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  1. 5 points
    I wouldn't ever consider not getting Eagle a failure. I was 2nd Class, and yet the mantra I live by is "help other people at all times". 6000+ hours, 6 Red Cross disaster relief operations averaging 3-4 weeks at a time. Last Monday I went out at 3:00 am, to help an elderly couple struggle through the loss of their home due to a fire. Tomorrow night I work with my church youth group serving Advent dinner between services. Last week I dropped off about 300# of squash from my garden at the Salvation Army kitchen. Not getting Eagle made no affect on my life. What Scouting taught did.
  2. 5 points
    I fear the eagle has already been lightened up significantly. I have seen many scouts come back from a merit badge colleges (a one day event) with 2 completed merit badges that should take, at minimum, several days if not longer. something simple like basket weaving maybe but no communications, Law, public health, personal management etc.. I'm not eve going to go into the eagle mills. We do our scouts a disservice when we given them credit where it has not been properly earned.
  3. 5 points
    The schools in my area do NOT have that "safe harbor" rule. However, I'm aware of one case where a student told a teacher that he accidentally had a pocket knife in his backpack. And the teacher wisely told the student to just leave it there until the end of the day. But if the teacher had decided to go by the book, the kid would have been in a lot of trouble. What I've told my kids, and what I've told other scouts to talk to their parents about is this: If they discover that they accidentally have a knife or some other contraband in their possession, then they should go to the teacher and say that they need to call their parents because it is an emergency. They should keep insisting, keep saying that it is an emergency, but not state the nature of the emergency. When they call me, they are instructed to say something along the lines of, "I'm calling about that thing you said I should call about and say it is an emergency." At that point, I would go to school and ask to speak to them privately. I would then take possession of their backpack, jacket, or whatever item was involved, and take it home myself. If I was asked what was going on, I would explain that there had been an emergency, but that it is now resolved. I believe that most teachers and administrators would exercise some common sense if they were told that a kid accidentally had a pocket knife in his jacket. But unfortunately, they are not required to do so, so I've decided to err on the side of caution.
  4. 5 points
    Over the years I have been involved in a lot of "political" hassles in many different organizations and the dynamics are always the same. The simple explanation for this situation is: this parent enjoys the conflict and the perpetuation of it. It's a game to her. She doesn't really want the game to end because then all the fun will go away. So, the rest of the group has to decide to take it to the next level of conflict which is labeled "Divorce" and remove this woman and the game will go away, or take the conflict down to level of basic problem identification and solving. At this level where the woman is at is never going to agree to that because that would mean the game would be over. Well it's going to be over one way or another. The odds of it being resolved gracefully just isn't in the cards. The only solution would be to have her not be part of the processes of the unit. You will probably lose a good scout in the process, make sure he knows that none of this is his fault and encourage him to stay in scouting wherever he moves on to. Just keep it in mind that with this game that is going on, nothing in the rules points to "for the boys". And yet, in the interest of the boys, the game has got to change, one way or the other.
  5. 5 points
    The Turtles are happy to announce the birth of their 5' -11" 120 pound Eagle Scout. Gave great interview I hear. Survived despite leaving 'gag patches' on his uniform ("I Speak English" and a Klingon Interpreter Strip). Likes to live dangerously--when questioned about if that was his attitude toward a serious interview--he said "I am a Scout and a Scout is all about having fun. If I can't have some fun with my uniform I should join the military". He was having a pretty good time. Came out wanting to plan some high adventure outings for the guys still in the Troop; I am most pleased that 'he gets it".
  6. 4 points
    I did not blame girls or women, in fact I did not state the genders, dating is inappropriate at a scout activity. Or did that change?
  7. 4 points
    I agree with what most said, however I think marketing it to the girls that they can become Eagle Scouts is something they rightfully should promote. The gold award doesn't have that universal recognition that comes along with being an eagle. They will inherently be forced to see what the whole program entails as they climb through the ranks. Hopefully they don't bend the rules to get these first female eagles pumped out, but placing the mindset into young girls' heads that they can finally become an eagle scout will be more effective for recruiting than just telling them that boy scouts is letting in girls and get them more interested in the program as a whole.
  8. 4 points
    Wow ... I don't think I have EVER heard of shaking hands as being either "out-of-date" or problematic in any way. It can't be generational; I am barely 34 and most of my friends are much younger; shaking hands is as common as any other kind of greeting. At the university I went to (BYU), people shake hands ALL THE TIME, whether it's greeting a new person or an old friend. Now I live back home in California, and it's still just as commonplace here in South Orange County as it ever was. ALL of the boys in our Troop shake hands with leaders when they greet (and each other when they remember), and I make it a point to act shocked and appalled whenever one of my Webelos Scouts forgets to offer his hand when I welcome him to our weekly meetings. I have yet to have any parents act shocked and appalled when I have attempted the same towards them. I admit, I remember being turned upside down when I got my Bobcat badge in the early 90's. I was a pretty small and sensitive kid, and I very strongly remember disliking the whole thing, despite the fact that both of my older brothers had the same experience and LOVED it. I, however, hated being turned down in front of a big room of strangers; it was uncomfortable and embarrassing and I felt ridiculed and silly. Oh, and then I grew up and got over it. Because that's what Scouting teaches you to do! You learn from tough experiences, and you become a stronger adult! I attribute much of the ease and comfort I possess speaking to large crowds the the things I learned in Scouting. Would I ever flip any of my boys around if I had the chance? Goodness no. But neither would I be so petty, so melodramatic, that I would condemn what truly is a harmless activity. The trauma it inflicts on the boy is only the springboard from which he can learn and grow. But you have to give them the chance to do it.
  9. 4 points
    Be careful what you wish for. BSA has been known to cave to peer pressure. All it takes is for one person to complain about WB "beading" ceremonies as cultural appropriation (use of beads, beads being Native American, etc.) and there go all your beads. Think it can't happen? Ask any Scouter who was in an OA ceremony team as a youth. No more "war paint", no more bare chests, no more firing arrows to start the fire, no more "taps" at tap outs. Did BSA have stupid ceremonies that put people in danger? Sure. Using rubbing alcohol on someone's chest and lighting it was a baaaad idea. Hanging a Cub Scout upside down -- something he does 10 times during recess -- is NOT even close to being dangerous. Well, no more dangerous than allowing Cubs to do skits around a campfire, go door to door to sell popcorn to strangers, go to the restroom at night while camping or earning their whitlin' chip. If adults keep taking away from the program the kids will stop coming. As noted above, did anyone ask the KIDS what they wanted? When my son was too young for Cubs I kept telling him about Y Guides and how he could dress up like an indian and learn native crafts. He was stoked!! First meeting the leader gets up and says, "Sorry, no more dressing as indians and doing indian stuff. We are now 'Explorers'." My kid stood up and said "I'm outta here. Let's go dad." Just like that the entire "tribe" folded. 10 kids all psyched to learn and respect native culture, turned off because the adults had changed the program. BSA is already headed down this path. You wait.
  10. 4 points
    For me it is still an organization that shares my values and reinforces what my children learn at home (I am LDS). The Scout Oath and Law are excellent moral guidelines, whether you are LDS, Catholic, Jewish, Unitarian, or Volunteer Fire Department. I see that they have just drawn their circle a little bigger. No Chartering Organization is being forced to adopt multi-gendered units - the LDS church has said they do not plan to change from male only units. COs also control their own staffing, so no unit is forced to accept leadership they are uncomfortable with. The guidelines from the LDS church used to say to register all young men ages 11-17 during annual rechartering. Going forward, ages 11-13 will be registered by default, but boys 14 and up will only be registered if they are pursuing Scouting advancement. After 2018, the church will no longer cover the fees for boys 14+ via the lump sum from Salt Lake, they will have to be paid locally by the boy, the family, or the unit. I have worked in the LDS Young Men program and Scouting for several decades, and I see this as a reflection of reality - only about 3rd of the older boys (my gut, no data to back that up) want to do traditional outdoor program Scouting, others have band, or sports, or jobs, and were just not using the program. The new LDS activity program for older boys is more activity based, almost like a Varsity Team or Venture Crew, and more open to/encouraging of being mixed gender in those activities. Speculation hat on: I think moving the older activities out from under the BSA wing has a component of being less regulatory - NRA certified instructor not required to do a shooting activity, or maybe take the boys paintballing, for example
  11. 4 points
    Often, scouts say "my dad made me" when they are bored or stressed. Kids don't know always how to express themselves and often don't communicate the real issues. Parents often tell their kids they have to do something. Sitting at home online playing games is easy and automatic. But it's also not acceptable to many parents. Sometimes that comes out as "My dad made me". I know one scout who is emotionally and socially stunted. He's getting better, but he'll always be a bit off. When stressed, he'll say his dad makes him be there. But we can also clearly see the benefit and growth he's experiencing. We can also see that many parts of the program he enjoys. So, I take that comment in the context of his growth and the fun he does have.
  12. 4 points
    Hi folks! Today, we have upgraded the forum software from the outdated version to the latest stable release. Unlike the old forum version, this new version is feature-rich, security hardened with automated anti-spam, more professional, with the ability to integrate numerous add-ons/services, and is built on the contemporary HTML5/CSS3 framework. It is also fully responsive to media devices (PC/Tablet/Mobile). Please be patient, but explore the new software and let us know how you like (or dislike) new features. Some of these things may just take some getting used to, other items we can continue to improve (or change). Please use this thread to post your feedback and/or any bugs or errors detect - we'll have developers monitoring this thread. Thanks!
  13. 4 points
    Col. Flagg - Thank you again. Our troop is doing a "final push" for any boys that fall into the 14+ age group. They were told that they need to finish up Eagle by January, period. Of course this means that several of them are wink-winking it when non-councilors sign off on cards. In our Ward (probably like most other LDS pack/troops), Webelos is 1 year long then the 11 years old's cross over and fall into their own group of being scouts - but not really part of the troop. I was told that this has to do with being the age to receive the Priesthood - forgive me if this isn't totally correct. With this gap year and the church's new position, our Ward will produced a lot of "patch Eagles" by 13. I don't want to the MB police - but the Scout Law is the Scout Law. Stepping off my soap box and going to the link given by Col. Flagg...
  14. 4 points
    The Guide to Advancement, page 52 (7.0.4.7 Limited Recourse for Unearned Merit Badges) lays out what you can do. Forget your district. They don't want to help obviously. If it is like my district it is run by LDS folks, so they may not want to make waves for their LDS units. Call Council. Talk to the advancement chairman. What this unit's adults are doing is essentially giving way Eagle like it's a rec sports participation trophy. Council needs to know what is going on.
  15. 4 points
    "Quality Control"? Of what? @fred johnson hit the nail on the head. Quality of the troop = Scoutmaster + COR Quality of troop operations = Committee Chair + COR Quality relating to ANYTHING else = The PLC and the youth leaders Adults intervention -- and all the horse hockey that comes with it (e.g., JTE, Covey, TQM/CQI, CMM, etc.) -- belongs in the adult business world and no where near Scouting. All these adult-led, wood badge-esque principles and other stuff belong in the rubbish bin.
  16. 4 points
    Here's the thing: It's called BOY Scouts...at least for now. Not Parent Scouts or Family Scouts or Adult Scouts. The whole program is designed for a whole bunch of boys to be monitored and counseled by trained adults...and even then not a whole ton of adults. There is ZERO need for mom (or dad) to be around to help their little yum yum. Their Patrol Leader and patrol mates will help them if there's a problem. The TRAINED adults leaders -- who should know how the program works, as well as the policies and procedures -- will be around to help if there's the need. Other than that, Boy Scouts don't need mom, dad or sister around at all. Digressing from this program is what many here are worried about. Moms don't need to be along for the hike on the AT just because Johnny is 12. If they are TRAINED ASMs, fine! Otherwise, stay at home and pick him up at the church when he's done. Anything else is helicopter parenting.
  17. 3 points
    I finally found the official BSA rules on hammocks: https://www.ncsbsa.org/resources/general_files/Home/Program Director/680-055_SafetyHammocks_WEB.pdf I'll just leave this here...
  18. 3 points
    I got both noble and selfish reasons. Noble: I want to pay back the adults who were involved in Scouting when I was a youth. I want my sons and their friends to have as good, if nor better, experience in Scouting than I had. I want to be a positive influence in my community. Selfish: SCOUTING IS FUN! "SCOUTING IS OUTING" I get a "rush" talking to my Scouts and hearing about their lives journeys and seeing their successes. This topic came up at a funeral this weekend. Oldest son's first SM, "went home." He left instructions as to what he wanted done. Scouting was such a factor in his life, he was buried in his uniform. Our Honor Guard detail provided a color guard for his service. 98% of the troop showed up and in full uniform (we haven't gotten this ever, including COHs!) It was standing room only as many folks who were Scouts under him, or served with him as a Scouter came from out of town to pay their last respects. The "eulogies" were all reminiscing about Scouting events in the past. When the service was over, and folks went to pay their respects to the family, Scouting was the topic of conversation, and it lasted so long that many had to leave and could not attend the graveside service. Long story short, this one guy made that much of an impact on many peoples lives. I hope the same can be said when my time comes.
  19. 3 points
    The elephant in the room: "more leaders." In my neck of the woods, getting Scouters is like pulling teeth or herding cats. Several units have told me that they will go full fledged coed irregardless of what National wants. At my council's town hall meeting on the topic, this was mentioned, and every Scouter there, except the council key 3, said that will happen in their units and/or districts as they all have challenges getting enough volunteers. Key three ignored the comment. Even the CSE in his video indirectly acknowledges this. He stated that dens of different levels had to merge in one of the districts because they didn't have enough Cub Scouts of a particular level and/or den leaders. Having a been a pro, I can tell you that professionals will toe the line officially, but tell you ways to get around the official line. The CSE's tale is one. Officially you do not combine Tiger Dens and Wolf/Bear Dens and Webelos Dens. It need to be at a minimum 3 separate dens. But as long as each Cub is working out of his own book, the CSE is fine. A better one is the DE calling waterguns "Personal Water Soaking Devices" or "PWSDs" and allowing them since they are a fun way to cool off Scouts and keep them from getting heat exhaustion. ( an aside when we followed the ban, #1 cause of illness at day camp was heat exhaustion over a 5 day period, over 20 kids went home early, following year PWSDs were not only allowed, but encouraged. NO ONE went home early due to heat exhaution) Sadly BSA no longer allows patrols to camp on their own without adults. That's a recent change, since 2012 or thereabouts. So adults are important since "OUTING is three-fourths of ScOUTING" (That is not only the correct quote, but the mathematically correct one. Current BSHB has a misquote and is mathematically wrong). Not enough adults equals no camping. While the new YPT has not come out yet, we can reason that the new YP Guidelines will be similar to Venturing: if girls are present camping, a female Scouter needs to be there. While there are women who love to camp, will there be enough? Will they be available? Someone in another thread asked about troops poaching his female Venturing Scouters so they can take the girls camping. What happens when "the boy troop and girl troop" are camping the same weekend at the same location and no female Scouters are able to camp with the girls? Do you cancel just the "girls troop" camp out, or will "both troops" have to cancel? While this may not seem possible, I have had a trip cancelled because we did not have 2 adults to camp. 1 backed out a week before for back reason. Another backed out 2 hours before leaving to have emergency surgery. So that is a real possibility. And that does concern my kids. My youngest just found out about girls in Cub Scouts this morning when I showed him the picture. He freaked out saying " NNNNNOOOOOOOOOOO!" (Yes he was shouting and woke up his brothers). When I asked him "What's the matter with girls in Cub Scouts"" he stated "Boy Scouts is for boys. Girls have Girl Scouts." And then I said "Well there are girls who want to do what Boy Scouts do." He replied "things are going to fall apart. Remember when we had the boys club and the girls club? The boys club met every week, and had awesome Nerf gun fights. The girls did boring things. Then they joined the two clubs and it became boring. Then everyone stopped showing up." Sadly I think this scenario will repeat nationwide with the introduction of girls. You will have units fold because they will try to follow national's official policy. Those units that go full coed will have boys drop because they will get bored.. And there is a big difference between learning something on a computer, and learning something from an experienced instructor who teaches from the syllabus. Sadly I know why BSA, and a lot of other organizations are going to computer-based learning: convenience and consistency. And I have noticed quality of BSA training go down since they implemented it too. And with all these new volunteers, how many will have experience in Boy Scouts? There is a big difference between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts, and parents and new volunteers have an extremely hard time adjusting. This will become worse with female volunteers who are use to the GSUSA model, which is completely different than BSA's model, #1 issue with units I've been in has been been parents. This goes all the way back to when I was a PL of a NSP in the 1980s!
  20. 3 points
    @He-who-must-not-be-named, I noticed you can also just click on more than one quote and it will add them to the end of your reply window. Like so...
  21. 3 points
    Five words that prove this thesis wrong: Merit Badge Universities Helicopter Parents MBs were much harder to get in the past. Scouts had to find and call counselors. No answering machines. You had to be diligent. Didn't have worksheets and Google to look up answers. I cannot recall a MB I completed in a week, let alone a day. My parents stayed out of my Scouting except for my dad. He was a TC Chair so he was in meetings are the time, but he stayed WAY out of my way. My mom would not have known where to start with helping me, but she would not have stuck her nose in my business either. She wanted me to grow and Scouting was the way. Those five words above have literally paved the way for kids to rocket through Scouting. Add in evolution in technology and communications, and these kids have it far easier.
  22. 3 points
    Sexism of ANY kind is an issue. Many men here experienced this firsthand trying to volunteer as leaders in GSUSA, only to be treated as if we were convicted pedophiles because of our sex. We've also seen our fellow males treating female leaders as second class leaders and stepping in to call the men out on their actions, so no need to pontificate here. I disagree though about the "He-man Woman Haters" (that's for you @Stosh and @TAHAWK) being the ones who will have problems in this new coed environment. Those guys are entrenched in BSA and won't budge. The know so much and are usually the heavy lifters that if you got rid of them your district or council would grind to a halt. The real losers in this will be the girls. Why? Because the whole program for girls is being thrown together by a group of know-nothings. If units are "separate but equal" (meaning: boys in one troop, girls in another) you will need to replicate the entire boy-led, patrol method troop structure TWICE. That means TWICE the leaders or TWICE the work for the same leaders. Either way you have a big problem. Most current leaders are well beyond being tapped out and over-extended. I will be most of us here wear or wore about 5-10 different hats, be they at the unit, district or council level. I'd wager my 2018 pay checks that less than 5% will sign up for that extra, girls-only work. That means you have FIND and TRAIN a whole bunch of new leaders to run those all-girl units. If you've ever tried to recruit Cub or Boy Scout adult leaders you know exactly how hard that will be. I think the exacerbation you hear is from the collective (and considerable) experience in this forum knowing that BSA usually missed the mark BIG TIME when major change is involved. We are gearing up for that giant dung ball that will start rolling down hill in 2018...knowing it will land on our door step.
  23. 3 points
    You are just trying to be helpful, the Great Summit Bechtel Reserve Resort and Amusement Park is not gonna pay for itself....
  24. 3 points
    You are correct - my comment was too harsh. Scouting Magazine continues to offer quite a number of valuable articles. My Pravda comment was a reaction to the happy-face presented in the magazine about the decision to admit girls. (i.e. "we don't know what it will look like, but rest assured it will be awesome".) It all seemed part of the coordinated manipulations from BSA National to ram through this change via a disingenuous process that I found disrespectful and even insulting to seasoned Scouters. My perspective has obviously soured and I now view BSA National leadership as untrustworthy stewards of something I have held dear.
  25. 3 points
    Some I like, others not so much. But to point @The Latin Scot is making, if we allow everyone their own little "change" to things then you really don't have a "uniform" uniform, do we? I could get behind allowing units 1-2 places they can ad lib with their own dongles. BSA already allows hats, neckers and patches to be customized. How many more special things do we need? I love the sentiment behind such things, but I do agree we need guidelines and limits.
  26. 3 points
    I appreciate this comment. I apologize, @WisconsinMomma, if you felt my words were unkind. They were not meant to be, and if a general statement I made was erroneously taken personally, I am sorry. But they were meant to be honest, which I cannot apologize for. I do believe that making too big an issue over a small thing is unwise, and a distraction - it takes our attention from the things that matter by focusing our energies on actions and behaviors instead of on people and individuals. We can focus all we want on whether handshakes or upside-down boys are right or wrong - but by so doing, we divert our attention from the boys themselves. Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved. Now, I will not bring up the matter again, as it would be ungentlemanly of me to do so, and I apologize if you mistakenly thought my comments were directed towards you, or were rude or insulting. But when others disagree about the issues with which you yourself take umbrage, I ask that you will treat them with the same respect that you have requested of me. To suggest that my words were inappropriately intoned, while at the same time manifesting an open hostility towards the comments of others who are in disagreement over the issue of Cub Scout ceremony traditions, is equally unfair. I hope we can proceed with this topic in a more civil manner, holding myself as first offender, for which I offer my most sincere apologies.
  27. 3 points
    It was a Tenderfoot test to give the Scout Handclasp in the B.S.A., Boy Scout Handbook, 7th Ed. at p. 34 (1969). It was Joining Requirement to know the Scout Handclasp. B.S.A., Official Boy Scout Handbook, 9th (Bill Hillcourt) Ed., at pp. 11 and 47 (1980). As the "Scout Handshake," knowing how to give it s now a Scout rank requirement, B.S.A., Boy Scout Handbook, 13th Ed., at p. 10 (2015).
  28. 3 points
    You've never said WHAT your objection to the practice is. Because it's no good? What is the definition of that? What's the reasoning behind that conclusion? Because it's no good for your kid? OK, but does that mean it's no good for all kids? Here's the thing: Everything in Scouts is voluntary. Nothing is mandatory. But when you take options away, you lessen the experience. There are other fun things in Scouting that not everyone enjoys. Should we get rid of those, too? Some kids are terrified of the water. Is anyone making them swim at Scout functions? Should swimming be eliminated in Scouting? Camping? There are many things in Scouting that people that don't care for. But remember you are not compelled to do them. Nothing. And just because someone doesn't like it or don't want to participate, why does that mean nobody should? I've said before that the practice isn't a necessity and the ban isn't a death blow, but why was its elimination needed? For those who chose it, it was fun. Why is it necessary to take away the option of making a choice? Especially a fun one.
  29. 3 points
    Well, I don't think we're at that point. Unless you are saying that that has actually happened. If we ever do get to that point, where normal everyday human interaction is outlawed because it involves one person's hand briefly touching another's, it will be a sad and scary day world, and not one in which many people will be brave enough (or maybe that should be reckless enough) to volunteer for anything.
  30. 3 points
    I am tempted to respond, but I suspect that this is the point where a certain moderator would step in and tell us to stop arguing about who said what and get back to discussing the issues.
  31. 3 points
    Yes, parents are always, "concerned." My response is something in the order of: Adults don't interfer with the scouts elections. If the position is truly respected as a leadership position, then scouts generally want the right person, not the popular person. As scout has to earn respect. They can earn it simply by volunteering for outside responsibilities like leading the COHs, organize and lead service projects and offer to help out in program setup. That generally separates the wonna-be's from the gunna-be's. I found that troops where the elections are just popularity context are generally programs where the adults have low expectations of the scouts' performance. Barry
  32. 3 points
    It's British. http://hmvf.co.uk/topic/18314-58-pattern-sleeping-bag/ suggest using a NikWax wash. REI has this advice for down. https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/caring-sleeping-bag.html
  33. 3 points
    The annual Memorial Illumination is "held the first Saturday in December because it provides a maximum amount of darkness and the battlefield leases about half the park to local farmers. The later start gives them time to clear their crops." Nearly 23,000 luminaries are placed to honor each soldier killed, wounded or missing during the Battle of Antietam on Sept. 17, 1862. "It's a tangible way to see 23,000," said Keith Snyder, chief of resource education and visitor services for the battlefield. "This was the bloodiest day in American military history. It's four times D-Day, six times Pearl Harbor and it's so hard for people to understand. So this way, you can drive through six miles of tour roads and see candles as far as you can see, each one representing one of those casualties. It's an amazing sight." "We have about 1,000 volunteers, which to me is the most amazing part," Snyder said. Of the volunteers, the largest are the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, some of whom came from beyond the Tri-State area. Snyder is most happy about the Scouts' participation because one of the battlefield's missions is to get youth involved. https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/news/local/antietam-national-battlefield-illumination-draws-thousands/article_829ca370-d7ca-11e7-bad8-4bc21894a48c.html I will have to see this some day.
  34. 3 points
    If your are more interested in the experience of the BWCA than the Northern Tier patch, it's more affordable and enjoyable to use a private outfitter. Pro: Route flexibility. The only reservation is your Entry Point and pick-up. If you get into a poor campsite one night, move on. Bad weather? Tent up for a day. Leisure. If you're in a good spot, linger an extra day and enjoy the wilderness. Work on Scout skills, teach a merit badge. Unstructured time for campers to bash around an have fun. My approach to covering distance is to get out of civilization. Once you're in deep, logging miles so that you can brag about paddling X number of miles is missing the point. Fishing. Plentiful Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Northern Pike. Walleye, if you know how to catch them, makes the best eating fish. Campsite improvement opportunity. Improve the fire ring seating, clear the landing area, cut back the latrine trail. Blowdown trees were everywhere. Folding saw and tomahawk were in frequent use. Teach Paul Bunyan before you leave. Hammocks! They pack light, sleep well, and not allowed at Philmont. Group composition. Without YPT concerns, you can take anybody you want, as long as you stay with in the BWCA rules. My dog was an excellent bear alarm. Con: No patch. You have to plan more yourself. http://bwca.com/index.cfm? Bear in mind that some portages are more difficult due to the vertical content. Three miles of flat and smooth is easier than one mile of up and down, especially if it's steep and rocky. Go prepared for the bugs. Avoid black fly season. Mosquitoes after dark can be brutal on the way to the latrine. Avoid marshy campsites. Our best was an exposed point on Disappointment where the breeze kept us bug-free for 2 days.
  35. 3 points
    @Tampa Turtle, just for you...;) FYI, Alice is WB trained.
  36. 3 points
    I thought it was a general moral panic in Victorian England about "kids these days" being "too soft", and yes, I guess not ready to defend the empire. Unsurprising really, you take a bunch of city boys off to war in the african veldt and they get their backsides handed to them on a plate by the rufty tufty guys who had grown up there. Apparently one of my ancestors managed to survive a couple of particularly heavy defeats, but anyway... He did very much want scouting to become an international movement for peace, so as well as being pleased we're still lighting fires and playing games in the woods, hiking etc, I'd expect he'd have also liked things that break down the barriers between scouts of different nations. So JOTI, JOTA, Jamborees of all flavours, messengers for peace, all that sort of stuff. And the use of technology to bring people together.
  37. 3 points
    I'm thinking BSA lost control of quality a long time ago. Just my opinion.
  38. 3 points
    Here's the rub with LDS units pushing their 14 year olds to Eagle: Most LDS units that manage their Scout-to-First Class boys have ZERO clue on how to manage Star-to-Eagle. Why? Because S-to-FC is one distinct LDS unit type with leaders trained in managing that segment. The Star-to-Eagle guys are managed by a different set of leaders who know the whole Eagle process. Unless the LDS units send those leaders experienced in navigating the road to Eagle, those leaders who don't have the experience will make things up as they go along. We have gotten a few transfers from LDS units over recent years. Once they spent time with our unit, each kid said their old units literally just signed off on stuff. Maybe my unit was just lucky enough to get those few LDS Scouts who were not well trained or managed. Or, just maybe, it is a larger issue. I suspect the latter given my interactions with other unit leaders over the years.
  39. 3 points
    To be fair it takes a special boy to pull some it off sometimes; usually a guy with some real skills who is 'pretty chill'. Some boys are a little too much drama--they just make it worse. The boy sense of fair play is a little off: (True story. Older boy puts assembled tent 20' off the ground, younger boys a short kid finds it and raises hell) S: "Hey Tim, sorry man, about putting your tent up in the tree. It seemed pretty funny" T: "Knock it off, you tore a hole it was a new tent" S:"You can set fire to my tent if you want?" T:{thinking) "No...gotta any duct tape?" S:"I think we have some. I'll get it down. You can have my cobbler tonight--I really don't like it anyway" Peace is achieved. Later short kid asks older kid to put it back in the tree so he can sit in it and get his picture taken. Mom returns from hike, hears the whole funny story and asks where were the adult leaders when all this hazing was going on. (fair question) ----- Boys actually identified this as a Rose and Thorn the next day: Rose as it was pretty impressive and funny but a Thorn because it hurt Tim's feelings. Boys proposed a rule that no tents put in trees or all tents put in trees with everyone agreeing.
  40. 3 points
    Cub Scouts is a family oriented program. Boy Scouts is NOT a family oriented program. If parents want to join in Boy Scout activities then get trained, become an ASM and help out. Otherwise, stay home and let your boy enjoy his time with his friends, learn from others and experience interaction with adults he's not related to. I am beginning to think "Family Scouting" is just code for giving hopelessly addicted helicopter/lawnmower/bulldozer/drone parents an excuse to fulfill their compulsion for control.
  41. 3 points
    Let me get this straight. We are supposed to be doing the patrol method. How do parents and siblings fit into the patrol method? In my humble opinion, they don't. And then, what's the purpose of a parent/sibling patrol that hangs around 300' away? Is that purpose useful? In my humble opinion, no. My main concern with this whole mixed bag thingy is that it might work when one has an adult run, troop program. Then at least mom can wash the dishes and pick up camp while the boys run around doing nothing but getting into trouble someplace else. I've tried to be open on this whole process, but from my experience, co-ed and family are two different entities. Co-ed in an all-boy environment is bad enough. Mom and Dad and siblings, and the therapy dog, and friends of friends does nothing but distract and destroy the patrol method of scouting. While one can pound a screw into wood with a hammer, it destroys the wood and the screw at the same time. It's not ideal and if one is looking for mediocrity, this is a surefire way of getting it.
  42. 3 points
  43. 3 points
    If my troop had parents and siblings dropping in I would stop going to stuff. I’m in scouts for many things but mostly to get away from family and be on my own. I see my family all the time. Scouts was the one place I didn’t see them. And my dad was scoutmaster. I hardly saw him at all. I never knew how hard he tried to give me space until reading this thread. Thanks dad!
  44. 3 points
    Well, given the new type of parents Boy Scouts is attracting they should be able to save a TON of money by simply changing the "B" in BSA to a "D" and going with their new logo.
  45. 3 points
    Glad no one has mentioned JTE yet.
  46. 3 points
    I have always felt that parent relations is the most challenging skill for SMs. The better SMs are usually great salesmen who deflected parent over involvement with a “trust me and watch” sales pitch. If push comes to shove (scouts choosing to skip activities), the SM will have to draw a line in the sand. If the SM isn’t a good salesman, a trusted well experienced assistant can also be a good interpreter between the SM and parents. Barry
  47. 2 points
    There are some parents of boys already in the program who think the same thing.
  48. 2 points
    End of last summer camp as we got off the coach to hand the explorers back to the parents a good number decided they wanted to give me a hug along with their thanks for a good camp. No complaints from the parents, it was rather heartwarming I thought. Only time I can recall refusing a hug is when we were both having a swim, and she was in a bikini. Dear reader, you've never seen anyone backpedal in 4ft of water so fast as I did that day, arms raised, and a clear warning "no hugs! No hugs! Red alert! Red alert! No hugs!" Oh, and you keep talking about French kisses as a greeting...wow, I thought you lot were uptight, but apparently not. Or have I mistranslated USA->UK English?
  49. 2 points
  50. 2 points
    Two more over the limit: I forgot about the joy of having NO cellphone signal and no recharging opportunities. The kids had to talk to each other and games in the tent at night weren't a factor. Your GPS on your phone still works fine; those satellites are still up there. I saved a Google Maps image on my phone for use offline that I had pre-marked with all of our campsite possibilities. It helped us not waste time searching the shoreline for legit campsites. I took 3 phone batteries, but only used 50% of one over a 7 day trip in airplane mode. It's amazing how little power you use when there's no network to ping.
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