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Cold Weather Camping
The Silver Claw Patrol
When one attends SWC, he or she receives a bear claw to verify attendance. Look around your district events and you will see Scouters wearing one or more. One exception, however, is when one serves as Scoutmaster of the SWC, the claw that is presented to him or her is not a bear claw but a Silver Eagle Claw.
Ever since the 1970 SWC, the Scoutmaster only serves one time in this role. Thereafter he or she usually serves on the following year’s staff. After several years, the SWC staff was becoming close to being all "old Scoutmasters" and not enough new Scouters. This had a danger of becoming a “select” staff and was not good for Scouting or SWC. Therefore, policy was made to restrict past Scoutmasters from serving on the SWC staff with the exception that the immediate past Scoutmaster would serve in an advisory capacity the following year. The past Scoutmasters therefore become “has-beens”!
If a "has-been" is still a member of a unit, he or she may still attend SWC as an active member of that unit’s patrol. However, many has-beens are not so connected, but are still active in various other positions. So they formed the Silver Claw Patrol made up of all the past Scoutmasters.
Their Charter is to camp as a patrol if they have no other patrol ties. They do not compete for awards with the other SWC patrols but do join in many of the activities and games just for the fun of it.
They are available for special service activities if the current Scoutmaster needs assistance. Several members do perform services and camp with the Silver Claws at the same time.
This had made a great patrol and freed up staff position opportunities for new Scouters through the years. Membership grows by one each year and one never ceases to be a Silver Claw—even when they are no longer active Scouters, change districts or councils, nor move on to that great Campground in the sky.
Silver Claw Patrol Roster
a.k.a. Past SWC Scoutmasters