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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

    • 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.   
    • 110% agree. My troop growing up never had "patrol advisers," or "patrol counselors." Instead  we had the ASPL, Leadership Corps (older Scouts who had served in leadership positions previously) and the SPL. When PL's had issues or needed advice, we went to them. When a Scout was given an assignment to do and he had questions, we went to them. We weren't perfect, but we had a heck of a good troop. Bill Hillcourt would have been proud. I've served in troops that assigned patrol counselors, and in troops that did not. I do not like the concept as it takes away growth opportunities from the older Scouts. Whereas in troop that utilize their older Scouts have better retention and involvement,  because they are not used to guide and mentor the younger Scouts, they tend to not be as active, be involved in the troop, and not really care about anything. Sadly I saw this especially in my last troop. Also the Scouts tend to rely on the adults to solve their problems instead of figuring it out for themselves. Best example of this was  a patrol making a menu. The patrol could not figure out a menu everyone could agree upon, and as time was running out, the patrol counselor ended up making the menu and duty roster for them. Further I have seen too many patrol counselors end up acting like den leaders and treating their Scouts as Webelos 3s. The last example does just that. Another example is the patrol counselor jumping in and taking over from the Patrol Leader instruction on KP to new Scouts. Whenever I had to be a patrol counselor, I stayed out of the way as much as possible, and asked leading questions on what they were doing and whether it was efficient or not. Sometimes they got it. Sometimes they didn't, and sometimes their was was actually better than mine.   I first encountered the patrol counselor or patrol adviser concept when I went through Brownsea 22, which has morphed over the years to NYLT today. My understanding is that the concept is more of a training position than an actual unit position. When you get Scouts and Scouters from multiple units, and use to doing things multiple ways, you sometimes need an outside source to resolve matters in the limited time of training. Even then, our Troop Guides, which at BA22 were youth who had already gone through the course, were the ones to guide and mentor. Only twice did a patrol counselor get involved with patrol matters, one behavioral and one first aid related.
    • Personal experience: I work in HR. I've done work for 2 Fortune 500 companies and a regional hospital network mostly hiring entry level or recent graduate positions. I've never interviewed a candidate because they were an Eagle Scout. If a candidate is qualified but has their Eagle, I'll talk to them, but if I do I don't typically ask about their Eagle unless they bring it up.  The process of earning Eagle makes a young man a better person, but the holding the award itself isn't a magic bullet. Being a Scout and the things I did in my troop while earning Eagle are things I'm proud of, but I did it for me, not for what other people think of me. Too many parents, encouraged by the BSA, think of Eagle as a college/job checklist item. As an HR professional, I value it roughly equivalent to a high school sports team captain, drum major, student body president or lead role in theatre. 
    • Forgot about that one... yep, that would be a nice add as well!
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