Friday, October 17, 2008

Scouting Online
2008 UNPC PowWow
Class Helps

This post is for those Cub Scout Leaders attending my class at the 2008 Utah National Parks Council "Grand Howl" PowWow. Here, you will find all the information we talked about in class, plus more. This post is an updated version of my post made a year ago entitled "The Creative Web."

You can view and print the handout (in PDF form), from here. All the websites that we discussed in class are listed below as links, so you can just click on them instead of having to type in all those addresses.


“Scouting Online”

Do you need something different and can’t get ideas to flow? This is the place for you. Here you’ll learn how to get some of those great ideas you’re always hearing about with just a click of your mouse.

Great Resources

Let’s dive right into some great resources. These are the places where you will find a lot of Cub Scout-oriented material quickly and easily. - BSA National Site – Large collection of Scouting resource materials - Baloo’s Bugle Monthly Theme Newsletter – Utah National Parks Council Scouting Information - Your Guide to Scout Out the Net - Cub Resources - Virtual Cub Leader's Handbook - Arrow of Light Ceremonies - National Archive of PowWow Books - Resources for Cubmasters and other Cub Leaders - Bill Smith's Unofficial Cub Scout Roundtable - "An Hour a Week?" Podcast - The Official Cubcast Podcast - Rank Trackers - More Rank Trackers – ‘Hidden’ Program Helps pages – ‘Good Turn for America’ Official Website for recording your Den and Pack Service Project Hours – Official "Scout Shop" onine for purchasing various scout-related items

Online Advancement

You probably are familiar with the online Cub Scout advancement system. To access the online advancement, you must use Microsoft Internet Explorer and go to

But, did you know that you can save time by using one of the many Pack Advancement Software tools to simply ‘upload’ your advancement info instead of having to re-enter it into the online advancement program? You may want to check it out if you have or are considering a purchase of one of those Pack software programs.

Other Creative Resources

There are lots of other websites where you can get some creative help. Here are just a few suggestions… - UK Scouting Source Cub Scout Skits - MacScouter Big Book of Skits - Exciting Scout Craft – Scouting Web Crafts – Family Fun magazine (lots of crafts and recipes) – more great craft and treat ideas (formerly - featuring fun and, um, games for children and youth - Icebreakers and Warmup Games – The Teacher’s Guide: Recycling lessons and activities – Fun Science activities and links

Using Search Engines

Most of us have used them before, but many of us do not quite know how to best use search engines. Ideally, you want to come up with a minimum of three key words. Why three? Because it helps you to refine what you are looking for and eliminate what you don’t want to find.

As an example, let’s say you were looking for information about butterflies. If you were to search on one key word of “butterfly,” you would not only find web pages with information about those colorful flying insects… but you could also possibly get pages with information about butterfly bandages, butterfly-print handbags, and the butterfly stroke for swimming.

Now, if we add another key word... let’s say we are interested in the Monarch butterfly, specifically. Then, when we search on the key words: “Monarch butterfly,” we eliminate the websites selling butterfly bandages and web pages about the butterfly stroke for swimmers. But we still may come across pages selling Monarch butterfly printed handbags or artwork.

So let’s add one more key word. Now what we are really interested in is the habitat of the Monarch butterfly – where can they be found? SO we search on our three key words: “Monarch butterfly habitat.” We have eliminated what we don’t want, and zero in on what we really do want. The resulting pages should all deal with the habitat of the Monarch butterfly. Of course there will be some results that are just news stories about a Monarch butterfly habitat, or sites that ask for help to protect a Monarch butterfly habitat; but you should also find information about the habitat, itself.

Now, if I was looking for websites where I could purchase some butterfly bandages, I might use the keywords, “purchase butterfly bandage.” …Or if I wanted to find out how to do the butterfly swimming stroke, I might search using the keywords, “butterfly stroke swimming.”

What keywords can you come up with? Give it a try!

Getting More out of your Searches

There is a great article called Search Engine Math by Danny Sullivan. It is a way of getting more from your searches. You can find the article over at, at this address:

Popular Sites for Searching

There are several Search Engines and Directories out there. Here is a list of some of the most popular ones.

Alta Vista -

Ask -

Ask Kids -

Dogpile -

Excite -

Google -

Lycos -

WebCrawler -

Yahoo! -

Yahoo! Kids -

Your Suggestions

I encourage you to add a comment with any websites that you find to be helpful to your position in Cub Scouts.