Pull Up a Compass

I’ve had my head buried in Scout Stuff all week, from planning our Pack Meeting (making May Day Baskets to leave at the low-income apartments around town) and starting our new Pack Blog, to thinking about programming for over the summer. One of the things that I’m working on doing with the boys is directing our program more toward “ScoutCraft”, as opposed to the stuff we’ve been doing. I’d like to see our meetings take on a much more directed path. To that end, I’m putting together an Orienteering Meeting.

Have you ever been Orienteering? It’s pretty awesome. You use a compass (NOT a GPS, that’s Geocaching), and a map, and you pace off different points, with the ultimate goal being the prize at the end. And this summer, I’m taking our pack Orienteering. I think it’ll be great fun. I’m in the process of coming up with other plans for them, too. Maybe we’ll even do some Geocaching – AFTER they learn to use a compass, of course.

What have you been up to this week? What’s coming up for you? Have you ever been Orienteering? Geocaching? If you were taking a group of kids (say, 30) on a learning adventure, where would you take them, and where would you go?

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15 Responses to Pull Up a Compass

  1. Vicki says:

    Ive been orienteering once on horseback for some search and rescue training.. I didnt find it that easy but that can also because it was a race besides the locating objects along a 5 + mile or so course.

    • Laura says:

      OH!!! Add HORSES!!! That would be a BLAST!!! (ok, yeah, I’m a total outside nerd. what can I say?) It would take a lot of practice, though, to learn your horse’s pace; I only know mine so well because of Marching Band. Wow. What an awesome challenge.

      • Vicki says:

        We were in groups of three and it was all out balls to the walls(so to speak) basically from points inbetween..hence why i didnt catch on really great to the compass reading. lol
        Its a great tool to learn though and the reasoning for us learning was incase of needing to call in helicoptors and giving ordinances if we’re in the middle of nowhere.

        • Laura says:

          How did you measure distances? Was it a sight thing? I know there’s a way to do it, using shadow lengths and such, but geez, that would take a ton of time, if you don’t know what you’re doing. Or was it more, “that tree- go!!” kind of stuff?

          • Vicki says:

            If i recall correctly (its been many years) with maps we had to find some so called ‘mark’ along the trail and dial in our compasses from each mark to find our items.

  2. Laura says:

    Oh, I am s-l-o-w-l-y making progress around this house. Manservant Jim came over again this weekend, and we got a good bit of work done outside, and on Friday, I got a good bit done inside. I’m working on donating a bunch of Josh’s old toys and clothes. I had wanted to save them and garage sale them, but who am I kidding? They’ve been sitting down there for YEARS, and I still haven’t gotten around to it, and we’ve already had a garage sale at my parent’s house a couple years ago. So I know they could bring in a bit of coin, but nobody will come to my house (in the boonies) to check out a sale, and I don’t know anyone having one. So to Goodwill they will go. It’s also a heckuva lot easier to box them up and inventory for donation than to sell. At least with a donation list, I can use it for taxes next year. I hope to have them cleaned out by June.

    That’s what’s up for this week, too… more cleaning outside and in, as well as party planning. The guest list for this weekend keeps growing. It’s going to be fun, stressful, crazy, tiring… but I love having family here, and I haven’t seen Dina (my bestie) in AGES, and she’ll be here!!! YAAY!!! We’ve already started the countdown.

    • skl1 says:

      Sounds exciting! I have never really had a shindig for my girls other than their 1st birthday / welcome home party. We don’t do First Communions, so their next shindig will probably be their confirmation, 8 years from now (if they go through with that). I don’t like the stress of getting ready for a party, but of course it’s great to have everyone together.

  3. skl1 says:

    When I was a kid, we were on our own most of the summer, and yes, it involved finding our way around in wild places (both urban and rural). We also went “primitive camping” most summers, with the usual hiking and such. We didn’t take a class that I can recall, just figured it out as we went along. When I was 16 in my 1st semester of college, I took a backpacking course to fulfill my phys ed requirement, so I learned a few things that way. I think an orienteering course is a great idea for kids.

  4. skl1 says:

    As for me – I just got done with my sister’s tax return. I tell ya, taxes are stupid. (What, you knew that already?) She’s been unemployed since Obama was elected and her unemployment ran out early last year, so she had no taxable income. “Broke” is the word. But she had to pay tax, because she took some money out of her 401K to pay living expenses. I knew that there was a flat 10% penalty with limited exceptions. It just seems to me that an exception should apply if you’re unemployed and flat broke and need the money to eat. Am I crazy? It’s depressing to tell an unemployed person with no cash that she has to pay tax because she tapped into her own savings. (I understand the logic of the penalty. I just think the exceptions are too narrow.) Of course I’m not too thrilled to pay taxes myself either, but at least I have an actual ongoing source of income.

    Other than that, it’s been a quiet weekend as expected. I got some work done, but as usual, not as much as I’d intended. The weather here was gorgeous today. I’m “almost” ready for it to be Monday – but not quite. I’m looking forward to having the girls back to their normal schedule.

    This week, the only unusual plan I have is to take the girls for a free gymnastics trial class at The Little Gym on Tuesday. I may have mentioned that this will be their after-school hangout for half of the week in grade school (unless I change my mind), so I hope this goes well.

  5. skl1 says:

    Say, did you know that Mohammad’s birthday is a public holiday since Obama’s been president? That’s today. I was trying to remember why they created a new holiday that allows our taxes to be filed one day later, so I googled it. Turns out April 16 is more than just “emancipation day.”

    Am I the only one who thinks that is telling??

    • skl1 says:

      I should clarify after further research that this is a shi’a Islam date and it is actually a floating date, but lands around now and was April 16 in 2006. I still think it’s “interesting.”

    • Laura says:

      I did not know that. interesting that the entire country gets a break on the day for Wash DC’s holiday. I always thought that was a little squirley. And I wonder why others haven’t picked up on this coincidence?

  6. Nikki says:

    No, I’ve never done anything like that before. Sounds fun, though.

    I’d like a mulligan! I want my weekend back, I need a do-over. I was laid up all weekend. Saturday, I contributed to having one too many drinks Friday, but I think I had other underlying issues going on Sunday, and today…

    Today, I am doing my 24 hour urine collection. Sounds fun, huh? Hopefully, we’ll have some answers as to why I am still passing stones and having pain. We’ll see, all I can do is hope for the best and deal whatever comes up.

    Hope everyone has a good week.

  7. Sue says:

    We had a pretty good weekend. My Monday has not been bad. I was suppose to have the day off, but they were busy at work and needed me to trade days. Fine by me and now I have tomorrow off 🙂 Just found out my cousin had their baby this past weekend and he is 6 weeks early. Currently in the NICU doing well and was able to be extubated early this morning and is breathing on his own. He looks like a cute little guy. They have no idea why she went into labor, but my aunt said she’s doing well and they are excited. Her baby shower was suppose to be this coming Sunday!

    What else do I know?! Oh, I have used a compass before, but it’s been so long that I’m not sure I’d do well right off the bat! I would like to try geocahing though b/c I think my kids would love it.

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