Outsmarting Poison Ivy and Other Poisonous Plants

First… uh-oh, itching.
Then…surprise, a red rash.
And finally… oh-boy, blisters.

These symptoms of poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac can start within a few hours or several days after exposure to the plant oil found in the sap of these poisonous plants.

Recognize the source and don’t risk a rash!
Recommendations from trusted organizations such as the FDA and National Park Service stress learning to recognize the trio of most common culprits in the poisonous plant family… the ones that might sneak up to interrupt your Scouting adventures most often.

So here’s some help on how to recognize poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac, direct from the FDA Consumer Health Information/U.S. Food and Drug Administration:


Poison Ivy

Found throughout the United States except Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of the West Coast. Can grow as a vine or small shrub trailing along the ground or climbing on low plants, trees and poles. Each leaf has three glossy leaflets, with smooth or toothed edges. Leaves are reddish in spring, green in summer, and yellow, orange, or red in fall. May have greenish-white flowers and whitish-yellow berries.


Poison Oak

Grows as a low shrub in the eastern and southern United States, and in tall clumps or long vines on the Pacific Coast. Fuzzy green leaves in clusters of three are lobed or deeply toothed with rounded tips. May have yellow-white berries.


Poison Sumac

Grows as a tall shrub or small tree in bogs or swamps in the Northeast, Midwest, and parts of the Southeast. Each leaf has clusters of 7-13 smooth-edged leaflets. Leaves are orange in spring, green in summer, and yellow, orange or red in fall. May have yellow-greenish flowers and whitish-green fruits hanging in loose clusters.

And if you do fall victim to one of the above, the FDA’s got tips for treatment (plus more great prevention info)… read more on page 2 at http://www.fda.gov/downloads/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/UCM143611.pdf

Sources: www.fda.gov/consumer; National Park Service; Occupational Safety and Health Administration





August 2014 Be Prepared® Newsletter


 August, 2014                                                                                                    Vol. 6, No. 8


  • A Million Philmont Campers 01.BSA Numeral
  • Scouting by the Millions 
  • Millions of Cook Kits 
  • Future Numbers




One million! That’s a mighty big number, especially for celebrating high points of Scouting.

Did you know that canoers setting off from BSA’s Northern Tier High Adventure Base can explore a million acres of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness? Or that Boy Scouts of World War Two gathered 30 million pounds of old tires for recycling in just a couple of weeks? Or that since 1953, Cub Scouts have built 100 million Pinewood Derby cars?

 02.Boundary Waters Canoeing.Birkby photo                                                                                                            Robert Birkby photo

 Scouts canoeing the million acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness 

By any measure, a million matters. For starters, Scouting celebrates a big million milestone this summer at Philmont Scout Ranch.


In 1939, 196 campers arrived at the new Philturn Rocky Mountain Scout Camp. They loaded their grub and gear on horses, swung their packs onto their shoulders, and made their way into the spectacular mountains and valleys of Northern New Mexico that Waite Phillips had given the Boy Scouts of America the previous year.

    03.Philturn Patch.1 04.Waite Phillips 05.Philturn Patch. 2

 Waite Phillips and Philturn patches

 Scouts continue to thrive in the backcountry of what soon became Philmont Scout Ranch. Their adventures have been life-changing events full of challenge, friendship, and remarkable outdoor possibilities.

 06.Scouts on Mt. Phillips.Birkby photoRobert Birkby photo

Philmont trekkers photographed atop Mt. Phillips

Recently the one millionth Scout trekked into the Philmont backcountry. That is a tremendous tribute to the success of the Scouting program and to the vision of Waite Phillips.

07.Philmont promotional


When the Boy Scouts of America started in 1910, boys by the dozen signed up to join. Then there were hundreds and soon thousands. They were drawn by opportunities to be leaders and to be of service, but mostly by the promise of outdoor adventure.

08.LOC.00693v.Harris and Ewing.1912

                                      Harris & Ewing Collection-Library of Congress

1912 Boy Scouts Practice First Aid

 As Scouting celebrated its first quarter of a century, the organization boasted three million members. Hiking and camping still ranked very high among the reasons they were buttoning up their Scout shirts and setting off with their troops.

 09.LOC.38224v.Harris and Ewing.1935Harris & Ewing Collection-Library of Congress

Scouts Enjoy a 1935 Troop Hike

Membership numbers continued to rise through the decades. By 1952 there had been 20 million Scouts. That had doubled by 1965. In 2000, the 100 millionth youth member joined the BSA.

 10.Mario Castro.Scouting Magazine                           Scouting Magazine

Mario Castro, the BSA’s 100-millionth youth member

Along the way, there have been other millions to celebrate. Alexander Holsinger became the millionth Eagle Scout in 1982. Thirty years later, Anthony Thomas received the two millionth Eagle Scout pin.

 11.Alexander Holsinger12.Anthony ThomasAlexander Holsinger                                          Anthony Thomas


Among the treasures in the National Scouting Museum in Irving, Texas, is a bronzed BSA cook kit – the 5 millionth produced by Regal Ware and marketed through Scouting distributors.

13.ScoutStuff p85

5,000,000th Cook Kit – June 1, 1976

Early Boy Scout Handbooks urged campers to make do with ordinary kitchen pots, large tin cans, cast iron fry pans, and Dutch ovens. In the late 2930s, The Official Boy Scout Cook Kit appeared the Handbook and in Boys’ Life magazine where it would be a standard item for decades to come.14.BSH1939.p667

1939 BSA Handbook


Boys Life – February 1952

The big brother of the personal cook kit is still around today, available from scoutstuff.org as the Trail Chef Cook Kit. It has enough pots and pans for many patrol meals, and plates and cups for four. 16.Trail Chef Cook Kit

Trail Chef Cook Kit 17.Trail Chef cook team.Birkby photo                                                                              Robert Birkby photo

Scouts prepare a tasty dinner with a Trail Chef Cook Kit

Cook sets for backpackers have gone through a revolution in recent years. Compact, lightweight cooking systems provide the heart of efficient wilderness kitchens. The JetBoil Flash Cooking System combines a burner and cooking vessel in one unit. The super-efficient Optimus Solo Cook System unites the Optimus Crux Lite Stove and Solo Cook Set to create the best ultralight 3-piece cook system around.

18.Jet Boil Flash Cooking System 19.Optimus Solo Cook System
JetBoil Flash Cooking System                      Optimus Solo Cook System

It might be awhile before these cook kits hit the 5 million mark, but they are well on their way to transforming backpacking for Scouts eager to go fast and light.

20.Backpacking. Birkby photo                                                                                                                                 Robert Birkby photo

Ultralight cooking and camping gear eases the way into great adventures


More than a million volunteers currently provide leadership for BSA programs. Among them are this summer’s 1,100 Philmont staff members offering every Scout the best possible experience. A first-ever photo of the entire Philmont staff shows the strength of Scouting and the quality of staffers – each of them truly one in a million.

 21.2014Philmont Staff.Birkby photoRobert Birkby photo

2014 Philmont Staff

 (This edition of the Be Prepared Newsletter was developed and written by Robert Birkby, author of the current editions of the Boy Scout Handbook, Fieldbook, Scout Stuff, The Conservation Handbook, and Eagle Scouts: A Centennial History.)


Don’t Let Fun-in-the-Sun Turn into Beat-by-the-Heat!

As with every other Scouting activity, when it comes to sun safety, preparedness and risk prevention rule the day!

Learn to recognize symptoms of heat stress long before a heat stroke becomes a possibility:


Of course the only way to eliminate risk completely in the out-of-doors is to give up the pleasures, challenges, and satisfaction of taking part in an adventure. Rather than attempting to do away with it, group members and leaders can manage risk by identifying its sources, understanding its boundaries, and tailoring their behavior to minimize exposure to danger.

So on that note, to learn more about managing risk in the field―including how to
recognize and respond to incidents of Dehydration, Heat Exhaustion, and Heat Stroke
visit http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/Resources.aspx today!


And when it comes to prevention, you’ll find great sun-protection choices,
including hats and apparel with built-in UPF protection, at www.ScoutStuff.org!


Shaking Things Up: The Left-handed Scout Handshake

What’s one of the most common forms of nonverbal communication used between two people?  No, it’s not the fist bump, high five, a hug or even a kiss.  It’s the handshake — a simple handshake involves extending one’s hand ─ typically the right hand ─ to another person, clasping hands and then briefly shaking them up and down.

The Multi-purpose Gesture

A customary gesture in business and social situations, the traditional handshake has been used throughout history as both a greeting and parting ritual between friends and strangers, as a means of offering congratulations or expressing gratitude, as a sign of  good sportsmanship (notice how members of sports teams shake hands with one another after a game) and to finalize agreements.

It also plays an important role in Scouting, serving as a formal way of greeting other Scouts.

The World of Handshakes

Most cultures have their own customs for shaking hands. Some find it inappropriate for a man to shake a woman’s hand. Others consider shaking hands unacceptable. Some cultures have a habit of shaking both hands, while others prefer hugs of handshakes.

In some Muslim countries, a grip that is too firm is considered to be rude behavior. Weak handshakes are preferred in China, and the custom is to hold on for an extended time after the initial shake.

Stress to your Scouts the importance of being sensitive to and having respect for cultural customs ─ including handshaking.

The Left-handed Scout Handshake

Scouts have their own variation on the traditional handshake. What makes it unique is that it uses the left hand instead of the right.

The 1935 Boy Scout Handbook says that “By agreement of the Scout Leaders throughout the world, Boy Scouts greet Brother Scouts with a warm left hand clasp.”



While the exact origin of the Scouts’ left-hand handshake is unknown, many attribute it to Ashanti warriors whom Scouting founder Robert Baden Powell met long ago in Africa. It is said that when Baden Powell entered Kumasi, a city in the Ashanti Region of South Ghana, he was met by a great chief. He saluted the chief and then offered his right hand as a sign of friendship.

The chief transferred his shield from his left hand to his right hand, and offered his left hand. He explained by saying ““In our land only the bravest of the brave shake hands with the left hand, because to do so we must drop our shields and our protection.”

Others believe Baden-Powell may have adopted the left handshake from author, illustrator and co-founder of the Boy Scouts of America, Earnest Thompson Seton.  Yet another explanation is that because the left hand is closest to the heart, extending it in a handshake was a token of friendship.

The current edition of the Scout Handbook offers this two sentence description:

Extend your left hand to another Scout and firmly grasp his left hand.

Made with the hand nearest your heart, the Scout handshake signifies friendship.


The Scout handshake uses no interlocking fingers; it’s just a normal left-handed handshake.Cub Scouts have their own unique handshake too. It’s done by putting the index and middle fingers of the right hand against the other person’s wrist.The Cub Scout handshake signifies that those who use it help others and obey the Laws of the Pack.cub

Get Shaking

Encourage your Scouts to discuss the various scenarios when shaking someone’s hand is the proper thing to do. Discuss cultural differences in handshakes.  Practice shaking hands.  Ask them to demonstrate the official Boy Scout and Cub Scout handshakes. The handshake is so integral to our society that we often take it for granted.  Give it some attention today on National Handshake Day – and reinforce its importance every day.


June is Great Outdoors Month!

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 1.23.26 PM

As the Welcome message on the greatoutdoorsmonth.org site says, it’s all about celebrating the natural wonder and outdoor spirit of America. So with that being the goal, it’s surprising BSA didn’t come up with the idea for “Great Outdoors Month” first!

Most of the time Scouts don’t need an excuse to head out and hit the trail, but if we’re totally honest, we know that every so often the techno trap of being continually ‘plugged-in’ breeds some abandon-the-couch-resistance and creates reluctant Scouting adventurers.

Well, it doesn’t have to be an either-or situation…
Why not take on Great Outdoors Month by getting creative on how you can resolve the Tech vs. Trek dilemma. Design some appointments with nature that don’t even hint at leaving your electronic essentials at home!

In today’s market, there’s a cutting-edge excitement about designing personal electronics made for adventure. These are items made to enhance safety, performance, and fun in the field, never intending to interfere with the purity of your experience.
Here’s just some of the gear that helps put high-tech into high adventure:
● GPS devices ● Digital two-way radios ● Recharging kits and battery packs ● Innovative lighting
● GoPro cameras ● Wireless speakers ● State-of-the-art cooking systems ● Weather radios
● Altimeters ● Compasses ● Generators ● Satellite phones

To check out BSA’s full line of camping electronics and gadgets, visit ScoutStuff.org today!

And be sure to visit the Great Outdoors Month site for great suggestions on events and activities to get involved in, some of which Scouting already promotes, such as National Trails Day® and service projects in the outdoors.

And learn even more at AmericasGreatOutdoors.gov.


Flag Day is June 14!

  • Screen Shot 2014-06-13 at 5.00.59 PM

    Keeping the Tradition Alive…

    On June 14, 1885, Bernard J. Cigrand, a teacher not even 20 years old, placed a 10″, 38-star flag in a bottle on his desk before assigning essays on the flag and its significance. This simple yet profound observance commemorated Congress’ adoption of the “Stars and Stripes” as the official flag of the United States on June 14, 1777.

    And so began Cigrand’s years of devoted effort to bring about national recognition and observance of Flag Day. The crowning achievement of his life came at age fifty when President Wilson, on May 30, 1916, issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide observance of Flag Day. Then in 1949, President Truman signed an Act of Congress designating the 14th day of June every year as National Flag Day. On June 14th, 2004, the 108th U.S. Congress voted unanimously on H.R. 662 that Flag Day originated in Ozaukee County, Waubeka Wisconsin.

    Flag Day continues as an annual celebration of the United States flag and a commemoration of its adoption. It is an honored time to collectively reflect on the foundations of our nation’s freedom and the enduring symbol of that freedom and our country’s ideals… our flag.

    Through the years, Americans have developed many creative ways to celebrate Flag Day, including:
    ● Displaying the American flag at homes and public buildings
    ● Holding flag-raising ceremonies and services
    ● Creating musical salutes, street parades, and school events and contests

    For over a century, Boy Scouts of America has been at the forefront when it comes to honoring the flag and all it stands for, taking great care to integrate proper flag etiquette into every aspect of Scouting’s ceremonies, activities, and presence. So Flag Day is the perfect day to brush up on the rules and regulations for proper flag display and use.

    A great source for the principles of flag etiquette is www.usflag.org. From raising and lowering to parading and saluting, this great site covers the Standards of Respect from start to finish.

    And if you want to know more about the origins of Flag Day or how America celebrates, The National Flag Day Foundation site — www.nationalflagday.com – is a wealth of information.

    Plus, did you know that the 21 days following Flag Day (through July 4th) are Honor
    America Days
    ?! It’s an extra three weeks in which people hold public gatherings and activities to celebrate and honor the nation.

    How will you personally — or your troop, crew or pack — be celebrating this year? 


Presenting: The Stewardship Edition of the Be Prepared® Newsletter


 June, 2014                                                                                            Vol. 6, No. 6




  • A Conservation Good Turn
  • The Outdoor Code
  • Conservation Caravan Explorers
  • BSA’s Conservation Awards
  • Conservation Handbook
  • Scouting’s Environmental Promise



Sixty years ago, the cover of the March, 1954, Boys’ Life magazine showed a Scout putting up a poster promoting conservation of soil, water, and wildlife. Headlines spoke of “BSA’s Conservation Good Turn” and “An Outdoor Code for Americans.”


President Eisenhower with Scouts

President Eisenhower with Scouts


Boys’ Life cover, March of 1954

Boys’ Life cover, March of 1954

The Good Turn was prompted by a request from President Dwight Eisenhower, challenging the Boy Scouts to raise public awareness of the importance of caring for natural resources.

“The wise and judicious use of our natural resources is of paramount concern to all Americans,” the president wrote in a letter to Chief Scout Executive Arthur Schuck.

He went on to observe that “it would be particularly fitting if the Boy Scouts would undertake by concerted action to arouse public recognition of the need for adequate protection and wise management of our soil, mineral, forest, grassland, and wildlife resources.”


The BSA responded with a nationwide campaign to prevent forest fires and to conserve soil, water, and wildlife. Scouts distributed 3.6 million copies of the conservation poster, planted more than 6 million trees, installed 55,000 bird-nesting boxes and developed tens of thousands of displays to educate the public in the importance of stewardship.

Boys’ Life of March, 1954, showed Scouts involved with Conservation Good Turns

Boys’ Life of March, 1954, showed Scouts involved with Conservation Good Turns


Paired with the 1954 Conservation Good Turn was the BSA’s introduction of the Outdoor Code as words to live by “for all Americans.”

The code had first appeared six years earlier in the 1948 Boy Scout Handbook:


As an American, I will do my best to - 
Be clean in my outdoor manners.
Be careful with fire.
Be considerate in the outdoors.
Be conservation minded.

 “Developed by the Boy Scouts of America, and promoted by all of us – by you and me,” it was highlighted again in the same 1954 Boys’ Life issue as President Eisenhower’s letter: 

Outdoor Code in Boys’ Life Magazine - March 1954

Outdoor Code in Boys’ Life Magazine – March 1954

Those were years of the Cold War with the Soviet Union when there was great concern about security of the nation. That might account for the Outdoor Code’s wording “As an American…” If it were written today, the pledge to care for the environment could be expanded to include the people of every nation.



In 1955, a dozen Explorer Scouts set off for Washington, DC, report to President Eisenhower on the success of the previous year’s BSA Conservation Good Turn. They made the journey aboard an Air Force Convair, the official plane of the commanding general of the Joint Western Air Defense Force.

Conservation Caravan Explorers Board Their Flight in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Conservation Caravan Explorers Board Their Flight in Colorado Springs, Colorado

The plane touched down at sites along a 3,500 mile route so the Explorers could tour parks, farms, a mining operation, and other locations where conservation efforts were in effect.

“We saw how conservation was paying off for land and wildlife, and also how our conservation was paying off for us,” said the Explorers, chosen for their own contributions to conservation.

“It was,” they added, “a unique combination of two bests – getting to see the best government conservation projects first-hand, and enjoying the best hospitality of the West.” And all of that was before arriving at the White House to chat with the president.



Those dozen Explorers who went to Washington, DC, in 1955 were being rewarded for their efforts on behalf of the environment. Scouting has encouraged conservation and stewardship with a variety of programs and awards. Here’s a look at some of the most prominent:

Conservation Good Turn

Conservation Good Turn





Leave No Trace

Leave No Trace

Project SOAR (Save Our American Resources)

Project SOAR
(Save Our American Resources)


World Conservation Award

World Conservation Award


Philmont Wilderness Pledge

Philmont Wilderness Pledge

There have also been a host of merit badges promoting conservation themes or skills that could be used to further stewardship and caring for the land:


Conservation Merit Badge

The Conservation merit badge itself dates back to the beginnings of the BSA as one of the original 57 merit badges.

Conservation Merit Badge

Conservation Merit Badge

Scouts were asked to recognize and document trees, game birds and animals in their neighborhoods, understand how farmlands and forests are used, the effects of stream flow, and know about reducing the waste of coal, both in the mines and in its use.

By 1937, requirements had evolved to “Present evidence of having directly assisted conservation by some deed, such as fighting a forest fire; checking erosion; planting trees; helping restock streams with fish; posting or distributing conservation notices; planting wild rice or other duck feed; feeding birds in winter; stopping stream and river pollution.”

1948 Boy Scout Handbook

1948 Boy Scout Handbook

Gradually the requirements for the Conservation merit badge spread to other awards, and in 1952 the badge was discontinued.


William T. Hornaday Awards

the granddaddy of BSA conservation honors is named after William T. Hornaday. The director of the Bronx Zoo and credited with saving the American bison from extinction, Dr. Hornaday infused early Scouting with values of stewardship and environmental responsibility. You can learn about these and other current conservation awards at www.scouting.org.

William T. Hornaday Awards

William T. Hornaday Awards


Another anniversary fast approaching is the quarter century that the Conservation Handbook has been on the shelves of BSA literature. It’s still a terrific guide for carrying out meaningful projects to protect the environment and a fine manual for helping Scout units and the managers of public and private lands develop ongoing environmental partnerships.

Conservation Handbook

Conservation Handbook


The official website of the BSA has this to say about the emphasis the organization puts on conservation:

Since 1910, conservation has been an integral part of the program of the Boy Scouts of America. The BSA has been a positive force in conservation and environmental efforts. Scouts have rendered distinguished public service by helping to conserve wildlife, energy, forests, soil, and water. Past generations of Scouts have been widely recognized for undertaking conservation Good Turn action projects in their local communities.

With the 60th anniversary of the Outdoor Code as a reminder, Scouts everywhere can recommit to rolling up their sleeves and giving back to places where they camp and hike. They can do environmental good turns around their homes, communities, and everywhere on planet Earth.

Order copies of the Conservation Handbook at www.scoutstuff.org. For more on the role of stewardship, check out the official website of the BSA – www.scouting.org.

Monica Thatch

Monica Thatch

(This edition of the Be Prepared Newsletter was developed and written by Robert Birkby, author of the current editions of the Boy Scout Handbook, Fieldbook, Scout Stuff, The Conservation Handbook, and Eagle Scouts: A Centennial History.)













Want to Amp Up Your Summer Fun? Just Turn the Page…

Facing a rainy Monday in June? Well, turn off the TV and embark on a heart-pounding adventure with brother-and-sister sleuths encountering wildlife and wild circumstances in America’s National Parks.

Have a summer campout on the horizon? Whether it’s backyard or backcountry, make it a breeze… and a blast! Turn summer reading into outdoor mastery as you learn skills and tricks sure to impress in camp and ′round the campfire .

Faced with required summer reading and not exactly thrilled about it? Well fear the “boring” no more. Just use your Scout-sense and tag the titles that intrigue your BSA brain! You can find pages full of outdoor adventure and know-how presented in fun formats that get you – and keep you – reading all summer… no joke!

Click here to see some new choices for summer reading, just made for Scouts! 


This month we’re pleased to present:


bp header

 May, 2014                                                                                                        Vol. 6, No. 5




  • Scout’s Pace
  • Ranger Marathon
  • Speed Knots
  • BSA Racing

From dusty backcountry trails to the Indianapolis 500, there’s speed out there, and Scouts are enjoying it all. How fast are you? It depends on how you achieve maximum velocity, starting with the Scout’s Pace, one of Scouting’s oldest ways of covering ground.


 “Go a mile in twelve minutes at Scout’s Pace –

fifty steps running and fifty walking, alternately.”

 In the BSA’s early years, Scout’s Pace was a requirement for earning the Second Class badge. Scouts could cover long distances without becoming too tired by alternately jogging 50 paces and then walking 50 steps. It was also a means for measuring miles simply by striding along. All it took was a lot of counting.


Setting Off at Scout’s Pace

 You can try the Scout’s Pace today, both for fun and as a practical means to travel. Alternate 50 steps walking with 50 running strides and you might be pleasantly surprised how quickly the miles roll beneath your feet.


For going the distance, the 300 miles of trails on Philmont Scout Ranch offer opportunities like no other. Most trekkers are content to hike at a reasonable rate so they can appreciate everything there is to enjoy along the way.


Robert Birkby photo

Philmont Trekkers Take In the View from Atop the Tooth of Time

To kick in the afterburners, some Philmont staffers challenge themselves with the Ranger Marathon – hiking the 40+ miles from Dan Beard Camp at the far north of the ranch to Carson Meadows, Philmont’s southernmost camp, in 24 hours or less.



Route of the Philmont Ranger Marathon

 Marathoners can choose any route so long as they make the trip on foot. Philmont encourages them to travel in groups of three for safety, and to carry the water, food, clothing, and raingear they will need along the way.


                                                                                                              Robert Birkby photo

A 1970s Philmont Ranger Going Places in a Hurry

 Today’s Ranger Marathon finds its roots in the Philmont Intermountain Relays of the 1970s. Teams comprised of four runners raced from Baldy Town in the north to Rayado in the south, each runner covering a quarter of the route. A 1975 team running at more than 8 miles an hour through rugged terrain set the record by completing 42-mile route in 5 hours, 17 minutes. That’s fast!



When it comes to blinding speed, how fast can you tie the six basic Scout knots? Tying them correctly is more important than tying them fast, but working to form them quickly can help you make the knots your own.

 Square Knot

Double Half Hitch

Tautline Hitch


Sheet Bend

Clove Hitch

Check out ScoutStuff.org for guides that can help you master Scouting’s knots and many more.



A great way to practice is with a knot rack – a couple of poles set up with the ropes and space for tying knots. In competitions, Scouts have tied all six knots on a knot rack in under 20 seconds.



                                                                                                     Robert Birkby photo

Scouts Practice at a Knot-Tying Rack

 You can also carry a two-foot piece of cord in your pocket. When you have free moments during the day, pull out the cord and run through the six Scout knots. Soon they’ll become second-nature to you, ready to be used at a moment’s notice.



When it comes to pure speed, seeing a Scout emblem flash by at 200 miles an hour is not out of the question, especially if it is painted on the side of one of America’s fastest race cars. That’s what you’ll see as Scouting again partners with Coyne Racing to promote the BSA brand on IndyCar and SprintCar courses across America.


 This year the Coyne Racing car #19, covered with Scouting insignia, is driven by Justin Wilson.


Justin Wilson

BSA Motorsports helps raise awareness of Scouting in new and exciting ways, and supports councils by encouraging membership, recruitment, marketing, and fund-raising. It’s also a platform to promote science, technology, and math to those involved in Scouting.



A Scout Tries Out the Cockpit of #19

 Watch for the Dale Coyne-BSA car in the Indianapolis 500 and other competitions throughout the racing season.


Check out this website to learn more about BSA Motorsports: http://www.scouting.org/bsaracing/indy/coyne_racing.aspx

race logo


 (This edition of the Be Prepared Newsletter was developed and written by Robert Birkby, author of the current editions of the Boy Scout Handbook, Fieldbook, Scout Stuff, and Eagle Scouts: A Centennial History.)