BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Manhunt is a favorite game for Boy Scouts, so when the opportunity to try out some thermal imaging devices came their way, the boys of Troop 368 jumped at the chance! 

On Tuesday night, Oct. 18, patrols of Boy Scouts from Troop 368 roamed the woods of Watchung Reservation in total darkness, hunting for heat signatures of rival patrols. Older Scouts designed the game and ran it, including a safety procedure to ensure nobody got lost in the woods. What the boys didn’t realize was they were learning about missing person searches, team leadership, and useful parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. They just enjoyed running around in the woods at night armed with high-tech gear!

STEM (Science Technology Engineering Math) is an essential strand of the Boy Scouts' experience, along with service, leadership, citizenship, self-reliance and character-building. 

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In another example of STEM in Scouts, Troop 368 was treated to an electric car demonstration in September. Experts from Bridgewater Chevrolet demonstrated the electric drive of the new Chevy Volt at a Troop meeting, and licensed seniors were able to take it for a test drive! 

During the Oct. 15, 16 weekend, Boy Scouts from dozens of Troops converged on the Round Valley Recreation Area, attempting to engineer the world’s longest rope bridge knowns as a “monkey bridge.” It was less about the finished product than about young men solving engineering challenges and team building along the way.

These are just a few recent examples of how Scouting provides boys with a rich and varied set of extracurricular experiences and age-appropriate challenges. 

At a time when college advisors observe more and more young men and women arriving ill-equipped to live independently, it’s worth remembering that from sixth grade up, Scouts plan menus, shop (without adults) in the grocery store, cook entire meals, and clean it all up. Boy Scouts are constantly experimenting and learning from their mistakes, learning life skills that child psychologists say are essential for “raising an adult,” but which are increasingly rare in the over-structured lives of kids these days.

By the time they leave high school, Scouts have a portfolio of community service, leadership experience, and extracurricular interests under their belt, and Eagle Scouts also have experience of project management including planning, budgeting, client relationship management, documentation, contingency and, of course, communication. And most Scouts do sports as well.

For more information about Troop 368 visit the website.