As we head into the scouting year, now is a good time to remind returning scouts and convey to new scouts the importance of equipment maintenance. Proper care of our equipment goes a long way to prolonging its life. Parents can be a big help here by reminding scouts to take action immediately when returning from campouts.
Tents and Tarps
Drying out tents and tarps by hanging them up immediately after campouts is the single most important action that prolongs equipment life. Airing out the materials prevents mildew and odor buildup. Even a few days wrapped up in damp bags causes damage. We need to make sure all scouts and parents follow this single rule in prolonging life. When packing away, make sure everything is dry and clean. Please do everything possible to make this happen.
Emptying bear bags can be an interesting experience after a campout. It helps scouts and parents learn what worked and what didn’t from the menu. Missing food usually means that the food was enjoyed by scouts (or bears) and is a good bet for future campouts. Leftover food often indicates an over planned menu or some scout no shows. It is safe to say that emptying a bear bag is easier the Sunday after a campout rather than before the next inspection or campout. However, scouts who wait have an opportunity to discover new forms of life and could possibly culture a life saving vaccine from the newly discovered growth.
Scoring for Patrol of the Year Award
Inspection metrics help focus scout patrols on proper equipment care throughout the year. Metrics will be published monthly after equipment inspections for each junior patrol. The current results are shown in the section below.
Here are the rules for getting the most points.
1) All equipment must be brought to the inspections whether it was used or not.
2) Make sure all the equipment is clean, dry and folded if applicable
3) It is the responsibility of the Junior Patrol Leader to coordinate the return of all the equipment for their patrols.
4) Points for each equipment item are scored as follows:
4 - Clean / Dry / Folded
3 - Fair
2 - Dirty/Damp
1 - Very Dirty / Wet
0 - Missing
Any patrols missing or damaged equipment should contact the Quatermaster.