Outdoor knowledge

What we know and learn about the outdoors is not only great for our recreation; it can make a huge difference in how we preserve these natural resources for the future.

Recent incidents are discouraging.  In early August, a tourist crashed a drone with camera into Yellowstone National Park’s world-renowned Grand Prismatic Spring, potentially damaging the algae and bacteria that contribute to its beauty. This occurred less than two months after the National Park Service banned the use of drones and small remote-controlled aircraft at all 401 national parks and monuments.

The Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park

The Grand Prismatic Spring at Yellowstone National Park // Photo courtesy of traveller.com

Meanwhile, fire safety continues to be a critical issue for our nation’s parks and woodlands. The National Park Service says as many as 90 percent of wildfires in the United States are caused by humans, including unattended campfires, discarded cigarettes, trash fires, and arson. The remaining 10 percent are started by lightning or lava. Read more »

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Looking at Scouting through two pairs of eyes

I just read the story appearing in the latest issue of Esquire magazine featuring our National President Robert Gates, headlined:  Are There Still Boy Scouts?

His current leadership role in Scouting aside, what a fascinating article!

I enjoyed reading about his memories of his father, Mel Gates.  Mel’s fatherly advice was priceless (I’ll let you find out by reading the article.)  He was “gruff in public, but affectionate at home.”

His father had a strong influence on Robert Gates’ decision to join Scouting.

The Gates article also tells a great story about how he applies what he learned in Scouting (saying his only formal management course he took was at Philmont Scout Ranch as a teen) to his everyday life.  A quote that jumped out at me:  “In my whole life, I’ve never forgotten those lessons.” Read more »

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We will always remember

September 11, 2001 is one of those dates that will forever be ingrained in my memory. And yesterday, on the 13th anniversary, I along with millions of others spent it honoring the memory of the innocent victims, first responders and others who were affected by this terrible moment in history.

As I scanned the many stories sharing details on how people across the country are remembering 9/11, I was impressed and not surprised to find many Scouts doing the same. I found a range of stories about Scouts gathering together to focus on not only honoring the victims of that tragic day, but to also provide service for their communities.

We will always remember

Photo courtesy of the Utah National Parks Council

Throughout our 104 year history, Scouts have displayed patriotism and pride for the nation through acts of service and remembrance. And for 9/11, I believe the Utah National Parks Council said it best: “Scout service is a wonderful way to teach the nation’s youth about our loved ones and the events of 9/11, so that future generations will ‘Always Remember.’” Read more »

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