“I thought it would be wise to share with you a “checklist” that has helped me in years past to get ready for Operation On Target. I hope you find it helpful.
“Several weeks before ‘Operation On Target,’ schedule some practice hikes to get yourself and your Varsity Scouts in shape for the actual Operation On Target hike. It would be well to carry packs on your practice hikes to assure proper physical conditioning for the actual event.
“Learn how to make signaling mirrors (Varsity Team Program Features II, p 82). Have each Varsity Scout in your unit make a signaling mirror. Practice with the mirrors so that each boy is comfortable with aiming and signaling. Learn how to double-reflect, and teach the boys how to do it. You will find out how important double reflection is on the day of ‘Operation On Target.’
“Know where the various mountains are that you will be signaling to on ‘On Target’ day.
“Plan for your Mountain Top Experience by:
- having parents write a secret letter to their sons
- printing out an appropriate letter from President Erying (click this link, scroll to article’s end for letter) and read it to the boys on the mountain top
- preparing yourself to talk about the symbolism of ‘Operation On Target’ (light of Christ, setting goals, doing ‘hard things’, reaching for ‘summits’ in life, various prophets who have gone to the mountains to commune with the Lord, being an instrument in the hands of the Lord to ‘reflect’ His goodness to others, etc.).
“Consider purchasing a topographical or schematic map of the area that you are going to hike, and know the trails well. Take along a GPS (Global Positioning System) which is a space-based satellite navigation system that provides location anywhere on the earth where there is an unobstructed line of sight to four or more GPS satellites.
“Shortly before the event, have your Captain and High Adventure Program Manager talk with your Varsity Scouts about what they will need for the camp (food, plenty of water, shelter, adequate clothing and shoes, hat, sunscreen, mirror, compass, stave, good attitude, etc.). Have the Service Program Manager talk to the boys about ‘No Trace Camping.’ Tell them what ‘Pack it In, Pack it Out’ means.
“Have a Plan B in case of inclement weather.
“What great conversation will be possible concerning the link between scouting and the church, the symbolism of reflecting light into the lives of others, the thrill of climbing mountains and achieving great goals, the “spiritual light” that emanates from them, and many other topics.”
It’s not too late to register for your peak. Do it today!