Unit.

I'm in charge of handling all of Blackland Prairie's Scouter Knot Recognition Awards. All applications can be sent to for processing. You can email me a PDF of the completed application, or call me and we can meet. The best way to get them to me is to meet me at Round Table.

Roger Gray

How to fold a Texas State Flag

posted Aug 24, 2010, 1:40 PM by Unknown user   [ updated Sep 12, 2010, 3:25 PM ]

S.B. No. 1145 AN ACT relating to protocol for folding the state flag.

SECTION 1.  This Act shall be known as the Rod Welsh Act, in honor of Rod Welsh, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Texas House of Representatives, who is primarily responsible for developing the method of folding the state flag of Texas established by this Act.

SECTION 2.  Subchapter B, Chapter 3100, Government Code, is amended by adding Section 3100.073 to read as follows:

Sec. 3100.073.  FOLDED STATE FLAG.
  1. The state flag should be folded as follows:
    1. fold the flag in half lengthwise with the red stripe facing upward;
    2. fold the flag in half lengthwise once more, concealing the red stripe on the inside of the fold;
    3. position the flag with the white star facing downward and the blue stripe facing upward;
    4. fold the corner with the white stripe to the opposite side of the flag to form a triangle;
    5. continue folding the corners over in triangles until the resulting fold produces a blue triangle with a portion of the white star visible; and
    6. secure all edges into the folds.
  2. A folded state flag should be presented or displayed with all folded edges secured and with the blue stripe and a portion of the white star visible.
  3. A folded state flag should be stored or displayed in a manner that prevents tearing or soiling of the flag.
  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.

Texas House of Representatives
S.B. No. 1145 passed the Senate on April 30, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0; and that the Senate concurred in House amendment on May 30, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 31, Nays 0.

Texas Senate
I hereby certify that S.B. No. 1145 passed the House, with amendment, on May 26, 2009, by the following vote:  Yeas 147, Nays 0, one present not voting.

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