Crickets are interesting animals. They're only an inch long yet they can be heard throughout the forest by rubbing their wings together. 
You can tell the temperature by listening to crickets. On warm nights, they chirp faster than on cool nights. If you count the number of chirps in 15 seconds and add 40 to it you'll get the temperature. 
I like to think about why crickets chirp. It's their way of saying "Here I Am". Like crickets, each one of us has ways of saying "Here I Am". Some say it through sports, some in music, some in reading, some in art. One way we all say "Here I Am" is through Scouting. When you wear your uniform you are showing everyone that you believe that it's important to be a good person. I think the best way to say "Here I Am" is by working hard, being kind, and being cheerful. 

Next time you hear a cricket, try to remember he is saying "Here I Am" and think how you are saying "Here I Am" in your life.


Since we are on the subject of crickets. Take a listen at what happens when you slow down crickets chirping. Pretty amazing!

On The Trail


Once a long time ago a hound was out with his owner trailing a mountain lion. The hound came to a place where a fox had crossed the trail, and the hound decided to follow the fox instead of the lion. 

A short time later, a rabbit crossed that of the fox, and again the hound changed direction. Why should he chase a fox when a rabbit might be easier to catch? 

When the hunter finally caught up with his hound, the dog was barking at a small hole in the ground. The hound had brought to bay a field mouse instead of a mountain lion. 

Well, how about you? Have you set out on a trail to achieve your ambition? Are you able to follow it, or are you sidetracked by easier trails that cross it from time to time? 

Don't be like that hound. Find out what it takes to achieve your ambition, and then get started. The best way to achieve anything in life is to set a true course for it and then stick to that trail.

Thank you to Troop 174 in Elwood, NY for posting this wonderful Scoutmaster's minute.

Apple Leather

One of my applesolute foods to eat while backpacking is apple leather.  For the most part, making these roll-ups of dehydrated fruit is extremely easy.  The process is the same as making applesauce, just add the step of spreading it out onto the food dehydrator trays.  The following is a great recipe I found that is simple to make and will keep you energized throughout the trip.  Also, as mentioned at the end of the recipe, your favorite store bought applesauce will work just as well.

32 Servings

Weight 1 dried serving = 0.5 ounce


  1. Wash and cut in half:

    • 5 pounds whole apples, seeds, cores, and stems included

      • Put the apples in a large pot. Cover with:

    • 1 Cup water

  2. Bring to a boil; then reduce heat and cook, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or until apples are tender.

  3. To remove seeds, stems, and skins, strain the apples and juice through a food mill or strainer into a large bowl.

      • Stir in:

    • ¼ cup brown sugar (or sweetener of your choice)

    • ½ teaspoon cinnamon

  4. Oil covered dehydrator trays with vegetable oil. Spread the apple leather in even 8-inch-diameter circles on the trays

  5. Dehydrate at 145 degrees for 6 hours, or until firm and leathery.

  6. Roll up the leather while it is still warm; then cut each roll into 4 peices. Let cool completely before storing in individual serving-sized bags.

Time-saving tip: Purchase commercially made applesauce. Stir in flavoring, such as a sprinkle of cinnamon, if desired. Pour 1 cup of applesauce on each covered, oiled dehydrator tray. (1 cup applesauce = one 8-inch-diameter roll).


Pg 64, Backpack Gourmet, Linda Frederick Yaffe


Fine Consideration

A Scout is Courteous

In 1784, Jefferson was named by Congress minister to France in place of Benjamin Franklin, who, after long and remarkable service there, had begged leave to come home.  Then it was that the Virginian made his kind and courteous acknowledgment of the greatness of his famous colleague and associate of the "Declaration" days. 

"You replace Dr. Franklin, I hear," said the Prime Minister of King Louis of France when Mr. Jefferson was introduced to him at the court.

Jefferson bowed with his customary dignity and courtesy. "Sir," he said, "I succeed Dr. Franklin; no one can replace him."