Archive for October, 2011

SM Minute—Three Uniforms

October 30, 2011

Scoutmaster Minute— 3 Uniforms

Hall of Famer Tommy Lasorda, retired manager of the Los Angles Dodgers, says that he has worn three uniforms in his lifetime, and that all three were very important to him.

The obvious one is that of Dodger blue, as he managed the Dodgers to many pennants and two World Series during his baseball career.

The second uniform was when he served his country and wore the uniform of the U.S. Army, and distinguished himself as a good soldier.

The third uniform, of which he is equally proud, was when he was a young boy, and he wore the uniform of the Boy Scouts of America.


(adapted from Troop Program Resources, p.19)



Dutch Oven Cooking—Swamped Pig Pork Chops

October 23, 2011

Dutch Oven Swamped Pig

I volunteered to cook for the Man Scout Patrol at our District Fall Camporee a couple of weeks ago.  Since we were camping on campus in the “big city” (i.e. a town with a WalMart) I snuck away during the merit badge sessions and purchased fresh meat for dinner.  Six pork chops and the fixings were soon simmering in our troop’s Dutch Oven and the Spartan Patrol was drooling as they suffered thru their stove-top stew.  If I had been thinking (paying more attention) I would have entered our meal in the Camporee’s Dutch Oven desert contest, it was so good!

This is another recipe from Christine & Tim Conners’ The Scout’s Outdoor Cookbook.  “Swamped Pig” they call it, contributed by Helen Greymorning (Troop Committee, Troop 1911, Montana Council BSA) in the easy dinner category.


1 (10-¼ oz) can condensed cream of mushroom or cream of chicken soup
1 can whole milk (use empty soup can to measure)
1 cup long-grain rice
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped or minced
½ teaspoon salt
Ground black pepper to taste
6 pork chops, trimmed of fat and bone left in


1. Mix soup, milk, rice, onion, celery,garlic,salt, and black pepper to taste in Dutch Oven.
2.  Add pork chops, thoroughly coating them in the mixture.
3. In a 12″ dutchie, use 18 charcoal up / 9 under, bake for 1 hour or until pork chops are at 160*F

As always, if you have new Scouts or guests, make sure they can eat stuff with milk.  After trying this on a couple of outings, I upsize the soup to a family-sized can and add some mushrooms.  I don’t bother chopping celery or garlic, but I’m just lazy that way.  I do have some trouble getting all the rice to firm up, but if you’re hungry enough in camp you don’t really notice.

At home, I do notice, but there is plenty here for 6 Scouts so for the 4 of us I just don’t scrape too close to the sides.  You might want to line your Dutch Oven with tinfoil to ease clean up.  The cookbook translates the charcoal to 375*, which I like, but I’m leaving it in the oven about 90 minutes to satisfy the meat thermometer.

A well-fed Scout is a happy Scout.



SM Minute—A Simple Cloth and a Common Thread

October 16, 2011
Fish & Wildlife Management, Type J, front

Fish & Wildlife Management Merit Badge

Scoutmaster Minute—A Simple Cloth and a Common Thread

They are woven of simple cloth and common thread.

They are no more than an inch and a half in diameter, and weigh no more than a couple of ounces.

They are priceless, yet cost little more than two dollars [adjusted for inflation].

They have the power to turn struggle into courage.

Self-doubt into self-esteem

Indecision into leadership

The unknown into knowledge

And the most magical metamorphosis of all,

the transforming of a boy into a man.

What are these mysterious things?

Merit Badges.


(adapted for Court of Honor from Troop Program Resources, p.19)