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Everything posted by dScouter15

  1. I''d encourage everyone to take a look at a lecture given by a computer science professor, who is dying of cancer. In his lecture, he gives a very down-to-earth, meaningful and inspirational talk on following your dreams. A video clip can be found here: http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-5700431505846055184&q=randy+pausch&total=19&start=10&num=10&so=0&type=search&plindex=6 In his speech, he lists his childhood dreams, and talks about how he''s tried to achieve them. Some he''s been able to achieve, others, he hasn''t. The point he makes is that its th
  2. Brent - I understand what you're saying, but the point that I was trying to make was that its questionable how BW made up his list, and whether it actually is traits found in "successful" unit, or a scorecard of how well a unit follows the BSA program. I don't think that one necessarily implies the other. So, is BW's list really a list of characteristics of successful units? For instance, if you show me 100 "successful units", will the majority of them meet the majority of BW's very specific criteria? I think BW's list goes the other way around, like saying, "If you want to have a suc
  3. I would agree with the comments calling Bob White's list condescending and unrealistic. Personally, I don't miss Bob's contributions to this forum, as it seems that, when confronted with friendly conversation, Bob would jump in and start splitting hairs, make harsh, condescending posts, and repeat the same mantra about following the BSA program word-for-word. The reason I've lurked so long without posting was fear of getting put down for asking a question that Bob felt should have been covered in a training course that I may or may not have taken. Granted, Bob is definitely a very knowledge
  4. One more thought I'd like to throw in to this mess: One of the greatest things about scouting, in my opinion, is that avoiding failure is not as important as learning for our mistakes. Sometimes our scouts will burn their dinner, be late coming back to camp, sleep in a little too long, get into fights, etc. This happens, and is part of growing up. A good troop leader will see these types of instances as opportunities to help the scouts grow, learning from their mistakes. I've been led to believe that for a Board of Review to fail someone, they had to provide a reason why the scou
  5. I think it needs to work both ways. The council supports units by providing insurance coverage, legal standards, camping properties, summer camp, training opportunities, record keeping (how effectively is another story...), and other services. However, the money and other resources needed to do this don't come out of nowhere! Units help support the council by fundraising and participating in council activities. Individual scouters also contribute by, for example, staffing training and camp events, or providing maintenance work for the council properties. For the relationship to work, both
  6. FScouter - I see your point, but I think you also need to consider how society as a whole views certain words and behaviors. Society just does not regard "butt" as a "bad word." Granted, you have to take context and the situation into account, but I would say that an overwhelming majority of people (of all age groups) don't think "butt" is too bad. In this case, it seems silly for punishing scouts for using a word that most consider OK. Especially the type of punishment that this lady allegedly dealt out - it definitely doesn't fit the alleged offense. Also, if scouts had used this t
  7. Sounds like this lady may need to chill. I can see how "sucks" might be a "bad" word, but "butt"? Come on! I don't think using the word "butt" puts anyone in the bottom 2% of the human race, etc.
  8. I have a nice Timberline A-Frame tent that normally keeps me pretty dry. But, here in the great plains, a good storm with high winds can cause some leaking inside the tent. What seems to happen the most is that the rain is blown under the rain fly, or the soaked rain fly is blown into contact with the side of the tent, where it then sticks, allowing water to seep through. What I've found is best is to try to minimize the damage and discomfort that the water will do. First, make sure you put an additional tarp underneath your tent. Make sure that the edges don't stick out, as they will col
  9. Pack378 - Great point, solves everyone's problems. My troop has taken a bus up to camp for the past couple years, and its been very successful. Especially nice on the ride home, when everyone would just rather sleep than focus on driving on rural roads for 6 hours. We did have some of the concerns that the SM in question had, involving being able to make trips in to town when necessary (we probably had to send someone in 2 or 3 times during the week), taking people to the hospital (we actually had to take an adult leader in for some kind of infection. Didn't really need an ambulance). We
  10. You're right, this really is a difficult topic. If the situation warrants it, I would encourage units to support their scouts with arranging for counseling, etc, from a professional social worker or counselor. Suicide can be difficult to address, for a number of reasons. There are so many cliche statements, that are perfectly logical and rational, and make perfect sense to people who are not suicidal. However, when addressing someone who IS suicidal, these cliches just bounce right off, or can even make the matter worse. I'd recommend reading this site: http://www.metanoia.org/suicide/ -
  11. Wondering what others would think of youth scouts serving as trainers for adults. I could see this as a big advantage, both to the youth and to adults. Youth trainers (who would be older, experienced, mature scouts) could use their role as trainers as a way to practice communicating with adults, as a way to better understand the role of adult leadership in the troop, and as an opportunity to advance their own knowledge and skill. New adult leaders would have the benefit of seeing that this really is a "youth-run" program. It may also help to show that some youth leaders are just as, if not
  12. What plans does your unit have in place for dealing with severe weather while camping? Many summer camps have a system for warning campers, and designated shelter locations of varying quality, but these types of facilities normally do not exist at weekend camping sites, and even some council properties. Fortunately, my troop has been lucky, and there's been only one instance in the past 12 years when we've had to take action due to severe weather. Nation-wide, severe weather doesn't seem to be TOO big of an issue to scout troops, as we only hear of few injuries, mostly caused by trees f
  13. I would echo Lisabob's comments about Cole Canoe Base. I really love that place. In my experience, that staff has always been great, though I do agree that some of the MB sessions we're that great. FYI, they are going through some trouble, both financially and personnel wise, and some of the camp director and other senior staff is retiring, so that might help to explain some of the logistical problems. I would like to add that their river/high adventure program is EXCELLENT. The staff is very flexible with that program, and can put together a canoe trip of just a few hours, up to a week-l
  14. A few thoughts... First, its much much easier getting (younger) scouts to shower at camps that have private shower stalls with locking doors. I even like it a little bit better myself. Of course, some scouts still won't want to shower, and I think its mostly an effort thing - its much easier just to sit in camp, warm and dry talking with your friends, than heading off to take a shower. Also, at nights at camp when its cold and rainy, I'd have a hard time forcing a kid to go shower. That said, my troop doesn't really have a big problem with it, and the adult leadership has never really felt
  15. Geez - parents sound a little psycho. As an EMT though, I'd like to shed some "professional" insight into the whole CPR/Seizure thing. Firstly, if someone has a full tonic-clonic seizure (aka a "grand mal" seizure) they WILL stop breathing. In fact, that's one of the ways to tell if someone is actually have a seizure, or is faking it looking for a drug fix. So yes, real seizure = no breathing. They will likely (almost definitely) still have a pulse during the time that they are actively seizing, at least. That's part of why its so important for someone to be immediately transported by amb
  16. Question to any of you who are certified/licensed healthcare providers (EMTs, medics, nurses) who have volunteered at district or council resident camps as the "first aid person": What kind of protocols, if any, do you operate under? Does anyone have any kind of "medical control" or other formal working relationship with a doctor or hospital, which would provide some type of operating protocols? Or, do you mostly just provide basic first aid, and not really do anything that would fall under your special training? Just curious - of course, basic first aid (bandaids, drinking water, ice
  17. First, I'm thinking this thread might be better placed in the "Issues & Politics" section. Secondly, I doubt there would ever be such a national directive. Its really not the BSA's position to be involved with the sexual history of any scout or scouter. You may personally feel that sex before marriage, or children out of wedlock is a morally bad thing. Others will disagree. Therefore, I think that it is important for each situation to be looked at individually - that is purpose of the Board of Review, to look at each individual scout's progress and qualifications for advancement.
  18. Not to stir everything up again, but after reading this thread I think that we need to acknowledge the difference between pranks and hazing/initiation. Pranks, by definition, I think are mostly harmless. From my own experience: 1) Wrapping some of the yellow "Crime Scene" plastic ribbon around an ASM's car a couple times. 2) For the older scouts who can't get out of bed on time in the morning, sending the bugler over to play reville with the horn of the trumpet directly in front of the tent door. 3) Stacking the plastic bins the troop uses to store equipment, along with other large
  19. Two things come to mind - 1) Has anyone ever done/seen the NYLT split up over several weekends. That seems like a good way to schedule it for maximum participants, and around adult and youth staff work schedules. But, to me, I think splitting the course up would be a net negative. 2) I remember reading in Scouting magazine a few months ago about a council out west that ran their youth leader training, woodbadge, and a family camp simultaneously. Have any other councils looked at this possibility? It seems like a good idea, but at the same time it would be a logistical nightmare,
  20. LongHaul - That is not necessarily the case. Councils can (in practice anyway) setup units which they charter themselves. Its common for summer camp staffs to be organized into Venturing Crews without officially filling out registration paperwork. Councils, I'm told, do this for insurance reasons, so that the staff may have a common uniform, and, from a cynical perspective, to boost their # of units. So, yes, you may be part of a Venturing crew just because you are on staff somewhere. (In my council, many scouts don't realize that they're part of these units until they request a Scou
  21. JerseyJohn - I like that idea! My troop includes the cost of the food in with the cost of transportation, reserving the camp ground, etc - total cost usually comes out to about $15 for a weekend campout. One scout from each patrol buys that patrol's food, and turns the receipts in to the treasurer for reimbursement. The general rule is $2.50 per person per meal - usually comes out to be more than enough. If a patrol goes a little over that, an ASM and patrol leader review the rules, and encourage better adherence. Some patrols will knowingly go over, and pitch in to make up what the t
  22. My troop only uses the hatchet, camp saw and pocket knives. For cooking, we just use regular kitchen knives stored in a cardboard sheath. For injuries, if we exclude pocket-knife related mishaps, the only wood tool related injuries I've seen involved the hatchet becoming embedded in their lower leg muscles - happened three times that I've seen (fortunately, never in my troop.) If we include pocket-knife injuries, a scout in my troop once amputated the tip of his forefinger (don't worry, it fully healed), but he, considering himself a "knife enthusiast," knowingly was using an unsafe knife i
  23. eagle97_78, I'm sorry to sound harsh, but your condescending tone, and general vagueness won't help to relate to many folks here offering advice, and certainly not with the audience you wish to "reach out" to. In reading your posts, I haven't really seen you describe any defined ideas as to what you wish to actually do. You keep using the term "reach out," but never really explain what you mean. Perhaps presenting a more clear picture of your situation, and your ideas, will draw more support from the community here. Many have replied to your posts, offering friendly advice bas
  24. Yeah, the age requirement is really controversial - it comes up for discussion every year in planning our council's course, and there are a lot of strong feelings and good points on all sides. I, myself, have mixed feelings, because I see where scottteng is coming is from... but... over the past several years, the overwhelming majority of homesickness problems have come from those for whom we've waived the age requirement. The quality of the program may be a factor, but we very rarely have trouble with the older scouts - they seem to buy into it much more. Perhaps some of it is over the hea
  25. I also do not remember there being a "ticket" component to the JLTC program - I think it might be a good idea, but I don't believe it was in the syllabus. There was a "Leadership Commitment" ceremony in the JLTC, which has been replaced with a more generic Closing Campfire Ceremony in the NYLT course. From what I've gathered, the new curriculum is being received well by participants - even if they can't turn their troops into fully boy-led, it is still easy for the scouts to see how they can apply most of the skills in any type of leadership situation. Of course, there are many elements
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