Thursday, October 20, 2016

Dispatch Ride

 Troop Leader, Victor completing his Senior Proficiency Badge of Dispatch Rider and delivering his dictated message: 

"I may not be the strongest. I may not be the fastest. But I'll be darned if I'm not trying my hardest."

"We love hills. We hate hills. They make us strong. They make us weak. Today, I chose to embrace hills."

Monday, October 17, 2016

A Scout Is Thrifty

 Scouting out with our group colors.
Take your favorite military surplus finds and make great adventure gear with just a little bias tape (available in your color of choice), a Baden-Powell Service Association patch and simple sewing. 
Tada! 68th Frost Hollow ADVENTURE GEAR!

Our group flag is finally in production!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Freshly Designed and Registered Tartan 68th Frost Hollow Group

The 68th Frost Hollow Group tartan has been included in the Scottish Register of Tartans at reference 11633.
A special thank you to WFIS President, Klaus Tegeder for his encouragement and Scottish Register of Tartans, Patricia Todd for all her guidance.

The 68th Frost Hollow Group tartan is a tribute to the ideals: education, conservation, tradition and spirit of adventure of this traditional scouting group. Colours: the greens represent the forests and fields of Frost Hollow valley; blue represents the stream where the scouts learn and play; pink is for Pennsylvania's state flower, the Mountain Laurel; brown is for Pennsylvania's state bird, the Ruffed Grouse; orange is for the fiery colour of the valley's Sugar Maples in the autumn and the glow of scout campfires.
Further details are available at

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Monday, August 1, 2016

"On this day in history, most of us think of the 1st experimental camp on Brownsea Island, BUT here is a bit of scouting history you may NOT know.

"Scouting During One Of History's Darkest Times"

Today marks the anniversary of the "Warsaw Uprising" in Poland. (August 1 1944-October 2 1944) 

It is not known to many what the responsibility and sacrifice the Polish Scouts and Girl Guides made and would have to endure during these darkest times. They were known as the Grey Ranks. Grey Ranks was the code - name for the underground Polish Scouting Association created under emergency conditions on September 27 1939, in Warsaw. 

They, under historical and eyewitness accounts were the best trained troops of the Polish Home Army. They functioned as the dominant Polish resistance movement in World War ll when the Nazi's occupied occupied Poland. Today we recognize the sacrifices made by these young faces in their fight for an independent Poland and the freedom of Europe.

On This Day in 1907:

On this day in 1907 at 6:00 am sharp, Lieutenant General Robert Stephenson Smyth Baden-Powell sounded his kudu to signal Turn-out.  

Twenty boys from very different backgrounds began the first day of the first of an experimental camp at Brownsea Island, a very progressive concept indeed for the Edwardian Era!

Here is what B-P himself wrote about the camp:
"The troop of boys was divided up into 'Patrols' of five, the senior boy in each being Patrol Leader. This organization was the secret of our success. Each Patrol Leader was given full responsibility for the behaviour of his patrol at all times, in camp and in the field. The patrol was the unit of work or play, and each patrol was camped in a separate spot. The boys were put 'on their honour' to carry out orders. Responsibility and competitive rivalry were thus at once established, and a good standard of development was ensured throughout the troop from day to day. The troop was trained progressively in the subjects of scouting. Every night one patrol went on duty as night picket - that is, drew rations of flour, meat, vegetables, tea, etc., and went out to some indicated spot to bivouac for the night. Each boy had his greatcoat and blankets, cooking-pot and matches. On arrival at the spot, fires were lit and suppers cooked, after which sentries were posted and bivouac formed. The picket was scouted by Patrol Leaders of other patrols and myself, at some time before eleven p.m., after which the sentries were withdrawn and picket settled down for the night.
" We found the best way of imparting theoretical instruction was to give it out in short instalments with ample illustrative examples when sitting round the camp-fire or otherwise resting, and with demonstrations in the practice hour before breakfast. A formal lecture is apt to bore the boys. "The practice was then carried out in competitions and schemes.
"For example, take one detail of the subject, 'Observation' - namely tracking.
1. At the camp-fire overnight we would tell the boys some interesting instance of the value of being able to track.

2. Next morning we would teach them to read tracks by making footmarks at different places, and showing how to read them and to deduce their meaning.
3. In the afternoon we would have a game, such as 'deer- stalking', in which one boy went off as the 'deer', with half a dozen tennis balls in his bag. Twenty minutes later four 'hunters' went off after him, following his tracks, each armed with a tennis ball. The deer, after going a mile or two, would hide and endeavour to ambush his hunters, and so get them within range; each hunter struck with his tennis ball was counted gored to death; if, on the other hand, the deer was hit by three of their balls he was killed."
Camp sketch by Robert Baden-Powell

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rover Adventure:

Hand-carving traditional canoe paddles at the ever-inspiring Adirondack Museum

"With Blue Mountain rising behind it and Blue Mountain Lake sparkling below, the Adirondack Museum's 121 acre campus features displays in 24 buildings and 40,000 square feet of exhibitions. There are lush grounds and sweeping views. The exhibitions tell the unique story of the Adirondacks and its people." - Adirondack Museum website.

We drove about 4 1/2 hours North from Frost Hollow to Blue Mountain Lake, Ny for a truly inspiring workshop on hand-carving traditional canoe paddles, given by Caleb Davis of Tremolo Paddles.  Since carving his first paddle at the age of 11, Caleb has carved thousands of paddles and taught many how to paddle with grace and comfort. Rover Brian felt pretty confident in his paddle knowledge until he met Caleb, who warmly shared so much more than a simple carving lesson.  Being the lesser experienced paddler, I was just in awe of how much there was to learn, from carving to the rich history behind these beautiful traditional paddles that once helped the fur trade and others move through the river highways.

Adirondack Museum Entrance

Breathtaking views of Blue Mountain Lake and its surrounding mountains

A charming example of the Adirondack style Lean-to

One of the loveliest examples of a walled platform A frame tent - pond-side, of course.

A detailed exhibit within the museum depicting canoe camping

Our instructor giving a paddling demonstration on the museum campus pond

Brian working on the initial rough shaping of his paddle with a spoke shave.

Brian's traditional voyageur paddle considered rather wide compared to the cruising paddles of old

The initial shaping of my even wider willow leaf paddle but still narrow enough to be graceful and agile in the water all while not wearing out the muscles as a cruising paddle.

We worked for 8 hours -- shaving away long curls of white ash, scrapping tiny curls as we continued to shape the difficult wood, scrapping with even finer blades creating a smoother surface with just a fluff off wood pulled away-- until finally we simply scraped the paddles with a steel blade until they were perfectly smooth to the touch.  What a sense of accomplishment we felt at the end of that long, lovely day of learning by careful craftsmanship!

We leave you with this lovely sentiment by Henry David Thoreau
"Rise free from care before the dawn and seek adventures.  Let the noon find thee by other lakes, and the night overtake thee everywhere at home."

Monday, July 4, 2016

Upper Delaware River Route Safety Paddle

In preparation for August's joint 3-day Pathfinder River Expedition with the 91st Sojourners.

68th Frost Hollow Troop Leader, Victor, goes over the final route and gear check with Pathfinder Leader, Brian.

Sceneic Upper Delaware River Route:  Narrowsburg, Ny to Mongaup, Ny. 
20+ Mile Journey -- 7 hours River time

A moment to enjoy the river and cast a line.

The only way to get around the eel trap in the background. We encounter three such devices along the river route. As Troop Leader, Victor was required to make notes of the route and annotate on the map those and others such as where all of the rapid shelves were. water levels, bridges, appropriate rest areas and campsite potential.

Wildlife everywhere we looked!

Canadian Geese
Bald Eagles!

The landing where Victor explored for our night of camping.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Canoe Expedition Planning

Troop Leader, Victor and Patrol Leader, Shaw going over the river route and boat-access-only camping for the Delaware River Canoe Expedition for this August.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Scouting through traditional adventures, living each moment fully with Baden-Powell Service Association. This is how the 68th Frost Hollow Pathfinders seize every moment.  Join the experience!

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Raising the Bar

Congratulation's to our Troop leader, who not only led the trail ride, but also WON the obstacle course at Friday night's Keystone Composite MTB event sponsored by Sickler's Bike and Sport Shop. Now THAT'S a Troop Leader a young Pathfinder can look up to! Setting the bar high...Great job, Victor! 

Friday, May 20, 2016

68th Frost Hollow Pathfinders Owl Patrol

Pathfinder Investiture and Rank Advancements

68th Frost Hollow Pathfinder investiture, where our newest Pathfinder, having earned the rank of tenderfoot becomes a member of the great all-inclusive, traditional scouting organization BPSA-US.  Our campfire represents: Energy, Passion, Action and Community.  The three candles on the table represent the old Celtic concept of unification of polarities - a calm balance struck between male/female, physical/spiritual.  
The newest pathfinder receives the troop Hunter Stewart tartan necker and red Turk's head slide along with his Owl Patrol shoulder knots.  As he reaffirms his scout promise, we welcome him as a 68th Frost Hollow BPSA-US Pathfinder.

 Owl Patrol leader receives second class rank badge.
68th Frost Hollow BPSA-US Troop leader receives second class badge.

For the second class members of the Owl patrol, the skills journey toward 1st class and proficiency badges begins.  With eyes set on the goal of the George Washington Award and beyond!

Go Owl Patrol!

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Greeting the community

Today, we are working on our troop flag artwork

...and a two sided contact card.