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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/13/19 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    ust back from trek 12. No dry camps and finished with a climb of Mt. Baldy. This was the first trek for all of us, but one of our adults, a 21 year old who went through our troop to Eagle did NAYLE training there. We had a young crew of 14 and 15 year olds. Two just turned 14 prior to the trek. This was the most physically demanding thing I’ve ever done. I’m very glad I’ve been hitting the gym several times per week for the past few years. I saw guys there who clearly did not meet the height/weight requirements. I saw a few on trail who were slowing their crews down. The bulk of gear/food was a bigger issue than weight. We began with our longest food haul of 4 days. I had to show our crew how to mash their mashable gear to make more room. The crew like the COPE course, spar pole climbing, horseback riding and most of all, summiting Baldy. My youngest and smallest in the crew went from collapsing on the trail from New Dean to Ponil and wanting to quit to 2 days later asking about being a ranger. That change was cool. Speaking of rangers, our ranger Emily was ranger of the week for good reason. She was awesome. I have no doubt she will be a success in life. I gave her a great review. She brought a pound cake for us and iced it on trail. The root beer at Ponil was a big morale booster. Glad we went through there twice. The only time we got lost was trying to find our campsite at Ponil, though. At New Dean, we had campsite 3. When we arrived, there were 3 horses in our site. Just staring at us. We stayed. One started coming a little close to our lunch, but otherwise they left us alone. They’d go out in the fields together to eat and then come back. We named them Moe, Larry and Curly. That was interesting for a trail camp. Horse Canyon was a beautiful campsite on top of a mountain with a great view of Baldy. We really liked that one. Baldy Town was very interesting. I knew that climbing to the top was a challenge, but until you experience it, there’s no way to truly know. That last steep part was really hard. The crazy thing was going from calm air to taking the last step up to the top and getting hit by 50? mph wind and wind chill that felt like it was in the 20s. The view was worth it. Our crew leader has 3 younger brothers. He took 3 small rocks from the peak that his brothers will have to take back up. Pretty cool idea. In our regular activities, we adults cook for ourselves and we eat well. It was nice having the crew do all the work and we just showed up to eat. They weren’t perfect, of course and mornings took longer than ideal, but for a young crew, they really took on the challenge. I’m so proud of them. One thing that kept coming up on another site was how tight the camping sites were. We had 6 scouts and 3 adults, so 5 tents. I took a 1 person tent as the solo adult, but could have easily fit a 2 person tent in every spot I chose. That’s what I’d do again. Six quart pots worked just fine. I’m glad we took our own. If we had more experience, I’d have tried the 1 pot method. Maybe next time. I will suggest this to Philmont as it meets all of their requirements (patrol method, etc.), reduces bulk/weight and by cleaning with cold water (which we did), you use less fuel. Thrifty and good for the environment. We flew into Denver a day early. We spent time at Garden of the Gods and the Air Force Academy. I rented a 15 passenger van. They tried to give me a 12 passenger van, but with no storage behind the last row, you need a 15 passenger van for 9 people with luggage. We stayed at a hotel in Colorado City, CO and drove to Philmont the next morning. I might find a place even further south next time. Heading back, we had a red eye home. We had time to check out the Red Rocks Amphitheater. What an amazing venue. Wish I could have stayed a day to see Joe Bonamassa. We drove around Denver and ate at this great, cheap Mexican hole in the wall restaurant El Taco de Mexico. Definitely recommend it. Having the van let us pick and chose on our own schedule. I like that. We also stored stuff in it. The crew wants to go back! Looks like we’ll plan for 2021.
  2. 3 points
    I think the weight and bulk of food and water was mentioned when you were preparing for the trek, or maybe someone else trek. But, it never seems to get discussed enough when talking about packs and packing. It's A LOT! Philmont food is magic in that it never seems to dwindle down. Everyone morning everyone stares at the pile of food as they pack in hopes their share is smaller and lighter, but it never is. It's magic. Reminds me of the big sack of raw potatoes the outfitter gave us for our Northern Tier trip, it was always there in the morning to pack. Still, those potatoes are one of my sons favorite memories. The scouts played cards all day on our non-canoeing rest day. The got hungry and came up with the idea of french fries. The outfitter gave us a BIG sack of potatoes and plenty of lard. The adults stood back and watched as they melted the lard and cooked sliced potatoes for munchies all day long. It was fun to watch. AND, the bag of potatoes was smaller the next morning as we packed. Even in the wilderness, scouts find junk food. Barry
  3. 2 points
    That is the response we should all have expected from the merit badge folks. The "requirements cannot be added to or subtracted from " statement is in my earlier reference book (1911). my experience is that councils have no clue on this. BSA should have pulled all these blast cars and taken the wording off them.
  4. 1 point
    Our crew found it interesting that they sort of encourage the crews to build fires not (in approved rings etc etc). Seems line a good idea to have the 20,000 Scouts going through each night to scour the ground for loose burnable debris. When I first went in the 70's we had to cook on fires, so as you came to a camp you started picking up wood about 1/2 mile out. Went in the 80's and backpacking stoves were a thing so we built no fires, same for other treks. On the Baldy climb, I have told all the crews I've been that the climb up the tailings / loose rocks seems close, but will be arduous. The saddle and going out the the lower peak there is a nice stroll. Also the hike around the back heading North East over to Copper Park along that ridge is stunning. The Mt Phillips hike is great and underrated
  5. 1 point
    Not an untrue observation Many Scouters take on District or Council positions at the request of a friend and then enjoy the camaraderie that may bring. As friendships change or people move on, you may turn around and then you may not really have a lot in common with the team you are working with. Lack of friendships and common experience can impact the "fun" you may have had in the past doing whatever for the District or Council. Becomes more of job. With the troop you go in knowing the main focus of your efforts (the Scouts) will in fact grow-up and age out, that is sort of the overall hope and plan. As the older ones move on you can build relationships with the new ones, work with them, help develop them. Sort of Rinse Lather Repeat. A good bit of personal satisfaction to sit on an EBOR with a Scout who you remember being a somewhat homesick 11 year old.
  6. 1 point
    Hey there, I received back some information that I suppose helps clear this up. First, I did hear back from my council on this and they basically said that if it's an official BSA "kit" then it can be used for the requirement it says it is allowed to be used for. However, that was not as cut and dry as what the National Merit Badge Subcommittee wrote back: So, the official word on this says that merit badge requirements need to be followed as they are written. If it says "no kits" then that means no kits. Hope this is helpful.
  7. 1 point
    My district holds them on the same weekend at the same location, but the courses are run totally separately. The advantage of this method is that we have a lot of specialized instructors (like our games guy, song guy, cooking guy, outdoor ethics guy, flag etiquette guy, etc. We plan and stagger the two training schedules so that each trainer teaches the BALOO group and then immediately teaches the IOLS group. That way each instructor only needs to show up for one weekend for a few hours rather than on two separate weekends.
  8. 1 point
    We love it, actually! My husband convinced me to get the 10-person one. It's too heavy for hauling very far, so we accepted the provided canvas-on-wood-frame tent at Cub camp this weekend, but we really enjoyed the roominess on a family campout with the Pack.
  9. 1 point
    I think this is one of the reasons. All my adult leader friends who brought a smile when they showed up have moved on. I still have many friends, but it is not like it was. And I must admit ... this last month, I've done a lot of yard work and home projects that I have put off for a decade. It's sort of nice working my ticket back into my home life.
  10. 1 point
    Yes, however every rank includes show scout spirit. If we (BSA) took that seriously then just like all other requirements which require demonstration/knowledge of increased competency, showing scout spirit could (should?) have an ever increasing threshold for advancement purposes. Unfortunately for most it is just an automatic sign-off devoid of any metric whatsoever. So while I agree with your distinction, it doesn't have to be that way. The method(s) should directly impact the aims. If advancement does not further the aims, then it really isn't a functional method.
  11. 1 point
    We just returned from Camp Baldwin. Two thumbs up!
  12. 1 point
    Have you ever read mythology? Zeus would never be compliant with YP. He is constantly taking strange forms and sexually molesting young people as they sleep. Zeus is the perfect example of what BSA is trying to keep out of scouting.
  13. 1 point
    Yes. The sensationalism in all this is pretty apparent. I think part of the strategy for the plaintiff lawyers is to score a lot of points in the court-of-public-opinion in order to influence the outcomes of their cases. Financially, I'm fairly positive that BSA will get over the hurdle somehow, but there will be a taint on the reputation that will take a lot of time and work to overcome.
  14. 1 point
    That wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing.
  15. 1 point
    The main problem with most Troops is they don't hand the keys over to the scouts. Why would older scouts be bored if they are busy running the program. Now I know that is an idealistic response. Some scouts don't want to have responsibilities, and some scouts just want adventure. But, the solutions to those scouts dilemmas can actually improve the troop program. I've said it many times here, the quality of a troop should be measured by the performance of the older scouts, not the younger ones. Self satisfaction comes from personal involvement and responsibilities. If the older scouts are bored, then likely the adults are compensating too much. We wanted our troop to provide more adventure than just the monthly campouts. So, we created and started pushing scouts to create and plan Crew outings. These are outings where the scout creates a crew outside the troop program specific to the theme. Once the outing is over, the crew dissolves. The scout is responsible for planning and finding the required number of scouts and adults for the outing. Philmont and Boundary Waters are included in the crew outings, but scouts also organized other backpacking, rafting, scuba and snow skiing. One scout organized a crew to go to six flags to ride all the roller coasters. It's up to the scout on the activity. It can be anything. There were no age limits to most of the crew outings, so any scout could join the crew provided he physically and mentally met the minimum requirements. So, the whole troop was involved in the adventure part of the program. And, the crews pushed the troop to have more adventure in the monthly camp outs. I admit, developing a mature older scout program takes some effort from the adults, but not near as much effort as starting a whole new Adventure Crew. Barry
  16. 1 point
    When I was getting long in the tooth as a Boy Scout our Troop Committee suggested forming a Venture Patrol for the older Scouts. We still came to Troop meetings (occasionally) but we were more focused on doing more "grown-up" things. At this time Venturing wasn't around yet as a stand-alone program. The benefit of having a Venture Patrol in a Troop is the older Scouts still have skin in the game and can be steered toward giving back--to the younger Scouts---what they received at that age. One of the major issues I see nationally, is that very few people actually understand what Venturing is. As others have said, starting a Crew requires all new leadership, including a Committee. Sure, these volunteers could technically be dually enrolled in a Troop, but to truly do justice to the Venturing program the volunteer leadership (adults) should be focused on the Crew. When I formed a Crew three years ago I made sure to pitch it to the sisters of the Scouts in my Troop. That way there were others involved outside of Boy Scouting and there was less of a risk of slipping back into Troop mode. Another issue, even with my Crew, is that the Scouts and their sisters never took the time to recruit and just aged as a group of friends. Now the roster is very thin as the original older Venturers are away at college. So, @BobWhiteVA, I suggest giving the Venture Patrol idea another go. It doesn't have to be solely High Adventure. Why not build in service and leadership development? At the risk of irritating some on this forum who despise anything from the 1970s ("Improved Scouting Program"), maybe take a look at the Leadership Corps manual if you can get your hands on one? But before you do anything else, simply ask the older Scouts what THEY want to do. I hope this helps!
  17. 1 point
    I have earned my Triple Crown. Been a participant of Philmont, Sea Base (twice) and Northern Tier. Son has been a participant of Northern Tier and Philmont. His patrol took scuba lessons locally and planned a week long dive adventure to the Bahamas. Dived minimum 3 times a day plus night dives. Did not earn the Triple Crown because they planned a trip outside of Sea Base. He doesn't care he doesn't have the triple crown patch. He just remembers the fun of the adventure. The rest of his life he can tell stories about diving for a week in the Bahamas. Think anyone will ask or care that is was not thru Sea Base? As a lad, my Explorer Post spent spring break at Shiloh National Battlefield. We hiked every trail there and earned the Veteran Hiker award. No one asks or cares that it is not a BSA National High Adventure Base. I remember the fun and challenge. High Adventure is doing something besides a weekend campout. It is planning, preparing and participating in an adventure. Patches and recognition are secondary. During the planning, traveling, and participating, the scouts will be challenged. They will learn and grow. They will have something to look back on years later. Don't let the big 3 national HA bases limit you and your scouts. There are lots of places the scouts can plan to visit for a week or more and test themselves. The national bases are fun and challenging. Within the scouting world, they are recognized and other scouts will give you respect because you have been. Over a lifetime, planning and executing a high adventure outside of the high adventure bases will be at least if not more memorable to the lads. Don't be afraid to look outside the big 3.
  18. 1 point
    "High Adventure" doesn't require paying someone to plan, organize and guide. If the scouts (patrols or crews) have been doing scouting adventure by planning and organizing, then doing so for the next level of high adventure is the next logical step. It saddens me that scouting has moved from scouts making their own gear, finding places to camp, and organizing their own adventures to needing to raise money to pay for expensive hi-tech stuff, and extra gadgets and paying for expensive camps and guides. Sad when an eagle scout doesn't know how to plan and organize a basic camping trip without paying someone to do it for them. A Scout is thrifty.
  19. 1 point
    who cares what district or council thinks??? Especially with the way they have treated you. there was a district that had all the SM's write on a white board where they were going to summer camp.......When it was a council owned camp there was applause and attaboys. out of council was met with boos and hisses....... Our troop never goes to in council camps. cheaper and better program elsewhere.
  20. 0 points
    Been there, wasn't happy either. https://www.theleafchronicle.com/story/news/2019/07/12/eagle-scout-project-destroyed-dunbar-cave-state-park/1698007001/