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    • Don't forget the killer one - 20 miles in a single day.  We just had a couple of scouts for whom the 20 was the last thing they had to do to be complete; we did that with them while we were out of school on Monday.  At the end of the day, both remarked that they were pleased with earning the MB, but that they would not be doing another 20 again any time soon.
    • There are two different discussions going on here. One point is that meals are challenging for a team because scouts are forced to accept responsibilities that effect the whole group. Meals also provide opportunities for serving the group or being served by the group. I remember one scout who never liked a single thing the patrols cooked. Is he giving or taking in the team effort? Is the team giving or taking in giving him choices? The Scout Law is quite clear, but personal pride or humility figure into the failure of the success of that situation. As I said, until the members of the team give up their personal pride, they will stand out from the team. The other part of the discussion, and I also think a good one, is how can the adults get the patrols to become successful independent teams, like in cooking. We start with a nudge by encouraging cooking competitions or activities the push scouts to be creative and use good sense in their decisions. I found that scouts want to do things right, they just need help in understanding what is right. Nutrition for example is a good tool for scouts to use in creating healthy meals. Fun activities encourage creativity to broaden the range of healthy meals. I'm am not a great cook, but what I can cook, I cook pretty well. And most of what I cook I learned in scouts. Boys by nature are lazy and don't like to put too much effort in new ideas. So they get in a rut repeating the same habits as the previous campouts. I think it's OK to encourage creative variety into the scouts program. don't just do a compass course,  do one that involves a lake or river. Do a five mile hike that requires climbing riding a bike. Do a simulated car wreck to force the scouts to practice first aid. Our PLC planned all of these things.  And once the scouts get momentum, watch out because the program will take off. Barry
    • No, I was a parent for many years on the outside looking in with no knowledge of where the rules even were. I also respected my son's wish to have a place without parents looking over his shoulder. I was finally able to get in because of a job change that gave me more freedom and I joined a different troop to keep out of my son's hair. I think he had a far better experience that way. Once I got my green light to join, I was very keen on knowing the rules in general, specifically the advancement section. Mainly because I recognized how some made up or misinterpreted rules were used against my son. And thus, could also be used against other scouts. People are taught not to question the authority. I'm certainly no rules expert and I can easily forget or muddle things myself. My sharpness comes from events involving my own son. Things where Scouters were making up stuff in regards to advancement etc. There were gates put up because of retaliation when my son reported being bullied by a popular scout. As far as YP, we had an adult outside of scouting who did the classic items you see in YPT2. I'm extremely thankful my wife and I listened to our guts and kept our kid away from him. He was eventually arrested by the FBI and was put in prison. That's why I caution folks who are going to take YPT2 for the first time because it triggered things in me because I saw all the different things that lowlife tried to do to my son and us.  As far as a refresher, I'm not sure. We all had to take the YPT2 last spring. I haven't seen anyone who isn't aware of it, except for that first incident I mentioned where the adult was actively looking to break the provisions. That was bad in all respects and they were called out on it by others too. All those other incidents were simple nods to the affect that we were vigilant and stepped up correctly. I still laugh at that scout who kept following me when I was trying to stay out of a 1-on-1 situation. The scouts don't understand that side of things. If there is any aspect of training we should do, it's to do a very simple talk with scouts about not being in a 1-on-1 situation outside of family members.     
    • I think First Aid can be another good one to do at camp.  I agree on most of the Eagle-required badges - many of them are not really suited for camp, anyway.  For Environmental Science, one option could be to have the requirements that require report writing be done prior to camp as pre-requisites (in order to complete the badge at camp).  That might be about the only way to make it work when camps have limited equipment (computers, printers, internet access, etc.).
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