Archive for June, 2008

rocket stoves

There was good posting on BoingBoing today discussing rocket stoves. This looked like a great stove to play with investigate for use by Scouts.

Compared with open fire cooking methods still used in many areas of the world (sometimes known as ‘three stone fire’ – a small fire contained by three or more rocks such that a pot or pan can rest on the flames), this stove operates on about half as much fuel, and produces substantially less smoke. Furthermore, the design of the stove requires small diameter lengths of wood, which can generally be satisfied with small branches. As such, sufficient fuel for cooking tasks can be gathered in less time, without the benefit of tools, and ideally without the destruction of forested areas.

Because these qualities improve local air quality, and discourage deforestation, the rocket stove has attracted the attention of a number of Appropriate Technology concerns, which have deployed it in numerous third-world locales (notably, the Rwandan refugee camps). This attention has resulted in a number of adaptations intended to improve convenience and safety, and thus the size of the target audience. The Justa Stove, for example, is a cousin of the rocket stove adapted for indoor use and family cooking needs. While it contains a ‘rocket elbow’ (the working core of a Rocket Stove), it differs in that it contains a flat griddle surface and a simple smokestack.

[1] Rocket stoves use twigs to cook food quickly, efficiently (2008-Jun-26) [BoingBoing]
[2] How to build a Rocket Stove [Aprovecho Research Center]
[3] Larry Winiarski’s Rocket Stove Principles (2002-Apr) [BioEnergy Lists: Biomass Cooking Stoves]
[4] Rocket stove [Wikipedia]


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I read this poem over at the Lone Star Scouter and thought it was so good that I should quote it over here as well.

Are we building bridges in our programs?

The Bridge Builder
An old man, going down a lone highway
Came at the evening, cold and gray,
To a chasm vast and wide and steep,
With waters rolling cold and deep.
The old man crossed in the twilight dim;
The sullen stream had no fears for him.
But he turned when safe on the other side,
And built a bridge to span the tide.

“Old man,” said a fellow pilgrim near,
“You are wasting your strength with building here.
Your journey will end with the ending day,
You never again will pass this way.
You’ve crossed the chasm, deep and wide,
Why build you this bridge at eventide?”
The builder lifted his old gray head.

“Good friend, in the path I have come,” he said,
“There followed after me today
A youth whose feet must pass this way.
The chasm that was as naught to me
To that fair-haired youth may a pitfall be;
He, too, must cross in the twilight dim –
Good friend, I am building this bridge for him.”

–Will Allen Dromgoole

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51st Jamboree On The Air / 12th Jamboree On The Internet
17-19 October 2008

The 51st JOTA / 12th JOTI will take place on 18 and 19 October 2008. Now is the time to start planning!

The Technology Weekend in Scouting

Victorian Branch requests that all JOTA / JOTI sites register with the Victorian JOTA Coordinator. Make sure you complete the SRESU JOTA/JOTI Forms.


JOTA information

JOTI information
Scoutlink is a global non-profit organisation which aims to connect scouts and guides worldwide. They provide a safe and supervised chatting environment for them, using the Internet Relay Chat (IRC) technology. Scoutlink is online 365 days a year and has created friendships around the planet. Scoutlink’s main event is JOTI and they enjoy connecting with new people each year.

Chief Scout’s JOTA-JOTI Message
Broadcast on the Saturday of JOTA-JOTI at 1300K (0300Z) for 10 minutes by various rebroadcasters throughout Australia. Test transmissions will commence at 1250K. Speeches by the Chief Scout, Patron of Guides, and Scout and Guide Chief Commissioners will conclude by 1310K. The Chief Scout’s JOTA-JOTI Message will be available as an MP3 file in the week before JOTA-JOTI and all the weekend. The Chief Scout’s JOTA-JOTI Message may be saved to CD or played from your computer at any time during the weekend.

We have placed an official Geocache for JOTI, see if you can locate “Scoutin’ about

JOTA JOTI Inspiration 2008
Ideas for your JOTA-JOTI activity. This short promo movie gives you plenty of suggestions, which will be worked out in detail elsewhere. — jotajotidvd

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Bronze Boomerang
5 – Our Cub Scout Traditions

* Talk about the main characters in the Jungle Books and what their names are.
* Tell the story of how Mowgli came to be in the Jungle.

Read Mowgli’s Brothers from Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book. It is hard to read the text version on-line so it is worth getting a copy of the book from a local library (or borrow a copy from your pack Akela). You can also listen to an audiobook.

In this story, Mowgli crawls into the wolves’ den and is adopted by Mother and Father Wolf who protect him from Shere Khan. The wolf pack allows Mowgli to stay after Baloo promise to care for him and to teach him the Law of the Jungle, and Bagheera gives the pack a freshly killed bull. The story skips forward ten or eleven years and Mowgli returns to the man’s village. Mowgli returns to the jungle with fire and defeats Shere Khan and saves Akela.

… The bushes rustled a little in the thicket, and Father Wolf
dropped with his haunches under him, ready for his leap. Then, if
you had been watching, you would have seen the most wonderful
thing in the world–the wolf checked in mid-spring. He made his
bound before he saw what it was he was jumping at, and then he
tried to stop himself. The result was that he shot up straight
into the air for four or five feet, landing almost where he left

“Man!” he snapped. “A man’s cub. Look!”

Directly in front of him, holding on by a low branch, stood a
naked brown baby who could just walk–as soft and as dimpled a
little atom as ever came to a wolf’s cave at night. He looked up
into Father Wolf’s face, and laughed.

“Is that a man’s cub?” said Mother Wolf. “I have never seen
one. Bring it here.”

A Wolf accustomed to moving his own cubs can, if necessary,
mouth an egg without breaking it, and though Father Wolf’s jaws
closed right on the child’s back not a tooth even scratched the
skin as he laid it down among the cubs.

“How little! How naked, and–how bold!” said Mother Wolf
softly. The baby was pushing his way between the cubs to get
close to the warm hide. “Ahai! He is taking his meal with the
others. And so this is a man’s cub. Now, was there ever a wolf
that could boast of a man’s cub among her children?”

“I have heard now and again of such a thing, but never in our
Pack or in my time,” said Father Wolf. “He is altogether without
hair, and I could kill him with a touch of my foot. But see, he
looks up and is not afraid.”

The moonlight was blocked out of the mouth of the cave, for
Shere Khan’s great square head and shoulders were thrust into the
entrance. Tabaqui, behind him, was squeaking: “My lord, my lord,
it went in here!” …


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When the howling winds finally died down, the Boy Scouts — true to their motto, “Be Prepared” — sprang into action.

Boy Scouts praised as heroes after twister kills 4
By JOSH FUNK [Assoicated Press]

BLENCOE, Iowa (AP) — When the howling winds finally died down, the Boy Scouts — true to their motto, “Be Prepared” — sprang into action.

Putting their first-aid training to use, they applied tourniquets and gauze to the injured. Some began digging victims from the rubble of a collapsed chimney. And others broke into an equipment shed, seized chainsaws and other tools, and started clearing fallen trees from a road.

Dozens of the Scouts, ages 13 to 18, were hailed for their bravery and resourcefulness Thursday, the morning after a twister flattened their camp in Iowa and killed four boys.

“There were some real heroes at this Scout camp,” Gov. Chet Culver said, adding that he believes the Scouts saved lives while they waited for paramedics to cut through the trees and reach the camp a mile into the woods.

The 93 boys, all elite Scouts attending a weeklong leadership training session, had taken part in a mock emergency drill with 25 staff members just a day before the twister hit.

“They knew what to do, they knew where to go, and they prepared well,” said Lloyd Roitstein, an executive with the Mid-America Council of the Boy Scouts of America. (…)

“The scouts did exactly what they were trained to do. This was the real thing.”

“It’s the scouts that saved a lot of lives,” said Ed Osius, chief of the volunteer fire department in Blencoe, a town of about 200, not far from the Little Sioux Scout Ranch, with its rugged, heavily wooded terrain, trails and valleys spread over 1,800 acres. “The scouts did exactly what they were trained to do. This was the real thing.” — [NY Times]

[1] Boy Scouts praised as heroes after twister kills 4 (2008-Jun-13) [Assoicated Press]
[2] Statement Regarding the Tragedy in Western Iowa (PDF) (2008-Jun-13) [BSA National Office]
[3] A Deafening Howl Then Deadly Chaos for Scouts (2008-Jun-13) [NY Times]

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