Sit. Rep. #111: Rocks in my Pack, Mallets

1- In case you have to (MUST) use a knife or hatchet or axe as a hammer to split wood.  Here is how you do it without destroying your valuable tool.  And it is simple.  Acquire a wooden or rubber mallet to strike the head of the knife, hatchet, or axe.  I have found a stick about the size of my wrist and about 2 feet long makes a wonderful mallet.  Guess what?  You may need more than one mallet.


Thanks to Austin Ban from
Photo by Lucas Favre from

2- Sometimes while I am hiking my feet get so heavy.  My shoulders get tired and worn down from the backpack straps.  The hip belt is digging in and hurts.  Did someone put rocks in my pack?  It seems heavier than yesterday.  What I finally learned about myself is that most of my problem is between my ears.  What can I do to fix that problem?

Sing!  Singing keeps my mind off of the travails and the labor of the task at hand.  Pick a song that most Scouts should know. (The ants go marching one by one…)  No personal ear music electronics.  Everybody gets a chance to pick a song.  The entire patrol or troop gets the uplift in spirits.

2B- Make up a patrol or troop songbook.
2C- Have loudest or ________ singing contest between patrols or buddies.
2D- Have a songwriting contest.
[The funniest, the saddest, the most original, the newest rhythm, the most patriotic, the wildest about nature, wildest music video at the campfire, … you get the picture]

2E- Does your troop have a bugler, drummer, bagpipe player, harmonica player, or Jew’s harpist?
2F- If you ever get to Arlington National Cemetery;  take the time to watch a bugler playing Taps.

X: In what musical key do cows sing?
Y: Beef flat.

3- Rope – Line.  Call it whatever you like sailors and campers.  Taking care of your rope and line are identical.  And it is mandatory that you do it correctly.
– Thou shall NOT:

  • Step on your rope,
    Let your rope stay wet,
    Let it drag on the ground,Let your rope stay knotted or strained when not in use,
    Let your rope get hot or near a fire or flame,
    Put your rope against a sharp object,

    Store a wet rope without drying completely,
    Dry a rope with excessive heat,
    Splice a Life Safety rope,

– Thou shall:

  • Inspect your rope EVERY time you use it – before and after,
    Keep the rope coiled so that it can be deployed quickly and without tangles,

    HINT: Coil them all the exact same way!  Keep the rope tidy in storage,
    Storage should be in a dry and cool place, NO SUNLIGHT!Learn the different types of rope-making material, (Nylon, Hemp, Jute, Cotton, Polyester, Draylon, Kevlar, Polypropylene…)Transport in a storage bag if possible,
    Mark unserviceable rope with black whipping or black tape on the ends,

    NOTE: If portions of the rope are still serviceable – cut away the bad sections and discard them.

    Pad the rope around sharp corners or sharp objects…
    Clean your rope after every use,
    Work new rope in a (very) clean environment and inspect it at the same time, Keep your rope away from direct sunlight as much as possible,  (UV light degrades most synthetic rope)

    Keep your rope away from oils, gasoline, diesel, chemicals, corrosives, batteries (esp. lead acid), base or acidic pH chemicals,
    Wash your rope by hand with (very) mild soap,
    Shout “ROPE” before throwing the rope,

    Learn rope jargon and terminology,  (See Sit. Reps. #112)
    Learn and practice thy knots well enough that you can tie them in complete darkness – quickly and accurately,
    Keep a rope log for EVERY LIFE SAFETY rope,
    Double-check or have the knots double-checked before deploying.

3B- I like and use Mason’s Twine (or 1.5mm Christmas Braid) (or 1.0mm Jewelry Nylon Cord) for whipping rope instead of dental floss.  I use a different color of twine for each rope.  With different color whippings – the ropes are differentiated.  (Lowe’s Home Improvement has many colors of Mason’s Twine to choose from.)

V: What instrument did the skeleton play in the orchestra?
W: The Trom-Bone.

Esto Paratus,

Youth Skits for Girls by Thomas Mercaldo

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