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Scoutmaster Minutes

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Inspirational stories and meaningful remarks to share

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  1. Kind

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  2. Catch of a Lifetime

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  3. Carrot, egg or coffee

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  4. When Night Ends...

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  5. Poems about Youth

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  6. I am the American Sailor.

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  7. The SPL

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  8. Eastern Mysticism

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    • With respect, you’re jumping to conclusions and condemning people when the information available at this point simply doesn’t bear that out. We have no idea about the circumstances, training, supervision or equipment used.
    • Our troop is the same.  Our Scouts all own their own tents. When Scouts cross over from Webelos, they work as a group to see who has tents.  Generally there are enough tents amongst them that we get 2 or 3 scouts in a tent.  Over the first year or two in the troop most scouts acquire their own and then we have plenty.  Occasionally we have to scare up a tent or two - but not that often. I like this model as troop tents are expensive and high maintenance.  Scouts also tend to take better care of things they own and tents are fragile. Unless you come from an economically disadvantaged area, I'd see if you'd get enough families willing to buy their scouts a tent in order to make it work.  I'd stay away from tarps.
    • Call the DE or Committee Commissioner, explain the situation and ask if they know of a troop that can loan a couple of tents, stoves and cooking equipment. There may even be a Chartering Organization with a defunct troop looking to move their equipment.  Barry
    • That’s a model I’ve heard of but not seen in action. Do your Scouts all own and bring their own tents?   Tents are the biggest-pricetag item, for sure. I’ve been looking at DIY tarp options, but the psychological factor of a first camping trip in February with “just a tarp” may be a lot to overcome. Thanks for the other comments!
    • A start-up can seem daunting, especially with "no patrol gear". I will focus on just this aspect. As it can also provide for the best opportunities for the scouts to learn and grow. Scouts will all need their own personal camping gear anyway. Start there. They can either budget and buy, or DIY. Mess kit, scout knife, utensils, sleeping bag/mat, backpack.  Cooking can be done as individuals in a patrol setting. Imagine each scout prepping and cooking their own meal (or as buddies) with their personal mess kits (or aluminum foil) over an open fire. They will learn quickly before they cook for a group. They will also learn who are the best cooks in the patrol, as well as the best fire-makers, etc...  For sleeping. The scouts all need their own sleeping bag. Poly tarps are cheap and make great shelters. Buddies learn to pitch them as enclosed shelters, or open. As a patrol, they are all near each other. With multiple pitch styles, they also learn who is best at erecting a tarp shelter and tying knots and lashings. The upfront costs here are minimal for the rope and tarps.  For a camping area, the scouts can find a private property owner who is willing to let them camp on his property. The scouts usually offer to do a service project as a trade. Even if it is just picking up trash. Many property owners are extremely happy to accomodate.  To start building patrol gear, scouts can raise money through fundraisers, or build their own. For purchasing, I recommend scrounging yard sales for pots, pans, utensils, axes, saws, tents, etc... I have picked up enough gear to outfit full troops for pennies on the dollar. The great thing about the cheap used stuff is that it was cheap. Its ok if it gets wrecked as they are learning to use it.
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