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Everything posted by Eagle309

  1. Eagle309

    Conclave fees

    Recently our Lodge's conclave fees went up by $10 (from $15 to $25). When we asked the Lodge officers and advisors the reason for this increase, we were told that the camp (now part of the Michigan Crossroads Council) is charging building and camp site usage fees This was never the case in the past as we are spending an entire day in service to the camp, fees were waived. Were we spoiled in the past, or does this seem absurd?
  2. Eagle309

    Demonization of the pocket knife

    What I find most ironic is that some of the people who worry about the pocket knife as a weapon in offices seem to have no problem keeping two 5" fixed blade knives pinned together (ie scissors) in their desk and then proceed to use this tool in a quite unsafe manner to open up boxes.
  3. They are not banned on our council. I get comments when I do wear one and often have to explain the actual rules. It also gives me the chance to educate as to when a fixed blade knife may be the better choice. Last time was when I carried a small sheath knife while working at day camp. ( I was building fires, opening boxes, etc so I needed a knife.) I explain that last year when I used my folding knife, the place the camp is located at is so sandy that I ended up having to disassemble it to clean it when the week was up. I have no problem cleaning the fixed blade knife.
  4. Eagle309

    What Did Jamboree Cost in Your Council

    Our contingent fee was $1500. This included the Jamboree fees, two t shirts, a baseball cap, neckerchief, two sets of CSPs and Troop numbers plus position patches where applicable, a hydration day pack, foot lockers, wall tents, the bus trip to and from Michigan, a day tour thru Gettysbug, 4 nights in DC (staying at a military base), 3 days of touring DC, and all meals to and from as applicable. Camp kitchens, rain flies, and cots were all borrowed and tents went to the council when we were done. All in all, I think we got quite a good deal.
  5. Eagle309

    Summer sleeping gear

    I would be interested in knowing also as I am going to Jambo this year (as an ASM) so will be in warm and humid weather on a cot. Eureka and Slumberjack both make "60 degree plus" bags that sound like they are designed for warm weather. It would be interesting to hear if any one had experience with these.
  6. Eagle309

    BSA Urban Myths--Busted!

    On the new forms (in our Council at least) there is a spot for the MBC name on the Advancement forms. As to whether anyone check them against a list is uncertain.
  7. So my 14 year old son had a school physical this past month and we had the new health form filled out also. We thought we were all set for next years camp and Jamboree. Now we just got the Jamboree health form in email. It is basically the same form, except it now requires that body fat percentage be filled in. According to the form this data is used in addition to (not in place of or as an alternate to) the height/weight tables to determine participation in certain events. So it looks like this field is needed. So it looks like another Dr. appointment (costing us a copay assuming that insurance considers this a valid reason for a visit) to get this new test so the revised health form can be filled out. (Do all doctors even test for body fat?) This is getting expensive. Hopefully nothing more is added to the forms in the near future. On an only slightly related matter how about some sane tables? This boy weighed in slightly into the overweight (ie in the acceptable allowance) category-- he had his shirt off at home the other day. I can count his ribs. When he streached and sucked his stomach in, his rib cage stuck out a good two inches from his stomach. If this is overweight, I would not want to see what underweight would be.
  8. Eagle309

    farewell Walter Cronkite, Eagle Scout

    He was a great man. I am considering doing a SM minute on him. I would like to verify that he was an Eagle Scout. I see conflicting data out there. Most notibly the USSSP says no. (See http://usscouts.org/eagle/bsfamous.asp) Does any know a credible source to verify whether he was an Eagle or not?
  9. Eagle309

    2010 Scout Weight Restrictions

    I still have a bad feeling about what is coming. The new form is already being used for NOAC this summer. I was told by the adult adviser that unless I 'made weight' that I would not be able to attend. (This event is held at a college dorm to boot.) I compete as a powerlifter. I am using barbells in excess of 500 pounds twice a week. I also bike, swim and walk regularly. I swam the mile in 31 min last summer at camp. I have no health issues. Despite being over their limit, I think I am in pretty good condition. Despite the fact that I may only be a few pounds over, I would not gamble the fees for a major scouting event that I would make weight at the event. I may measure an inch shorter and or the scales may read a few pounds different than mine, so it would seem that I would need to be quite a few pounds below in order to be safe. My training is going well and I do not want to jeopardize it by probably having to loose some of the muscle that I worked hard for just to make a number. While I am fairly certain that our council will not implement these tables for summer camp next year unless they are required to, I still fear this may be my last summer at camp.
  10. Eagle309

    Climbing Rope and Climb on Safety

    I agree that this is not a Climb on Safely issue but nonetheless caution you to be careful. I almost lost one of my (Webelos at the time) Scouts about 5 years back due to a school gym class rope climbing accident. It seems that he lost his grip at the top of the climb and fell to the too thin a mat below. The gym teacher was 'spotting' but was unable to break a fall from that height. The boy went into cardiac arrest as a result of the fall. The only thing that saved him was the fact that the fire department was less than 1/4 mile away so arrived quickly with a defibulator. The local school system has since that time removed all gym ropes and is adding bouldering walls where funds can be raised.
  11. This strikes a nerve with me. I would be one of those Scouters branded with the Scarlet 'O' although I believe that I am in better condition than some Scouters I know who would squeak by. I compete as a powerlifter and in some other strength sports and have set state and federation records in my age/weight class.(Hence I have more muscle mass than the average populus-- my body fat percentage (skin calliper test) was 15-16% when last taken.) I also take part in hiking, cycling, and swimming for enjoyment and a well rounded fittness program. I do the mile swim every year at summer camp (under 30 min this last year) and have been working with some Scouts toward the cycling merit badge and usually lead the group on the cycle trips. I have no health issues and am on no medication. Hopefully they will follow a policy closer to that of the Army and have an alternate test for those who exceed tables. (As I understand it the Army computes body fat percentage using various body circumfrence measurements). Competing in a weight class based sport I also know how I could 'make weight' for my physical (and rechecks)since it is only about 10# but cannot imaging that the BSA would want anyone using unhealthy and dangerous methods to do this (ie OTC diuretics, dehydration, laxatives, etc). I can also see problems arising with questioning of scale accuracys and questioing of height measurements. (I drop a full inch in height after a squat workout where I have had a heavy bar on my back.) Hopefully common sense will prevail and some tweaks to the program will take place so that I will not need to decide if I need to give up my sport and loose muscle mass in order to provide my Troop leadership at summer camp.
  12. Our Troop (of which I am SM) is hopefully about to see its first Eagle Scout. However, we (both myself and the committee) made the mistake of granting the Scout in question his Star rank (both SMC and BOR) one day short of the 4 months tenure required at First Class. He was at Star the full 6 months before receiving Life and has been at Life for over 23 months now. The Council caught this discrepency when reviewing the application before sending it on to the District Advancement Committee to schedule an Eagle BOR. They requested from me (the SM) a letter stating that the dates were correct and that the Troop had made the mistake of granting Star a day too early. They said that is all that could be done and we would just have to see what happens. I composed a letter to be signed by myself and the CC at the time in question stating that it was a Troop error. I added that during all this time, the Scout has been successfully serving in a qualifying POR and that his Scout Spirit has not been brought into question. What is likely to happen? I hate to see this Scout's Eagle rank jeopordized by an error that only a small part in making.
  13. The Eagle Scout application asks for references-- parents, religious, education, employer, and two "other". We have a Scout nearing completion of this rank and he has asked if the "other" references need to be "adults" or could they be "youth". He will be the first Eagle in our Troop so I was unsure how to answer this. Does anyone know if there is any official stance on this?
  14. The new Eagle Project workbook asks for the total hours spent on the Eagle Project. If funds need to be raised to purchase materials for a construction type project, should the time spent fundraising be included in the total hours? I am getting conflicting opinions on this locally and simply want to be able to advise my Scouts correctly in this matter.
  15. Eagle309

    Untrustworthy Scout

    Just came back from summer camp. Several of the boys worked on the Swimming Merit Badge. It was reported to me by more than one boy that a particular Scout managed to sneak into the shower and drench his clothes and was able to get credit for the clothes inflation requirement while he never did it. (The class was large and I can see it being possible to slip one by on the instructor.) I questioned the boy and he will not admit any decitfulness. Based on his tone of voice and what the other boys said (three came and told me this all separtely), I believe he is lying and did not do the work although I cannot prove it. Unfortunately, since I have a signed blue card back, I cannot deny him the merit badge. I am very concerned about the message this will send to the boys who actually did the work honestly. Any repremands I can think of still will not change the fact that he cheated his way into a merit badge. Any creative ideas on how to deal with this?
  16. Eagle309

    Young SPL

    We have a young Troop (11-13 year olds) with a 13 year old Life Scout SPL. Boys seem to not be willing to listen to him (nor any other youth leader).This is despite numerous talks from me that they should listen to youth leaders as if they were adults. Any advise I can give him.
  17. I just signed off on Scout Spirit and SMC requirements for Tenderfoot for a Scout last week. Since that time there has been a significant "Scout Spirit" issue. (The boy was at an outing this past weekend and slipped off with some spray paint, painted the snow and was caught attempting to light it. Also he was littering.) I am of course going to make the board aware of this and reccommend that the Scout not advance at this time. The boy will most likely be told he needs to spend more time working on following various points of the Scout Law which he has broken. The board will probably ask me how long I reccommend this Scout have a good record before they will continue his review. I was thinking one month. This would actually be only two meetings due to Christmas break. In your opionion does this sound in line and sufficient?
  18. I have been a SM about two years and have my first Life Scout ready to start his Eagle project. I am trying to understand the process. (When I earned my Eagle in the early 80s the project only required SM approval as I recall.) Does the Scout plan out all the details of the project ("to the extent that someone could pick up the plans and do the project" is how I explained it to the Scout in my Troop) and then (after securing the proper Troop and benefiting org signatures) take to the District Advancement for approval? My concern with this is that the project the Scout has choosen, the planning may be a very large portion of it-- I could see an easy 20-30 hours-- he wants to improve the trail markings and place map signs at the local nature center. (They really like the idea because their current signs/markers are poor and people are getting lost out there.) Walking all the trail and deciding where to place everything is a big part of the job, but definately falls under planning. What I hate to see is for him to get so far along and then have it not approved for whatever reason.
  19. Eagle309

    Scoutmaster's Approval

    Unless the Scout in question is lacking in Scout spirit to the extent that I would not sign off on it as a rank requirement, I approve the Scout. I then have a talk with the Troop before the night of elections and explain to them the criteria they should be using in selecting or not selecting eligable Scouts. The choice is then up to the boys as to who they feel exmplifys Scout spirit well enough to be chosen for this honor. I do not want to take this away from them by narrowing down the list. So far, IMO my Troop has made wise choices. I also have assisted with OA elections for our Lodge. Despite the fact that all eligable scouts can be elected, I have not seen this occur at any of the elections I was present at. I even saw a Troop that had 14 eligable Scouts and only elected two.
  20. We have a scout with a very bad home life. Scouting/outings are one his main ways out of his house and the only good values he is exposed to. He earns his own money (newspaper route) to pay for them all. His behavior however has always been marginal. Last couple of troop meetings he has gotten worse though. If the boys are off doing anything that is not directly supervised by an adult (is something as simple as a hike thru the woods), another boy ends up getting hurt (snow or mud rubbed in face, tackled, etc). This past weekend we were on a council training outing. The adults were away from the boys most of the time. The boys were (IMO) adequetely supervised, but were expected to funuction as a patrol on their own. The adults cabins were a ways away from the boys. I heard nothing about harmful acts till we were heading home and the two boys I was driving said it was their worst campout ever and they were considering transfering to another troop. (One boy is my son.) Our 'problem' scout had thrown stone laden mud, snow/ice, and sticks at them. On many other occassions he gave them "cup checks"-- his phrase for a punch to the groin. My son came home with scraps on the back of his hand and with a twisted ankle from being tackled. It is obvious that the troop cannot be safe from harm let alone a safe haven with this boy around unless an adult is watching over at all times which is not the way scouting works nor is it feesable in an outdoor environment. I have my PLC meeting tomorrow and I am sure this campout will be the main topic of discussion. They could well tell me they want the boy out. Our TC is also thinking over how to act. I also have a call into the DE for advise. My first inclination would to have been to require he have a parent/guardian with him at all troop meetings and funuctions, but this would never happen. I plan on having a SMC with the boy tomorrow evening too so he recognizes what he did is unscoutlike in many ways, try to see what is happing with him in his personal life, and see what he proposes we do about his problem. Any additional advise on how we should proceed would be greatly appreciated.
  21. In the younger cub dens, den meetings are mostly spent on crafts, games and other fun activities while most of the achievement work is to be done at home with the cubs Akela. In Webelos the Akela who signs off the books is now the Den Leader not the parent. Also, the activity pins worked on can require expertise or equipment the parents don't have. Thus, in the past our Packs Webelos den have worked on Activity pins during den meetings with little done at home. The new CM does not like this and contends that the Webelos dens need to be working on crafts, games, and skits to present at the pack meetings based around the monthly themes. (Despite the fact that the program helps list a Webelos activity pin in addition to the monthly theme and do not outline den programs around the theme for Webelos). As a former CM (and current CA who still helps the pack despite having moved on), I tend to agree with the Webelos den leaders position, but am not sure if I am correct, 'by the book' or not. Which way do other packs run their Webelos den(s)?
  22. I am SM of a troop and an arrowman. We have one youth arrowman in out troop (elected in this troop). At a recent campout the SPL was absent part of the time due to OA training for troop reps (as only arrowman he is troop rep). Troop did not funuction as well with SPL gone. OA training was known about when campout was scheudled, but it was the only week the troop could make work for the month. Still, some of the troop committee has a very negitive opinion of the OA and don't care if our troop has any involvement. If push comes to shove, can the troop committee say we have no further OA elections?
  23. Eagle309

    Heating Your Tent

    Does anyone think one of these devices in a tent is NOT a violation of the G2SS? I learned about an incident after the fact (by the scouts in question themselves) that one of their parents (TC member) gave them a heater like this on the last campout for their use. As I am not in great favor with the committee right now (I am trying to have a boy-run troop they seem to want a Webelos 3 troop), I want to make sure I am on 100% solid ground that it is a policy violation and not open to interpertation before I read them (TC) the riot act over the heater . (BTW where do you find a copy of the riot act?)
  24. Eagle309

    Who decides if we have unit elections?

    emb021-- Ironically that was the issue. Troop campout was the same weekend as lodge training. Decision was made by TC that this was the only week for the campout despite this. SPL briefed the ASPL and went to LLD (at the same camp-- just 1/4 mile away) for a few hours. ASPL was not as capable of handling boys. SPL has been taken to task for this and may resign as OA rep leaving us repless too.
  25. Eagle309

    Disruptive Scouts

    Our Troop is currently small (8 active boys-- 2 patrols) and young (3 12 year olds and 5 11s). SPL is 12 yr old Star (and elections are comming up). Highest rank of others is 2nd class. For the most part our meetings go well, except two of the boys (and it varies as to which one) can be extreemly disruptive during the time that we are having discussions or doing skill instruction. It causes nothing to be learned/done at the meetings as someone (ususally the SPL but sometimes an adult when the SPL is ignored) has to constantly quiet them down/ stop their mild (non dangerous) horseplay. The last meeting we had, the SPL had the disruptor go sit aside while the meeting then went on (and was quite successful and on time). While I applaud the action of the SPL, neither I (SM) nor the TC knew what had happened at the time except the boy left quite upset. They thought that this action was too harsh and in fact, if I knew what had known at the time, I would have talked (again) with the boy and tried to get him back into the meeting after a shorter 'time out'. None of this has been effective so far in helping with this behavior. Various adults (as well as the SPL) have met with the boy individually and discussed the problem with him. He just says the meetings are boring and he wants to have fun. We have tried dangling various 'carrots' in front of him-- ' just 10-20 min of skill instrucition and then it is game time to test/practice these', having a game after this if time permits (ie no disruptions in the meeting) , or even the advancement/leadership position/OA elegiblilty carrots, but all to no avail. I am looking for ideas as to how to deal with these boys. These are the boys who need scouting the most.