Scout Resource Articles

How to fold a Texas State Flag

posted Jul 11, 2017, 7:18 PM by Greg Jewett   [ updated Jul 11, 2017, 7:18 PM ]

S.B. No. 1145 AN ACT relating to protocol for folding the state flag.

SECTION 1.  This Act shall be known as the Rod Welsh Act, in honor of Rod Welsh, Sergeant-at-Arms of the Texas House of Representatives, who is primarily responsible for developing the method of folding the state flag of Texas established by this Act.

SECTION 2.  Subchapter B, Chapter 3100, Government Code, is amended by adding Section 3100.073 to read as follows:
Sec. 3100.073.  FOLDED STATE FLAG.
The state flag should be folded as follows:
  1. fold the flag in half lengthwise with the red stripe facing upward;
  2. fold the flag in half lengthwise once more, concealing the red stripe on the inside of the fold;
  3. position the flag with the white star facing downward and the blue stripe facing upward;
  4. fold the corner with the white stripe to the opposite side of the flag to form a triangle;
  5. continue folding the corners over in triangles until the resulting fold produces a blue triangle with a portion of the white star visible; and
  6. secure all edges into the folds.
A folded state flag should be presented or displayed with all folded edges secured and with the blue stripe and a portion of the white star visible.
A folded state flag should be stored or displayed in a manner that prevents tearing or soiling of the flag.

SECTION 3.  This Act takes effect September 1, 2009.

Environmentally Retiring the American Flag!

posted Jul 11, 2017, 7:02 PM by Greg Jewett   [ updated Jul 11, 2017, 7:03 PM ]

The flag of the United States of America, often referred to as the American flag, is the national flag of the United States. It consists of:
  • Thirteen equal horizontal stripes of red (top and bottom) alternating with white.  The 13 stripes represent the thirteen British colonies that declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain, and became the first states in the U.S.
  • A blue rectangle in the canton (referred to specifically as the "union") bearing fifty small, white, five-pointed stars arranged in nine offset horizontal rows, where rows of six stars (top and bottom) alternate with rows of five stars. The 50 stars on the flag represent the 50 states of the United States of America.
As Scouts and Scouters, we recognize the responsibility we have to treat our country's symbols, such as the flag, with respect and dignity, especially in the proper retirement from service. 

A flag should be consider no long eligible for service when:
  • Colors are no longer bright and vibrant, the colors are faded or sun bleached.
  • There are visible tears or damage to the flag such as visible holes.
  • The material of the flag is tattered or seams are unraveling.
  • There are visible stains or discoloring.

Properly Retiring Worn-Out Flags

Under Title 4, Chapter1, § 8, paragraph k of the US Code (often referred to as the Flag Code) it states:

"The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning."

There are plenty of websites and organizations that list proper ceremonies for retiring an American Flag that includes burning the flags in a ceremonial fashion. 


What about our responsibility to protect the environment and the world in which we live? Isn't that part of being a good citizen too?

Many of the flags in service today are made of synthetic materials, such as nylon, or coated in flag retardants or preservative.  Regardless, the make up of the flag is now that it would produce noxious and/or harmful fumes or residue if burned is horrible for our health and our environment.

There are many different methods to properly retire a flag without burning it.  The code above only dictates that the process be "dignified".  Before accepting a flag for retirement, the recipient should obtain information about its history. For example: Where has it flown?  How long?  Any memorable events happen at that site?  This information should be used in the ceremony.
Disassemble the Flag
Under the premise that a US Flag is no longer a flag once it has been cut into its individual parts and can be disposed of in various methods.  To make the process "dignified", make sure you hold a retirement ceremony before or during the disassembly process.  A flag should never be torn up like an old bed sheet.

  1. Cut the blue star field out from the flag.  DO NOT CUT through the star field.  We do not cut the blue star field as it represents the union of the fifty states and one should never let the union be broken.
  2. Cut and remove pairs of red and white strips.

  3. Remove any grommets and save those for later.
  4. Place the pieces in a box or bag to be disposed of properly (based on material).
PRO: Doesn’t introduce hazardous gases into the environment. Is safe enough for anyone who can use scissors, even younger kids can participate.  CON: Some might consider it less ceremonial.

Recycling the Flag

Do a Google search to find flag recycling groups, such as this one. Some offer the service for free, while others request a small donation for time spent and resources used. The materials from your unit’s worn-out flag will be used to make a new flag for future generations of Americans to enjoy.

Flag Burial

To bury the flag, begin by finding a dignified wooden box - it should be of good quality and construction, as this box will serve as the flag's vessel as it is interred in the ground.

Fold the flag correctly and respectfully, place it in the box and then bury it in the ground.

You may even consider giving a your flag short "funeral". Give a speech on the importance of the flag then stand at attention as the flag is lowered into the ground. Observe a moment of silence as the flag is buried. You may even choose to mark the burial location with a small, patriotic marker.
Flag Retirement Ceremony

Person(s) ----- Text or Action

Adult Leader: The U.S. flag is more than just some brightly colored cloth.. it is a symbol of our nation.

Scout #1: Seven red stripes and six white strips; together they represent the original 13 colonies that gained us liberty.

Scout #2: The red stripes remind us of the lifeblood of brave men and women who were ready to die for this, their country.

Scout #3: The white stripes remind us of purity and cleanliness of purpose, thought, word and deed.

Scout #4: The blue is for truth and justice, like the eternal blue of the star-filled heavens.

Scout #5: The stars represent the fifty sovereign states of our union.

Adult Leader or SPL: The U.S. flag should be treated with respect when it's flying, and it should be treated with respect when it's being retired.

Scout #6: The American Creed states, "it is my duty to my country to love it, to respect its Constitution, to obey its laws, to respect its flag, and to defend it against all enemies."

Scout #7: Therefore, we retire flags with dignity and respect when they become worn, torn, faded, or badly soiled.

Adult Leader or SPL: This flag is ready to be retired. Its history is as follows:

First Raised (when):
At (location):
Memorable event or fact:

Scout #8: A flag ceases to be a flag when it is cut into pieces. We cut the flag into the star field and the red and white stripes. We leave the blue field intact because no one should ever let the union be broken.

The Scouts then place the pieces into a ceremonial box or container to be later recycled properly.  This concludes this ceremony. Thank you for attending.

Building a "Smokeless" fire...

posted Dec 17, 2016, 6:39 AM by Troop 1409 Wells Branch - Austin, TX   [ updated Dec 17, 2016, 5:02 PM ]

You probably came here from my funny article, and are chuckling a little, so now it is time to get serious!

BEFORE YOU BUILD A FIRE!  Please make sure you are following all the safety guidelines and rules!  This list is not exhaustive, please consult your leader.
If you are a Scout, please make sure you have your "Firem'n Chit". 

  • Build your fire in an open area, avoid overhanging trees, step slopes, rotten stumps, dry grass and leaves in the surrounding area.  Make the area fire safe.
  • Keep the fire small, avoid creating a fire that you do not have ample extinguisher to use to put the fire out.
  • Never use gas or other accelerants to build a fire.
  • NEVER leave the fire unattended.
  • Ensure you have plenty of water handy and a shovel to use to help control a fire and extinguish a fire when you are done.
  • When putting the fire out, drown the fire with water and stir the remains with the shovel or stick until they are "cold out" (cold to the touch). 


Building your "smokeless" fire!

There is no such thing as a smokeless fire.  However there are fires that have drastically reduced amounts of the irritating white smoke.  A successful fire is the result of three elements:  Oxygen, Heat, and Fuel.   A fire naturally occurs when the elements are present and combined in the right mixture, making a fire an event rather than a thing!  A fire can be prevented or extinguished by removing any one of the elements.

A fire that has ample amounts of fuel and plenty of oxygen will burn hot and reduce the amount of un-burned fuel (in the form of white smoke). 

Smokeless Fire Ring

The smokeless fire ring works based on the chemistry of a fire.  When the fuel burns, hot gas is released along with heat.  The  large flat rock attracts the hot gas as the air comes in from the opening in the fire ring and pushes the gas against the rock and travels upward.

You can now predict where the smoke will go and thus enjoy the campfire without smoke wafting in your direction!

Building the fire-ring:
  1. Find one large rock with a flat-vertical side.
  2. Gather several medium sized rocks to complete the remaining ring.
  3. Place the large rock with the flat side facing the location where the rest of the ring will project outward.  Note if there is a breeze you should point the opening in the fire ring where the breeze will blow into the fire.
  4. Place the medium rocks in a circle from the large rock outward, leaving a one-foot gap between the rocks.
  5. Surround the the fire ring with stools or benches, not blocking the opening in the fire-ring.

Make A Dakota Smokeless Fire Pit

A Dakota Fire is the best survival mechanism for the efficient-most fire that anyone can make. In this case, fuel is not required in plenty and less labor, except for the initial dug-up pit. The fire is, made by digging two pits in the ground, unlike the ground level makeshift stoves. One pit is used to burn the fuel and cook, while the other lets the airflow into the pit. The two pits create a suction of air in the bottom of the pit, where the air is, drained-off through the cooking while on the other end; air is, pulled-in through the airflow-pit.

This method keeps the fire burning for longer due to the endless supply of oxygen to combust the fuel. The fire keeps getting hotter with more air drawn into the pit.

To make a Dakota fire:
  1. Find the appropriate place for the fire. Avoid areas of rock, roots, wetness and loose soil.
  2. Use your shovel to dig a big enough hole that can keep your vessels intact while the hole becomes a perfect stove. To do this, draw a circle of your choice of measurements and dig into one feet depth. The most difficult section of making a Dakota Hole is making its airway duct. This jug shaped portal to the stove chamber should be, built strongly. Check the direction of the wind and start digging an airway duct one foot away from the fire chamber. Make sure your angle of digging is right to facilitate air into the fire chamber.
  3. Now, fill your fire chamber with fuel and light a matchstick
  4. Gradually add fuel onto this
  5. Your airway will keep fanning your fire chamber so that null or negligible smoke of obtained
  6. When moving off the area, fill in your hole with soil and tidy your waste and belongings.

Dakota fire pit is a foolproof mechanism that provides an efficient fire sans any smoke. The fire pit does not get disturbed by high wind on the ground level and is the most fuel-efficient fire.

Some smokeless fire tips:

  1. The perfect smokeless fire fuel options are dry animal droppings, wood without bark, squawk wood, dry grass, twigs and sticks.
  2. All fuel used should be maximum of 2ft and a minimum equivalent to the size of your thumb.
  3. Make sure all your fuel is dry
  4. Make sure all your fuel is sans any ash
  5. The best smokeless fuel is made by the charcoal that is made from Hardwood lump
  6. Make sure you never use the bark of the plants or trees for making a smokeless fire
  7. Make sure you have all ingredients to make the fire when you have started making the fire
  8. Always inspect the location of your fireplace with respect to safety, security and moralities, before starting a fire
  9. Always have water or other types of fire extinguisher nearby
  10. Keep your fireplace and its surroundings tidy.
  11. Keep flammable objects far away from the fireplace.

Troop 1409 Campout Duty Roster & Menu

posted Feb 17, 2013, 10:45 AM by Greg Jewett

Troop 1409
Campout Duty Roster & Menu

Patrol Name:  

Duty Roster
Preparation Before Campout

Patrol Leader for Event:  
Quartermaster for Event: (Tents?)  
Buy Food:  
Bring Cook Box:  

Friday Dinner

Saturday Breakfast

Saturday Lunch

Saturday Dinner

Sunday Breakfast


Break Camp & Other Duties:
Take Camp Box Home & Clean:
Troop Wash Stand Duty: (assigned)

SPL’s Approval: Scoutmaster’s Approval:

Boy Scout Uniform Price List

posted Nov 8, 2012, 7:16 PM by Troop 1409   [ updated Feb 17, 2013, 10:51 AM by Greg Jewett ]

Cook Box Inventory

posted Nov 8, 2012, 6:56 PM by Troop 1409   [ updated May 29, 2014, 6:50 AM by Greg Jewett ]

  1. Two people from the patrol do the inventory.
  2. Record the date of the inventory in the space provided.
  3. Carefully review the contents of your patrol box.
  4. Make a shopping list of all needed items.
  5. Advise the Quartermaster of any missing equipment*
Inventory Date:   ___ / ___ /20__

Cooking Utensils
(report missing items to Quartermaster)

Large pot  1  
Medium pot  1  
Small pot  1  
Coffee pot  1  
Fry pan  1  
Serving plates  8  
Cups  8  

Chefs Tool Kit (report missing items to Quartermaster)

Carving knife  1  
Large fork  1  
Pancake turner
Potato peeler  1  
Can opener  1  
Large spoon  1  
Ladle  1  
Hot pot tong  1  

Food Items (Purchase these items)

Cooking Oil
Salt Large
Salt and Pepper Shakers
 1 each
Kool-Aid  1  
Hot Cocoa

Soap and Cleaning Products (Purchase these items)

Liquid dish washing soap  1  
Liquid bleach  1  
Scouring pad  1  
Sponge  1  
Can opener  1  
Large spoon  1  
Ladle  1  
Hot pot tong  1  

Paper, Plastic and Foil (Purchase these items)

Aluminum foil  1  
Paper towels  1  
Kitchen matches  1  
Toilet paper  1  
Garbage bags  1  
Paper plates  1  
Hot cups  1  
Masking tape  1  

Miscellaneous (Report missing items to Quartermaster)

Dunking and drying bag  1  
Drink pitcher  1  
Pot holders  1  
Pot mitten  1  
(forks, knives, spoons)
if not metal
Cutting board  1  
Plastic wash basin  1  

X = Supply is inadequate: purchase more
O = Supply is okay


Current Chuck Box inventory, completed by Jill Douglass and Grant Dzurenko.

Chuck Box Inventory

Capitol Area Council Blog

posted Jun 6, 2012, 7:59 AM by Greg Jewett   [ updated Jun 6, 2012, 8:07 AM ]

Capitol Area Council Communications Committee Blog
The Committee has begun a blog at:

The site has tips, tricks and guidelines for creating and maintaining a website.
Also it is a place for the exchange of ideas for communicating within and outside your unit.
Please check out and follow the blog, leave a commit and stay in touch.

Displaying the Flag on Memorial Day

posted May 18, 2012, 7:35 AM by Greg Jewett   [ updated Jun 4, 2012, 9:41 AM ]

Office of the Governor — Rick Perry
Displaying the state and national flags is an important duty in carrying out our mission for the people of the state of Texas. In addition to creating an identity for the people of Texas, the proper display of flags leads the people into times of joy and mourning, and into times of reflection and celebration.
There are two dates in the month of May that require particular attention with regard to how state and national flags are displayed. Tuesday, May 15, is Peace Officer Memorial Day and Monday, May 28, is Memorial Day.
Please take note of the laws concerning these official state observances:
Peace Officer Memorial Day: On the morning of Tuesday, May 15, both the U.S. and State of Texas flags should be raised briskly to full-staff and then slowly lowered to half-staff for the remainder of the day. Flags should be returned to full-staff on Wednesday, May 16.
Memorial Day: On the morning of Monday, May 28, both the U.S. and State of Texas flags should be raised briskly to full-staff and then slowly lowered to half-staff until noon. At noon, both the U.S. and the State of Texas flags should be raised briskly to full-staff for the remainder of the day. Flags should be at full-staff on Tuesday, May 29.

Knots: Scouter Recognition Awards

posted Apr 22, 2012, 12:23 PM by Troop 1409 Wells Branch - Austin, TX   [ updated Apr 22, 2012, 12:24 PM ]

Throughout their Scouting experience scouts can get many different awards; merit badges, rank badges, etc. Well, guess what... they are not alone.  Scouters can receive many awards. These awards are typically displayed over the left pocket, in the form of "square knot patches".

Square knots can be awarded for many different achievements. 

The following link lists the various knots and their requirements.

If a Scouter has earned certain achievements, like Arrow of Light and Eagle Scout as a youth, he can wear certain square knots as an adult.

Some Scouters will tell you that they do not like to be singled out. These are RECOGNITION awards. It's our way of saying thank you for your hard work. In the long run, everyone likes to be recognized.

Finally, the District Banquet is coming up in February. This is the perfect opportunity to have awards presented to the Scouters in your Unit.

I'm in charge of handling all of Blackland Prairie's Scouter Knot Recognition Awards. All applications can be sent to for processing. You can email me a PDF of the completed application, or call me and we can meet. The best way to get them to me is to meet me at Round Table.

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