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Class notes

2018-05-12: Geoff T. and son Spencer helped with an experiment; using the Eagle’s Walk safely but with minimum equipment. Great time had by all!

2018-05-10: Had to begin with a discussion of a topic that was skipped at Tuesday’s session; the 5th stage in Tuckman’s model. Teams don’t last forever. They transition, reform, or adjourn. In Scouting, most often, we see reforming when members leave and new members join. How do new members become part of the team? By starting with ice breakers and name games, then shared experiences, possibly through games. Yet another instance of topics to try. Then we covered climbing and rappelling (not very relevant to COPE), and pulley systems. Really want to experiment with pulley systems to enable physically challenged participants to enjoy the program. Very exciting!

2018-05-08: First session for Level 2 material and…14 attendees! Perhaps it was the subject material; the Tuckman Group Dynamics Model. Hope everyone has the opportunity to reflect on how the model can be applied to their home, work, and church. Looking forward to reviewing this topic.

2018-05-05: Totally AWESOME day at Camp Snyder! Axel G., Liz S. and children, with Larry S. and Brad S. (and spouse) experienced setting up, operating, and securing the Caterpillar, the Giant’s Ladder and the Eagle’s Walk. Long day, slight sprinkle, and lots of fun. Especially when Liz was lifted off the ground while belaying Axel (who was about 100 lbs heavier)! Good thing son Spencer was tied in to keep mom grounded (pun intended).

2018-05-03: Again, 11 attendees to discuss equipment control, inventory, pre-inspections, and high elements. Based on responses, we need to find a way to enable students to understand high elements. Need videos and descriptions.

2018-05-01: Glad to have so many attend (11) because safety is the first and foremost consideration before and during a session. I hope the discussion helped clarify the important details. Regarding knots, please look at on-line resources like Animated Knots. If you have difficulty tying a knot, try closing your eyes while you tie. If you have questions about them, please send email. By the way, the Barrel Knot is the same as the Double Overhand Knot, except the Barrel Knot is tied around the rope; it’s half of the Double Fisherman’s Knot.

2018-04-29: Another beautiful (but chilly) day at Camp Snyder. Glad to have Tran-Chau, Peter, Brandon, and Dan come. They’ve seen the storage room. The records box has a binder that has the key to the storage trailer. If you take it, be sure to return it. We saw how to set up, operate, and disable the Wild Woosey (the eye in one of the cables needs to be expanded). We also saw how to set up, operate, and disable the Swinging Log. Other elements included the Up and Over (aka “The Beam”), the Mohawk Walk (mis-labelled the “Eagle’s Walk”), and the ever popular Whale Watch and T.P. Shuffle. The next session (5 May) will focus on high elements! I can be there from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Send email to if you plan to come.

2018-04-26: Another good turnout (11). It was great to have James Miller, Climbing Committee Chairman, attend. Please contact him if you want guidance on taking youth climbing on natural rock. James also knows most of the operators of climbing gyms in the Metro DC area.
We need more people to attend weekend sessions. Please bring friends and family so we can run a game.

2018-04-24: Good turnout (12, compared to 14 from previous sessions). Glad to see so many still participating. Need more people to attend weekend sessions. Please bring people so we can run a game.

2018-04-21: Beautiful day at Camp Snyder’s COPE course. Considering the needs and capabilities of the attendees, we toured most of the course, saw the resources available at the trailer, and played and processed a game (“Peanut Butter Pit”). We also got to practice Chuck Gandy’s game, “Horizontal Belaying”; yet another way of using the Flying Squirrel element. Will add this to the portfolio of games suitable for all ages (Cubs to Adults), all cultures, all groups. Thanks, Chuck! I forgot to take photos!! Next time. [And a BIG thanks to Chuck for helping repair the Scouterhorn later that day. We now know the danger of over cranking the rear jacks. We also know a 10-penny nail can be modified to replace the pin in the crank. Just bring a wrench and big roll of paper towels to wipe off the grease.]

2018-04-19: Another excellent turn-out. Not as rocky as the first session. I managed to capture the audio. I’ve edited (most of) the files and put them on-line. Please let me know what you think.

2018-04-17: Excellent turn-out! A bit rocky, but good discussion. I was glad Chuck Gandy was able to join us. He is one of the few in NCAC who are NCS-trained and authorized to open the COPE courses at Camp Snyder and Goshen Scout Reservation. Every student should get to know Chuck. Awesome guy with years of experience, and highly motivated to promoting the COPE and Climbing programs. He was on a road trip and dialed in from a hotel room. [Thanks, Chuck!]

I was glad to have the LDS represented. I’m looking forward to helping them establish a program that will be both fun and beneficial to their youth and entire families.

I was also glad to have representatives from Chain Bridge attend. That District has some outstanding Venture units. Some of those Venturers became very experienced at facilitating groups, then applied those skills in their college and professional careers.

And a BIG shout out to James Bui for bringing together so many friends who I’ve not spoken to in many, many months. I was very glad to hear so many familiar voices from the Level 1 training sessions last March and May.

Unfortunately, my plan to record the session was a bust. Hit the wrong buttons and mis-read the responses. I’ll try to record and publish the content. Sorry. Won’t make that mistake again. And I’ll try not to make any new mistakes.

Again, thank you all! Looking forward to hearing you on Thursday! Those who can make it to Camp Snyder on Saturday, 21 Apr, I plan to be there by 9:00 am and stay while I can be of service to you. Let me know what times work for you. Bring friends, and we’ll play games. Groups of 6-12 are best.

Belay On! (2016 printing)
NCAP Standards (2018 printing)


[Will update the roster when I figure out how to make the table “behave”.]

Role Participant ID 04-17 04-19 04-21 04-24 04-26 04-29 05-01
Other Brandon L.           Attended
Other Spencer T.     Attended      
Student James B. Attended     Attended    
Student Dan D. Attended Attended   Attended   Attended
Student MinhTuan H. Attended Attended    Attended  Attended   Attended
Student Viet H. Attended Attended        
Student Peter L. Attended Attended    Attended   Attended Attended
Student Tran-Chau L. Attended Attended   Attended Attended Attended Attended
Student Thinh L. Attended Attended   Attended Attended   Attended
Student Hanson N. Attended Attended   Attended Attended  
Student Jimmy N.       Attended Attended   Attended
Student Minh Thu N. Attended          
Student Vananh N.            
Student Viet N. Attended Attended     Attended  
Student Thanh P.            
Student Larry S. Attended Attended Attended Attended     Attended
Student Brad S. Attended Attended Attended Attended Attended   Attended
Student Geoffrey T.   Attended Attended      
Student Tam T.   Attended        
Student Nha V.       Attended Attended   Attended

*If you attended, and it’s not marked, please let me know.
-On-line recordings are at 
-Registration is at