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Showing content with the highest reputation on 06/10/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    Our Meeting made almost ten dollars the first day this was installed.... Easy to build, DIY , perhaps an Eagle Service Project for your church?
  2. 2 points
    We just had Conclave this weekend, so this policy change was a topic that everyone was aware of and talked about, but consensus is that changing from 10 months to 6 months does little of encouraging more involvement/participation. Most feel if we are losing the youth after they complete Ordeal today, this doesn't solve that problem. One observation that I took from the weekend, compiling various comments, was that we've had a much higher number of youth under the age of 14 going through Ordeal for the past decade+ than we did 20-30 years ago, and that may not have been a great thing in retrospect. Many just may not have been needing "something additional" or spent enough time in troops yet to appreciate that OA was something special. Also a lot of expressions that troops have fewer fully engaged older scouts than they would desire, and so they are concerned when they "lose" one of those scouts to the OA.
  3. 2 points
    The "Key 7" sounds great, but I'd also invite the SPL and the Crew President to make sure youth have a voice
  4. 2 points
    so...I'm an OBE now? Cool! Will there be a rota for the medal?
  5. 2 points
    I would suggest contacting your council to get coverage details from the horse's mouth. I have not always found a great deal of clarity about who is covered and when even at the council level, but at least it is a place to start. Whatever the pack or troop thinks is likely to be wrong.
  6. 2 points
    Dinosaur fossil hunt? Nothing could be more Scouty…. ""....Arlton Murray, who worked with fossils at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, hid his own time capsule in a dinosaur installation in 1947. The wooden box — containing Murray’s Boy Scout membership card and a note about one of the installations — was a surprise find five years ago as the museum’s Fossil Hall was taken apart for renovation...."" ""...It took a bit of research to discover the significance of the Boy Scout card . . . Murray discovered his passion for fossils on a Boy Scout outing. "" https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/kidspost/?utm_term=.20cf958898ee He was a Scoutmaster in 1945.....
  7. 1 point
    Nobody likes mosquitos. They bite, they annoy, and they can spread disease. They are also a persistent problem for scouts and anybody else who enjoys summer camping. Mosquitos are a part of the natural ecosystem and there's no way to completely avoid them. But there are ways to keep them off yourself. Here are a few strategies that scouts and scouters can use to help keep the mosquitos at bay this summer: Repellant / Bug Spray. Spray on mosquito repellant before you leave your tent in the morning and re-apply several times during the day because it will wear off as you sweat. Also be sure to re-apply after swimming. Repellants that contain Deet (such as Deep Woods Off) are good choices for summer camp because they are more effective. Some people recommend natural, organic repellants, such as those containing citronella, cedar, eucalyptus, and similar ingredients. These may be effective, but most scouts will do well to keep some Deet as a backup because there is continuing evidence that the organic products are less effective. Permethrin: Permethrin is different than most repellants because you don't spray it on yourself, you spray it on your tent, your clothes, and any other equipment. Permethrin not only repels mosquitos, it repels ticks, chiggers and other painful pests. An application of Permethrin provides protection for up to 6 weeks. Citronella lamps, torches, or candles: Outdoor stores sell citronella oil and citronella candles. These don't kill any mosquitos, but they do overpower some of the natural scents of humans and other animals that mosquitos hone in on, helping to reduce the number of mosquitos coming into the campsite. Have a campfire. Where there's smoke, there's fewer bugs. Mosquitos don't like smoke, so having a campfire can be a good way to reduce the bug bites. If you have a bumper crop of herbs, you might be able to scent that smoke for even greater bug repellant power. Rosemary, catnip, and sage are among the herbs with reputed bug repellant power. Smell bad. Most scouts don't believe in showering while camping. Believe it or not, mosquitos find the smell of a sweaty, dirty scout almost as repellant as moms do! When bathing is unavoidable, using unscented soaps can be a better choice than those with floral or fruit scents. Use mosquito netting. Sleeping will be much more comfortable if you're not waking up every few minutes to swat at a fresh mosquito bite. Enclose your entire sleeping area in a mosquito net and you'll sleep bite free. Just remember to spray on the Deet before you get out of your tent in the morning. Avoid lanterns. A sure way to attract bugs into your camp site is to set up a big, bright propane lantern. Even the battery-powered LED lanterns will attract flying insects. Lower the light and lower the number of mosquitos and other flying pests buzzing around your camp site. Long sleeves and long pants: Let's face it, you don't want to overdress when the mercury climbs, but if you are at higher elevation or in an area with cool evenings and mornings, then it might be practical to put on a long-sleeve shirt and some long pants. Less exposed skin area means less bites. It's not always practical for summer camping, but it's worth keeping an extra tool in mind for when it might work. Hope these help keep you bite-free and itch-free this summer! See you on the trail!
  8. 1 point
    Well OA is an outside organization for scouts of a specific interest, specifically camping and service. It is (was) viewed as an honor organization because the members peers picked them out specifically, and theoretically, for the exceptional camping and service (character) skills. Of course "exceptional", as well as "camping" and "service" skills have changed over the years. I believe the reason the program appeals to older scouts today is because they have the maturity in those areas to plan, organize, and act with those skills. Something troops should be doing. That stuff is boring to young scouts. OA needs to have an appeal that is exceptional to the Troop program. In my opinion, scouts who want super doses of outdoors and/or leadership responsibilities would be naturally attracted to the program. Actually, I feel the program (at least 20 years ago) wasn't failing. It just appeared as failing because they were loosing a lot of scouts by filtering out those who weren't really interested in the OA activities. The recruiting is high because peers aren't selecting the scouts for their skills anymore, they are just picking them because they were next in line. The maturity requirements of the program drives immature scouts away, or the program reduces itself to a boring program to reach the immature scouts. Where I think OA is failing is the adults advisers don't have good vision for the program. Tehy don't encourage activities that develop above average skills. They don't understand the comradery of working together, so the work camps don't have enough personal social activities. There isn't enough of outdoors development mixed with the service. Arrowmen should practice outdoors a step or two above common troop camp outs. For example, a weekend campout without tents, without stoves, or common cooking tools. Canoeing to a work camp. Rappelling near a trail that requires repair. Camping where the end of the day brings the crew. They should be LNT experts. Arrowmen should hike in and hike out. Building exceptional skills builds pride, and it's just plain fun. A troop wanting to try something new like rappelling or canoeing should only have to go to their troop Arrowmen to ask "how?". Lead us. Character is developed through giving and serving. Service should be visible in the community as much, if not more by the district. Helping a poor family paint their house. Raising food for the local needy. If OA has a bad reputation of slave work, then that is because they aren't spreading their time in the community. Finding service projects is only as far away as asking a church for helping one of their members. Teams of two to five Arrowmen for helping build an wheelchair ramp can be done in just a couple hours. Imagine how many of teams of 2 to 5 scouts can be organized by each district. Arrowmen should be expected to be the outdoor experts because they are trained and experienced in most outdoor skills. Likewise, they should be experts in arranging and planning service activities because they do so much of it. How hard is mowing the lawn of a bed ridden elderly person. And, to me, Arrowmen should always properly wear the field uniform in all their activities. Elite scouts should set an elite example. They shouldn't have to wear the sash or patch to be recognized An Arrowmen. Their actions speak loudly. Their appearance is professional and confident. As I said, the problem I saw with OA lately is the lack of vision from the adults. No real expectations for honor campers and servants. They were just repeating what they always did. OA should be known as training for each units camping expert. Don't worry about the little newby scouts who aren't ready for OA, if the organization has a true reputation of honor, then they will be back. Something like that I guess. Barry
  9. 1 point
    We have the C-130 come over and dump the DDT on us, works great after you get over the coughing spasm
  10. 1 point
    The longest journey begins with a single step. Let the Scouts form patrols: [A "patrol" in Scouting is . . . a small, largely self-selected team of friends who, under the leadership of a Scout they elect, experience a Scouting program they collectively plan and, through that leader as their representative, help lead the troop." [emphasis added] "Why do boys want to join Scouting? To develop their fitness, citizenship, and character? To give adults a smoothly-running organization? “ ‘You set up a structure—six to eight Scouts—and let them figure it out,’ he says. ‘Boys are going to want to stick together if you … use their friendships to put together a team.’ ” B.S.A., Scouting (May-June 2012)(quoting child psychologist Dr. Brett Laursen ) “Again, although the Scoutmaster may often advise with the Patrol leader and his Patrol concerning new recruits, the admission of a new boy to the Patrol should be with the approval of the Patrol members.” Hillcourt, William, Scouting, September, 1930 at p. 244 [emphasis added] “In a Troop in which the boys are shuffled together at frequent intervals and dealt out into new Patrols according to the whim of the Scoutmaster, there obviously can be little opportunity for the development of Patrol morale and Patrol traditions.” Hillcourt, William, The Patrol Method, B.S.A. (1930) at p. 10. “Patrol spirit is the glue that holds the patrol together and keeps it going. Building patrol spirit takes time, and because it is shaped by a patrol's experiences—good and bad.” BSA Scouting.org, 2018
  11. 1 point
    My favorite approach is: Year 1 - At crossover time, form a partol of new scouts who have all joined together. Assign them a troop guide. This lets scouts go through "new scout" stuff as a group and learn together. Year 2+ - After a year, let the scouts shift patrols to their liking. Try to keep patrols no more than 8-10. This lets scouts for patrols of their friends and work in groups where they are comfortable.
  12. 1 point
    ^^This is the key insight..... FWIW, my lodge does Ordeal Ceremonies at Spring and Fall Fellowships, about 4 months apart. But, we do Brotherhood Ceremonies all the time. Fellowships, camporees, church basements, training events, anywhere we can gather eligible ordeal members and the principles. The 6 month requirement sets up this incentive, election in Jan/Feb, Ordeal in May/June, Brotherhood in December. That way a single scout can count for induction and conversion in the same JTE year......
  13. 1 point
    Yes. Spiders (all varieties) can be controlled using permethrin. Info about permethrin, its uses, and precautions can be found here: http://npic.orst.edu/factsheets/PermGen.html
  14. 1 point
    My unit is 76 years old, all 76 years chartered with the same church. Some of the names on our original charter are family of current members. Permanence and solid roots are in our DNA, despite our 3-digit unit number that we got saddled with because of multiple Council mergers. I really dislike the notion that our 3-digits say anything about how we stack up to single-digit units. It's just a number, and Packs/Troops come by their numbers in a variety of ways. It's not just a "roots" thing.
  15. 1 point
    Since you say the troop relies on the pack as a feeder, I would recommend that when you do have the Key 7 meeting. One of the things you keep in mind is that the cubs have no obligation to go to this troop when they join Scouts BSA. I would also encourage the Webelos dens to visit other troops. One reason the troop culture is not great is b/c they do not have to be. They keep getting scouts and have no competition. Introduce competition and they will have no choice but to change or dissolve.
  16. 1 point
    Carry on with the good work of keeping the BS out of the BSA! What are they going to do? Walk around with sticky fours, grab a scout's sleeve and glue them on?
  17. 1 point
    Brownsea Island has some small displays and heritage stuff, a kudo horn but not I think *the* kudo horn, it's quite interesting. Gilwell Park has a museum, much of it about Gilwell Park and adult training, but also some decent general artifacts, but I think they're about to rebuild it soon, at least, I think they were begging for money to do same recently. Gilwell Park also usually has BP's caravan, and his Rolls Royce, Jam Roll. Though, fair enough, these are not very practical options for most US scouts doing their Heritage Merit Badge, but there you go. Of course, the text of loads of old scout books are on the fantastic resource The Dump.
  18. 1 point
    If the rules for voting went back to the way they were it would have little impact on how many are nominated from my troop. It's been a long time since we've had more than 3 people nominated and that was when we had 70 in the troop. My troop usually nominates the best scouts. The scouts that screwed around a lot as younger scouts typically have a lot of work to do to fix the name they made for themselves. Most don't make it no matter how hard they try and the ones that do really are the better scouts. So I'm not sure it's about making it harder to get in. I remember when my SM encouraged me to go to JLT. He basically said you're a good scout, now you need to take it to the next level. That sold me right then and there. I wanted to know what that level was. It wasn't anything about higher adventure, some sort of recognition or patch, or even more service. It was about learning a useful skill. My troop does high adventure and service so thart's not a great way to sell it. Eagle already has the biggest name recognition so telling a scout they will earn something will not get them to chapter meetings. Camaraderie can't compete with what a few years of developing friends in the troop. It has to be something that they can't get in their troops. It would be great to have the OA run camporees but it assumes they have the skills and motivation to lead something big. I listen to the OA adult helping the scouts and he's frustrated with scouts that just can't get anything done. Whatever it is, it needs to be self motivating.
  19. 1 point
    I don't see this as having a major impact one way or another. Does it make things a little easier, yes. Do I think the Brotherhood conversion experience will be significantly cheapened? Absolutely not. It's certainly not a silver bullet that will solve our dwindling numbers, but it's not going to kill us any faster either. We can play the "it was better in my day because it was tougher and therefore more meaningful" game forever, or we can roll up our sleeves and help support the youth officers in delivering the program. Looking over the PMP it really just looks like a simplified JTE with a shiny new name, breaking it down easier for the Lodge Officers who should be running the program. I'm ok with that. How many Units skip out on JTE just so they don't have to fill out the scoresheet?
  20. 1 point
    Thanks for the input, everyone. As near as I can tell, regardless of what the DC side-eyes me about, nobody else is actually *using* all 4 digits in their published unit numbers (except venturing crews, as noted previously). So for example there's a Troop 61 that's been chartered by a local church for decades. Two years ago they chartered a Pack 61, and this year they also chartered a Troop 61 for girls. Troop 61 for girls is officially 4061 in the computer but they aren't actually using the whole thing. I'll make an argument in favor of using 422 on uniforms (unless someone comes up with a better idea - I certainly haven't thought of anything) even if 4422 is our official number in the computer. I hope they'll just let us do it. 4 digits somehow feels like a lot. And it won't fit on the velcro patch I've got on my den leader uniform for the unit numerals.
  21. 1 point
    The Scouts would be covered by the council's insurance. The troop likely does not have its own separate insurance.
  22. 1 point
    My understanding is that Scouts are covered because they are members of the BSA, not members of a specific pack or troop. If some other Scouts come to your event, they are covered. As Cubmaster I'd encourage you to attend their next Troop Committee Meeting and discuss what happened. Why didn't they respond to your invite? If they decided not to participate - fine, but why didn't they even tell you? Further, when this was problem was uncovered, why didn't they try to encourage Scouts to attend? We're all volunteers and volunteers can make mistakes in moments of stress. i.e. - oops, we didn't tell the troop about this pack event and now what do we do? We don't have two deep leadership arranged and so who will supervise the Scouts? If we don't think insurance covers it and if Scouts go and get hurt then we could all be in trouble. One of my biggest frustrations as a Troop CC was the line that existed between "the pack" and "the troop". Pack leaders would often discuss on their own and come to some conclusion about "the troop". Most often, the pack leaders had some sort of misperception about what we, as troop leaders, were doing. I would encourage a quarterly "Key 7" meeting. Pack CC & CM, Troop CC & SM, Crew CC & CA, and COR. It's a great way to help keep the unit working together.
  23. 1 point
    That's nonsense. I talked to the insurance company that provided our insurance a long time ago and if there were scouts at an event then it was covered. No permissions nor uniforms needed. Besides, nobody's likely to get hurt anyway. Sounds more like an ego issue to me.
  24. 1 point
    I don't perceive this change from 10 months to 6 months as having much impact. Around here the Brotherhood ceremony is only offered at Ordeals. The big one is in the spring, the fall ordeal is 5 months later. So 75% of our new members still have to wait a full year. I suppose there will be a slight uptick in the brotherhood conversation numbers nationally, So on paper things look better, but at the local level? Little and less. The other change seems good in my eyes, some lodges are on life support, and having the section giving them a helping hand seems to be no bad thing. Although I suspect many sections were already doing all they could.
  25. 1 point
    The BSA's insurance provides coverage for visitors to unit events, I presume that would apply here. Individual units rarely carry their own insurance policies. Note that you still have a responsibility to cover things like adequate supervision, age-appropriate activities, etc. I'm all in favor of trying to play nice with my neighbors and fellow scout units, but if you've identified this other unit as having a toxic culture, you'll likely be a lot happier if you just ignore them.
  26. 1 point
    You are dead on right. An 11 year old is not the audience for the theory of learning. Rank and MB requirements should not say EDGE. Instead, say "Teach a scout" or "Show a new scout". As scouts mature and age, then NYLT can reveal that BSA's preferred teaching method is EDGE and here's how it works. Learning is a continuum. (leadership, teaching, etc). At the earlier levels, learning starts with doing. This matches Baden-Powell saying that advancement is the natural result of being active. So, learning EDGE should be a natural result of helping each others. At those earlier levels, we encourage confidence in their new knowledge and confidence in reaching out to help others. ... Plus, teaching EDGE makes the learning too dry and boring for the scouts. I think there is a corollary with teaching leadership. Troops would be more successful teaching leadership if they stopped staying they are teaching leadership. I cringe when I hear it. Plus, It kills the buzz and is clumsy and inconsistent at best. Rather, units should focus on a quality program. Then advanced leader training can explain the meta-learning objectives and methods such as leadership.
  27. 1 point
    Who says campout lunches should consist of the same boring cold cut or PBJ sandwiches that every other new scout patrol in the nation serves? Wouldn't a really TASTY hot sandwich be so much more appetizing? Sure it would! Here's a few tips to help you have a BETTER sandwich for lunch... BREAD. Find a really good sub roll. If you can get small French bread loaves, like the ones that Vietnamese restaurants use for their Banh Mi sandwiches, you're in luck! A Mexican panaderia near my neighborhood sells fresh-made bolillos that are perfect! Another good choice is a sourdough sub roll... SAUCE: Canned marinara (spaghetti sauce) is really the way to go, simply for reasons of practicality. That doesn't mean you can't spice it up though. I always add an Italian seasoning mix, or I make my own using oregano, basil, rosemary and marjoram. Sometimes, I like adding minced garlic to my marinara. I often add pepper. CHEESE: A good meatball sub has good cheese. Pick a cheese that you like and that is sufficiently flavorful. I like a cheese that melts when the hot marinara and meatballs are spooned on top of it. Mozzarella is a time-honored classic for meatball subs. Provolone is popular too. I like the slightly acidic edge of a good Manchego cheese. MEATBALLS. The easy way to do this for scouts is to use frozen meatballs. Those work fine, but if you want to up your game, try making your own meatballs from scratch. My mother used to blend in ground veal with the beef. Today's health conscious eaters might try ground turkey or vegan meat substitutes (though I personally find those to be unappetizing and to have an unacceptably pasty texture). Directions: Brown meatballs in a small amount of olive oil. Add marinara sauce and simmer. Slice sub rolls lengthwise (if not pre-sliced). Put a layer of cheese in the rolls. Spoon hot meatballs in sauce on top of cheese. Sprinkle with parmesan cheese, if desired.
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