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Posts posted by Eagle74

  1. FastFingers; can you email me a contact at Idaho State that is involved with this? I've made some initial contacts locally to see what can be done to gain ACE credit recommendation for Woodbadge participants. (I had anticipated maybe using this for a Woodbadge ticket, but my participation in a WB course has taken a back seat to degree work, work commitments, a remodeling project, and regular scouting commitments)

  2. Traditions are good as long as they serve a purpose and we know/learn the meaning behind the tradition. There comes a time though when we sometimes need to respectfully bury the old tradition. And sometimes start new traditions.


    My vocation (fire & emergency services) is steeped in traditions that are an integral part of the bond holding together all firefighters as brothers & family. But even we get trapped at times as noted in this firehouse quip: "Two hundred years of tradition unimpeded by progress." (Look on the wall in the background of the fire station scenes in "Backdraft."

  3. EagleInKy,


    Looks pretty good. We are in the process of a rewrite as our guide hasn't been redone in eons. This will serve as a good example.


    BTW, I've visited your troop website in the past, but never got around to telling you how much I like it. Excellent site layout, ease of navigation, and information!(This message has been edited by Eagle74)

  4. The mesh size as I referred to it is the sieve mesh size (sand granule size).


    Stainless steel mesh is used in place of metal flashing for termite shielding or laid around the foundation to protect openings in foundations though. It wouldn't really help for the project noted above unless laid under and then up around the sides a bit. The mesh is fine enough that termites can't pass through it and tough enough that they can't chew through it.

  5. Cinder Blocks or brick definitely works. Some other thoughts:


    Sand Barrier under and around - at least 6", 10-16 mesh (termites can't tunnel or establish tunnels in this)


    Commercially available termite resistant woods:



    Sappy southern yellow pine (heartwood)


    Charring the wood in contact with the ground seem to help. This is an old trick used by farmers for instance, on the buried part of locust fence posts.


    Other moderately or very resistant woods: (Trees found locally that can be cut into boards at a local saw mill. I've had this done and have seen this done when somebody cuts one of these trees down on their property) Any of these would usually be quite expensive as a commercial board product.


    Arizona Cypress

    Black Cherry

    Black Locust

    Black Walnut

    Burr Oak


    Chestnut Oak

    Gambel Oak



    Osage Orange

    Post Oak

    Red Mulberry


    White Oak


  6. Excuse my slide back to the basketry discussion for a minute. . . I just had a "things that make you go Hmmmm?" moment.


    Just came back from summer camp (had to leave a day early) and there were numerous basketry merit badge blue cards completed, but . . .


    I don't recall seeing a single basket anywhere in our site; neither being worked on nor a completed one. I must have missed something. For that matter, I haven't seen a camp stool seat for several years.

  7. Sounds like what I had in 1978. One could do either the "Scout Leader Development Course" or both "Cornerstone" and "Outdoor Experience" to fulfill the training requirement for the Scouter's Training Award.


    I did the SLDC. We were Troop 99. It consisted of several classroom type sessions (troop meetings) and then a weekend camping experience. Troop meetings were spent learning assorted things like how to run meetings, planning, rules & regs, etc. We were divided into patrols (had a couple patrol meetings in addition to the course sessions), had patrol flags/yells, and functioned like a troop. During the outdoor weekend there were stations set up for learning various outdoor skills, patrol cooking, etc.

  8. Great story Eamonn! Lisabob; we always put one senior scout in each vehicle with the responsibility for keeping the other boys behaving appropriately. Also, if there is not another adult in the car as the navigator, the senior scout is in the front passenger seat as the navigator and communications person (cell phone, FSR radio, etc.) so that the driver can concentrate on driving.

  9. Here is a clue from the back of the Tour Permit Form in the Our Pledge of Performance section:


    18. If more than one vehicle is used to transport the group, we will establish rendevous points at the start of each day and not attempt to have drivers closely follow the group vehicle in front of them.


    Convoy driving is not something most people know how to do or do well.

    - The tendency is for vehicles to follow each other too closely. "Close the gap!"

    - Groups traveling in convoy frequently don't give each driver good directions/maps. "Follow the leader!" Now everybody else is more concerned about losing the leader than paying attention to safe driving.

    - If the lead vehicle decides that the trip is a race, or a lane changing game, convoy driving forces all other drivers to drive in a manner that they are not accustomed to or desire to.

    - Some people will do some very strange things when another vehicle or vehicles end up in the middle of the convoy.

    - If there is an "emergency" such as a boy who gets sick to his stomach, or a boy with a need to take care of very important business, that driver feels obliged not to leave the convoy to address the problem.

    - Another problem is when one vehicle makes a mistake (almost missing exit for instance) and tries to make a quick correction causing the rest of the convoy to maybe do something dumb also.


    The recommended practice is to provide clear concise directions/maps, establish regular "pit stops" for regrouping and group checkups, and let each driver set their own pace.


    Our troop uses a loose convoy.

    - We all leave at the same time, but every driver is free to drive at their own pace.

    - We establish regular rest stops/meeting points along the way to check that everybody is doing OK. Every driver knows where they are and that they are required to stop.

    - With cell phones commonplace, if a driver needs to leave the established route for one reason or another, or has a breakdown, etc., that driver phones the caboose to make them aware (see next bullet).

    - We usually have one of the seasoned leaders take the role of caboose or sweeper. This driver is always the last vehicle. If another vehicle leaves the route, gets lost, needs to make a stop or experiences trouble, the caboose provides assistance as needed. Or makes the two-deep if the situation dictates.

  10. gilsky; clarification please. You mention 25 to 30 service hours done (and sound to be quite worthwhile service hours), but did the SM approve the hours/service beforehand, as required?


    If so, they're done. If not, it would be at the SM's discretion to accept or not. I do however fall on the side of "adding to the requirements" if "leadership" is required. Not that a leadership component can't be acceptable or desirable, but rather that it can't be required. In my world I like to see "advancement" in the type of service hours performed as the scout advances higher in rank - to me a Life Scout simply participating in the annual food/clothing drive leaves something to be desired in a seasoned scout. Usually handle something like that by suggesting that it's time for the (Star &) Life Scout to be taking on a little personal growth by raising the bar a little. They usually agree.

  11. There are two issues here that are confusing and lead to conundrums.


    First: (G2SS)

    "3. Swimming Ability

    A person who has not been classified as a "swimmer" may ride as a passenger in a rowboat or motorboat with an adult swimmer, or in a canoe, raft, or sailboat with an adult who is trained as a lifeguard or a lifesaver by a recognized agency. In all other circumstances, the person must be a swimmer to participate in an activity afloat. Swimmers must pass this test:" (goes on to explain swimmers test)


    If all scouts are at the "swimmers" level this section won't apply. If all are not, then life guard (or lifesaver) training(s)would be needed. What exactly is "lifesaver" training/certification? I can't help with that one and can't find anybody that knows the answer.



    "All supervisors must complete BSA Safety Afloat and Safe Swim Defense training and rescue training for the type of watercraft to be used in the activity, and at least one must be trained in CPR. It is strongly recommended that all units have at least one adult or older youth member currently trained as a BSA Lifeguard to assist in the planning and conducting of all activity afloat."


    Neither BSA Safety Afloat nor BSA Safe Swim Defense provide "rescue training for the type of watercraft to be used in the activity . . ." So where does a "supervisor" acquire this training? For that matter, BSA Lifeguard training (nor Red Cross Lifeguard training)provides this.


    I am not a legal eagle, nor do I profess to being one, but I find myself being very cautious when the policy says ". . . it is strongly recommended . . ." My legal eagle buddy however, tells me this leaves the door very much open for him to make my life miserable if there is an incident and I didn't follow the "strong recommendation." If nothing else he says he'll sue me anyway and one of the first questions he'll ask is why I didn't follow such a "strong recommendation" from higher on the totem pole than I. So if nothing else it's a CYA situation, at least for me.


    Fortunately, for our troop it hasn't been an issue. I had life guard certification in the past (let it lapse) and have rescue technician certification including still and swift water rescue training (this should certainly work for "lifesaver" training). My older son has Red Cross certification and my younger has BSA certification, so that's covered the last eight years worth of troop float trips. And for many years there has always been at least one other scout or adult with BSA certification.


    As for "it's a family outing" (planned, supervised, and executed by the troop, with scouts/parent participants?), FScouter is right - quack, quack! It's not what you say you're doing, but what you're really doing that counts.


    Bottom line is G2SS stops short of a requirement, but then opens the door to question the action (or rather lack thereof).

  12. Sounds to me like you are doing the right and good thing as a MB counselor. Some lads really appreciate working on a merit badge where the counselor is not just a rubber stamp. My best times as a couselor are when a scout - after having completed the badge or sometimes a couple of years later - tells me or another scout "I really learned something doing xxxx merit badge, thanks!"


    Sometimes, you just have to stick by your guns though. I had a scout call me to do Fire Safety merit badge last year. He was a last minute Eagle trying to earn his last few merit badges. "I would like to meet with you to do Fire Safety merit badge . . . can we meet tomorrow or the day after . . . I have everything all written out so it should only take half an hour or so . . ." I advised him that it would take longer than half an hour, and faxed him my copy of the requirements that have all of the "demonstrate", "explain", "discuss", etc underlined. But I told him that I would work with him to get everything completed prior to his deadline - if he was willing to put forth the effort, I was willing to accomodate his need. He was not happy; his mother called and was livid. I advised her that he was free to call another counselor as there are several on the district list. He did.


    I know his Scoutmaster well and called him to relate the jist of the exchange, and explain my position. To my surprise, the SM congratulated me for standing firm - this scout had a history of "shopping for MB counselors" until he found one that would allow him to take the easy road. In fact, he had originally recommended me to the scout as a "good" MB counselor for this particular badge. I appreciated the support.


    MaScout, keep on keeping on.

  13. Beavah, this is what I was referring to. I will need to do some digging in my paperwork to find the source, but this same thing has been relayed to me by council staff: "Intentional and criminal acts are not covered by the General Liability Insurance. Although criminal acts are fairly obvious,and we hope not a problem, intentional acts might need some explanation. Among other things, an intentional act would include conducting activities that are not authorized by the BSA or conducting activities in a manner contrary to the safety guidelines of the BSA. In these cases, the Boy Scouts of America covers volunteers only at will. A leader, who intentionally acts contrary to BSA policy or guidelines, may find they are not backed by the Boy Scouts of America."

  14. Sue; sounds like you are doing a fine job and on track! You note that you have been working 18 months to get where you are now. Remember that you are trying to change a culture - that takes time; sometimes a long time. The complete cultural change won't happen until the old culture has moved on.


    You also mention ups and downs, and sometimes getting one thing on track brings up another. It's an indication from reading between the lines that you are operating in a continuous quality circle - you are raising your own bar constantly as a leader. The "bad" part about that can be that you will feel like the job is never done. Take a step back every once in a while to take stock and appreciate what has been accomplished.

  15. We've been running into the same issue for the last couple of years - lots of adults (parents) to the point that the ratio of adults to kids is sometimes more than 1 adult for every 2 scouts. Finally came to the realization that sometimes we seem to be running two programs; one for adults (not troop leaders) and one for the Scouts. Kinda like the scout outing is also an escape outing for the adults and naturally with a different adult agenda. Have been discussing many potential solutions, but haven't arrived at a good answer. This is one of those forum threads where I hope to hear how others are able to work it out.


    Additionally we, like others, also have found that a large number of adults strains the gear supply, cooking, etc. One hesitates to raise dues to purchase additional gear for adults, but maybe some type of participation fee would be in line. You're right, having enough adults for three adult "patrols", but trying to work it as one is difficult.


    We have always run an open program, with parents welcome to attend any event, but in the past we would get a few on this outing and others on another, spread out throughout the year. Lately, there are a number of regulars for many outings in addition to the occassional's. I don't think that requiring registration is necessarily the answer. We usually have six or seven registered adults on outings, but that does perhaps place an extra burden on them to be watchdogs over the unregistered adults on the outing.


    Beavah, agree with the gist of your post, but gasoline on the fire is a bad example. Scouting insurance is "at will" and violation of G2SS or other BSA policy would allow BSA to refuse to cover (as it has been explained to me). That case would leave the adult hanging in the breeze on their own, anyway.

  16. Thank you, John-in-KC. Thank you not for general agreement with my suggestion, but thank you for taking an insightful view into the conundrum of sunsetandshadow.


    Sure, BSA does not require a uniform - these boys could go without and use some type of common t-shirt, polo shirt or whatever. Or sure, there could be the haves (able to wrangle a full uniform) together with the have-nots (can't afford, so will not be wearing any part of the uniform per the letter of the law); with a resulting rag-tag looking group of boys. To what end result? Just to be able to say they're following the rules to the letter?


    What I read in the lines and between the lines though, is a genuine attempt to "deliver the program" in the best possible way within the means of the scouts and their families. There is a stated desire to "do their best".


    I will say again that I am as much a proper uniforming advocate as all but the most extreme in this forum. It infuriates me to no end 90% the boys in the troop I serve are not properly uniformed - there is no valid excuse. It absolutely sends me through the roof that 95% of the adult leadership in the troop I serve does not wear a proper uniform (shirts with jeans, etc. including Woodbadgers. They had to have a full uniform for the course; where is it now? But that's fodder for another time). I do not at all agree with jeans being a part of sunsetandshadow's troop uniform. All in the same khaki cargos I can be open to (can serve multiple uses). All in the same green pants I can truly support as an alternative temporary measure. I have a pair of olive green pants that you would not be able to distinguish from official pants unless I'm standing next to someone in the official uniform. They cost me $15.98 when purchased and serve as a backup to my official pants or when I need to keep the official ones clean for another event.


    I am not so naive though as to think that there are not many places where the cost of a full uniform is prohibitively high to the scout/family, especially within a short period of time. There are families that are in these circumstances within my community. (I'm not talking about the ones that say they can't afford anything, but run around with cell phones, have cable tv, and PS2s.)


    The intent I read between the lines is to get to a point where it can be done right and to work hard toward that end (I could be wrong). I say go for it - deliver the program the best way you can, striving always to make it better.

  17. 1. I am a proponent of proper uniforming. Uniforming is one of the methods.

    2. The world is not all black and white; most of it is shades of gray.

    3. Delivery of a Scouting program should not sacrificed due to a genuine inability to be fully "BSA uniformed". For my troop, there is no genuine reason for every boy presently in the troop not to be fully uniformed (although most are not). Not everybody is as fortunate.


    My humble opinion/recomendation:

    - Start everybody with the shirts if that's what everybody can afford for now ("experienced" shirts work well). Forget the "official" neckerchiefs found in the catalog; and hats, for now - both are optional items.

    - Start everybody with olive green/hunter green/sierra green or whatever green color pants that can be afforadably acquired by the families. They won't be Scout pants, but they can be reasonably close. (and you won't have to deal with the silly pockets on the official uniform :) sorry, couldn't keep myself from adding that) The important thing is to have everybody "uniform" (same pants for all - pick a supplier that all can afford). As a troop you will look smart, look like scouts, feel like scouts, and the only folks that will give you any grief are the uniform police types. I will email you with some supplier suggestions. There are stores/companies that have green pants that cost less than $25 with some as low as $15. It's no more than the cost of jeans; which are not at all close.

    - Spend a year (or two) building up a uniform cache. E-bay, thrift stores, donated, etc. A troop money-making project to purchase uniforms may not be kosher thing within the confines of BSA policy. Find somebody outside of the scout troop that supports the scouting program and ask for help - somebody that is a former scout/scouter and/or appreciates the value of the Scouting program and let them do it for you (can even be a non-scouter). A number of years ago, I met a former Scoutmaster who had been away from the program for several years and who was a successful business person in his area. He had tapped former scouts/scouters in his rural community for a "sponsor-a-scout" effort to get a local scout troop uniformed, and he was quite successful at it. Rather than asking for money, each was asked to donate a uniform item; experienced or new.

    - During this period, find a parent or friend that can sew. Have them make neckerchiefs. There is nothing magical about the neckerchiefs in the catalog. (Do not put the Scout logo on it - troop number, embroidered design, etc. though is fair game.)

    - When the cache is sufficient for all boys to be uniformed in official shirts and pants, make the switch.

    - Once the switch is made, keep the uniform cache going so that new scouts can have a full uniform and growing scouts can trade up to larger sizes.

    - Instill pride in wearing the uniform and take pride in what has been accomplished.


  18. Are only troop adults signing off on requirements? If so, mention it to one of the adults that you have observed that seems to work well with younger scouts. He might be able to draw your son out with an encouraging talk.


    This example is one that reinforces the concept of experienced scouts signing off requirements - troop guides, troop instructors, etc. A good experienced scout that likes working with younger scouts is a significant asset. Also, under these circumstances, young ASMs like Eagle Scouts just aged out can often connect better than us old fogeys.

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