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  2. Coolest Scout Troop Location?

    A half-hour north of me, there is one of the oldest Troop cabins in the country. Huntington Beach Troop 1 has been meeting in the same place for a century, and it's a treasure trove of Scouting artifacts. Here is a link to their website's images: https://sites.google.com/site/troop1hb/about-us/inside-the-cabin
  3. Today
  4. I think there are different levels of outdoorsy. We have some parents that like the outdoors (skiing, biking) but have not camped much and it wasn't too hard to get them involved. Maybe outdoorsy is not the right word. Maybe sweaty is closer
  5. Is Varsity dead?

    Death is such a cruel description for a program that is no longer being used ... but yeah. BSA is no longer providing a Varsity Scouts program.
  6. Is Varsity dead?

    Yes. When LDS church announced their decision to start backing away from Scouting, National decided to end the Varsity with a date of 12-31-17 as the last day. Varsity Scouts can join troops or crews now. The LDS church was the largest user of the program. In fact, I only heard of one group outside the LDS church using the program, and I only ever saw Varsity Scouts once in it's 34 years of existance, and that was at jambo.
  7. Is Varsity dead?

    Is the Varsity program dead? Both the youth and adult applications as well as the BSA's program site now make no reference to Varsity. https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/524-406.pdf https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/524-501.pdf https://www.scouting.org/programs/
  8. New merit badge idea?

    Been almost a year since the Merit Badge Calendar has been updated. https://blog.scoutingmagazine.org/merit-badge-calendar/
  9. Good Council/District program examples

    In NJ schools usually have 2 days off for “teachers convention” and this year my council held a STEM day camp for those two days. I was offered to be staff (it actually paid really well!), but had to turn down.
  10. I’m in search of examples of top-quality innovative and creative Council or District-organized Cub program events and activities, such as - STEM science days at museums or observatories - Day hikes and nature programs at state parks or council camps - Cub family camping weekends at council camps with organized programs - Fishing derbies What does your council or district do a great job at?
  11. Yesterday
  12. @David CO You're absolutely right that some will never be swayed. It not for them as much as those that are "on the fence." Sometimes a gentle nudge is all that is needed.
  13. New merit badge idea?

    Welcome to the forums. Do submit your idea via the Email using the address in the link that Bryan's blog sent you. Be patient, it takes years ... sometimes decades ... for an idea to congeal into a Merit Badge.
  14. Coolest Scout Troop Location?

    Our Troop used to meet in the main office basement of a meat packing plant. notice the "used to "b now we meet in a classroom at the neighborhood church
  15. Sunday Morning segment on the BSA

    I was told they come longer (like the unhemmed pants), and you have to make them the length you want. I haven't seen them in person, though.
  16. My posts are guilty of going off-track. In my post about hosting the camping and backpacking meetings for adults, though, we're not trying to force the parents to become outdoorsy. We're trying to give them the option to see what it entails, in a way that's specifically geared for someone without much experience. It's up to them if they choose to do it, and I did express doubts about how many parents would show up. For some people, you can talk and explain and show pictures all you want, but they'll never really 'get' it without experiencing it. For others, it will be enough for them to see the results of what the outdoor program has done for their scouts. My boys started in scouting because my grandpa, dad and brothers were all scouts. To be honest, there were times in Cub Scouts that I wondered what the big deal was. Now that my older boy is in Boy Scouts, in a Troop that is not only very active and very service-oriented, but that camps every month and does a host of other outdoor activities, and after camping with them a couple times, I 'get' it. The first time I camped with them it wasn't because I really wanted to. It was because my boy is so very introverted that I was worried about how he was going to interact (or not) with a group of boys he didn't really know. I've camped with them a second time now, and plan on going whenever they're short of drivers or adults. There's nothing like seeing in person the way the Patrol Method functions when these boys are setting up camp, cooking, cleaning, planning hikes, etc. I'm more than willing to trade two miserable nights' sleep and latrines for these boys to be able to do what they do, after seeing how important it is. Others aren't ever going to do this. I doubt they're going to avoid the unit over it, though it might be worth asking whether they feel like they're being unduly pressured.
  17. Sunday Morning segment on the BSA

    Everybody knows that the official socks are the plushiest, most delightful socks in the world, and that it's the ONE part of the uniform that's worth every penny of the cost. And this from a Californian who prefers to wear sandals whenever humanly possible!
  18. Derby Car

    Our pack has simplified the PWD as much as humanly possible, and it has turned out GREAT for us. Here are some of the changes we made that have made things easier AND much more fun: 1. We don't have a 1st, 2nd or 3rd - instead, every boy received a participation medal, but then there are extra medals that encourage effort and success of all kinds. Our categories are Fastest Car, Slowest Car (what we call the "Marathon Winner"), Most Creative Car, Scout's Choice Award (the boys all vote on this one), and two other awards that change from year to year. This way, some cars are given prizes based on performance, others by specially chosen judges for effort put into them, and of course a car that the boys themselves get to choose as their favorite. Everybody gets a prize, but there is still the incentive to work hard for whichever award catches a boy's interest. 2. We have totally eliminated all electronics from our PWD. We simply bring in three "Celebrity Judges" (usually from our CO leadership, which is nice to get them involved), and their final choice for each round is considered ABSOLUTELY FINAL. We make this expressly clear beforehand. And after each race they have only 60 seconds to decide who won that round (I have a Den Chief with a timer sitting right by them). This way we don't waste time deliberating over the winner, and we move through each round very quickly. 3. Our track has 4 lanes, so for each round of 4 cars, we have them race 4 times. We know that sometimes the speed of the car depends on which lane it runs on, so by running each set of 4 cars 4 times, switching lanes each time, we get the best idea which car from that set is the fastest. We go through the whole Pack by simply starting them all off in brackets of 4, and then racing the fastest cars from each group in sets of 4 in a simple process of elimination that eventually brings us to the final 4, out of which the Fastest Car is declared. We ALSO take the slowest cars from each set, and race them in rounds to determine who is our slowest, "Marathon Winner" (the only stipulation for these is that it has to make it all the way to the finish line to count - many of our boys consider this category even more desirable than the Fastest Car!). 4. Before the races even begin, we have a short talk about sportsmanship - with the parents! I like to talk about all the worst parents I have seen at these events, exaggerating their antics and then, of course, letting them know that naturally I know THEY would NEVER act so childishly, and that SURELY our parents will be good sports and not contest the decisions made, since of course that would be RIDICULOUS and a TERRIBLE example to our judges (sure it's passive-aggressive, but they get the point). Hopefully some of these ideas will help make your next PWD a better event for you. Until then take advantage of the lessons your Scout can learn from this kind of an experience, and don't let it get you down!
  19. Sunday Morning segment on the BSA

    I think those skorts are too short of those religions.
  20. Derby Car

    I’m sorry to hear your experience with the PWD didn’t go well. While we don’t allow parents to adjust cars during the race (PWD is already crazy enough), we would allow quick minor repairs especially if a car does not make it down the track. I’d recommend talking with the den leader or Cubmaster to provide some feedback. Our Pack also awards the 3 slowest cars (for this who unintentionally or intentionally are slower). The slowest car wins Ess Car Go. That is a fun adder for those scouts and it keeps more kids engaged during the entire race. As far as tools to help, there are various tools that help ensure the axels is inserted correctly with the correct spacing. You could use this the add a bit of glue to ensure the axel doesn’t move later. http://www.hobbylinc.com/pine-car-pine-car-axle-placement-guide-pinewood-derby-tool-and-accessory-p4611?source=froogle&gclid=EAIaIQobChMI5faYqYWw2QIVRbjACh3jggONEAQYBiABEgKpY_D_BwE Good luck and hope future events go well.
  21. I think we can see the problem right here on this thread. Instead of keeping the focus on the question of how to get "indoor parents" to be supportive of the outdoor program, most of the posts have been about converting the "indoor parents" into "outdoorsy" parents. The true believers in scouting will not leave these poor people alone. Is it any wonder why the "indoor parents" avoid the unit altogether?
  22. Same CO...multiple CORs

    Thanks for confirming my understanding that there is only one COR for each CO. Without going into details it seems that the Pack and crew had issues with the COR and asked for the COR to be replaced. The troop didnt want to switch CORs. Our councils compromise was to have each ubit have thier own COR. They asked that the key 3 from each unit take COR training and this us where they were told it was ok to have multiple CORs.
  23. Derby Car

    My sons pack just held a pinewood derby event. When we built the car the tires where fine and rolling. I gave it to be weighed in and the car was passed on to be placed on the table with other cars who where racing while we found seats and waited. During the race they had so many issues with software and decided to use cell phone footage to declare winner. The first 6 cars raced 3 times for testing cause malfunctions, then next 6 raced twice. My sons car was 50th out of 51. When they put his to race it was only car that the wheels malfunctioned and his didnt make it down the track. We didnt know why till we picked the car up and the back wheels that were freely moving where somehow jammed into the wood sides and stuck. When we noticed we asked if he could get his car to go down the track again and they said no and ignored us. Now my question is since BSA wont allow axels or spacers to prevent this I need suggestions. I dont know how it got jammed up in the car like that, because there was no problems the whole 3 weeks we had it. Like I said we dont care about winning and losing we just wanted to see his car make it to the end and if other cars went down more than once well he should had that chance.
  24. Sunday Morning segment on the BSA

    Someone at Council pointed out to me last week that there are some religions that don't allow girls to wear pants. I hadn't thought about that. Still, it would have been nice to see some of the girls in the pants. Of course, at the same time, the Cub Scout pants are so ill-fitting that I don't know anyone who wants them! My boys always just wore blue shorts or jeans. On the socks... my boys love their scout socks and want to wear them even when they're not in uniform.
  25. Thanks for this. Having just taken over as Webelos/Arrow of Light Den Leader (we only have one AOL boy and no leader for him, and our regular den leader's son has been in and out of the hospital), things like this are good to know. I've done my YPT, but haven't looked at the den leader training yet. For this first couple weeks I've just been duplicating what my older son's den leader did with the boys, and have been focused on making sure the AOL boy can earn his rank before crossing over. My older son joined the Troop at the end of April last year. He and the other new boys were all advanced to Scout at the Court of Honor in September, and most (I think all but three) just advanced to Tenderfoot at the beginning of this month. One of those who didn't was also the only boy who didn't go to camp over the summer. As someone mentioned above, we're struggling with the physical fitness requirements right now. He's in between fall and spring sports, and has Health this quarter, rather than Phys Ed. Our Troop generally does advancements only at three Court of Honors, one fall, one winter and one spring. There are exceptions, but given that's the way it's usually done, most of our boys will rank up from Tenderfoot to Second Class at the fall COH - roughly 17 months after crossing over/joining. For those who go to camp, they might make First Class. Our Troop doesn't seem to be in any hurry to get the boys to Eagle. We have one 15 year old working on his project now, but most who reach Eagle are doing so at 17.
  26. Boy Scout trapped 200ft inside PA cave RESCUED

    Our older boys went spelunking in PA last fall. I stayed behind with the younger boys, who visited Indian Echo caves, but when the others came back with the few pictures they were able to get in the dark, it gave me a little claustrophobia. I'm glad this boy is okay!
  27. Our Scoutmaster, who builds fires with the stick and string and sleeps outdoors on every single trip, claims he was never outdoorsy. I didn't know him when he was Cubmaster, but he (a Brit) says he was influenced by Bear Grylls, and he started getting really into survival stuff when he became Scoutmaster. At the same time, he keeps baking us treacle tarts in the cardboard oven, lol.
  28. I agree that people can change, but there’s a slim chance of them from growing up not going camping & not liking the outdoors to liking it and going tent camping.
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