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Salute to Scouting

This periodical communication seeks to highlight the great Scouters and chartered organization who call the Black Swamp Area Council home. Within this publication, you will find great stories about Scouting youth, Scouting leaders, and the organizations who enable these young men and women to do their best.

Mike Yeo’s Hammock Camping Tips

The following are tips from Mike, for any Scout, that would like to try hammocking on their next camping trip, or you could try it out in your back yard!

 1.            Make sure to choose a safe place to hang your hammock.

Check the trees above you and around you for dead limbs that may fall during an unexpected storm or high winds. Remember trees nearby can also pose a danger. Do not hang your hammock over water or near a steep embankment, waking up in the middle of the night can be surprising if you walk the wrong way!

2.            Hang your hammock a little loose.

Leave some slack in your hammock or the sides will wrap around you too tight and you will have less room to move around to find you comfort spot. I also lay diagonally in my hammock which allows me to lay flatter.

3.            Don't hang your hammock too high off the ground.

Hammock camping can be a fun alternative to using a tent. Stay safe by following the safety guidelines, suggested by the BSA Health and Safety team and hang your hammock no more than 3 feet off the ground. Keeping your hammock at sitting level has worked best for me, it is easier to get in and out of and if it does start to rain the wind will not blow under your rain fly as easily.

4.            Use a bug net and rain fly.

I always use a bug net and rain fly when camping during bug and rain season, there is nothing that will ruin a camp out more than not sleeping all night because of mosquitoes or getting rained on.

5.            Tie a tight line above your hammock.

A tight line will help keep your rain fly from sagging and it is very useful to hang a light or other gadget from.

6.            Use a under quilt or sleeping pad in the hammock.

Hammocks are colder to sleep in because of the lack of insulation under your body so using a under quilt or putting a sleeping pad in the hammock to sleep on will be much more comfortable during colder nights. You can make an under-quilt yourself with old sleeping bags!

7.            Cold weather hammock camping.

When using a hammock in cold weather (below 30 degrees F) you will need additional equipment and should not attempt to hammock as a beginner. I use an under quilt which gives insulation under you as well as around your sides. I also use a large tarp draped over the tight line and clip the ends shut so there is only a small hole at the bottom to crawl up into my hammock. The tarp will help keep your body heat in the enclosed area, but you will still need a sleeping bag rated to the temperature you are camping.

8.            Hammock with friends

Our Troop helped build a hammock hut at Camp Berry and it has been one of our best projects and all the Scouts have a blast covering the hut with their own tarps.



Tuesday, May 5 – Save The Date To Help Black Swamp Scouting

#GivingTuesdayNow is Tuesday, May 5, a global day of giving and unity, and an emergency response to the unprecedented need caused by COVID-19. This is an opportunity for individuals and businesses to support non-profit organizations.

Black Swamp Area Council is being impacted at this time, because we rely on event attendance, program fees, special events and donations to run the Scouting movement, and social distancing and stay-at-home orders have meaningfully hurt our operating budget.

Mark your calendars and please help us reach our goal of $5,000 on this day. If you are willing and able to support the mission of the Black Swamp Area Council, we need your help more than ever?  Please know 100% of these dollars stay locally within Black Swamp Area Council.

On behalf of the 6,000 Scouts and 1,700 adult volunteers of the Black Swamp Area Council, we thank you!

CLICK HERE to go to our giving page where you can support Scouting.

You can also reach out to Jim Mason, Development Director, at 567.208.5304 or via e-mail at jim.mason@scouting.org.

Community Impact

 Troop 157 | Kenton, Ohio

As the Coronavirus continues to dominate the news cycle, healthcare workers and first responders continue to throw caution to the wind to help their fellow citizens. Jennifer Hiller, Scoutmaster of Troop 157 in Kenton, understands it is all in a day’s work, but she and her Troop believe they have a job to do as well.

“They are risking their lives for other people so the least we can do is write them cards and letters.” This sentiment is mutual between Jennifer and the other eight youth in the Troop. Most people would probably guess this task was handed down to the youth from the adults, but they would be wrong.

“The Senior Patrol Leader thought we needed another service project, so we pulled this idea together.” Stated Jennifer. The Senior Patrol Leader is a youth member who is tasked with leading the unit. So, with a plan in place, the unit met on April 21, via Zoom to begin the process of producing the cards and letters.

As a group, they are hoping to distribute at least 30 cards. When asked to whom these would be distributed, Jennifer said, “Police, Firefighters, Hardin Memorial Hospital, BKP Ambulance, and the Sheriff’s Office.”

Jennifer says she would love it if the entire Hardin County community pitched in. “Absolutely!  The cards can be drop them off to me and we will get them delivered to the appropriate place.” Cards can be dropped off at 310 North Cherry Street, Kenton, OH. Jennifer can also be contacted at (567) 674- 3695 or by email at jrsnhiller@yahoo.com

In Black Swamp Area Council, there are 82 Scoutmasters with only six of them being females, making Jennifer a rare occurrence. “We have other moms who are a part of our Troop as well, we all value the skills taught by the Boy Scouts of America. Being a teacher has always brought me back to helping and educating youth, and Scouting allows me to do it in another capacity. We are all there for the kids and the kids are all there for us, we are a family.”

Troop 157 has existed a very short time, chartering in February. In that short amount of time they have already worked with Keeping Hardin County Beautiful by cleaning up trash around France Lake, participated in Scouting for Food, and making Valentine cards for residents at local nursing homes. Jennifer’s Troop is focused on their community and giving back, “Scouting is helping these young men become part of the community and allowing all of us to give back. Our focus is to help these young men become great members of their community and the leaders of tomorrow.”

Black Swamp Area Council
2100 Broad Avenue, Findlay Ohio
(419) 422-4356