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Blog for members of the NCAC COPE group to discuss Project COPE (Challenging Outdoor Personal Experience).


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Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ticks can be nasty. Fortunately, they are highly sensitive to Permethrin.


You can purchase sprays from REI, Walmart, etc. (Sawyer's is typically cited; 0.5% Permethrin) or you can mix your own (buy quart of 36.8% from and try a rate of 2 oz Permethrin to 1 gallon of water). [NOTE: I see the DIY Pest Control is currently recommending a new product, Tick Block, for treating clothing. Will need to find an affordable supplier.]

Please note that wet Permethrin is TOXIC to cats, fish, and birds.


Personally, I prefer to treat my SHOES and CLOTHING, and NOT the ground.

My issue is with ticks, mites, and chiggers attacking people, not ticks minding their own business.

And I don't want to add toxic material to the ground water.

How safe is it? Compared to alternatives, pretty good. Check out the facts from the University of Rhode Island at Their guide to tick identification is done very nicely! Liz J. found that source of info. Thanks, Liz!


How effective? Check out Off and dying in 60 seconds after crawling over dried clothing! Joe S. found a tick on him during the May 9th Field Day. One light spray of my mix of Permethrin and it was dead on contact!

Remove method using a straw and knot (at the 2 min point of look interesting.


Why do I dislike ticks?

At age 14, my son developed 2nd stage Lyme's Disease. I hope no other parent will go through the weeklong 24x7 bedside vigil in a pediatric ICU due to their child having an infected pericardium. Particularly when one of the possible reasons for getting bitten was a father-son overnight hike.

The Rhode Island site has discussion of other diseases (e.g., allergy to red meat!). Now that I think of it, I'm going to treat the inside of my sleeping bag to a Permethrin spray and dry cycle.


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Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Suppose a non-Scouter wants to participate in a COPE session. Standards require at least a "hold harmless" agreement, aka an "activity consent form". These forms are found on Look for "Activity Consent Form and Approval by Parents or Legal Guardian"

By the way, if you see any logical reason for arranging the documents in this order, please leave a comment.

Tags:  COPE  operations  Program 

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Mini-Manual (draft)

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Sunday, May 03, 2015

Imagine you've climbed to the top of the zip line, and you realize you've forgotten to bring a tether. No problem, because you have your trusty assistants on the ground below, right? But how can they be certain which tether to bring you? Or you're setting up the Mohawk Walk and the Wild Woozy. Each uses a pair of turnbuckles, but which pair? And do you need a wrench? How many?

That's the motivation behind the mini-manual; to document the best practices for each course, beginning with the Camp Snyder course.

Two versions are available:

Please provide comments and suggestions to the author(s) at

Thanks in advance.

Tags:  COPE; program; operations; 

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University of Scouting coming. COPE to be there!

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Sunday, February 08, 2015

University of Scouting is coming. I'd like to get thoughts on the proposed presentation.

Please click here to download.

Send comments to

And please let me know if you would like to assist me.


Tags:  COPE  Education  Promotion  University of Scouting 

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New Climbing/COPE Manual!

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Saturday, January 17, 2015
Hey EVERYBODY! There's a new manual for our climbing and COPE program. You can download a copy from It has a lot of great information. Check it out now!

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What must be done so a non-Scout group could use BSA property (e.g., attend a COPE session)?

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Friday, September 12, 2014

BSA policy says [need citation]:
"The non-Scout group using the property must agree to repair, replace or pay for any and all damage attributable to their usage. The non-Scout group must sign an Organizational Hold Harmless/Indemnity Agreement and provide the Council with a Certificate of Insurance evidencing coverage in effect (including Contractual Liability, which will cover the Hold Harmless Agreement). This Certificate of Insurance must state that the limits of liability are at least $2,000,000 Combined Single Limit. The above coverage applies to General Liability."


The organization would need to fill out, and send copies to Council and the hosting camp:
-Organizational Hold-Harmless And Indemnity Agreement
-Letter of Agreement For Camp Use
-Certificate of Insurance Liability Coverage (must list Council as the holder)


National Capital Area Council, BSA
9190 Rockville Pike
Bethesda MD


Camp Snyder:
Camp William B. Snyder
6100 Antioch Rd
Haymarket VA,  20169

Download File (PDF)

 Attached Files:

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Catching up with good ideas

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Sunday, August 24, 2014
Got an e-mail from the Colonial District training chairman regarding a posting by Mike Meenehan. Mike had posted a "last opportunity to get training" and the re-posting was a strong outreach to the CD scout leaders and to all the CD committees.  A real wake-up call. Once again, Mike is showing how a Council program organizer should do their job! I've been neglecting an easy "lift" to communicate the message about Climbing and COPE. Tell the District Training Chairs!
But how to get in the flow?
Found an e-mail dated 2013-09-18 from Dan Kurtenbach about Yahoo! groups, particularly Train82.
Another case where I'd not used the good stuff provided by the folks doing the heavy lifting for Council.
Thanks, Dan!

Tags:  Climbing  COPE  training 

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Changes to pages (needed!)

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Sunday, August 24, 2014
Need the following changes made to the site:
1. Name change. James M. has volunteered to lead development of a Climbing program
a. Site name must change to reflect the new offering; need name changed from "COPE" to "Climbing / COPE".
b. James M. should be allowed permission to update the site.

2. Communication. There are separate e-mails for discussing Climbing and for discussing COPE:
a. Climbing:
b. COPE:

3. Event registration. If there are only two types of calendars to which to publish events (Council and Committee), the following events need to be published accordingly: 




COPE course / climbing tower post-season inspection; support Family Weekend

8/30/2014 – 8/31/2014


COPE Level 1 Instructor training



COPE Field Day



COPE Session



COPE Session



Committee meeting



COPE Session



COPE Field Day



COPE Session



Committee meeting



a. Sessions (9/27, 10/4, 10/18, 11/1) require two registration pages, one for staff (viewable only to staff) and a second for the unit. Ideally, all staff could view the unit registration. At least the director for the session should be able to view all registrations.
b. Training sessions (9/12-9/14) require two registration pages, one for staff (viewable only to staff) and a second for each student. Ideally, all staff could view the student registration. At least the lead instructor (staff) should be able to view all registrations.
c. Committee events (meetings and field days; 9/20, 10/25, 11/2) require a single registration page (for staff). All can view the description of the event, but only staff can view the registration.

Tags:  Climbing  COPE  Website 

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Changes to COPE pages

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Friday, December 06, 2013

Attended the Webmaster training session on 2013-12-07.

  1. Upcoming events. Includes Council-wide events, not COPE events, which visitors to the COPE pages would expect to find. Can a filter be included?
  2. Blog. Moved to left (wider) side of page. Right side was too narrow. Blogs (IMHO) are for concise statements.
  3. Event signup. Need sign up for multiple types of events:
    1. Facilitation sessions. Maximum of 30 students per session (need the Committee to define a minimum per group). Typically one full day comprised of two half-day sessions. Requires non-refundable deposit for the group. Balance is due at start of session. Two staff required per group. Maximum of two adults allowed as observers. [Group committment, non-refundable down payment.]
    2. Instructor sessions. Minimum of 6 students, maximum of 20 students. Requires minimum of 3 fully qualified staff, prefer 5-7. Session is from Friday 1700 hrs to Sunday 1500 hrs. Following training, students must help facilitate at least two (2) sessions while being monitored by senior staff. [Individual committment, fee.]
    3. Committee sessions. Quarterly. Purpose is to review and approve the operation of COPE in NCAC. Attendance limited to committee members or COPE advocates interested in supporting the program. [Individual committment, no fee.]
    4. Field days. Limited to COPE-qualified individuals. Purpose of sessions is to maintain the course facilities or the competence of the individuals, both low element and high element. [Individual committment, no fee.]
  4. Forum. Maybe?
  5. Layout. Alternative? Can anyone suggest a page that has a more appropriate layout?

Tags:  COPE  Website 

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Safety Break

Posted By Anthony Waisanen, Saturday, September 21, 2013

Please go to the 2:23 point of the video on abseiling (aka rappelling); Notice how the climber uses a prussik as a protection; the break hand MUST be on the prussik or break is automatically applied.

I think the Committee should adopt the use of a break knot in the event the belayer slips, gets tripped, or otherwise has issues.

In other words, let the Powder Horn incident be the first and the LAST!

Tags:  belay  COPE  good_practice 

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