Sit. Rep. #88: Dancing Ghosts, Projections, & Pioneer Projects

Map Info:

1- Let me get 2 things out of the way first:
   A- When is a map out-of-date?  The day it is published.  The world is constantly changing.
B- Every map distorts something.  How much and how it distorts depends on the type of projection that the cartographer uses.  Any map that is trying to represent a curved or irregular surfaces can not be totally accurate on a flat piece of paper.  Think Earth maps and sky maps.

1B- A cartographer can use one of many different projections to make a map.  There are 4 references used in map-making:

  • True Distances,
  • True Directions,
  • True Areas,
  • True Shapes. 

No one projection can do all 4.

2- The United States Geological Survey (USGS) is a US Government Agency under the US Department of Interior.  The USGS studies biology, geology, hydrology, and geography.  In making the USGS Maps, the only projection that was used until the early 1980s was called Polyconic Projection.  Now the USGS uses 16 different projections in map-making.  These projections are computer combined to produce the current maps.

E- What do you call a dancing ghost?
F- A Polka haunt us.

3- The 2 most common methods of locating somewhere, a point on the earth are:

    Mercator (UTM – short for Universe Transverse Mercator)  I am going to use these as 2 terms as they are similar enough to be one-in-the-same.  (Forgive me oh great cartographer.)
& Longitude, Latitude ( sometimes called Lon. Lat. ) 

NOTE: NASA has a special division that makes maps of extraterrestrial bodies.

Flag Ceremony:

4- While the American Flag is especially sacred to us Americans.  Every flag should be treated with great respect.  In my opinion, there are only 2 ways to put an American Flag away, to store it for use on another day.  1- Fold into the triangle that is shown in the Scout Handbook.  2- The other acceptable method is for the flag that has the gold fringe is to roll it up neatly around the flag pole.  This method is used for flags with staffs that are hand-carried.

G- What happened when the cat ate the ball of yarn?
H- It had mittens.


5- Almost all Lashing Projects start with either the Clove Hitch Knot or the Timber Hitch Knot.  These are 2 basic knots that should be in your personal mental tool kit.  Both knots are used in many different ways besides lashing.  A useful knot in certain situations is to make the Clove Hitch “slippery.”  The term “slippery” means that you can untie the knot with one pull of the rope.  You already know how to tie your shoes with a Slippery Square Knot or a Slippery Granny Knot.

5B- Lashing terms:

  • Spar: A pole or staff that makes up the structural part of the project.  It usually made of wood.
  • Wrap: Is done with rope or line that joins 2 or more Spars tightly together.
  • Frap: This is made, usually at the end of wrapping, to tighten up the wraps.  The fraps are made between the spars and around the wraps.
  • Pioneer Projects: This is the term that we use to make useful camp things that require lashing.  Such as a towel rack, tripods for cooking or to hold a water basin, a bridge, and the list goes on.

5C- Leave No Trace rules apply to lashing projects.  Please clean up before you leave camp.  Pack out man-made materials and store or trash them properly.

I- What is the funniest animal in the world?
J- A stand up chameleon.


6- When I know that I am going to be in a thick brushy area that can pull and tug on my shoe strings; I tie my shoe strings with a square knot and then a second square knot behind the ankle to make sure that the shoe strings do not come untied.

Practicing my knots,

Scoutmaster’s Minutes: by Thomas Mercaldo

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.