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Scoutmaster Minutes

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Inspirational stories and meaningful remarks to share

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    • Already done. My Arab speaking friends call it Dae'sh.
    • Sorry, I am trying to upload photos and had a problem.   There are still additional items that need to be purchased.  But our council does not want to spend the money or they don't have the money, or didn't budget for it.  Whatever. I can only do my part. I could get the rest of what I need for around $750.00.  That would include 2 extras of each alphabet/number set to replace missing letters and numbers that occasionally happen. I'll try to get some photos of the completed bins when I finish them. Let me know what you think. Dale Here is the pile of tools I sorted through:   Here is 1 set of the 3D stamps that each bin will have.       The following photos are the rest of the donation I am making tomorrow:          
    • I've been gathering leather tools for use in Scout and youth groups over the last few years.  I just got access to the leather tools that our council has for the Cub Scout Day Camps and for use by Leatherworking Merit Badge Counselors for classes.  They have 4 bins of tools.  Each is supposed to have enough for 20 scouts.   The idea being that the bins could be checked out for district events and merit badge events.  When I helped out with the merit badge at our "Mega Expo"  the bin contained 20 mallets, 3 of which were broken, 26 stamping boards, a rack containing 12 handle stamps, and about 15 3d stamps.  There were 6 alphabet sets, but only 1 was complete.    I went to the Scout office and got access to all the tools and found that over the years, multiple sets were checked out for a single event and when put away no effort was made to make sure the alphabet sets were organized back into complete sets.  In fact, the sizes were even mixed up with 3d stamps thrown in for good measure.  Fast forward a couple years and you get the situation I was just in.  I sat there most of the day and sorted and organized the tools.  Now in total there should be enough tools for 80 scouts to work with.  As it turned out, there are only 68 mallets, 26 I need to repair, less than 50 3d stamps and less that 2 racks of misc handle stamps.  And a bunch of those are damaged and will be thrown away.   So I went to my stash of leather tools and put together the following: Using 34 of the 3d stamps they already had, I added 206 additional stamps to make up 4 sets of 60 3d stamps for each bin.  Each set has the same stamps to make re-sorting easier in the future.  I also put together 4 sets of 27 handle stamps, each set the same,  for the bins also.   I had 30 handles for the 3d stamps that I included along with some extra racks and misc letters and numbers to complete their sets. I still need to find additional mallets along with purchasing 6 each of 3/8" and 1/4" alphabet/number sets and they should be set. Here is the pile of tools I sorted through:    
    • I was surprised at how many people got sucked up in the moment, given that it was a scout training event. It took me a while to figure out that was the point. In a way it was good because we were doing, rather than talking about it. Still, I would have preferred coming up with fun games teaching outdoor skills.
    • unfortunately our troop is not thrifty.  It's easy for some people to spend money when it's not theirs.  But I thought I'd post some of my ideas, maybe they will be helpful for someone. Our suburb community has a local facebook page.  If your community has one, I suggest always asking for used donated supplies before spending any cash.  This requires some planning because it won't be instant.  But for example, if a cooler or a lantern is needed, just put a post on facebook asking if anyone has a dusty cooler sitting in their garage that hasn't been used in years.  If you want help, you need the courage to ask for it.  Make a wish list and post it.  don't post each little item separately.  Always respond and pick up items promptly even the things you don't really want if they come in a bundle.  Have a photocopied thank you letter signed by everyone scouts and adults to give them when you pick up.  Thanking someone is nice but it also builds community spirit towards the scouts. We have a lot of garage sales and thrift stores.  I've gotten many used cub uniforms that way.  Not very many boy scout items but sometimes.  Some camping gear.  I resisted buying two used mess kits tonight because we just didn't need them.  I always wear a class b when at garage sales.  Many times people will just give me things for the troop when they see the shirt or we'll start a conversation that leads to a good deal, etc.. Don't be picky.  Does that 1970's external frame backpack hold the same amount as the fancy new internal pack?  Who cares what it looks like if it functions.  Is a generic item just as good as a name brand?  Not always but many times it is.  Just depends on how often it will be used and the cost of replacement.  Name brand does not guarantee anything. craigslist will sometimes have a good deal by searching for words like tent or hiking but it's not very often around here. Store clearances.  We have several Walmarts and Targets nearby.  There is always a clearance season for these stores when they restock.  Finding the deals is not easy but I have gotten $65 coleman stoves for $25 and nice coleman tents for 75% off and recently purchased several different coleman lanterns for 50% off.  The nice sleeping pads for $10 a piece, I waited 10 minutes too long and someone else snatched all but the two in my cart.  $20 fishing poles for $7. Try emailing or, even better, calling customer service for a company if you plan on making a large purchase.  Explain its for the scouts.  Eureka gives a great discount for troop tents if you call them.  We buy several at a time.  Don't be afraid to ask! Word of mouth.  Send out an email to everyone in the pack or troop and explain what items are needed.  Ask if something can be included in a CO newsletter.  Any items donated will be less dues spent and more for the kids.  So they need to network with their friends and families to see what they have in the attic or garage. What do the leaders, parents and parishioners do for a living?  where do they work?  even donated office supplies help offset some small costs. be creative and resourceful.  I was in charge of the pack Halloween party one year and I wanted to make a few things but I had a tight budget.  I used old scrap wood to make what I needed and it worked great and I got lots of compliments for something that cost me nothing except my time.  There was a giant box of old kool aid packets in the pack closet that I would never let anyone drink because I don't know how old they are but they were great for tie dye t-shirts. camping? ask a local wilderness group if the scouts could camp for free or for an hour of community service picking up brush or something.  We've got many hunting/fishing/shooting clubs in the area that own properties and they always have youth programs.  Scouting has similar goals except for the hunting part. borrow from other places.  maybe another pack or troop can loan out something with the understanding that it will be returned as is or replaced if damaged.  Our troop neckerchiefs were discontinued so now we use a generic green clothe which is hemmed and a paracord woggle.  I'm told its cheaper.  It is definitely easy to replace either item. These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. 
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