Sunday, May 31, 2009

Water Rocket Plan

Our plan today is to build a couple more water rocket launchers. Have you ever used these? Fun and easy to make. Here are the plans...

3 each - ¾” PVC Cap
One - ¾” PVC Tee joint
One - ¾” x ½” threaded Tee joint
5’ of ¾” PVC schedule 40 pipe
One - ½” x 8” threaded riser pipe
One - ¾” 90 degree ell (“L) joint
1’ electrical tape
One tire inner tube valve
PVC pipe cement or epoxy
Important: use protective gloves and goggles when gluing!!!

Assembly Instructions:
With a hack saw, cut the 5’ PVC pipe into
Two - 6”,
two - 12” and
one - 8” length.
Drill a ½” hole in the middle of one ¾” Cap.
Push the valve stem into this hole and trim the rubber so that it will have a tight seal.
Glue this cap to one 6” pipe, being careful to have the pipe end push the rubber to be tightly sealed against the cap.
Assemble the rest of the launcher as shown, and glue the joints.
Wrap the threaded riser pipe where it joins the threaded Tee, so that there is a tapered, water-tight connection when a 2 liter bottle, with a few cups of water in it, is pushed onto it.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Scouting and Twitter?

There are a few Scouting Twitter pros online such as @latterdayscout, @insanescouter, @kabiff @Scouterjeff @halfeaglebot and more. These folks are using Twitter to connect with others in the Scouting community, share information, spread the good news and the benefits of the program. Scouting is in so many ways a grassroots movement and Twitter truly defines what it means to be grassroots.

I saw a study just a few weeks ago that said 40% of the people who sign up quite Twitter within a few weeks. Is that you? Don’t give up if it is!

Here are some tips to get you started:
1. Always include an interesting avatar (picture). Many people will not follow someone with no picture
2. Write in interesting profile. This is your introduction to the Twitter world and should make a stranger think you would be interesting to follow.
3. Show off your personality with your Tweets. “Going to the bathroom” “On my way to the store”—Do I care? Well once we get to know you we might but when you start keep the Tweets informative and fun.
4. Share links—This is the best way to share new and information your followers might like.
5. Tweet right away—Sure you just have a few followers. Go ahead and start Tweeting as your were a superstar. If someone checks you out they will know what to expect
6. Follow the people your favorite twitter friend follows. For example, everyone I follow has some tie to Scouting.
7. Always send a direct message to new followers. This lets them know you really do appreciate they would be interested in you.
8. Be sure and follow back the people who follow you.(just be sure and skip the spammers)
9. Speaking of spammers—watch your followers closely and be sure an block inappropriate followers.
10. Be aggressive to add followers. A tool like Tweetdeck allows you to search for people using key words. I use this to find people that are tweeting about Scouting for example.

Twitter can be a lot of fun and a great way to build relationships as well as learn. Don’t let the difficulty of getting started discourage you.

Attention Twitter pros! What other tips would you have for others?

What are some of your best Twitter stories?

Leave a comment and let others know.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

My first OKCScouter Post

I am excited to have started my own blog dedicated specifically to my Scouting experience and to the Scouting community. My journey back to Scouting is short compared to many people I know. My son joined just a couple of years ago in fourth grade and is rolling into the start of his second year as a Boy Scout. My Troop is located in Oklahoma City and strongly supports the boy run philosophy.
We are not perfect by any means and there are times when I get frustrated with the program. However, most of the time I consider this to be a good thing since I fully understand we are all here for the betterment of the youth we serve and also in many ways the parents of the Scouts as well.
I hope you will enjoy the posts and take an active part in the discussions. I look forward to connecting with you!

Here's question for you:
Why are you involved in Scouting?