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About Eagle1982

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  1. Geocaching, at east once in a while, is a great activity to show Scouts the reality of GPS's. Too many youth have the idea that a GPS will take them to exactly the spot, within inches. You watch them geocache the first time, and the GPS says they have arrived, yet they can't find the cache. They are great to teach that the accuracy of the GPS when the cache is set, the accuracy of the GPS finding it, plus weather conditions, tree cover or if you are on the north side of a mountain can effect how well it works.
  2. Best is so subjective. For car camping, or weekends, I have a Digital SLR. I have a heavy lens on it that is 17mm to 55mm focal length and f2.8 all the way through. Focal length is of course your zoom and the smaller the fx.x you can go, the more light it can let in. The 17mm allows me to capture the whole campsite, full group shots or large landscape shots. I found with so many campouts starting on Friday evening evening, that the f2.8 lens allows me to take more quality shots at dusk/dawn of the Scouts doing their jobs, plus it allows a faster shutter on action shots during the da
  3. Huh, if our troop only went camping when the Scoutmaster did, they'd never go camping. OK maybe once in a cabin, but that's it.
  4. Someone else mentioned it but get all the boys you have now NYLT trained. They will be able to work together as a core that sets the example for all the others that join.
  5. Ah, I see. John, I don't think a den chief will help if there is not a nearby homeschooled pack to feed from, based on their goals. So, you have an opportunity to start a new troop, and start it with "patrol method" right away. WHile you said it will be kind of "troop method" at the start, that may be true in the background, but in the foreground, you can model patrol method early on. I would think early on you need to really emphasize outdoor skills. Have one outing with nothing but different cooking methods. Cook in patrols, adults in their own patrol modeling how patrol met
  6. Regular Webelos recruiting season will be starting soon. It's probably safe to say you don't have a regular stream of Scouts from an existing Pack to rely on. You may be able to recruit at other places you have connections, such as a church. It's difficult enough starting a new troop, but to start a new troop with leaders that are transplants to the area make sit even harder. If there are other decent troops nearby, you may become friends with a few that match some of y'all goals and shadow them a little. Just so the few boys you currently have will have more interaction/practice/pl
  7. Make the patrols a little bigger. To me, it's a fair trade off to have a patrol of 10 at a troop meeting so that at least 6 show up for an outing, and can stay a patrol.
  8. Another vote for NPR. While public radio has some left leaning shows, the news shows during the morning and afternoon seem to go our of their way to present both sides. Without the use of celebrities and politicians for the sake of celebrities and politicians. I also like the Economist. I guess snobby reading and radio shows with proper enunciation and grammar appeal to me for some reason.
  9. Nothing like hauling 5 cases of water to help weigh down the trailer for 3 hours because an adult doesn't like the taste of water from the pump at camp... Then half filled water bottles litter the camp and they did poorly on their inspection.
  10. Stosh, I actually prefer the taste and consistency of eggs done in the ziplock bag, vs the ones done in a cheap aluminum pan/cup. It's not always expediency. Now, carry a well seasoned cast iron pan, and all bets are off...
  11. The MSR Whisperlite is a great backpacking stove. If looking at stability and patrol cooking, consider the MSR Dragonfly. It is a little heavier, has a wider base than the whisperlite. Also, it has real simmer control, if cooking things other than boiled water.
  12. This is one of those things that doesn't matter to me much, as long as I get to go camping. I draw the line at low quality tents though, but I can use my own. I don't like to see Scouts in low quality troop supplied tents. Invariably they get one strong rain, and invariably someone's Scout Handbook gets soaked. Many of my summer camps have sites with tents on platforms, and sites for troops to provide their own tents. I do think the camps need to keep some canvas a-frames in stock for things like NYLT, where it does look nice with those canvas tents.
  13. "While I'm sure there are some shady "schools" out there it seems that most of the complaints come from the purists who don't believe it can be an activity for youth/families. Will my daughter be able to defend herself in a street fight when she earns her black belt? Probably not, but her (and my) view of the program has always been that this is a "sport" that she can do. And it costs $250 to put your kid into Pop Warner football, so it seems in line." Yeah, sorry to come off as a snobby purist. That's cool, as long as you have a clear understanding of what you are getting for your m
  14. Off subject a bit, and a bit of a soapbox issue with me, but there are so many bad "karotty" schools out there (called McDojo's - google it) be careful. Some warning signs are high testing fees, long contracts, required seminars, black belt clubs, required to buy their gear, lack of realistic contact... Worse than taking your money, many bad schools give a false sense of self confidence. OK, I'll get off the soap box now.
  15. "Yep sports are costly. Oldest takes karate. "Class A" uniform was $80, 2 t-shirts for "Class B" was $40, monthly fee is $80,and his first belt test, which actually covers White and Yellow is $100 ( yep they called the uniforms Class A and B, and yes they get tested for white, although they already gave it to him). That doesn't include tourneys or seminars. And I was informed that as he gets higher blets, he will need to go to seminars." Not to offend, but this sounds a bit McDojo-ish. Does the belt fee increase as the rank goes up? Do they have a special "Black Belt" club?
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