'LOST' advice was helpful
I really enjoyed reading "Lost and Found" [Outdoor Smarts column, March-April 2007] about what to do if you get lost in the wilderness and how to avoid it.
Besides teaching me what to do if I ever get lost, the article helped me prepare for earning the Wilderness Survival merit badge during the summer at Camp Cherry Valley on Catalina Island.
Search and rescue
The March-April article "Lost and Found" [Outdoor Smarts] reminded me of a search-and-rescue operation I participated in more than 50 years ago with the U.S. Air Force in Arizona.
A pilot had bailed out of his plane because his jet flamed out, and he couldn't restart it. From the air, we found the plane wreckage quite easily, but we could not find the pilot.
He had followed standard procedure and spread his 28-foot-diameter parachute, with alternate International Orange and White panels, out on the ground to make him easy to find. We passed two times within a half mile of his location and did not see him or his chute. As we started a third pass over the area, we saw the flash of his signal mirror.
As a result of this experience, I always carry a compass and a signal mirror every time I go into the backcountry.
Troop award honors a Scout's memory
Troop 77, Venice, Fla., lost a beloved member this past year when Life Scout Paden Traves drowned in a tragic accident.
His family wanted to memorialize Paden in a way that recalled his example of always being willing to help fellow Scouts with tough rank advancement requirements.
His father, Steve Traves, noted how some Scouts wait until their final year of eligibility before completing their Eagle project, and, as a result, some actually run out of time before their 18th birthday.
This inspired the troop to create the Paden Traves Early Eagle Project Award. It is a framed certificate and pin to be presented to each Scout who completes his Eagle project before his 17th birthday.
Our Scouts think the award is a great idea, and several have been motivated to get started on their project in order to be eligible for it.
WHICH PATCH DO I WEAR?
As a member of Jamieson Memorial United Methodist Church in Clarksville, Va., one of my responsibilities is to serve as Scouting coordinator, a position in which I work with our Cub Scout pack and Boy Scout troop. However, I am registered with the BSA as a chartered organization representative.
What leadership insignia do I wear on my Scout uniform shirt? I have a Scouting coordinator patch, or is there a chartered organization representative patch that I should wear?
Stephen B. Roberts
When the term for the liason between a chartered organization and the Scouting program was officially changed by the BSA to chartered organization representative, the United Methodist Church retained the title Scouting coordinator as part of church terminology. Accordingly, you should wear the current chartered organization representative patch (BSA No. 00490) on your uniform in position 3 on your uniform's left sleeve. (The Scouting coordinator patch you refer to is most likely the previous position patch the BSA used.)
SCOUTS CAN LEARN MANNERS
The Family Talk column in the March-April issue on teaching good manners to children, "Manners Do Matter," prompted me to share my story.
For 10 years I have been both grandma and mother to my grandson. At present, he is a bright 13-year-old Star Scout who has heard me say from Day One when he arrived at his new home with me: "Manners are rules for getting along with people."
Back then he listened intently, [but] now he rolls his eyes when I find it necessary to repeat that phrase -- especially if I speak out at Scout meetings. But when he visits the homes of friends or family, I hear words of praise about his wonderful and consistent manners.
Today's children can learn and be expected to use good manners. I expect my well-taught Scouts to follow the rules of good manners (which just happen to go hand in hand with the Scout Law).
A Father's flag
During World War II, two brothers went to war, one to the South Pacific and the other to Europe. When they returned home, having seen humanity at its worst, they wanted to see it at its best. So they started Boy Scout Troop 166, which is still in existence and still chartered to St. James Catholic Church in Arlington Heights, Ill.
One brother was my uncle, Ralph J. Elwart, who served as Scoutmaster for a number of years and helped teach hundreds of boys the values of Scouting. The other brother was my father, Richard J. (Dick) Elwart, who served as assistant Scoutmaster for many years.
The connection they began with Scouting has now stretched to four generations. With more than 20 years as an adult Scouter, I am currently assistant Webelos den leader for Pack 104, chartered to the Hawkins United Methodist Church here in Vicksburg; in addition, my wife and our two adult sons are registered leaders with the pack and two grandsons are Cub Scouts.
When my father died in 1993, he left instructions that the U.S. flag provided for the burial of military veterans not be placed on his casket, because, he said, the only real war heroes he had known were buried in the fields of battle.
Instead, we found a way to have a fitting tribute paid to him -- and to the thousands of other Scouting leaders of the "Greatest Generation" -- by the organization that he loved so much.
One morning in 2000, his flag was flown in his memory during the Wood Badge for the 21st Century pilot course at Rocky Mountain Scout Camp at Philmont Scout Ranch in New Mexico.
Copyright © 2007 by the Boy Scouts of America. All rights thereunder reserved; anything appearing in Scouting magazine or on its Web site may not be reprinted either wholly or in part without written permission. Because of freedom given authors, opinions may not reflect official concurrence.