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Been to NOAC? Heading there? Chat about the Order's bi-annual gathering

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  1. NOAC 2024

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  2. NOAC 2022 - Who is going?

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  3. NOAC 2020

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  4. OA ?????

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  5. NOAC 2015 1 2

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  6. 2012 NOAC at Michigan State 1 2

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  7. Noac as a Adult

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  8. NOAC 2009 1 2

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  9. NOAC Contingent Fees

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    • I just have to pause and reflect over discussions of camping gear. My camping/scouting experience goes back to 1967 or so.  And with 3 Eagle sons, and hundreds of campouts, as a scout, local council summer staff member, 4 years as a Philmont Ranger, and all of the campouts with my sons, less maybe 3, I own a small room in the basement FILLED with gear, some successful, some worthless, some purchased and yet unused because adding a few bucks to the order got me free shipping. And, I have been through countless discussions with other scouters, and tested, tried equipment.  I own and have read all of Colin Fetcher's 4 books on camping and camping equipment. And, I have a few pointers. Every item you choose needs to serve as many uses as possible. And you have to think deeply on this.  It is not obvious or easy.  We all use plates. But a bowl can also hold food we'd normally expect to see served on a plate. But a bowl can also hold stew, soup, cobbler...hot chocolate... So a BOWL is more versatile than a plate.  So, get a bowl-you don't need a plate.  And a bowl with a handle, when your fingers are cold? Wearing heavy gloves? Get a bowl with a handle-easier to hold with gloves.  My titanium bowl with handle-are you kidding me?  I don't have one.  I take a 99 cent plastic handled bowl I bought at a hardware store. Understand your need. Rain gear.  After all my time, I just don't have a good plan.  I have various rain coats.  Currently REi coats, but an ideal rain coat should cover to mid thigh.  So you can sit down on a log in a torrent, and have your Gluteus Maximus covered. Even better would be a raincoat that allowed you to cover your knees to mid calf when sitting.  And I know of NO company which makes such a garment. Sleeping Bags.  I have owned 8 or so sleeping bags over 60 years. Read many articles on how synthetic sleeping bag fills are "better" than down-filled bags. Bought synthetic filled bags, but after disappointing results bought two down-filled bags.  So, I've owned both. Down-filled wins hands-down. They are not cheap.  900 fill bags are great.  Will never buy another synthetic filled bag. Tents.  This is a bit complicated.  Some troops want to have identical tents for the entire troop to appear consistent. Like all wearing a consistent uniform.  I understand that.  My son's troop has declined to spend to buy troop tents because the tents don't hold up (zippers and waterproofing), so scouts bring their personal tents, and that seems to work out OK. So, mention of Big Agnes tents. I have owned more than my share of tents.  Mostly Kelty, then a NorthFace Canyonlands, which I loved, (until...) and finally a Big Agnes Copper Spur 1L (I think.) And, I have no idea who Big Agnes is, nor much about the company, but I spent a great deal of treasure on a one-person tent for my last trek to Philmont. Sight unseen-bought off the web at a good discount. Best tent I have ever owned.  Precisely built. Precise.  Did I mention "Precisely crafted?" PERFECT. Multitools/knives. Number one tool in the wilderness is a scissors.  Really? Yeah. Pliers is #2.  Stoves need repair. Pliers to do that. Leatherman has two small multi-tools that fill the bill.  I carry both. Fire starting. Ferro rods and a serious sense of just what natural plants are flammable-critical. Research Mora Knives and Opinel Knives.  And I will post no more on this topic.  
    • NO.  WRONG.  Totally wrong. Violates YPT and a parent's common sense. No one gets between me and my child. This is a "go-to-the-mat, or move on issue." In over 20 years of intense volunteering at pack, troop, district and council, never, ever heard of such a position/policy. Send a written notice/demand for intervention to the Council Exec., certified mail, return receipt requested. (And by regular mail also.)  Keep copies/postal receipts for your file.  Carbon copy your Institutional Head, and Chartered Organization Representative.  All the parents for that matter. And carbon copy to your attorney-note in your letter/notice/demand for intervention that the IH, COR, troop parents, and your attorney are receiving copies. Do this even if you leave the Troop.  It is an ethical responsibility not to leave other children exposed to this SM. Don't have an attorney, find a Scouting Friendly attorney who will agree to being a named as a carbon copy recipient. There are likely many such attorneys, attorneys being high achievers, many are Eagles.  PM me if you can' find one. Maybe advise the SM that you are going to send such a notice.  Hand a copy to the SM. Smile. If he changes the policy, he needs to do so in writing, signed by him. If not, send the notice/demand for clarification anyway.  Then you will be on the record as having identified his abhorrent policy. And a potential abuser or abuser in the making. Hasn't 120 years of silence taught us anything? Aggressive? Well, yes.  Aggressive response needed? Yes. Abusers favor shadows. Remoteness.  Out of sight.  And silence.  And complacent parents who ASSUME that scout leaders are "good people." And mostly they are. But this SM needs to be replaced.   
    • Coleman 6 person domes are $85 right now on Amazon.  They are tanks in my experience.  But... when the waterproofing fails, it does so in spectacular fashion.  Our Scouts like buying their own tents, so we have allowed "at your risk" use of personal tents.  It's been pretty cool.  Scouts love it.  They get to see a wide variety of tents and styles.  Takes some cost pressure off the troop as our inventory is for "fallout" cases and new scouts who haven't invested yet.  But at $85 on sale... coleman 6 man domes are unbeatable IMO.  They can withstand a literal flood and the rigors of regular Scout use.  They are tall enough for a Scout to stand in to change and comfortably fit 3 Scouts.  I've seen 6 go in one for the night (no gear) so ... it is possible They are easily serviced - you can get parts and shock cord easily and cheaply.  It's a pain but thrifty.  The only thing we don't bother with is serious waterproof failures.  We just keep the poles and stakes and retire the tent.  We'll often cut the bottom out for footprints.  The leftover poles, shock cord, etc. have given us enough spare parts we never buy anything.
    • our troop is only 20 years old.  I tasked our historian with this and was surprised that one phone call to council got him a list of the SMs from the past 20 years.  So... our council had that much.  Beyond that you will probably be challenged because people disperse to the wind.  Our first two SMs are sadly no longer with us.  Would definitely call council, they should have some amount of history for you.
    • If you have a good relationship with the SM - just ask them why.  It's not technically a YPT violation as long as 2up and no 1:1 but it's a bad look and officially all aspects are open to observation so if a parent pressed the issue they'd have to relent anyway.  I suspect they are having issues with parents who can't let the Scouts do their thing and rather than single someone out or maybe out of general frustration they went "scorched earth" on who can be in the building during meetings. 
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