Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Scouting 101 and First Scout Council

The first Scout Council called by Thanksgiving Council is happening Friday, May 1st (near LITTLE DRY CREEK, in the GILA N.F., in S.W. New Mexico.). As with all things Rainbow, no experience is necessary to participate and new blood is always needed provided you can be self sufficient, have a dependable car or gas money to donate to someone who does, and want to do the hard work.

If you've never been scouting, here's my short list of how to scout (based on collective wisdom that has been shared with me).

Step 1) Pick a gathering or gatherings that you personally attended.
Step 2) Find those gathering sites on a topo map. I was taught to use 7 minute maps. Many university libraries have good collections of topo maps. Or visit topo zone maps online.
Step 3) Once you find the topo map, correlate the parking lots, kitchens, main circle, and various camps you remember with spots on the topo map.
Step 4) Pick a national forest and an area that you feel would be conducive to a gathering - if you're planning on help out with scouting for the annual gathering, we're looking in New Mexico.
Step 5) Look at the topos for that area trying to find a site that has the qualities you liked about the previous gatherings you've attended. Some of my personal favorite features are a good hike in at least 1 mile, closer to 2 if it's an easy hike because I feel that the harder it is to get into a site, the more committed people are to staying and creating gathering reality. For a large gathering, having a main meadow and a couple of separate smaller meadows, water is of course necessary. Places to hike away from the main part of the gathering for people wanting to get away. Two roads in an out to the gathering site.
Step 6) Make sure the site is far away from civilization to minimize gatherer/non-gatherer conflicts and runs into town for booze.
Step 7) Go out and walk the site and see if it has what the maps showed, if it's workable and if it has the magic.

Thanks to all my family who are spending time and mooney scouting for this gathering! We Love You!

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