Archives for September 2015

The Boy Scout Lessons You Still Need Today

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Since scouting began in 1910, more than 110 million Americans have participated in the Boy Scouts of America. Scouting.org reports that in 2013 alone, Scouts earned over 2 million merit badges, and nearly 57,000 Scouts earned the coveted Eagle Scout rank. Former Scouts include 18 governors, 191 members of Congress, 36.4 percent of West Point cadets and 181 astronauts. Scouts go on to become leaders in other areas of life because the lessons scouting teaches are valuable life lessons.

If you’re a former Scout, you learned many lessons you probably apply to many areas of your life without necessarily realizing it. Pausing periodically to refresh your memory on what scouting teaches can help you be better prepared for many situations that come up in everyday life, in outdoor adventures, and in emergencies.

Preparation for Survival

“Be prepared” sums up a fundamental lesson in scouting which applies to many adult situations. Scouts learn to apply it when camping, where it comes in handy for tasks such as packing a backpack, pitching a tent, building a fire and cooking food. A mindset of preparation also puts you in a position of strength when tackling challenges such as studying for school, job hunting, financial planning, starting a business or building a house. Being prepared also makes you better equipped to handle unexpected emergencies such as first-aid situations, auto accidents and financial crises.

To prepare for emergencies, remember the STOP strategy: Stop, Think, Observe, Plan. Stopping to take a deep breath reminds you not to panic. Think and use your brain instead, remembering the survival strategies you’ve learned. Observing enables you to size up your situation, whether it involves handling outdoor variables such as terrain and weather or other situations such as health or financial emergencies. Planning then empowers you to prioritize your needs and develop a strategy to handle the situation intelligently.

Getting in the habit of planning can also help you avoid getting into emergencies in the first place. For instance, Boy Scouts know that safety comes first when handling firearms. A Boy Scout knows instinctively that guns should be stored safely in a proper gun safe. This makes a home owned by a former Boy Scout less likely to become the scene of a home shooting accident tragedy.

Do Your Duty

The Scout Oath teaches to do your duty to God, country, other people, and your own physical, mental and moral well-being. Taking this oath seriously and putting it into practice entails a huge range of applications, from keeping your body in good shape to becoming a leader in your civil and religious community.

It can even save lives, as former scout Wes Siler recalls. Siler recounts how his Scout training enabled him to save a choking victim in a pub by using the Heimlich maneuver. He’s also helped drowning victims and car accident victims by applying what he learned in Scouts. Some might regard such actions as heroic, but to an Eagle Scout, these are just examples of doing your duty. In nonemergency situations, the same commitment to duty comes in handy, whether it involves doing your fair share of work at your job or taking charge of organizing a family camping trip.

Live up to Scouting Values

The Scout Law teaches the 12 points of being trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean and reverent. As with the Scout Oath, applying this has many practical applications in adult life, from being a trustworthy employee at work to respecting the natural environment out of reverence towards God. The Scout subsidiaryLearning for Life puts these principles into practice with programs that hone these character traits along with confidence and social skills to prepare youth for career decisions and leadership roles. Another way you can hone these skills and apply them outdoors is by volunteering to assist with your local BSA council.

Practicing the Outdoor Code

The Outdoor Code teaches Scouts to respect the outdoors by being clean outside, careful with fire, considerate and conservation-minded. One application of this that applies for both scouting and adult camping is leaving a campsite the way you found it after you’re done camping. Extending this principle into other areas of life implies being conscientious of how your lifestyle affects the environment around you. Whether this means conserving energy, cleaning up your campsite, or picking up around your house, the Outdoor Code represents a set of principles that Scouts of any age can put into practice.

 

 

Making the Perfect Barbecue

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Mmm… there’s nothing quite like a delicious garden barbecue with the family. The company is great of course, but the food is even better: steaks, toasty burger buns, vegetable shish kabobs, and to those of us who are creative with our dessert – grilled plantains (try it – it’s delicious!).

But what makes a perfect barbeque? Oh, let me count the ways.

The Grill

We start with the basics – a bad grill means a bad barbeque. If you want to eat well, the very first step is to ensure that you acquire a great garden-grill that will perfectly heat and cook the food. Whether you opt for an electric or a charcoal-based grill, make sure you also have any necessary items for proper cooking, like tongs, sausage holders, and so on. Also ensure that the grill is cleaned and prepped for cooking.

Quality Food & Recipes

When it comes to BBQ steak, in our family, we invest. We prefer to get good quality, grade-A meat  which tastes better. We spice it up perfectly, leave it marinating overnight, and barbecue it for lunch. My husband is in charge of grilling, so he’s now the expert at ensuring it’s perfectly cooked inside and out.

The Company

There’s just something about having family and friends over outside during a barbecue that naturally creates a light-hearted, enjoyable environment. Having people you love come over to enjoy the barbecue with you is one of those lasting memories. Make sure to photograph your time together!

The Comfort

Comfort is a necessary and often forgotten aspect in a barbecue. Whether it’s placing furniture for sitting or a table with plates, glasses and utensils, it’s important to ensure that everyone has a place to sit and eat comfortably. Nothing ruins the environment like having to stand around awkwardly.

The Weather

Combine great, warm weather with sweet, cold drinks in the garden and you have the perfect atmosphere for a barbecue. If it’s too cold, windy or even too hot or humid, guests will have difficulty enjoying themselves. However, when you match the barbecue date with that absolutely perfect weather, it makes the experience all the better.

The décor

Personally, I like to add a touch of my own decoration to the barbecue. I feel that having a few extra decoration items or putting some thought into the look & feel can add positivity to the get-together. When we have night barbecues, I like to place twinkling Christmas lights around the sitting area. During the day, I focus more on colors, like matching the tablecloths and glasses and plates.

Enjoy your barbecue!

A cozy corner for reading time

If you have a keen young reader at home there is no better place for his or her favorite activity than a cozy spot in their room where no one would disturb them. On the other hand, if your young ones are not that into a written word perhaps they need just a little push into the right direction and providing them a corner where they would drift into the wonderful world of books would trigger their interest. In any way, here is how to create a cozy corner for their enjoyable reading time.

Location

Naturally, the kids’ room would be the best location since it would provide a secluded enough place for them not to be disturbed by anything that goes on in the rest of your house. The ideal spot would be next to the window so they could make the best use of natural light while reading. However, if that is not possible or your kids prefer early evenings as their reading time, make sure you pick the right source of artificial light.

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Artificial light

Numerous studies deal with the effect artificial light has on health. However, unless your children have health problems caused by artificial light, there are just a couple of notions you should take into account when choosing a proper one for their reading corner. First and most important is that it provides enough luminosity. Still, too much is a problem. Therefore, dimmable ones would be perfect since children could customize them to their preference. Lastly, reading lamp should be positioned slightly behind the reader. That is all that needs to be implemented to have the most appropriate lighting conditions.

Furniture and accessories

A small desk and a comfortable chair will do. Normally, the design should follow the rest of the room and you should make the final choice only after you consulted your children. After all, you are doing this for their satisfaction in the first place. On the other hand, if they like to stretch down on the floor while reading, which is usually the case for younger children, opting for a thick kid’s rug would provide the most comfort. Couple it with colorful pillows and you will have a real cozy reading spot. Finally, do not forget a nice bookshelf to keep their favorite literature in.

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Join them

Why not make it a joint venture? This proves to be significantly important for their proper development, the firmness of parent and child bond and especially for their first reading steps. Any other that follows will surely be easier if you lay their reading foundations in this manner. On the other hand, you will surely benefit from it too, especially in your children’s more grown up days. It is not rare that parents and children spend less bonding time together as they grow up. However, your mutual reading time could become a tradition and you honor it as long as they are under your roof. 

Bring the colors in

As it was the case with pillows mentioned above, make the reading corner as colorful as possible. Hang the posters of your children’s favorite books and characters on the walls. Another fun thing to do is to draw with them the most memorable moments of the books they had read and relive the moments together while doing it. All these works of art will be great memories someday

By implementing all of these ideas you will surely create a great reading corner for your kids. Still, do not forget to have fun along the way and make time to spend those reading hours together as much as possible.

A Few Ways in which Meat can turn out Beneficial for your Health!

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How often have you heard that meat affects your health adversely? Perhaps, a lot of times!! Since a very long time, red meat has been blamed for a number of Western diseases. In reality red meat is beneficial for your health. If you are consuming naturally fed, unprocessed meat then know for a fact that you are doing a favor to yourself. Let us explore the range of health benefits offered by red meat.

The Benefits of Consuming Meat Explored

It is a virtual store house of proteins: Know for a fact that meat is very nutritious. In fact, it has been found that high quality unprocessed meat is one of the most nutritious food items in the world. Around 3.5 ounces of raw ground beef constitutes huge portions of vitamins (B12, B3) (Niacin), Selenium, Iron and Zinc. Other important nutrients to be found in unprocessed meat include healthy fats. DHA, EPA, Creatine and Carnosine are lesser known nutrients which are found in meat. More importantly, these nutrients cannot be procured from plants. So all you vegans out there—watch out!

DHA and EPA act as the active versions of Omega 3 in the human body and are primarily present in animal foods. If your body is procuring Omega 3 from the plants (i.e. ALA) then there are zero chances of these fatty acids being converted in to active nutrients. Your body cannot convert Omega 3 obtained from fatty acids.

Creatine acts as the energy resource for the muscles and brains and is only found in the animal foods. Once again, vegans often deliver poor physical and mental performance because they do not have sufficient creatine.

Carnosine, on the other hand, acts as a powerful anti-oxidant and offers protection against myriad degenerative processes.

It aids in the development of muscle mass: By procuring meat, you can expect to procure high quality protein which plays a key role in helping your brains and muscles function efficiently. There are 9 amino acids in total which our body cannot produce by itself and must procure the same from diet. It is important to consume animal products since they contain all the amino acids we need instead of plant proteins which are basically nothing more than suboptimal amino acids. So the consumption of animal products directly leads to improved muscle mass. In short, people eating vegetarian products have lesser muscle mass than those consuming animal products.

Meat does not increase the rate of cardiovascular disease: It is not responsible for increasing risk of cardiovascular disease or diabetes: Meat (with high cholesterol) is often associated with cardiovascular disorder or diabetes. This is primarily owing to the fact that it contains saturated fat. However, reliable studies have already proven that saturated fat does not increase bad cholesterol in your body and is not related to these diseases in any other way as well.

Make sure you are procuring your meat from a premium wholesale online meat portal like Westin Gourmet. There is no dearth of meat shops around but not all of them can actually guarantee you equal satisfaction in terms of quality. Make sure you are checking the credentials of the wholesale meat portal before buying from them.

Digital Footprint

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Why You Need to Watch Your Digital Footprint – An infographic by the team at plantasatinlaw.com