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Showing content with the highest reputation on 05/11/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    I am certain it's necessary to keep the patrols single-gender, and I'm reasonably convinced that it's necessary to keep the troops single gender. I do think that we will discover opportunities for opposite-gender units and patrols to cross paths and interact in fashions that are at a minimum non-damaging to traditional program, and that we will probably find ways to play them off of each-other such that it enhances program in manners that were not previously possible. Of course, I'm also concerned that we will screw it up... The collaboration bit however, I think is interestingly diagnostic. You will hear the girls gloating over the other patrol for burning their pancakes, and in the next breath offer them spare whipped cream that they know the other patrol forgot. The Boys just don't do this - they press advantages and if anything we're usually hoping that maybe they won't go quite so far rubbing it in. We are not going to be able to use the same challenges and levers on the girls, as have developed over the years as go-to solutions for motivating and advancing the boys, and we are almost certainly going to discover that the places the girls need to grow, and the experiences that they need to do it, are different. This, in my opinion, is the largest reason to strive to maintain the current separate-troops model. I'm far less worried about the "oh my, boys and girls together in the woods!" potential problems, than I am with the fact that I can't imagine how a good PL or SPL for a Boys' Troop, would also be a good PL or SPL for a Girls' Troop, and vice versa. I got in on the ground-floor of this Girls' Troop business because I knew it was going to be hard, but I'm convinced that it's possible to offer the benefits of BSA program to both boys and girls, without diminishing either. As the most stubborn person I know, I can't stand by and let someone else do less, so here I am... Sadly, I am equally concerned about the dilution of the pool of Scouters who "get" scouting and the patrol method. Of course, there seem to be plenty of adults (even ones who experienced scouting themselves) involved with the Boys' Troops, who don't get it, and a depressingly large number of "paper eagles", so I don't think that problem is exclusively induced by the admittance of girls to the program. I don't know what to do about it, other than to keep pushing back as hard as I can.
  2. 2 points
    That bacon is overcooked..... 🙂 Great job on the meals
  3. 1 point
    In my humble opinion, YES EACH CANOE NEEDS A MAP OF SOME SORT! (emphasis and here on out emphasis too ) Doesn't matter if it's map case and bought maps, or made your own in ziplocs. THINGS HAPPEN. I was in LaDomaine, Quebec paddling and a storm hit. We got all stretched out, buddy boats didn't stick together, and my canoe was by itself, out of site of everyone. We had no idea where the rest of the group was, and kept paddling, hoping we were on the right patch to catch up with them. Thankfully we were, and we found them. Especially since I got hypothermia. 🔵
  4. 1 point
  5. 1 point
    Sure, why not 🙂 Competition is good, and probably more importantly, an informed notion of what various people and units might think are reasonable expectations, wouldn't be a bad thing. I'll start. Our Girls' Troop first campout was last month, and they wanted to focus on outdoor cooking skills, so we threw them an assortment of interpatrol cooking challenges. Now before you say "they're girls, of course they're good at cooking!", I'd like to point out that A) My son, at 10-12, on pure skills, could probably cook circles around any of the girls in our Girls' Troop, indoors or outdoors. But, if it's not a prime cut of meat, something bizarre that he thinks is amusing to cook with, or something with exotic spices, he just can't be bothered. His patrol will probably be eating dry oatmeal out of packets and walking-tacos at their troop's upcoming competition campout. And B) a large fraction of the girls in our troop have never cooked with anything other than a microwave. The girls got a practice session during one troop meeting a couple weeks before the campout, where some of our Boys' Troop scouts showed them how to set up a stove, light charcoal and use a dutch oven, etc. I didn't get photos of all the meals, but here's a sampling of what they did (and no, the adults present didn't help them at all with any of this. @Kudu would be proud, we had 100-yard separation between the patrols, and the adults stayed out of their campsites except when they needed emergency help with things like putting out flaming frying pans they forgot on the stove 🙂 Best use of the color Red in a meal: Lunch was a Mystery Meal, based on a surprise bag of ingredients including Lettuce, Tomatoes, Bread, Cheese, Ham, Potatoes, Mushrooms, Celery, and a few optional "pick 2 out of the pantry" ingredients: That was a bit traditional - the other patrol... Broke the bread up and toasted it in a pan to made croutons, cubed and cooked the ham and potatoes, then melted the cheese in left-over milk from breakfast and made freakin cheesy-ham-and-potato soup, and a salad bar... For dinner, one of the patrols made crescent-roll calzones: I unfortunately didn't get a photo of what the other patrol did for dinner, or remember what it was, but I do know that the girls invited the PLC from our Boys' Troop (which was also camping at the same council camp that weekend) to judge their dinners, and after the dinner the Boys' SPL went back to their scoutmaster and, if I'm quoting him correctly, told the SM "We went over expecting to judge some hobo stew or something, and they served us an appetizer, and an entre, and a main dish, and a side salad, and a dessert! Now I understand why we suck". So, I'll stand by my belief that they did a decent job too. So... Who else wants to show off what their cross-over patrol(s) do for cooking, with no senior scouts or adult help, on their first campout, and first time cooking outdoors?
  6. 1 point
    I have not been to BWCA, but I do go to the Quetico to the north. So this may or may not apply. I have noticed that the evening mosquitos run like clockwork, and you can hear them a few minutes before they descend on your campsite. Thus I recommend determining their timing on night 1, and then plan each day so all can be safely in bug proof zones for all subsequent nights.
  7. 1 point
    My thoughts. If she actually met the requirements AS WRITTEN, and truly "Master the Skill" needed for advancement, good for her. Now it's time to give back to her patrol and troop while continuing her journey. HOWEVER, if short cuts were made, fudging done to get stuff checked off, and a few other things I've seen done with boy units as well, Then I am strongly opposed to this. And as others have stated it does a disservice not only to the Scout, but others as well who will see her with that First Class Rank, and expect her to have the knowledge, skills, and abilities that rank entails when she does not. I have worked with Scouts who had First Class or higher rank, and couldn't do basic skills like knot tying or first aid. Heck this past weekend at camporee, EVERY SINGLE PATROL needed some instruction to complete the knot tying event I staffed. NSPs I could understand, but we are talking venture patrols ( do they still call the older scout patrol that?) with Life and Eagles in them. Advancement should be a journey, not a race. Eagle is not the goal of Scouting, but rather a recognition. The goal is to produce responsible, informed, and active citizens.
  8. 1 point
    You know what's hard for morale? Girls finding out that you unnecessarily gave them a pass. What's good for morale? Girls knowing you won't skimp on requirements -- theirs or yours.
  9. 1 point
    As much as it pains me to say this, at the moment, it's more problematic, even if not more prevalent, with the females than with the males. Scouts cheating themselves out of program is never a good thing, but with the defined start date of the Girls' troops, there are fairly clear boundaries about what's possible/believable/etc. It's a serious problem for morale when you've got to explain to the girls in your troop why you're not going to let them short-change themselves just so that they can keep up with the girls they've seen in another troop that is playing a bit faster-and-looser with adherence to the rules.
  10. 1 point
    I find that pace is fairly typical for scouts who join at an older age. Also, in my troop, Feb-May is a fairly active time of year. Moreover, if the scout is also a venturer -- especially an officer -- or camp staff she has connections to other crews and troops. Chances are, she lined up activities for her troop at an informal planning meeting in December. If a kid isn't playing basketball they can do a lot in terms of advancement. But, if they are student athletes, they should be keeping exercise records. Our off-season soccer included weight training and it was all that I could do, for consecutive years, to keep from screaming at Son #2, "Why aren't you taking Personal Fitness?!" Ignorance is the biggest challenge. Yesterday I talked to a scout mom who was asking if her boy could get signed off on Lifesaving at summer camp because he was getting his ARC guard certification. I strongly encouraged him to get a blue card from the SM and meet with a counselor in the district ASAP. (One of the ASM's was fiddling with his labtop, so I asked if he could E-mail the family our district's counselor list for that badge.) I basically told him the last thing he wants to do is spend an hour a day at camp listening to someone with the same training as him lecture him on stuff that he just learned. If scouts think that there is no summer camp from which advancement will be spoon-fed, they could make rank quickly.
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