Iditarod for the WIN!

5 Scouts and 3 adults from Troop 60 attended the 2019 Iditarod Scout Race at Kinsey this past weekend and came home with first place ribbons in the “Camp Gadget” and “Troop Spirit” competitions and third place in “Fire Starter.” Scouts also completed a number of rank advancement and merit badge requirements, including Scout rank, Tenderfoot (except for Board of Review), Camping merit badge, and other advancement accomplishments. And they had a blast!

They spotted lots of shooting stars on the Annual Wheat Night Hike and decided to plan an August camping trip to sleep under the stars during the next Perseid meteor shower, so look for that in the fall!

Programming with Dr Perez!

Troop 60 Scouts learned about the history of programming and computers before diving into coding with Dr Perez. Programming is, at its most basic, making the computer software DO something, and the Scouts had fun tonight!

They learned about conditions, variables, loops, and debugging, and practiced block coding with Angry Birds. Programers don’t like to repeat lines of code, so Scouts learned how to use repeat blocks and how to test their code to find errors and solve programming problems at every stage to maneuver their bird through the puzzle.

In the Scratch editor, Scouts practiced using different commands to program the behavior of the Scratch cat, learning about sequential events in software programming and testing what happens when different directions are given to the program. What happens when you create conflicting commands? What about when giving instructions using both primary and secondary input devices?

Scouts then created a new program when told only to make their cat jump and had to figure out how to do that. Most Scouts found different methods to create the same result! They did a lot of debugging before showing Dr Perez that their cat could jump when the spacebar was pressed. Dr Perez then added another challenge by adding a time variable: the cat had to jump 60 times.

Dr Perez then showed the Troop the programming code from the BSA website. They they did Javascript and html structure changes to see what happens on the website temperature guide when the coding is changed.

Programming is about much more than making software: it requires lots of problem solving and critical thinking skills.

Next week, Troop 60 will meet again at 113 Russell Hall to learn more about Python. Great big thanks to Dr Perez for leading us in this important merit badge!

January 17th meeting

Last night Troop 60 Scouts completed Programming merit badge requirement 1.B after practicing and discussing proper posture and positioning while seated at a computer, how to prevent repetitive stress injuries like carpal tunnel syndrome, and the importance of taking frequent breaks to avoid eye strain and back problems. Scouts should now have all of Requirement 1 completed and signed off on their packets in preparation for next week, when we meet at the computer lab in Russell Hall. Please be sure to wear Class A uniforms so we look sharp!

Then, Scouts broke into patrols to continue working on their lashings to construct the trebuchets and made progress on those projects:

Remember: next week we meet in Russell Hall. See you there!

January location updates

Troop 60 members, please note the location information added to our January meeting schedule below. The SM is still working on details to update outings and February/March meeting locations and will include that information as soon as possible.

Th Jan 17 Programming MB at the Wesley Center (regular location)

Th Jan 24 meet at 113 Russell Hall on the NSU Campus

Th Jan 31 meet at 113 Russell Hall on the NSU Campus

Directions to Russell Hall: enter at the campus gates (the Central Avenue entrance at 2nd Street) and Russell Hall will be on your left just after the NSU fountain. We are meeting in a computer lab with Dr. Perez-Mira, a professor of computer science and programming genius.

Happy 2019! January 10 meeting

Troop 60 Scouts decided on their spring outing adventures last night and turned in registration forms for Iditarod on January 25-27. They then began the Programming merit badge by renewing their Cyber Chip under the experienced tutelage of our Advancement Chair, Ms Melanie, who overcame technology limitations to enable the Scouts to watch the necessary videos and have discussion about online safety.

Once the Scoutmaster confirms dates for the upcoming meetings at NSU and the outings, the schedule will be updated and emailed to all Troop 60 members, so watch for that. Next week we continue with Programming!