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  1. Equipment Reviews & Discussions

    Discussions dealing with equipment topics (tents, lights, packs, boots, stoves, etc.)

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  2. Camp Recipes and Cooking

    Tales of Scout cooks, prized techniques and yummy recipes for gathering around the fire.

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  3. LNT over-rated!

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  4. Coffee

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  5. Passenger Bus

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  • LATEST POSTS

    • ASM patrol advisors...a horrible concept.  For both scout and scouter. As I look back, I value my patrol leader experience (Stampeding Antelopes) because the adults gave me plenty of leeway to succeed or fail.  And I failed quite a bit early on, sometimes in a blaze of glory.  When I needed anything, the SPL was the one who chatted with me.  This made me a better patrol leader and then a more squared away SPL down the road. ASMs?  They were mysterious adults who camped with us and took care of stuff like driving, things we scouts couldn't do.  They kept their distance, and on rare occasions, providing a joke, an encouraging word, or a kick in the pants as appropriate. The SPL and PLs taught scout skills, signed off requirements up to First Class, conducted boards of review up to FC (with no adult in the room), planned/ran meetings, etc. The scouts will never learn leadership with an adult hovering around.  And no disrespect to NYLT et al, leadership can't be fully developed in a training course.  It can only happen on that rainy weekend when everything goes wrong.  And the 13 year old PL has to figure out how to salvage a burnt dinner, fix the leaking tents, settle a dispute between PL members, and keep morale high.  The PL won't learn a darn thing with an ASM advisor hovering about.  
    • A trailer is a pretty simple design so I am not sure if the brand will make much difference. Here are some things to consider: Doors - how many and how do they open. We like a side and 2 back doors that swing open - not the ramp kind of door. Its easy to get what you want, easy to load etc. A ramp may be hard for scouts to open and may need clearance in back to open. Axels - the more you have the bigger the trailer which means bigger vehicles to pull. Hieght - we currently have 2 trailers The one that is 7 foot tall is easy to organize and load but not great to tow. The other trailer is lower 5' and requires crawling if you need to organize but it tows like there is nothing behind you.  Tires - make sure to get good tires rated to go the speed you plan to go. Tounge/hitch - I prefer a wheel on the front end vs a foot. This allows you to maneuver the trailer easier when it is not hooked up. Wrap vs paint - wraps will fade much faster than paint. Shelves/storage - lots of good ideas online, try Pintrest
    • It seems that 200K girls ages 6 to 18 is reasonable over the next four years. A lot depends on on the young women currently being granted an extension to make rank. Will many be willing to become SM's/ASM's in undeserved areas? Or, will the bitterness of being a marginalized keep them from committing to scouting for decades? Of boys and parents with boys: Based on the last disposal of "cultural war baggage," BSA can expect another loss of 1/2 to 1 million male members over the same period.  TL/USA will successfully serve 200K of those, LDS another 200K, and -- as long as grants are being doled out for climbing walls and Maker activities -- public schools and secular clubs will serve another 200K. The internet -- especially 5G and 6G -- will make it possible for the remaining 400K boys and girls who are interested to execute the patrol method (by some other name) absent any governing organization. BSA will remain the largest boy-serving organization, but, like England, it will not recoup its male membership for decades. To do so will require a sea-change in the maximum remuneration to abuse victims, a return to formal recognition of unchaperoned activities at appropriate ages, and a careful analysis of what is and is-not working in other scout organizations around the world.
    • Cub Rank Activities Descriptions:    Lion: Have fun, make friends. Tiger:  Have Fun, make things, take short hikes, make more friends. Wolf:  Have fun, make useful things, go places with friends, take longer hikes, learn about nature and life.  Bear: Have fun, make useful and decorative things, go further with friends,,  think about life,  find out what mom and dad do,  maybe camp out in a tent?. Webelos : Have fun,  make bigger useful attractive things, go further and higher with friends,  learn camp skills,   get ready to say "thanks, mom and dad, but I can do this myself now." 
    • My son's troop has a small trailer. That along with a pickup for when needed ensures they have everything they need. I'm all on board the idea of small trailers.  My troop (different from my son's) had their trailer stolen a few years ago. There was a rash of trailers being stolen in the region (which I share with another poster here), and a lot of scout troops were suddenly missing not only their trailer, but they also stored all their gear in them. My troop has a storage room, so most of their gear was in there. Unfortunately, they had also recently returned from a camping trip, so not all their gear was saved.  Long post in short bullets.  1) If you have a trailer, practice unloading it after camping trips and reloading it before then.  2) Do your best to secure it. We have a chain and bolt sealed in concrete. If you aren't aware of it, boom goes the axle if you try to haul it away.  3) What you can haul sets the tone for your camping like Eagledad said. Adults are really lazy folks, as we like our comforts so we're willing to carry everything.  4) Big trailers mean you're required to have something to haul it. If you don't have the ability, you're in trouble. Usually not a problem for us, but now we're down to two folks with the trucks capable of doing the hauling.  5) There's a summer camp in the state that has a huge grade going down into the camp and coming out. I've not been there, but my SM talks about how many folks tend to ruin their transmissions because of it.  6) After our trailer was stolen, it of course made big news in the region. And a company stepped forward and supplied a new trailer with custom paint job etc. It's a beautiful trailer with shelves and everything.   
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