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Showing content with the highest reputation on 12/10/19 in all areas

  1. 3 points
    That's why the founders gave us the fourth amendment: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Sadly most Americans are too stupid or too willing to be subjugated to the government "for safety" to appreciate the wisdom contained in those few words. Thank you very much but I'll carry whatever it pleases me to carry, in the manner of a free man.
  2. 2 points
    As with all things in Scouting, we as adults can do the research, shopping, etc... much more efficiently than the scouts. I always try to see how anything we as adults do can be a learning and growth opportunity for scouts. If an adult is a "tent expert", great! How do we utilize tgat expertise to help the scouts become more skillful and knowledgeable moving forward. Ultimate goal being the scouts become the future experts. If a scout cannot "do" yet, the adults should not just do it for them by themselves, but instead involve at least some scouts in every stage of the process. Even if the first step is the scouts "watch & listen". For example if I am calling a campground to inquire for camping availability, I do it with the SPL and ASPL there to hear the conversation. As they progress, they make the call with me listening. If I am internet shopping around for new tents, scouts will be doing it with me. Everything we do is an opportunity for scouts. They may not be ready to do it all by themselves, but they never will get there unless we show them and let them try.
  3. 2 points
    Paperwork for rechartering needs to be filed in 12 hours, I still haven't signed. Nor do I plan to. I'm more than a little melancholy but since it will have been exactly 50 years next week since I first put on a boyscout uniform, I guess I shouldn't complain. Been a long fun filled trail. " The road goes ever on and on, out from the door where it began, but I at last with weary feet, turn toward the lighted inn. My evening rest and sleep to meet"
  4. 2 points
    It's the time of year when Webelos often complete their Arrow of Light and are ready to bridge over to a Boy Scout troop. But WHICH troop? That's the question. Every year, 10-year old scouts (and their parents) try to answer that question. For some, the answer comes easily and naturally. For others, anguish ensues as it seems like such a hard decision to make. Here are a few ideas for things that I would consider if I were a parent advising a 10-year old as to what kind of troop will best fit his (or her) personality, and personal goals. 1. WHERE DOES THE SCOUT WANT TO GO? When you visited troops in your area, some were probably friendlier, or more fun than others. Those might be good troops to consider. Fellow Webelos from the scout's pack might have already decided....so where will the scout's friends go? If the pack and troop have a formal or informal "feeder pack" mentality, that might help make the decision easier, but it is always up to the individual scout to decide: no Webelo scout is required to go to a specific troop just because the Cubmaster and Scoutmaster are friends. 2. WHICH TROOP DRESSES MOST LIKE SCOUTS? Uniform is one of the classic "methods" of scouting, and while it is absolutely true that the appearance of an individual scout at a given time is no guarantee of his personal character or performance of a scout, it is definitely true that a unit with a tradition of adhering to uniform guidelines and encouraging scouts to wear a full uniform is a sign of a quality unit. A good scout leader is a role model, and the role models take their role seriously, modeling good behavior, regardless of whims of fancy. If the adult scouters model good uniforming standards, they probably embrace the entire scout program well and know how to model scouting values, leadership, and personal integrity. A scout unit full of haphazard uniforming does not model the full scouting program. Leaders who can't be bothered to wear a correct uniform might not be the kind of role models your son deserves. 3. WHICH TROOP HAS THE MOST ENTHUSIASTIC SCOUTS? It's one thing for the adults to talk up their troop, putting appropriate spin on things....but youth tend to shoot straighter and to sometimes be brutally direct. What do the SCOUTS have to say about the troop? About the adult leaders? About the number of activities and variety of outdoor trips? 4. WHICH TROOP GIVES SCOUTS THE BEST OPPORTUNITIES? Be wary of troops that don't camp at least 10 times per year, don't send a contingent to summer camp, and don't have crews going to High Adventure camps. If the troop cancels campouts more than about once every 5 years, if they don't participate in camporees, or if they only schedule "family campouts" in nearby areas, then they aren't a troop that is likely to provide enough opportunities for a scout to advance at a normal rate and to just plain have fun and grow to his or her potential. Take a look at their track record: do they have a photo gallery with at least 10 campouts this past year? Keep in mind that some ranks require a certain number of nights camping. If the troop rarely camps, it will take a painfully long time to ever move up. Meanwhile, the Webelos who joined better troops will be rolling right along... Does the troop go above and beyond the minimums? Do they do really cool trips? Activities in addition to camping? Those might be the most fun troops to be in. 5. DOES THE TROOP REACH OUT? Some troops are lazy. They just assume that Webelos will want to join them. Their scoutmaster doesn't reach out to the cubmaster. They don't participate in Cur or Webelos activities. They don't provide Den Chiefs to packs. They don't invite webelos to their meetings or campouts. They don't even bother to have adults attend roundtables. Then they wonder why Webelos go to other troops... 6. SIZE MATTERS. The size of a troop affects the kind of program they can deliver and it will affect how a new scout is likely to advance. Both big and small have advantages, and both can be "perfect" if the parents are engaged, the troop fully embraces the complete scouting program, and a young scout embraces the troop's strong points. Small troops definitely provide better potential for scouts to succeed in positions of responsibility. Big troops definitely provide better potential for a large number of activities and deeper involvment in the full scouting program. ---------- There you go folks, 6 aspects of prospective troop that you might want to look at. Prioritize them as you see fit. Ponder their importance. Find a great troop for your son!
  5. 2 points
    For your specific issue, our committee gives the SM a yearly allocation for gear purchases. (Usually this is an estimate based on the SM and QM trying figure out what the troop needs will be. If the PLC is running smoothly, the SPL would be the one submitting the estimate.) The committee does not get into the weeds of what gear is purchased. That way, if the SM and scouts are buying a new stove, and see a couple of tents competitively priced, they may buy them. Receipts are turned into the treasure, and the committee sees the total dollar amount of gear purchased in the treasurers report, and the list of gear purchased in the SM/SPL report. The same applies to most general expenses. The committee establishes a budget, and delegates the responsible parties to work within that budget. There are some things that come up quickly and cannot be budgeted, like families needing support for camp fees and the cost is beyond SM's discretionary budget. I've recommended that committees handle those between the treasurer, CC, and SM in executive session, and the treasurer reports the expense as an anonymous line item like "Camp fees for scouts in need". Bottom line: the committee should focus on deciding how to support what the scouts want to purchase ... not deciding what to purchase for them. Since our troop doesn't buy tents, and I only buy tarps, I can't help you on your hunt!
  6. 2 points
    As recent events have shown, banning knives will only result in people packing narwhal tusks.
  7. 1 point
    FYI, I saw they updated the med forms today. From what I see they look cleaner and highlight epi-pens and rescue inhailers. https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/680-001_ABC.pdf https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/680-001_AB.pdf
  8. 1 point
    I just wanted to be clear so that DuctTape wouldn't think I was offering to work towards the goal of "scouts doing it themselves" with his QM. I have enough on my plate, I don't want any more commitments.
  9. 1 point
  10. 1 point
    Yes, I agree. I'm hoping that with my newest group of QMs, I can start working towards that process.
  11. 1 point
    "It's the UK folks" - what's that shorthand for? Genuinely interested, not getting snarky. I mean, I'm assuming you mean "It's the UK folks, where all the civilised people stayed" but... A quick google suggests lots of people have suggested to the government that they discuss it, but I can't find anywhere where it's actually been discussed in parliament. I mean, as far as I can work out, not much useful has been discussed in parliament since the 2016 moment of madness (Br***t). Anyhoo, there's a government petition site and more or less anything that gets more than 100,000 votes will be discussed in some form in parliament. And discussion is one thing, being made UK law is quite another. And yes, if the police have reason to believe you want to use *anything* as an offensive weapon, you might have explaining to do. And yes, that includes your multitool. Basic laws on knives It’s illegal to: sell a knife to anyone under 18, unless it has a folding blade 3 inches long (7.62 cm) or less carry a knife in public without good reason, unless it has a folding blade with a cutting edge 3 inches long or less carry, buy or sell any type of banned knife use any knife in a threatening way (even a legal knife) Scotland In Scotland, 16 to 18 year olds are allowed to buy cutlery and kitchen knives. Lock knives Lock knives are not classed as folding knives and are illegal to carry in public without good reason. Lock knives: have blades that can be locked and refolded only by pressing a button can include multi-tool knives - tools that also contain other devices such as a screwdriver or can opener From: https://www.gov.uk/buying-carrying-knives
  12. 1 point
    That's quite an assumption there. I'm going to assume that you haven't camped much in Oklahoma. Barry
  13. 1 point
  14. 1 point
    If it were my troop .... I'd want the scoutmaster to let the treasurer and committee chair know before major purchases. Not for approval. More to be polite and considerate. Annual planning should setup the budget and expectations. From there, don't nit-pick the SM. He's a volunteer. Tents will last longer than the scouts. As such, I would "guide" the scouts as it will be a long-standing decision ... mainly because you want all the tents to match and have interchangeable parts. We used to use the base Eureka Timberline 4 tent (with vestibule). Never had trouble with wind if it was properly staked down. We've now switched to the Eureka Timberline 4 "OUTFITTER" tent. The lower rain fly is critical to keeping the tent dry. The base version rain fly just is too short. The new base version zipper is too fragile for the scouts (old version from years ago had a great zipper). We've always looked for deals. This is a $399 tent, but we've never paid more than $220. Always be on the hunt for a sale. IMHO, having a standard troop tent is important. It helps set the personality of the troop. It helps let scouts room with other scouts instead of just their friends.
  15. 1 point
    Ultimately it the SM, who would have already had consult with the PLC (and ASMs if needed) that would present a request to our committee for X $s to purchase tents. I wouldn't at all have debate in my meetings on the type of tent, just whether we had majority to allocate the funds. The SM might come to me as CC, or I may go to him, to discuss the item(s) if we each felt it necessary. Being a first year group, your committee seems to still be "norming". A private aside with the CC to encourage that they try to keep these discussions on point and concise might be a good idea.
  16. 1 point
    or it could be done in reverse order. The QM in consult with the PLC determines what gear is needed, puts together a proposal to the SM who brings it to the Committee to approve the funds.
  17. 1 point
    I'll resist any ban of my semiautomatic butter knives. You'll have to pry them from my cold slippery fingers!
  18. 0 points
    Surprised nobody has posted this yet - from the meritbadge.info facebook page: