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    • Thank you, perdidochas.  I looked at the reviews on that Sawyer Mini and am impressed.  While it looks a bit more complicated than the Lifestraw, the increased flexibility of the device coupled with a significantly longer lifespan looks like a winner to me. I see that REI sells the Sawyer Mini as well as Lifestraw, both for the same price.  I'll be buying the Sawyer filter....
    • I'm sorry. I'm the leader who got the phone call from a Life scout whose committee chair said "no more" (to fraudulently completed badge work) and would not sign the boy's app. I asked, "Did you do the requirements as written?" His answer was "No." We stopped the deception there. Called it for what it was. Remained friends ever since. So, I'm jaded. Sometimes boys lie. When they build the up the courage to report their actions and observations with brutal honesty, they become scouts. It's a long hard road. But @my_three_sons's scout has time to prove himself to be first class (the concept, not the patch). Either defend the facts that he completed the reqs or face the facts and be trustworthy going forward.  
    • Massachusetts Arbovirus Update 2019 :   http://mosquitoresults.com/  New Hampshire has also found mosquitoes with EEE.  Using these maps, we try to schedule outings in less colorful areas. We also hope for an early frost. It was 35deg this am!   
    • Quite true, unless as stated in the Guide to Advancement: "if it remains clear under the circumstances that some or all of the requirements could not have been met, then the merit badge is not reported or awarded, and does not count toward advancement." To me, this would be something like attending a one day MB workshop for Wilderness Survival and walking away with a completed blue card, despite there being requirements that could not possibly have been done in that single session, and knowing that the scout had not done anything related to the MB prior to attendance. If however, the counselor states that they covered all of the bases, the fact that the scout cannot remember specifics, while concerning (particularly if relating to something like First Aid, E-Prep, etc.) would not by itself lead me to believe that he somehow cheated.  As several others have mentioned, some scouts do not do well with testing or being grilled.  Having spent the better part of 40 years in education, I see kids every day that have trouble test taking, or verbalizing; yet have not problem at all if I toss them a tablet and a box of Legos and say 'here, show me what kind of stop motion video you can make". This is just one of many threads that shines light on the problem with MB colleges; while you will no doubt have scouts who attend and have done a lot of work prior to arriving, you will just as likely have as many who have never cracked the MB book.  In most cases, both types of scouts will leave with a signed blue card.  I wish that this were not the case, but it is what it is. As a MB counselor, I see both types of scouts, and obviously much prefer the 'be prepared' types.  Many of those scouts get signed off with little trouble, while the type two ones require multiple meetings before I will sign off.  Some come back until they have satisfactorily completed all requirements, others look for someone who is willing to let them slide.  While I have those who come to me somewhat unprepared, and are told they have more work to do, I can honestly say that I cannot recall an instance where I felt one of those scouts was lying to me about what they have done.
    • Last fee increase was $9.  Not that we allow gambling, but if we did, I’d place a large wager on the over.    Delaying an announcement of a fee increase until Nov makes no sense.  Pull the board together tonight and vote on it.  If the internal debate is between a massive fee increase and bankruptcy then declare bankruptcy.  No fee increases will cover the massive lawsuits on top of our current tenuous financial situation.  Laying the financial burden of the failures of the past on the backs of parents of your current membership is wrong.  Fees are a small part of the total cost of the program... I know there are fundraisers, but there are limits. Now, if this is a small increase, get over with it and let us know now.      
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