Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Scouts: Winter fire challenge activity

This is a description of an activity that we did with our scouts this winter during a winter camp. It takes at least a couple of hours but can easily take half a day. It encourages team work, fire lighting skills, lashing skills and basic problem solving.

Winter Camp Activity (3 hours)

1. Divide the group into 3 or 4 patrols. (mixing both Troops)

2. Each group with a leader(s) will head off to a predetermined location.

3. Each group will need the following supplies:
  • Rope
  • Matches
  • Enough poles to build an A-frame (any device to boil water) and a stretcher
  • A can to melt snow
  • Snow shoes
  • Buck saw
  • Hatchet

4. Each group must complete the following tasks prior to leaving site:
  • Build and A-frame with supporting posts
  • Build stretcher for carrying water can
  • Build two fires (Fire A for boiling water, Fire B maintain to stay in game)
  • Snow must be all melted in can prior to leaving

5. Once all tasks at site the group is required to do the following
  • Using the stretcher to carry the water the group must attempt to put out the fire of the other group
  • Maintain Fire B, making it more difficult to be put out
  • Refill bucket as many time as possible to put out as many fires as they can
  • Groups can break up how they see fit to both put out other fires, as well as maintain their own
  • Leaders at each site will keep track of how many successful fires were extinguished

Things to suggest or encourage:
  1. Work together as a team
  2. Come up with a plan first
  3. Decide on rolls for each person
  4. Make sure to have lots of wood

Monday, April 20, 2009

Why scooters are better than motorcycles

Last year, around this time, I decided to "upgrade" to a motorcycle. For the previous 4 years I had been happily driving a Honda Ruckus scooter.

I really did love my Ruckus and it worked without a single hiccup. The thing took only $5 in gas, it started first try on even the coldest mornings and didn't require long to warm up. The only issue with it was the occasional time when I wanted to go on a little bit of a longer trip. It topped out at 55 km/hr. So, I decided to upgrade to a slightly larger motorcycle.

I bought a 2001 Honda Rebel 250 last year. It is a great little bike. It looks like the one in this picture but with a cooler (customized by the last owner) paint job. I really do like my Rebel but I must say that there are a few things that I don't particularly like.

First of all, the thing starts like crap. It takes around 10 minutes for it to fully warm up. I need to use the choke on any day that is less than 30 degrees Celsius.

There are also some functional problems with the bike format. (or at least this one specifically). It is not practical to drive it in the rain at all. The shape of the front fender funnels rain onto your legs and into your boots. On the Ruckus I could wear dress shoes and pants in heavy rain and not get wet!

Although I do have saddle bags, they aren't nearly as practical as the under seat storage of the Ruckus. On the ruckus I could carry a 12 can case of beer. On the bike I am relegated to hard liquor because of storage. ;)

So, in summary:
Am I happy with my Rebel bike? Yes.
Would I recommend a Ruckus scooter? Yes!

I'll stick with my bike because it gets me places faster but I do miss the scooter sometimes.

By the way, if you are looking for scooter inspiration you need to check out battlescooter.