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Everything posted by EagleBeaver

  1. EagleBeaver

    new 2nd year Webelos

    to review and help a fellow scout. And, those going for Arrow of Light will need to know all that in more depth anyway. There's at least 4 months until your cross-over so completing 8 activity badges is 2 per month - I bet a committed scout can do that with support from his den. I might inform him that he has a great opportunity to push himself to the AoL goal if he wants that, but its not a requirement. Paul
  2. EagleBeaver

    new 2nd year Webelos

    As far as getting his Webelos badge goes it doesn't seem to me that should be a stretch - that's just the Fitness, Citizen, and one other activity badge. I expect you'll be doing one activity badge so he just needs to do the two on his own. Learning the other requirements such as leading a flag ceremony, know the Webelos badge and uniform, Boy Scout joining requirements, ... - those are all great opportunities for the scouts that have completed them to review and help
  3. EagleBeaver

    new 2nd year Webelos

    I'm a WDL II also and have challenged the scouts in our den to recruit 2 more boys to join us - our Join Scouting is tomorrow night. Any time is a good time for a boy to start scouting. 5th grade gives him time to become friends with the den members and learn about Boy Scouts. The main goal of Webelos is transitioning Cub Scouts to Boy Scouts. As far as getting his Webelos badge goes it doesn't seem to me that should be a stretch - that's just the Fitness, Citi
  4. The Pacific Crest Trail goes from Canada to Mexico - it's 2650 miles and goes through Washington, Oregon, and California, but does not go to NEW Mexico. http://www.pcta.org/ http://www.pcthiker.com/ It takes about 5 months covering 20 miles a day and there's a PCT trek planner at http://www.pctplanner.com/start.php I've only hiked small parts of it in Oregon and Washington. Paul
  5. EagleBeaver

    Patrol Spirit

    I would like to see the patrol spirit in our troop increase also. A small checklist to promote patrol spirit will be presented to the troop at camp next week. It simply rewards patrols for their attendance, participation, and extra patrol activities - similar to the information at http://www.inquiry.net/patrol/competition.htm but on a smaller scale. After 3 months, the patrol with the highest tally will choose their patrol reward. Then, the PLC will decide to use it for another 3 months or not. I'm also hoping that a couple patrols will push it a bit and earn the National Honor Patrol award ( http://www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0401/d-gbar.html ) I can send you the document if you want. Paul
  6. EagleBeaver

    To Trust Fall or not to Trust Fall?

    Thanks for the good description, OXCOPS
  7. EagleBeaver

    To Trust Fall or not to Trust Fall?

    The trust fall is a great opportunity to strengthen the bounds of a group that needs to rely on each member, great for building up the teamwork attitude of a patrol. The group needs to earn the trust of the person taking the fall. There's a difference between being brave and being stupid. Falling backwards into a group that you do not believe will catch you is stupid. Falling into a group you trust will keep you from harm is brave. I'm looking forward to seeing how its done on a COPE course since I've not seen that yet. I do hope there are lead up activities in COPE of increasing risk such as a Trust Lean, Trust Fall Circle, and low Trust Fall before having a scout fall from 4 feet up - that is how the trust is earned. The actual fall shouldn't really change the faller's view of the group because he should already have complete trust in them, but it sure can change his view of himself and his capabilities. If anyone can point me to a COPE course description of how the trust fall is done, I'd appreciate it. Paul
  8. EagleBeaver

    World Conservation Award (WCA)

    Since the WCA is not available to Tigers, consider the Conservation Good Turn award instead. It can be earned by conducting a pack or den conservation project. Last fall, I organized our pack to harvest wild prairie grass seed for the USFWS in MN which they would then use to restore prairie. Our Webelos den did the project first in a remote area so they became 'experts'. Then, the entire pack was invited to do it in a more accessible area with the Webelos providing guidance. A great time! Everyone that participated received the Conservation Good Turn patch. http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/Award/Award-240.asp http://www.scouting.org/factsheets/02-519.html
  9. EagleBeaver

    Favorite thing to recite around the campfire?

    EagleinKY, It is called "Chory of Stinderella" and is at http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/Skit/Skit-156.asp "The Medicrin" is a fun story and I've made up two follow-ons called "The Med and Sin" and "The Medic Men" - I tell one each of the first three nights of a week long camp. Holler if you want them. Paul in MN
  10. EagleBeaver

    Armadillo Patrol Patches needed!!

    There is no standard BSA Armadillo patrol emblem, but you could order blank patrol emblem patches and have the armadillo created as a custom patch. See http://www.clipartoday.com/animal/armadillo01.html for some armadillo clipart that might work well. On www.scoutstuff.org, it says to Call 1-800-323-0732 for details on designing custom patrol emblems. Our troop just made up 'Buccaneer' emblems last year that looked great. Paul
  11. EagleBeaver

    Transition to Boy Scouts

    We just had an overnight lock-in at a local church this past weekend to recruit Webelos scouts. We went to a local game spot for a couple hours with miniature golf, go-carts, games of chance, ... and then stayed up all night in the church's activity room with games, pizza, movies. It's not outdoorsy, but it does give the Webelos lots of time to interact with the troop and see what they're like. We also offer to attend individual Webelos den meetings to promote the Boy Scout program - if we had more Den Chiefs this would be taking place naturally. Paul
  12. EagleBeaver

    Dear Santa,

    I just picked up these things for stocking stuffers... waterproof matches, leather water bottle (bota bag), metal toaster that sits on propane stove, marshamallow forks, magnesium firestarter.
  13. Demonstrations, talks, and presentations aren't usually too exciting, but games with activity are what I think you should aim for. First Aid: form teams of 1 or 2 boy scouts and a few Webelos. Have a 'big crash' with a victim for each team that they need to locate, treat, and transport. Teamwork: I always like team building games. For example, each scout has some gear including a couple sticks, some cloth, a 5 foot rope and they have to rescue someone that is 30 feet away. Or, build something at least 10 feet tall. Or, make a stretcher for an injured teammate. Or, figure out how to have your team traverse a bog given 3 boards and a few cinder blocks in specific locations - you have to figure out how to lay out the boards. Compasswork: set up an orienteering course inside. Fire: good luck :-) but you could show a propane stove and flint/steel. Sun: Use a single bright light to simulate the sun for finding directions from the sun or showing a sunclock. Playing games and having fun is a big part of scouting. These are some pages with a bunch of games that you could use: http://netwoods.com/Games/sense.html http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/games/ripley/1_indoor.htm Paul
  14. EagleBeaver

    Boys Life cover

    If I'm interested in video games and platforms, I can read a gaming magazine. If I'm interested in scouting I can read Boys Life. I was disappointed to see such a big chunk of that issue devoted to gaming platforms. Gaming, as Eamonn mentioned, is part of the current culture - but it does not need to be promoted through scouting. It is one major reason we have a growing problem with youth obesity - The average kid in the United States spends 14 hours a week watching television and seven hours a week playing video games. Some Canadian statistics: 1996 statistics showed nearly 30% of boys were overweight compared to 15% in 1981. Obesity among boys aged 7 to 13 nearly tripled to 13.5% over the 15-year period between 1981 and 1996. For more articles, go to google.com and search for: youth obesity video games Paul PS: I really liked the recent article about winter camping in the Rockies where the military trained! Boys Life usually has some very interesting articles and both my boys read it, especially the dumb joke page. :-)
  15. EagleBeaver

    Scoutmaster job description

    RE: Bob's description It sounds good to me. I might change 'boys' to 'a boy'. And, instead of stepping back, I would step on to the next boy moving up the ranks and start training him using the current leader as an example. That is not to mean training only one scout at time, but treating each one as a separate 'project'. Each scout trains at his own speed, some needing more time and guidance than others. The SM role as trainer never ends, a continual new stream of trainees is always in the queue. I do agree that 'stepping back' and having the scouts complete successful adventures by themselves is critical. Paul
  16. EagleBeaver

    Integrating TroopMaster Software

    Yes, we use Troopmaster.Net and it works pretty slick. We have an FTP site where data is kept. When someone opens TM.Net, it asks if they want to connect to the data so they can either just look at their existing copy or go get the latest. It then copies the latest data from the FTP location to their computer. There is a Read-Only or Update access password so you can limit who can change data. There is just a little bit of configuration required in the TM.Net setup on your computer. Paul
  17. EagleBeaver

    Looking for "missed you" postcards

    Good Idea! Does anyone else have ideas to share about effective ways you contact missing scouts so they know they are valuable and were missed? This is one of our goals in my district for the year - to RETAIN existing scouts and not let any drift away. Thanks, Paul
  18. EagleBeaver

    Troop Size

    What a GREAT problem to have! You'll get better advice from others here on how to handle it, but please make sure none of the WEBELOS get left out of a troop. Don't let them fall into the abyss between Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts where many wind up. Make sure the WEBELOS are aware of other local troops and maybe even talk to the other scoutmasters about their plans for taking on new scouts. I believe 72 is already on the big side for a troop. 120 seems awful large. You could entertain the idea of splitting the troop into 2 units, each a separate troop. On #1, I wouldn't limit the numbers. I would have a mandatory volunteer sign-up form for parents of new scouts where they each would sign on for duties so the smaller existing SM/ASM group is not overloaded. It would mean some good forward-looking planning to prepare for how the troop dynamics will change and the extra "opportunities for leadership" your 7th graders will have. They can mentor the new patrols and will do a great job if they understand their valuable role in growing the troop. Paul
  19. EagleBeaver

    friendship sticks

    I've heard of witness bracelets where a leather bracelet has beads of these 7 colors (there is also a 5 color version): yellow = light and truth black = our sin red = Christ's blood white = salvation blue = baptism green= growth of faith gold = eternal life http://www.waoy.com/40day/salvation_bracelet.html Or, here are two other friendship stick versions: http://ca.geocities.com/nunavut_guide/friend_stick.htm http://www.usscouts.org/bbugle/bb0004/bbpack.html Paul
  20. EagleBeaver

    Troop Size and Recruiting?

    Of those 5,000 people in town, it would be useful to have an idea of how many 'unreached' Scout-age boys there really are that might join. How are the other troops in town doing? Do they have the same trouble with small troop size? Or, can they give you recruiting ideas that worked for them? Try to RETAIN the scouts you have. Make sure that attendance is taken at each troop gathering and that someone contacts the boys that didn't attend. This contact is to let them know what fun they missed and that they were missed. If a scout stops showing up and no one checks in on him, that may validate his perception that he wasn't needed, appreciated, or valued. Keeping a 'customer' is much less work than finding a new one. RECRUIT from anywhere you can. Try an ad in the middle school (6th grade) newspaper. Talk with your charter organization to see if they can help. Contact youth pastors of local churches to see if they know some boys that could benefit from scouting. Build a good relationship with local Packs by having your scouts help at their Pinewood Derby, Join Scouting Night, BlueGold dinner, ... any other pack event where your scouts will be visible doing a good turn. Also, Den Chiefs for WEBELOS dens can be a great way to pull boys up, but it is a bigger commitment from a single scout. I would concentrate heavily on crossing over all the WEBELOS and try to get every one of them to invite a friend to join the troop (after training them on how to do it). I would then concentrate on recruiting 6th graders, then 7th, ... with a lower probable success for each year. Paul
  21. EagleBeaver

    you worst pet peeves!

    There's only one think I like less than waiting for someone who's late ... Making someone wait for me. I dislike people that put my family at risk on the roadways by their overly aggressive or inattentive driving. I don't care for liver or brussel sprouts. I wish stores would sell stuff for $5.00 instead of $4.99 Paul
  22. EagleBeaver

    Cub Scout Glossary

    Those of you that said your Pack has a New Parents Guide, would you be able to get me in touch with a copy? I'm working on one for our Pack now and I'd sure like to see what has worked for others. You can send me a private message with the URL of where your guide is or email it to me at paulkautz@hotmail.com - thanks! I've created a guide for New Boy Scout parents and am working on a similar document for Webelos parents to hopefully improve the transition for our local Packs and Troops. These will be available for anyone that wants a look - just ask. Paul
  23. EagleBeaver

    Scoutmaster Gift Ideas

    Our SM will be stepping down in 6 months or so after doing an awesome job so I'm very interested in what suggestions show up here. The engraved axe/hatchet sounds like a nice, memorable keepsake. Paul
  24. EagleBeaver


    Mars was closest at about 5amET on the 27th, but its still easy to see (what's a million miles here or there?). It will rise in the SE at around 8:00pm and climb to the South from there. My Webelos son and I found it and watched it climb around 9pm last night. We had our telescope out, but its not powerful enough to make a difference - just looked like an even bigger bright light. :-) http://www.space.com/images/030827_hubble_mars_2_02.jpg is a photo from the Hubble Telescope made at 5:51am ET when Mars was closest. http://space.com/spacewatch/where_is_mars.html has more info, maps, timetables. Paul
  25. EagleBeaver

    Decision to accept Scoutmaster position

    River2k, I was in pretty much the same spot as you just yesterday, but it looks like I dodged the bullet. Our (great) Scoutmaster was set to step down in October and I had just stepped up to take on the role, but after a refreshing trip to Philmont, he is going to stay on for 6 months or more. Whew! I didn't feel I was ready but I was willing to give it my best. Now, I get to have fun being an ASM another year. We are working on a transition plan and have quite a while to make the roll-over. I'd recommend that every troop have a transition plan with someone pegged as the 'next' SM and groom that person to take over. As has been described, its dependent on the personality of your troop whether your weaknesses will be hinderances or not. In our troop, we have some great boy leaders so persuasiveness would not be an issue - they take on all the persuading and leading in the troop. When you say 'people skills', that's pretty vague. Being able to sit down with a boy at an SM conference and discuss life is crucial, but doing stand-up comedy isn't necessary. I bet you'd feel more capable if you went to your next District Roundtable and asked a handful of SMs there how they got started. Best of Luck, Paul PS: This is my first post, too. :-)