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Showing content with the highest reputation on 01/31/19 in all areas

  1. 2 points
    I'm neither "pro" nor "anti" girls in scouting....but I AM tired of all the bickering and conjecture and am very eager to see what happens (and hopeful that it will benefit all the kids involved).
  2. 2 points
    You and your husband obviously had different ideas and expectations of what his role was in regards to Scouting. You assumed he was doing certain things and he wasn't. But something significant in your situation is that you said your son was really enjoying Scouts. So why does that have to change? Maybe the current level of parental involvement is fine.By excel, I meant enjoy the time he spends in Scouting and get as much as he can/wants out of it. Whether that is advancement or not is up to him. Regardless of his desires, if his parents aren't on the same page with each other and with him, it will be less than optimal. All of those issues have the same resolution: Communication and common understanding. Talk to the current leaders and they will let you know what they need or expect from you. You and your husband need to discuss and figure out what he is willing and able to do that meshes with what the unit needs and expects of volunteers. Talk to your son to find out if any of these potential changes will impact his enjoyment and experiences in Scouting. If you are disappointed in the fact that there aren't more men taking on these roles, then I hope you appreciate (and let them know that you do) those that do. And do what you can to support them in their efforts. Nothing beats hearing from a parent that their son has gotten something from their time in Scouting and is a better person for it. Nothing beats volunteers down more than having to listen to criticism of their efforts and how to fulfill their responsibilities from someone who isn't involved. There are many threads here about difficult/helicopter/demanding parents. And the problem seems to be growing. Small wonder that the number of those willing to subject themselves to that is shrinking. The old axiom of "No good deed goes unpunished" becomes truer every day.
  3. 2 points
    Not to nitpick old friend, but it's CO (carbonmonoxide) that is the poisonous hazard. I do remember a little of chem 101. Canvas tents are permeable and the gaps in the doors are more than sufficient to let in enough fresh air for a candle or two. If there is wet snow stuck on the tent then yes it might be a problem. As to the tepee I could go on at some length about proper set up, liners, smoke flaps, etc. But I suspect you already know everything that I do. I suppose since the old curmudgeons like me won't be around anymore to show the newbies how to do what the plains Indian tribes did safely for centuries it is perhaps best that they stick to their newfangled LEDs. Sigh. Go n-eirghidh an bothar libh, a chairde
  4. 2 points
    Back in the days of canvas tents the rule was " no open flames in tents. So we lighted our candle lanterns outside our tents, closed the tiny door and took them inside. One warmed our tents up about 10 degrees on a calm night, half of that if the wind was blowing. UCO also makes small lightweight reflectors that help greatly. I've been doing it for over 40 years now with nary a problem. Mind you there is no way I am going to risk it in a small nylon tent. If I were camping tonight when the windchill going to be 5 or 10 below zero, I would have two or three going until I was ready to go to sleep. Better yet I would be in a 16 foot tepee with a small fire in the center. I would be happy to trade a hour or two of lost sleep while fire tending to gain 50 degrees. And at the risk of calling down the wrath of all the "by the book " scouters, I really dont care a plugged nickle what the lawyer inspired, monumentally stupid GSS says anymore. I have spent over a thousand nights under canvas or the stars. I'm not an idiot. I'll be safe and warm and dry. And if one of the scouts is freezing cold at 3am there is a tent where he can warm up for a while while I go look at the stars or start a campfire and put the old coffee pot on. Or if I have the tepee I'll make the coffee / Swiss miss right there and I'll wake up another Scouter or perhaps the scout has a friend who also has chattering teeth and wouldn't mind a mug or two. Oldscout
  5. 2 points
    How about making a neckerchief slide out of the WOSM patch? Then just have the slide and necker until the rest of the uniform is ready.
  6. 1 point
    A couple years ago I learned about using candle lanterns as a replacement for propane lanterns, bulky battery lighting, and even camp fires. It's an LNT-friendly device to have and surprisingly practical. As a lighting source, it's great to have at night because it's not excessively bright --- no glaring white light to disturb people who want to bask in the beauty of a clear night sky. (LNT Principle 7: "Be considerate of other visitors"). It also doesn't generate any waste (LNT Principle 3: "Dispose of waste properly") and you don't have to carry the bulk of metal canisters or heavy batteries (LNT Principle 1: "Plan ahead and prepare"). As a campfire replacement, it's not really going to work for big troop campfire programs, but it's a great replacement when you're dealing with small groups in the backcountry. Let's face it, we don't really need campfires for light, heat, or cooking, like our pioneering ancestors might have, but the soft glow of natural flame is a great gathering point for evening cameraderie, and a candle lantern (especially those with 3 candles) can provide more than ample light for a decent small group "campfire". (LNT Principle 5: "Minimize campfire impacts" --- and the BEST minimization is NO campfire impact!) REI is one reliable place to get candle lanterns: https://www.rei.com/c/candle-lanterns REI's lanterns are made by UCO (which also sells citronella candles --- environmentally friendly AND drives away bugs --- awesome!): https://www.ucogear.com/citronella-candles-3-pack-l--can3pk--c
  7. 1 point
    First off, I am pro on girls in Scouts, BSA. And I realize tomorrow is the day it kicks off. Is anyone else growing tired of the marketing and PR behind it and hoping that after tomorrow we get to just talking about scouting for all and enough about just the female troops. Yes it is historic for tan shirts. This also happens to be the 50th year of females in Sea Scouting/Exploring. It surprises me it took 50 years to make this change. It just seems to be getting a little wearing at least in our council that they are promoting any time a female troop meets on the web site, facebook..... I just want to get back to scouting for all and talk about hiking, camping, and all the other fun scouting activities. This 18 month lead up is painful, I am not sure why it took 18 months IMHO.
  8. 1 point
    Be careful about building bridges with that unit. They might charge you a toll.
  9. 1 point
    Hmmm. Maybe. Maybe not. His viewpoint isn't patently ridiculous, so I think it's wiser to chalk it up as a judgment call and to just go about your business. Definitely a bad move to argue about it with the big local non-profit and a worse move to escalate to the DE. It's honestly not that big a deal, and certainly NOT worth making an enemy of your fellow scouters in other troops nor with non-profit volunteers in your community. IMHO, building bridges is a wiser course of action than burning them...
  10. 1 point
    I had a discussion with a neighboring SM a few summer camps back who was chastising me about not having those fire buckets outside each tent. His was the first troop I had seen them with since my days as a scout in the 60s-70s. I told him that ever since we stopped letting the scouts smoke in their tents we hadn't really seen the need for them. That was a really interesting week; he had some very strong ideas about there being only one right way to do scout stuff. By the end of the week, a few of my scouts, having spent time with his, said they were sorry for any complaint they had ever made about me, and were newly appreciative of the light touch I used as an SM.
  11. 1 point
    It is my understanding that it is worn by all youth and adult members of BSA, and there is no requirement for a scout to do anything to earn the right to wear it. https://www.scouting.org/international/information-sheets/22-330/ I have already read, here on scouter forum, that in the past BSA did have requirements for wearing it.
  12. 1 point
    It was mentioned earlier about homesick scouts. One way I managed to work through this is for homesick scouts (you tend to know who they are), is for parents to give me one motivational envelope per day for that scout. Basically, each morning or time when they are having the most trouble, give them the handwritten message from the parent about how proud they are to be on their own and doing scout stuff. I like this approach instead of having to call a parent and talk a scout into having a good time. Comfort items: soft camp shoes, Frisbee, hacky sack, plastic hand clamps.
  13. 1 point
    This thread got me thinking of all the red fire buckets (#10 cans) we used to have by each tent at summer camp, and that was summer. We didn't have any around the campfire, but every tent had two. In the 70s and 80s, very often on Michigan Klondike derbies or Polar Bear campouts, we used Jon-E handwarmers or solid fuel handwarmers in our pockets to keep warm. This was long before the shaking hand warmers available now. I have a few candle lanterns and they work great for backpacking. I can fit about 3 tea light candles in each one for packing purposes. One setting out casts a good glow to brighten the mood. Inside tents is another story, when its really cold, a heated water bottle in the sleeping bag is all you need all night. Just make sure lid is secure.
  14. 1 point
    Having spent a few years in Europe and been to Kandersteg, it is one of the greatest scouting centers I've seen. First class programs for all, summer or winter, you will have a blast and it will wishing you had more time. I've been there three times. You can drive, or take a train with all your gear. There is also first class skiing and skating in the area. We had scouts sledding right behind our chalet. We saw a far-off avalanche and the alps are something to see. I rank Kandersteg up there with any Philmont experience. Different programs, but a bucket list item for any scouter. There are a few staff members that have the patch/neckerchief trading in their blood. We wore neckerchiefs and they were a big hit. You can get their woggle and patches in their trading post. One of the best sources you can use is the Transatlantic Council site, or may try the Black Eagle Lodge of the OA.
  15. 1 point
    Yep. They'd be only too glad to have visitors from a distant arm of the scouting family. Of course, there's Brownsea Island. I mean, physically, I'm sure you must have all bases covered in the US, but going abroad, and if it's done as more of a cultural thing, meeting foreign scouts, visiting old stuff, castles, all that, would be a different dimension to things. I must admit, some of my most vivid and wonderful scout memories have been those when we've been abroad, or hosting foreign scouts. In the UK there are many Jamborees every summer, which would be a good way of meeting, well, lots of British scouts, and they usually have international guests from many countries, of which you could be one. There's a European Jamboree in 2020 in Gdansk Poland. https://members.scouts.org.uk/supportresources/3234/international-opportunities I suspect over the next year or so the dollar could get stronger against the pound, so it could be a good time to do a trip. Oh, and we've also stayed on the Lord Amory, which is a pretty good base for visiting London, sleeping on a boat moored opposite a huge bunch of skyscrapers, and probably half an hour or so from most of the London sites. https://www.lordamory.org That combined with Brownsea, and maybe Gilwell Park, or a UK Jamboree, would be an amazing trip.
  16. 1 point
    The World Scouting Organization website has a number of neckers at their store: http://www.worldscoutshops.com/PBSCCatalog.asp?CatID=2004601
  17. 1 point
    All those Scouters you have run into are correct. Candles in a tent are prohibited for BSA activities.
  18. 1 point
    It strikes me that in two days, we'll have female Scouts BSA for the first time in our history. If the uniforms were available, that would be one thing. But, since they are not - I think you should feel absolutely free to improvise in whatever way makes it exciting and special for those new scouts. I definitly think this is one of those "big picture" times where doing what makes sense is a great way to go.
  19. 1 point
    Is there any requirement to do anything to earn that world crest? I know the badge police won't like it, but I would encourage that enthusiasm, light that fire, don't damp it down. Let her wear the badge until the uniform is sorted. Why not? Or I guess it's an opportunity to express how it's what's inside that counts, that being scout-like doesn't rely on badges and uniform, it's just what you do. Or something. Sorry, I've probably not helped.
  20. 1 point
    After years of watching her 3 brothers have all the fun, my daughter has decided she wants to join Scouts BSA. My wife and I (both WB trained) have marshaled enough support in our community to start a non-linked Scouts BSA troop for her and her friends... We turn in all of our charter paperwork on Thursday, and I will officially be the Scoutmaster of Troop 19. Wish me / us luck! -DK