Woodsman Award


Practical Session:

1. Correctly tie the following knots and explain their use; clove hitch, taut line hitch, two-half hitches, bowline, sheet bend, and timber hitch.

2. Determine West using a (i) compass, (ii) by the sun (the "stick and shadows" method), (iii) by locating the North Star, and (iv) with a non-digital watch. Properly orient a map using any of the above techniques. Explain how you can use the sun or full moon to determine general direction if you have an idea of the time of day, and how this knowledge also helps you with respect to determining direction with the "stick and shadow" and non-digital watch methods. Show how to orient a map with a compass and adjust for declination.

3. Start a fire using only all-natural materials (ie no lint) and with no more than two matches. Demonstrate the use of a safe campfire area.

4. Demonstrate how to sharpen a knife and an ax (or hatchet). Show how to replace a saw blade.

5. Show how to refuel and light a backpacking stove.

6. Demonstrate diagonal, square, and shear lashings.

Explanation Section
A. What are the two principal methods for purifying drinking water? If you're collecting water from an unsure source with your water bottle, describe two ways to purify that water.
B. Describe how a patrol should clean up after a patrol meal, explaining each step.
C. Discuss the use of fire starters, tinder, kindling, softwoods, and hardwoods in fire making. Explain how you would light a fire with wet wood in the rain.
D. How do you protect yourself from ticks? Explain the proper procedure for removing ticks.
E. What are the first two most important things to do in the event of an emergency?
F. Give two of the principal signaling techniques if lost or if need help while in the woods?
G. Why is wearing non-UV opaque sunglasses much worse than not wearing sunglasses at all?
H. Explain proper foot care to prevent blisters while hiking?
I. Describe at least four ways to limit weight and bulk in your backpack without jeopardizing your health and safety.
J. Discuss how to properly pack a backpack?
K. When is it appropriate to use a backpacking stove instead of a fire?
L. How do you hike in a straight line while in open country (without a compass)?
M. What is the most important factor in preventing hypothermia?
N. What is the most important factor in preventing heat exhaustion or heat stroke?
O. How do you dress for cold weather campouts (and why?)?
P. Why do you completely change into fresh clothes when going to bed on a cold campout?
Q. Why do you never cut switchbacks on hiking trails?
R. Why do you never bring gas-fired lanterns, stoves or heaters into your tent?
S. Why do we always hike as complete groups while on wilderness trails?
T. Why do you never store food or medications inside your tent in wilderness areas?
U. Why do we never feed wild animals?
V. Why do we never approach wild animals in the woods that are acting friendly?
W. Recite and explain the principles for Leave no Trace.
X. Tell the five most common signs of a heart attack. Explain the steps (procedures) in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) for an adult (age 8 years plus)
Y. What can you do to demonstrate good citizenship?
Z. How can you set a good example to your patrol and troop?

Courtesy of Troop 111, Arlington, VA.