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  2. mashmaster

    Trailer Recommendation

    Recommend getting a trailer that can be towed by an F150 style pickup. That is a problem to expect people to have bigger trucks to tow the trailer and if you don't have one you have a trailer that can't get towed. It also is a strain on the vehicles. Also, we liked having a side door and two doors in the back vs. the single fold down door. We found a used trailer from a troop in the area that didn't need it anymore. Got a good deal. It might be worthwhile checking around to see if any troops have an extra trailer.
  3. mashmaster

    Hello from Columbus

    Welcome from Austin, Texas
  4. scoutmaster759

    Hello from Columbus

    Ha - I took the Scouts to Mohican State Park this weekend and as seems to be par for the course with every campout in the last 7 years - it rained, hard. So the Scout skills changed from planning for a hike with a significant rise to starting a fire in the rain. All sorts of fire starters - none of them worked. So the old man (me) said, "Boys, you're not building this thee right way. You need a tepee shape and the right starter" So of course in my backpack I have three small sticks of "pipestone" wood. I put my twigs together, kindling and the pipestone and then arrange all of the wood for easy access and staying dry under a tarp. Three strikes on flint with steel and a pocket of lint and the fire took off. You would think I was Harry Potter.... campfire. I think the boys now know two things: "pipestone" is common around us - use it and the tepee is the fastest way to go.
  5. scoutmaster759

    Hello from Columbus

    That is well said - "Will you be around for our Scouts" My two sons are in the Boy Scout troop but the oldest will age out next year and the youngest struggles at times but the unit is being built for the community, not just for us. I keep telling parents that they should "own it" and they will get more from it. Lack of parent involvement is an issue in the urban setting with single family parent and 3 kids or more.
  6. qwazse

    Girl Scouts vs. School Dress Code

    We had to deal with this as parents. Femurs grew, skirt didn't. The principle was doing his best to handle things discretely. Even so Mrs. Q took umbrage. Daughter wasn't offended, but also didn't think she had much agency in the situation. So, I understand the emotion. I just want to hear from an organization who is partnering with me recognize that my family (including children) might be in favor of their school's dress code -- and share advice on how I may help my daughter enter into this dialogue. With youth, always promote both civic action and servant leadership. Middle school kids often see things going on in a community that other folks miss. Their playground/pool might be impacted by budget cuts. There might be a dangerous intersection on the way to school. Or, a newly elected public official might need to know the issues important to youth.
  7. fred8033

    Trailer Recommendation

    Good choice. Of course, I'm laughing. Sometimes column advice doesn't match the needs of the original poster. I was far off. Of course, now your troop will require new scoutmasters to own a 3/4 ton pickup. Your choice is fine and makes sense. With a 80 person troop, I'd be tempted to have two trailers to support multiple events or allow people with smaller vehicles to help pull the trailer. I've always thought some months might be nice to split the troop (when we were larger). Those interested (younger patrols ??) could go to the district camporee and the more adventurous patrols could do a hiking trip or canoe trip. You might want to keep your existing trailer to support smaller events or to store less-used gear.
  8. Treflienne

    Girl Scouts vs. School Dress Code

    Another questions is do we in scouting (whichever branch) want to promote "civic action" or "servant leadership"? Which focus do we think is more appropriate for training middle school kids?
  9. Treflienne

    Girl Scouts vs. School Dress Code

    This piece of Girl Scout advice has been around for a while, and it lowered my opinion of GSUSA. I feel that it is very important for kids to realize that even well-meaning adults are occasionally mistaken, and a kid needs to be able to (hopefully politely) correct a teacher in certain circumstances. (One circumstance that comes to mind is the kid with food allergies -- he knows what he can safely eat much better that the teacher does. ) But school dress codes are a terrible example. I am happy that our local high-school has at least a few rules (no spaghetti straps) that discourage the over-sexualizing of teenage girls. GSUSA suggesting that girls should lobby for the right to dress inappropriately seems really wrong-headed to me.
  10. Not sure why, but this sponsored link kept popping up on my FB wall: Your Daughter vs. Her School Dress Code What I find interesting: Someone at GS/USA thinks this issue can be used to promote their brand. Appealing school restrictions on students is deemed a "civic action", but appealing the fashion industry's body-shaming arms race is not even a suggestion. At some point, any of us in BSA who've worked with young women come across this issue with our youth. In venturing, this is great fodder for ethical controversies. But, it's not something where I would tell parents that my advice is the reason they should trust their girls' personal growth to me. More importantly, if I were to present parent-facing material, I would present the multiple viewpoints of youths (both girls and boys) on the matter.
  11. prof

    Hello from Columbus

    Welcome to the campfire!!!!!
  12. qwazse

    Hello from Columbus

    This is the kind of family you want to come back to when your scouts start wanting to earn merit badges. Does the father or mother have a job or hobby that would allow them to serve as a MB counselor, or maybe they can comprise your committee? Your pitch would be "You asked me if I would be around for your boy. Now I'm asking, will you be around for our scouts?"
  13. Tpherr

    Trailer Recommendation

    All - thank you very much for all of the ideas and input. We are a large troop and have used a trailer for years but with 80 scouts in the troop and usually 50+ that attend summer camp, we needed a larger trailer for all the gear. I did see some great ideas on organizaion of trailers and will use some of what I found. I ordered a 7x14 trailer with dual axles, rounded front and seemless walls as we wrap our trailer with our Troop info. We also decided to go with a taller trailer (7' internal height) as we plan on building a false floor to store some of longer items that we currently hang on the walls. Hopefully it is delivered on time and we can do ur build out in time for summer camp. If anyone is interested in a 7x12 single axle trailer with a 6'6" intenal hieght, let me know, We will be sellting our current trailer once summer camp is over.
  14. scoutmaster759

    Hello from Columbus

    You know what.. that's a very good point. I know kids who have been in Scouts because they like to camp and have fun. I think if they get into Scouts and camp with us and have fun I can convince them that the badges are being completed just by having fun and that a bigger goal can do a lot of good for them in their lives.
  15. scoutmaster759

    Hello from Columbus

    We were preparing for a campout and I had a couple of Scouts load up a backpack with all of the gear we were taking with us. We went to the community center where we based the unit and as we walked in with the backpack a small crowd of kids followed us in wondering what we were doing. We sat down and showed them how to pack clothing, rolling it up, a first aid kit, water and the importance of water when hiking and camping. They stayed through the entire meeting. We are going to build a slide show and we will have a lot more chances to get their attention this summer. We based our unit at a community recreation center on purpose, because we knew the kids we wanted to reach out to were there. Now it's just getting them to convert. I was talking with my DE about inviting kids along on a campout without them being enrolled and were working through the issues of insurance, etc. They kind of frowned on it but the BSA has not been very successful in working in poor urban communities and doesn't alway get outside the box. We just had our first mulch sale and it covered the full costs of the boys going to summer camp so that's a hit. We talk to the kids and tell them that we can manage costs with fundraising and that they get to meet people in the community which is fun too. I will keep plying away at this one. I had one family ask me if I would be around for their son through the entire journey and I told them that I cannot guarantee anything but had no plans for leaving. Have lived in this community for 20 years and hoping to bring pride to community with the presence of Scouting and kids achieving and moving forward and taking on the adventures. Thanks for the ideas and support!
  16. qwazse

    Hello from the Mitten

    Welcome! And thanks for all you do for the youth!
  17. MattR

    Hello from Columbus

    Wow, that's a big challenge. Good for you. Words to an 11 year old aren't nearly as powerful as actions. Don't spend too much time talking. Rather, have an activity. Set up something in a park. Bring gear to look at. Have a slide show of trips you've been on. If they're enthused about adventure and camping then you have something much more important than merit badges. If they're having fun then they'll stick around and learn what we want to teach them. That's the goal. With that said, you can make the merit badges part of the fun and adventure. Do a bunch of fun stuff and then tell them what they've completed and what's left to do to get the MB. A few will take you up on the offer. Then, at the court of honor, award the merit badge to the scout in front of the entire troop and tell him he did a great job. That can be more motivational than you talking about how important a MB is. With regard to the wealthier families and the poorer families, it's important to treat all the scouts the same. In this case some scouts need to earn the money. So make all the scouts earn the money that's spent. It would be a great lesson for all. Best of luck and keep us informed.
  18. Yesterday
  19. David CO

    Hello from Columbus

    There is a very simple answer for that. They don't have do merit badges if they don't want to. The advancement program is completely voluntary.
  20. We always have: Fastest Car, Marathon Winner (the slowest car (which has to make it past the finish line to count)), Most Creative, Best Craftsmanship, and Scout's Choice. Every boy who enters a car receives a participation medal as well. Of all the awards, the most coveted is easily the Marathon Winner, and we actually have two set of brackets to accommodate the competition for both the fastest and slowest cars. It's become easy to figure out how to make a car fast, but to make it slower than every other car while still making it all the way down the track? THAT can be just as tricky. And the nice thing is, there is no one "winner" of the evening. There are many, but of differing kinds, which I think makes the whole day much less stressful.
  21. scoutmaster759

    Hello from Columbus

    Thanks all - I am looking for insights anyone might be able to share working with urban poor youth. My unit is located in a regentrifying neighborhood - if you are north on one side of a street - $650k home if you are south of that same street $100k homes (if that much). There is a big discrepancy there and the urban affluent are just having kids and the urban poor have younger and older kids. Any insights on how to approach an 11 year old boy about joining Scouts? It's a tough putt... I often see this kids without their parents, had one boy join Scouts and his mom signed him right up. I said I look forward to meeting your family. A campout came out and the mom had no idea she signed him up for Boy Scouts (despite the application saying Boy Scouts of America, that sometimes gives it away). He has not been back. I troll a neighborhood community center and the boys seem to have interest but their parents are never around to understand what the boys might be getting into. I have met some really great kids who were enthused about adventuring, camping, hiking, canoeing, but worried that when it comes to Merit Badges the enthusiasm drops. Any thoughts you have would be greatly appreciated and thanks for the warm welcome!
  22. Sentinel947

    Hello from Columbus

    @scoutmaster759 Welcome to good luck to you!
  23. I definitely agree with this advice. Aim for 10+ campouts per year. Maybe 2 per month during the summer when Scouts don't have to deal with homework, conflicting extracurricular events (sports, band, clubs, etc.).
  24. This is no different from many boy troops that have started over the past. All this information is in the rank advancement portion of the scout manual. I work with boys and girls in troops and tell them the same thing. "Read your manual" It really has everything they need for the ranks up to 1st class. You seem very focused on getting the girls to Eagle rank, that is no different from just about every new scout parent I have worked with in the past. Advancement is only one of the methods of scouting. Nobody here is telling you that the girls shouldn't get Eagle or have a plan. What everyone is saying is that your position is no different from what people have gone through in the past. There has been great advice given here that it seems that you have dismissed. My advice: I recommend you start attending your district round tables and networking with other leaders in your district. Do some activities with another troop or crew or ship to help get through the initial obstacles. Go camping every month not just seven. Read the BSA leader guides especially volume #1 Talk to your unit commissioner on a regular basis.
  25. qwazse

    Hello from Columbus

    @scoutmaster759, welcome to the forums and thanks in advance all you'll do for the youth.
  26. Attending multiple summer camp weeks can also be expensive. Summer camps in my area run around $300-$450 per week. A motivated and focused Scout can earn 6+ merit badges in one week of summer camp, which could take care of a few of the Eagle-required merit badges, plus many of the electives. The quality of instruction at summer camp can also be hit or miss. If there are merit badges that a Scout is interested in that can't easily be done elsewhere (Climbing, Kayaking, etc.) then summer camp is the place that I would recommend doing them. I wouldn't recommend doing a merit badge like Cooking or Camping at summer camp, where most of it can't be done in a group setting anyway. We have some local pools that have merit badge counselors for Swimming and Lifesaving. Earning Swimming prior to summer camp would be good preparation for the swim test at camp and would free up a class slot for something else that the Scout might want to do.
  27. Thunderbird

    Belt loop resource repository

    Most Cub Scout awards: https://www.scouting.org/programs/cub-scouts/what-cub-scouts-earn/other-youth-awards/ Cub Scout Nova & Supernova awards: https://www.scouting.org/stem-nova-awards/awards/cub-scout/
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  • Posts

    • Recommend getting a trailer that can be towed by an F150 style pickup.  That is a problem to expect people to have bigger trucks to tow the trailer and if you don't have one you have a trailer that can't get towed.  It also is a strain on the vehicles.   Also, we liked having a side door and two doors in the back vs. the single fold down door.  We found a used trailer from a troop in the area that didn't need it anymore.  Got a good deal.  It might be worthwhile checking around to see if any troops have an extra trailer.
    • Welcome from Austin, Texas
    • Ha - I took the Scouts to Mohican State Park this weekend and as seems to be par for the course with every campout in the last 7 years - it rained, hard.  So the Scout skills changed from planning for a hike with a significant rise to starting a fire in the rain.  All sorts of fire starters - none of them worked.  So the old man (me) said, "Boys, you're not building this thee right way.  You need a tepee shape and the right starter"  So of course in my backpack I have three small sticks of "pipestone" wood.  I put my twigs together, kindling and the pipestone and then arrange all of the wood for easy access and staying dry under a tarp.  Three strikes on flint with steel and a pocket of lint and the fire took off.  You would think I was Harry Potter....  campfire.  I think the boys now know two things: "pipestone" is common around us - use it and the tepee is the fastest way to go.
    • That is well said - "Will you be around for our Scouts"  My two sons are in the Boy Scout troop but the oldest will age out next year and the youngest struggles at times but the unit is being built for the community, not just for us.  I keep telling parents that they should "own it" and they will get more from it.  Lack of parent involvement is an issue in the urban setting with single family parent and 3 kids or more.
    • We had to deal with this as parents. Femurs grew, skirt didn't. The principle was doing his best to handle things discretely. Even so Mrs. Q took umbrage. Daughter wasn't offended, but also didn't think she had much agency in the situation. So, I understand the emotion. I just want to hear from an organization who is partnering with me recognize that my family (including children) might be in favor of their school's dress code -- and share advice on how I may help my daughter enter into this dialogue. With youth, always promote both civic action and servant leadership. Middle school kids often see things going on in a community that other folks miss. Their playground/pool might be impacted by budget cuts. There might be a dangerous intersection on the way to school. Or, a newly elected public official might need to know the issues important to youth.
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