There is a time and place for everything, including technology in Scouting.
“The smartphone doesn’t detract from the Scouting experience; it enhances it,” according to a recent Bryan on Scouting blog post
“Where in the past there was a debate over whether smartphone use is appropriate in Scouting, these days most Scouters see the devices like pocketknives,” explained Scouting expert, Bryan Wendell. “They are multitools that — with guidance to prevent misuse — are an important part of the Scouting experience.”
There really seems to be an app for everything these days and to Bryan’s point, some of them can be particularly useful in a handful of Scouting scenarios.
In fact, Bryan on Scouting compiled some great options to try on your next Scouting outing in “The Best Scouting Apps of 2016,” and we’ve summed them up for you here!
Boys’ Life magazine
Developed by Boys’ Life magazine, Boy Scouts of America, this app lets you browse previews of any Boys’ Life issue for free. Already a Boys’ Life subscriber? Then guess what—you already get free access to full digital versions of the magazine!
This cool app let’s you learn how to tie new knots, even if you don’t have any rope. How? Digitally! You can even replay or slow down the instructions to master the perfect knot for any situation. Developed by Nynix.
Star Walk 2
Stargazing campers rejoice! Using augmented reality, this app from Vito Technology Inc. can point you to stars, constellations, and other celestial bodies wherever you aim your phone.
First Aid by American Red Cross
When the American Red Cross developed this app, they equipped it with videos, quizzes, instructions, and expert advice on a plethora of emergency scenarios. The hope is that you never need to use emergency training, but as we all know, it’s certainly better to Be Prepared.
This app offers access to any issue of Scouting magazine in the history of the publication for a steal at $4.99 per year. Travel back in time to see what Scouters of the past were browsing, or find that recipe from last year you just can’t seem to remember. Developed by Scouting magazine, Boy Scouts of America.
Don’t get caught in the rain! Developed by Weather Underground, LLC, this app collects data from the National Weather Service as well as thousands of local weather stations and even offers “smart forecasts” to help you plan the best time for Scouting activities.
Dutch Oven Helper Lite
Just can’t seem to nail that Dutch Oven technique? The Dutch Oven Helper Lite by Kyle Kendall may have just the advice you’re looking for. Enter your culinary variables and this app will calculate how many charcoal briquettes you need for your idyllic campfire dish.
Scoutbook.com — the web app for advancement
Developed by BSA, Scoutbook helps you track advancement through the Scouting journey from Lion to Eagle Scout (not to mention some useful planning tools along the way). Haven’t tried it out yet? Head to Scoutbook.com for a free trial and see why units everywhere are joining in on this web-based app.
Do you use any awesome apps for Scouting? Share your tips in the comments!