Archive for August, 2009

JOTI / JOTA 2009

The Technology Weekend in Scouting

The 52nd JOTA / 13th JOTI will take place on October 17th-18th, 2009.


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.

The Chief Scout’s & Chief Guide’s JOTA-JOTI Address will be available for download a week prior to JOTA-JOTI

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


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How did we do it?


The car registrations took place from 12:00 to 12:45. The registration process was divided into five distinct processes;

1. Sign in Forms – Cubs enter their name, age and pack details

2. Payment / Race Class
Payment was taken and marked on the sign in form, the age group was circled as the race class.

3. Scruitineering / Car number
The car was weighed and checked for compliance, if the car passed compliance a sequential race number was assigned on a green sticker and the race class stayed based on age 8, 9, or 10. (We used a check sheet to track the numbers as they were assigned).
If the car did not pass compliance a sequential race number was assigned on an orange sticker and the race class was marked as OPEN.

NOTE: The different coloured stickers were not really required as the classes were managed via the software and this just added complexity. It would also have been a good idea to have written the Cub’s car number on their hand with a permanent marker – 20:20 hind sight 😉

4. Data Entry
The details from these forms were then entered into our spreadsheet (see below). The sign in forms were kept for reference.

5. Parc fermé
All cars were then placed into Parc fermé arranged in numerical order. Essentially, cars in this area must not be touched by anyone without express permission of the track marshalls.


We used the 4 Lane spreadsheet (Pine4.XLS) from Chris Sutton’s Pinewood Derby Spreadsheet page.

To this Pine4.XLS spreadsheet we added a front registration page with columns for car number, Name, Age, Pack. All Cubs were recorded onto this page as part of our registration process. Once registration was closed the page was sorted by AGE then by CAR NUMBER to give our class divisions.

It is setup for a 4-lane track, with the lanes are labeled A, B, C and D. Cars are raced in groups of between 8 and 16 cars. Within each group, each car will race 4 times — once on each of the lanes.
– Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Race Spreadsheet – 4 Lanes

The class divisions cells were colour coded 8=RED, 9=BLUE, 10=GREEN and OPEN=GREY. In column E the count of cars for the class was calculated. This let us see how many cars we were dealing with and which of the tabs in the spread sheet we would use to manage the heats.

Make a copy of the worksheet for the number of cars. For example, if you have a 9-car group, right-click the “9 Cars” tab at the bottom of the spreadsheet. Then select “Move or copy..” and check the “Create Copy” box.
– Cub Scout Pinewood Derby Race Spreadsheet – 4 Lanes

A total of 54 cars were registered. The 8 division was easy, only 11 cars, so this went straight over to a new sheet for 11 cars. OPEN class had 4 cars so it went to a new worksheet for 4 cars. For our 9 and 10 classes we needed to split the class in half giving us two divisions for each age class (By coincidence these were; 9 = 2 x 9 cars, 10 = 2 x 10 cars). In column F we entered the car ‘count’ for each division.

This gave us a total of 6 worksheets.


The details from the REGISTRATION sheet for the class-division was copied and pasted to the side of the heat calculations and the actual car numbers for the class-division were entered into column D of the worksheet.


To allow for smooth marshalling, we used a variant of a swim carnival marshalling process. We had 4 x red chairs, 4 x yellow chairs, 4 x green chairs and 4 x grey chairs. This allowed for four races at a time to be called up to the marshalling area and assigned a seat colour to report to. This worked pretty well.

As we started all marshalling information was announced over our PA system. Starting at the 8 class we announced 8-Heat1-race1 to red chairs, 8-Heat1-race2 to yellow chairs, onto the next work sheet; 9-Div1-Heat1-race1 to grey seats and 9-Div1-Heat1-race2 to green seats. These races were run then we marshalled the next four races. As the OPEN class only had 4 heats they were skipped in the first rotation so that all classes were scheduled to finish at the same rotation.



Chairman (Director) – Decisions are final 😉
Registration x 3 – payment, scrutineer, register vehicles, data entry
Start Marshalls x 2 – load right car on track in right lane, starting gate operation
Finish Marshalls x 4 – assign places, recover cars from end of track and return to correct slot in marshalling area Parc fermé
Race Announcer – call up cars for marshalling, describe what’s happening, build excitement
Computer Operator – data entry, results (located with announcer)
Repair Crew – help with minor repairs
Food & Drinks Crew – setup, sell and clear sausage sizzle and drinks.
(We sold roughly 180 sausages and 140 cans of soft drink!)

UHF CB radios were used to communicate between the Computer Operator and the Start Marshalls to ensure that cars were correctly loaded.


The racing was four cars at a time in the scheduled heats. It would have been good to have had a second announcer track side for live commentary, and to have used an overhead video camera connected to a projector/large screen to give a better view … maybe next time?
Our track was slow enough that we didn’t need an electronic finish gate, our 4 Finish Marshalls were able to do a great job.
Every car had a least 4 runs during the day.



For presentation at the conclusion of the event we had a podium fizz (lemonade) and trophy for each of the following;

  • Winner 8 Year Old
  • Winner 9 Year Old
  • Winner 10 Year Old
  • Winner OPEN
  • Best Decorated
  • Best Crash!

There was also a camp blanket badge for all competitors (checked off on the registration worksheet as collected).

We finished the presentations at 4:00pm – as advertised.

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ScoutLinks August-2009

We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.
— Jawaharlal Nehru

What can possibly be in a Cub Scout’s pocket? What is in a boy’s pocket can tell a lot about who he is and what he likes. The boys can share and show off their collections and maybe even start a new one! Put some marbles in the boy’s pockets and teach him how to play the game of marbles. Pick an interest of the boys and go on a field trip to explore and learn about it. Maybe a trip to a rock quarry in search of fossils, or a nature hike around the den meeting site to pick up items. …

Boy’s Life Magazine
Links found in August 2009 Boys’ Life magazine

Western Australian Scout eNews – Chief’s Corner
Chief’s Corner – August 2009

The Dump
This month my featured book from “The Dump” Resources For Scouting is; Woodsmoke At Twilight [PDF] by A. Norman Mcmillan. Published by National Council. Boy Scouts of Canada. A collection of short stories suitable for Cubs and younger Scouts. It is decidedly dated (1955-1965), but nevertheless still useful. Second hand copies available online c.AU$12

Who hath smelt woodsmoke at twilight? Who hath heard the birch log burning? Who is quick to read the noises of the night? Let him follow with the others. For the young men’s feet are turning, To the camps of proved desire and known delight.
— Rudyard Kipling

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