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The Patrol Method

Lessons and questions of Scout leadership and operating troop program

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • 1000% agree. Unless I'm missing something, it would be incredibly stupid for councils to start merging now.  Why would any financially strong council merge with a weaker one in the face of litigation? Depending on how the national bankruptcy shakes out, I could see lawyers going after councils and a series of bankruptcies there (or perhaps councils brought into the National bankruptcy). Now, post bankruptcies, I think it really depends on what is left of the BSA.  If, as rumored, a lot of work will transfer from National to councils, then it probably makes sense for many council mergers.  However, it seems too early to even consider given the litigation we are facing.
    • The premise of a council merger is that the standard council organizational structure and "business lines" (types of activities and programs conducted by councils) are all necessary.  It is just that for whatever reason (declining membership, declining revenue, declining donations, debt), the structure and business lines have become financially unsustainable in one or more of the merging councils.  Through the merger, the organizational structure and business lines will be preserved, but economies of scale and cutting specific excess or burdensome elements within business lines (such as an assistant registrar, a low-attendance golf tournament, or a camp that perpetually operates in the red) and other adjustments within the existing structure (number and size of districts and professional staff needed for them, for example) will result in financial stability for the merged council.  Overall, the merged council looks pretty much the same as its predecessors, it is just geographically bigger and names have changed. What doesn't happen is a re-thinking of the whole idea of a council, what we need it for, what we don't need it for, what it should be doing, and what it shouldn't be doing.  Many of the ideas we have been discussing would fundamentally change the organizational structure of a council (and its districts) and how it does business.  But there is no incentive in the councils, areas, regions, and national office to venture into the unknown if they believe that fundamental council organizational structures and business lines ain't broke, and they can they can remedy financial problems with just enough tinkering.  
    • Didn't OCC come under a lot of fire a few years back because you guys added the $120 "filing fee" for Eagle Scout applications?  And to be fair, a 100 level council like OCC is mainly suburban/metro population with a lot of money. When you have a 100 level with a lot of poorer rural communities outside of the big metro, those districts and smaller units tend to be forgotten. I hear that's how its like with the Greater St. Louis Area Council. 
    • Maybe I'm doing it wrong, but I always sleep "straight" on my hammock, I can't see how I'd do it at a 30 degree angle in my hammock, which looks much like 69RoadRunner's, but without the mozzie net. I'm a side sleeper though, and so I tuck my knees in one side, and feet on the other, and works for me, I'm not bananaing at all, in fact the curve of the hammock helps my head stay level. I'd always assumed that the "30 degree rule" was for those tropical island hammocks with a bar at each end holding it out, but as always happy to be shown the error of my ways. Last time I hammocked, on Brownsea Island [gratuitous name drop], we had to put a piece of hessian between the straps of the hammock and the trees to protect them.  
    • I just got this hammock to try out.  When I've tried hammocks, I didn't realize you're supposed to lay on a diagonal to be flat rather than bent. Like so many things, getting the hammock leads to more purchases if you want to do it best.  A tarp and underquilt are ideal add-ons.  And as with anything, you can do things at different price points. For the trees, you could use the Philmont bear line technique of using sticks between the straps and trunk.  If the same trees used by thousands of Philmonters every year, year after year, can handle that, I think trees can handle occasional hammock use.  
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