Operation On-Target

Operation On-Target is a high-adventure activity mainly for Varsity Scouts, but also includes Venturers and older Boy Scouts. The event is mainly held in the western United States. The basic idea is to have Scouts scattered across a particular area, located on mountain peaks within line of sight of each other. Using large signaling mirrors, they relay messages from peak to peak. Many units spend time in the weeks or months before the actual event learning communications skills like ham radio and signalling. Of course, getting to some of the peaks can also be a challenge, requiring the boys to practice hiking, camping, and backpacking skills.

Two main goals is to establish a signal link from the Mexican border to the Canadian border, the other is to make a link from the Pacific Ocean to at least the continental divide.

The annual event is held on the third Saturday in July and September. Areas with warmer climates typically see larger turnout on the latter date. In 2008, Operation On-Target is planned for July 19 and Sept. 20.

A manual for this event was developed by the Great Salt Lake Council, and later reprinted in one of the Varsity Scout Program Helps books.

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