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EagleBeaver

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Everything posted by EagleBeaver

  1. "How you would handle the situation?" - I'd talk to the scoutmaster. If I were the scoutmaster of that troop, I'd appreciate you as a parent giving me a call to tell me what you noticed and ask me how I'd like you to support your scout, his patrol, and troop. If I'm not aware that patrol X is failing miserably in planning for their campout, I can get the SPL to address that through the PL. But, chances are good that I'm monitoring the situation and already have a plan under way to ensure they get it done.
  2. EagleBeaver

    Does your troop meet in summer?

    Yes, same schedule year-round.
  3. EagleBeaver

    Eagle COH-Troop pays for?

    Around here, Eagle Scout ceremonies are up to the scout and family to plan and pay for. The troop supplies the rank patch just like it does for every rank. Ceremonies and celebrations vary widely, from a 15-minute recognition ceremony to over an hour with a video of the scout's entire life, from just cake or snacks to full-blown dinners, from an outdoor campfire to a rented dining hall. As long as families of Life scouts understand they don't have to outdo the most recent Eagle scout's party, we get a wide range and they remain personalized for the individual scout. Scout On
  4. EagleBeaver

    Can a Scout Retake a Merit Badge Class

    Three guys in a patrol took Climbing three years in a row at summer camp. The third year, the counselor had them presenting much of the information and assisting newbies with skills. Win-win-win as far as I could see. You might remember more than you remember remembering and could help the counselor teach the skills. Scout On
  5. EagleBeaver

    BSA Cyber Chip

    Since Twocubdad asked: http://boyscouttrail.com/docs/techchiptraining.pdf Cyber Chip is mostly online safety. Tech Chip is electronics use.
  6. EagleBeaver

    Developing a Good SPL

    "weak" is pretty vague - he has some strengths and some weaknesses just like everyone. There needs to be specific skills that need improvement. "you" could be anyone - so I assume you mean the Scoutmaster. I think the SM owes every SPL a few hours of training right after he's elected and before he takes over, in addition to the Troop Leader Training session. This should include describing his duties, providing resources, and finding out his plan for the troop. The SM should also check with his parents to ensure they understand and support his extra responsibilities. If I had concerns about his ability to perform the job, I'd talk with him and ask him to come up with three things he does well as SPL and three things he'd like to work on to become the best SPL he can be. I'd already have a list of what I see as his good qualities so I can bolster his list. Prioritize the three things to work on and help him come up with a plan to improve the first one. Before every scouting activity, confirm that he has it in mind. After the activity, find out if he used the plan to improve or not. Be his biggest cheerleader, back his decisions, make sure the ASMs know the plan and are onboard. Or, give him a set of dumbbells. :-)
  7. EagleBeaver

    Help! Can you have a toxic scout?

    I discuss what I've witnessed with his parents and find out what their plan is to deal with the behavior so I can support them. Having someone bring it into the open is all it took when it happened here. I don't know if it changed the scout's inner workings, but the outward behavior changed.
  8. FrameLESS is a valid option too. Reducing your gear weight lets you reduce your pack weight and a frameless pack can save you 4 pounds right there. I used a G4 Pack for my 800-mile AZ Trail hike last month and it was great. If it's external or internal, I go with external. Internals have more extra materials and tend to weigh more for the space. But, externals can be very difficult to find these days.
  9. EagleBeaver

    E-Chit

    The "Tech Chip" is at http://boyscouttrail.com/content/award/tech_chip-2052.asp The idea is to teach scouts appropriate ways to use technology rather than ban/confiscate/restrict their use. The card isn't important; it's just something the scouts like to collect and a tangible reminder. In our world, electronic devices are part of life. They are tools to be used or abused just like woods tools and fire. When I hear that a troop or camp bans electronics, I get a mental image of an ostrich with its head in the sand. If you let the SPL and PLC run the show, they can present the training and ensure their troop follows their guidelines. It's yet another opportunity for the guys to teach and lead.
  10. EagleBeaver

    When is enough enough

    Sounds to me like the situation is identified, recorded, and being addressed directly. I hope an appropriate solution is found. I wouldn't want my son around a person with those behaviors either. Scout On
  11. EagleBeaver

    Community Emergency Response Training

    I checked into it in our community, but they only wanted to train adults - at least a couple years ago. CERT would be excellent experience for your older scouts. Scout On
  12. EagleBeaver

    Boy Led - Reality check

    It seems to me that there are only a few things in that OP list of questions which may require an adult (reservations, writing checks, for example). But I think dumping it all on inexperienced scouts with no adult guidance is a recipe for sure frustration. Sometimes adults step in, get it done, and get used to doing it rather than teaching scouts to do it. As the abilities and experience of the active scouts in a troop changes, the amount of adult involvement needed changes. Continually pushing responsibility to the scouts is how they get experience and develop abilities. Scouts can be successful in all that money, attendance, and calendar stuff if they are provided with tools and support. I made TroopKit.com so our troop could have individual patrols plan each troop outing. Some patrols rely on an adult mentor for details, and others just show the PLC what they planned to get approval. The scoutmaster helps the SPL privately notice things that might need to be addressed. Everyone can see what activities are planned, who's signed up, budgets, menus, all that stuff. I think any troop's PLC could come up with an "outing process" checklist that fills the bill for planning a campout, covering everything in your list. Scout On
  13. EagleBeaver

    LNT min your daily life

    Doesn't this fall under the Citizenship aim of Scouting? As a citizen of this world, I have responsibility to the enduring health of my neighborhood - that being the planet. I present LNT workshops to scouts every year, but make sure to show that it's just one part of what we can do as good citizens. By the way, I put high-efficient windows in my home last year and am adding solar panels this spring. Don't know if it's the best thing to do, but it's something. Scout On PS: Cold? On this date, our record high was 49F in 1931. It's 18F right now and that's warm. :-)
  14. EagleBeaver

    PLC Meetings

    The Scoutmaster Handbook explains the PLC quite well on page 14. It says the scoutmaster does attend PLC meetings. It says the PLC does meet each month and possibly more often. It does not say where the PLC meets. If the SPL wanted to try a conference call, I think that would be fun to see how it goes once and then evaluate his success. Our PLC normally meets the first Monday of the month where the troop meets, but the SPL has occasionally moved the meeting. Someone uploaded a PDF of the SM handbook at: http://www.bsa888.com/files/troop_888/Documents/Books%20and%20Guides/ScoutmastersHandbook1of3%20sm.pdf Scout On
  15. Many Point Scout Camp offered the PWC program this past summer and it's on the schedule for 2012. 152 scouts participated this summer. See the 2012 flyer at http://manypoint.org/files/Water%20Sports%20Outpost%20reservation%20form.pdf See a video at - Looks like a lot of fun with many purposes - operating PWC safely, taking responsibility, following rules, building independence - pretty similar to horses, bikes, sailboats, canoes, kayaks, motorboats. Scout On
  16. EagleBeaver

    Do you have a campout sign up cut-off?

    If a scout were to show up at departure, he'd have to discuss it with his patrol leader to see if there is food and sleeping available. Then, the PL would need to talk with the SPL about transportation space. Then, the SPL would discuss it with the Scoutmaster. If there were no reservation or rental limits for the planned activities, his medical info was ready, and he had parent permission, then he could attend. People will put everything off as long as you let them. Waiting until the last minute to make a commitment is efficient on their part - it puts the hassle on you instead of them. If there are no firm deadlines, that are held to, then there's no incentive for behavior change. Scout On
  17. EagleBeaver

    Boy Scout Style Pack Meetings

    I think the original post was a good question by someone considering ways to improve the program. That's something we all should be doing. I'd have a hard time sitting through more pack meetings each month. Den meetings are where the fun is because it's just for that small group of guys. If the den leaders aren't having gatherings, openings, and ceremonies in their den meetings, then some informal or formal training might be in order. On the other hand, if patrols are only getting together at troop meetings, then they are missing out. The National Honor Patrol award describes how a good patrol should be active outside troop meetings. A patrol should be hiking, doing service, working a merit badge, earning a special award, helping each other advance, and having its own program outside the troop. Scout On
  18. EagleBeaver

    What mess kit do you reccomend?

    I've been using Guyot Design's squishy bowl and a spork for about 5 years now. http://guyotdesigns.com/product.php?id_product=73 http://www.scoutstuff.org/the-spork-4-pack.html Other popular items were Orikaso - http://www.orikaso.com/ and X-Bowl - http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/67 Nearly everyone on our backpacking trips the past few years have had one of these three lightweight options. Squishy bowl is my favorite. Scout On
  19. EagleBeaver

    Camping with BSA contest

    Not exactly fundraising, but you could get a $500 camping package from the BSA for your guys. See http://boyscouttrail.com/blog/680.asp
  20. EagleBeaver

    Mini-First Aid Kits?

    Use mini M&M tubes. See Scout On
  21. EagleBeaver

    dehydrated ground beef

    Just add it right into the pot when cooking. We made spaghetti while backpacking. Instead of 5 or 6 cups of water for the noodles, we broke them so they would lay horizontal in the pot and covered them with water. When cooked, we added tomato paste, dry spaghetti sauce mix, and dehydrated hamburger. While simmering, if it looked like more water was needed, we added it. Turned out great! The important thing is that we didn't toss out starchy water from the noodles, we used it all. Scout On
  22. EagleBeaver

    scouts & drugs

    I'll bite, hypothetically speaking. It's illegal activity, scouting or not. The parents have a responsibility which they are not fulfilling, in my mind. It's not the scoutmaster's job to counsel youth on drug use, but there are many professionals available to help with those matters. The only way I can think of to respond is to immediately call the District Executive to find out what I need to do. While I'm waiting for him to call back, I'd talk with the committee chair. Then, while still waiting, a meeting with the scout, his parents, committee chair, and myself to discuss what the family's plan is to stop this behavior when involved in scouting. If I got no guidance from the council, I feel a promise to not do it again would not be enough for me. Proof that counseling is underway would probably be enough, otherwise I'd let the family know not to bring the boy to scouting activities. I would not discuss the situation with any other people in the troop. If someone directly asked me, I'd reply along the lines of the matter was dealt with as soon as it was known and the scout is receiving counseling, or the scout is no longer participating in the troop. Scout On
  23. EagleBeaver

    Planning the New Scouting Year

    We pretty much follow Chapter 8 in the Scoutmaster Handbook which lays it out nicely. An SPL is elected in spring and in fall in our troop. I meet with him and prepare him to lead the program planning conference. The SPL gives each PL a list of outings done over the past 5 years and a 'Patrol Ideas' sheet like http://boyscouttrail.com/docs/patrolideas.pdf before their program planning conference. At the conference, all ideas from patrols are listed, voted on, and the top 6 are added to the troop schedule, 12 months out. The scouts review the upcoming 12 months also and occasionally make changes. The SPL and I attend the next troop committee meeting to tell them what the troop will be doing for the next 18 months. Scout On
  24. EagleBeaver

    asm

    It sounds weird that 'several scouts' are using the den chief position in the same den - I'd say one den chief would be appropriate. It's really a position of 'responsibility' rather than 'leadership'. A scout advancing to Star and Life doesn't need to lead others, but does need to demonstrate responsibility in fulfilling duties. As long as the expectations of the position are defined, the scoutmaster periodically checks with the scout that the expectations are being fulfilled and goals are being met, then using the same position for each rank is fine. I'd hope their scoutmaster would counsel those scouts to expand their horizons and try other positions, but if they are doing a good job then good for them. One scout in our troop was an excellent Instructor for 3 years. He enjoyed it and had no interest in being in front of 50 scouts at meetings. Scout On (I don't understand the thread title.?)
  25. EagleBeaver

    Why no Tarps

    In 2005, Philmont mentioned hantavirus as a reason - http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0002358/ We were specifically told not to sleep in the 'lost cabin' because many mice habitated there. Scout On
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