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Everything posted by EagleBeaver

  1. EagleBeaver

    Ideas for a Patrol of 17

    To answer the one question I could find in the OP - No, making a positive presentation to support your view seems like an appropriate way to influence people and get votes. http://ScoutChallenge.com
  2. EagleBeaver


    The troop has a bugler selected by the SPL each 6 months. The troop has its own bugle that goes from bugler to bugler. Bugler has significant responsibility, even if only used for wakeup and lights out. Once, we had a bugler that had never played before. For wakeup, he went to each tent door and blew whatever sound he could make until someone inside let him know they were awake. We've also had very talented scouts that played for every troop meeting and court of honor. The expectations for success get set differently for each. Scout On
  3. EagleBeaver

    What to do with my den???????

    14 is too many scouts for 1 den. No matter how someone dices it, slices it, or sugarcoats it, 14 scouts is too many for 1 den. Seems to me the best thing your pack can do is solicit a new CM. That keeps you as den leader and keeps the dens separate. With 14 Wolfs, there should be 22 adults that are candidates to be CM for 3 years (the den leader families are already involved). If it were me, I'd consider each Wolf parent and prioritize them in order that I think they'd do as CM. Visit individually with the top guy/gal on the list and let him know he's needed, has your support, and it's for 2.5 years. If he says No, move to the next until you run out of people. I see this as really the current CM and committee chair's job to line up his replacement. Just making blanket announcements at meetings or sending emails that a replacement is needed hardly every works. Individual face-to-face requests for help with encouragement and a pledge of support tend to have better results. Whatever you do, making your stand obvious now rather than when it gets 'critical' would be best. If people see you as a possible CM, they'll not volunteer to do it.
  4. EagleBeaver

    Stoves for Philmont

    The past 4 Philmont treks, we've taken our white gas, pump-em-up stoves. They're a pain to wash and ship if you are flying to Philmont since you can't take them on the plane, but less expensive to run and durable. If you include the extra shipping costs, they might be more expensive than canisters for Philmont. If I needed to purchase backpacking stoves, I think I'd go with the MSR SimmerLite, WhisperLite, DragonFly kind that use white gas and hook right up to the fuel bottle. Easier to ship, weigh very little, and less expensive fuel. http://ScoutChallenge.com
  5. There is an address, phone number, and staff email directory at http://capefearredcross.org/ContactUs.aspx which appears to be your local ARC chapter. Entering 28443 at http://www.redcross.org/takeaclass lists training available in Wilmington, NC.
  6. This troop does both backpacking and easier camping. We go with: - The scout purchases the things that need to fit - boots, pack, mess kit, clothes - The patrol has things they often use - tents, stove, fuel bottles, cookware, water containers, utensils, dutch oven, rainfly - The troop has things used less often or that are not needed by every patrol - water filters, first aid kit, toilet kit - The trek participants purchase consumables on backpacking outings - fuel, food, bug spray, sunscreen, zip-locs, garbage bags, maps - Patrols purchase their consumables as they need for weekend campouts.
  7. EagleBeaver

    Scout Badge

    After the scouts have their conference with me, I tell the SPL who arranges the presentation at the next troop meeting. He chooses how he wants to do it, but I give him some ideas to start with. I think the best is when the scout's Troop Guide brings him forward and tells the troop he's ready to join, gives him his insignia, and we're done. Here's some we've used in the past: http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/ceremony/new_scout_2-1280.asp http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/ceremony/new_scout-1253.asp http://www.boyscouttrail.com/content/ceremony/scout_investiture-1591.asp The scout also receives his troop numerals, neckerchief, and slide when he completes the joining requirements. Scout On
  8. EagleBeaver

    Scout Master Conference?

    The knowledge and skills are demonstrated by the scout and signed off in his scout handbook up to First Class. That's how they're "tested". For Star, Life, and Eagle there is no skill requirement. The requirements are for active participation, living the scout oath and law, earning merit badges, doing service, and serving actively in a position of responsibility. You could have an Eagle scout that never lit a fire, or one that can't tie a square knot. All those scouting skills are intended to help the scout be self-sufficient in an outdoors environment so he can experience the adventures of scouting that require the skills. These adventures are where he learns he is capable of doing more than he thought, including leading others. Further advancement does not require those scouting skills. Rather than testing him repeatedly, maybe having him participate in adventures where he needs to use them would be more fun, meaningful, and rewarding. These two pages might be helpful: http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/18-629.pdf http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/questions.pdf Scout On http://ScoutChallenge.com
  9. EagleBeaver

    Becoming a MB counselor

    I think every adult volunteer should offer their skills and hobbies to scouts. It costs nothing to be a MB counselor. There are a handful of MBs for which virtually anyone could counsel: Collections Pets Reading Safety Scholarship Traffic Safety And others that most folks could do easily: Dog Care Gardening Genealogy Home Repairs You may volunteer to be a counselor and never get asked to do it, especially for the more "niche market" badges, such as Flyfishing. I've been ready to do that one for 5 years and have not had a taker yet. :-( http://ScoutChallenge.com
  10. EagleBeaver

    Scouts and Merit Badges

    I go by these pages: http://www.scouting.org/training/adult/supplemental/meritbadgecounselorinstructorsguide.aspx http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors.aspx Generally... Scout has interest. Scout gets counselor contact info from scoutmaster. Scout contacts counselor. Scout goes to first meeting with counselor and buddy. Scout does work. Scout shows his completed work to counselor. Counselor signs off blue card. Counselor gets part of blue card, scout gets part of blue card, unit gets part of blue card. Unit records the completion, gets patch, presents to scout. Repeat 20 more times... MB clinic/university/day/show/expo events remove a lot from that process. Scout On http://ScoutChallenge.com
  11. EagleBeaver

    Paying for it all

    I figure that minimum costs for a weekend campout for a scout are: 4 cents per mile ($3.25/gal / 20mpg / 4 scouts) $3.00 per meal $5.00 BSA camp fee Simple camping at a BSA camp 50 miles away then costs $21.00 - that's pretty much the bare minimum possible for us. If you figure he would have eaten $6 in food anyway, then you could say the extra cost is $15. All scouts need for a great weekend is a remote place, food, and a way to get there. All the other stuff (ski lifts, rafts, Disneyworld, ...) boosts the cost up fast and isn't needed for a great scouting program. But, it does make for exciting trips! Backpacking, climbing, swimming, canoeing, pioneering, fishing, flyfishing, geocaching, shooting, orienteering, photography, woodcarving, and many other merit badge themes can all be tied into inexpensive campouts that the scouts plan and run. These can be great fun and big adventures for cheap. Scouts receive 90% of the profit from fundraising into their scout accout while the troop keeps 10% in our troop. I'd expect any scout that wants to camp should be able to raise at least $150 and pay his full way to six $25 campouts each year. For council popcorn, $100 in sales equals about $40 in profit. That's $375 in popcorn sales, which (unfortunately) isn't much. Scout On http://ScoutChallenge.com
  12. EagleBeaver

    CO Pack does not support CO Troop

    Twocubdad said "...ask your DE for a list of all Cubs in the town for recruiting purposes, he should provide them to you." I'd say that's your best bet. Our DE even gives us which Webelos crossed over and which ones dropped. I use that in September to contact those that took the summer off. Direct contact to a scout and his family works better than email or paper through a pack. It just takes your time to call Mr. Smith and let him know Johnny is welcome to stop by your troop's meeting/hike/activity/ next week. Any visiting Webelos scout at our meetings gets a 'troop nickel' to take home - they remember the troop number and can use it at our trading post if they join. If you're really serious about it, gather your scouts together with the list of Webelos and have each of them take a couple to call. Coach them on what they should say and let 'em go. Hearing from some excited, older scouts is much more impressive to the Webelos and his parents. You could set up an afternoon or evening activity that all your scouts would love to do - bowling, pizza, sundaes, wallclimbing, a movie, whatever - and only scouts with a targetted guest get to go. To encourage Webelos to camp with your troop, having a campout close to town with the option of just coming for the day or one night can show your flexibility. Holding a 'Scout Skills' day for all Webelos in town to fulfill their Arrow of Light requirements and learn about Boy Scouts can be a great tool to help them decide to continue in scouting. Rather than having it be a recruiting event just for your troop, inviting each local troop to do a couple skills may make it more palatable for everyone. None of this involves any pack - it's your troop reaching out to eligible boys. Scout On http://ScoutChallenge.com
  13. EagleBeaver


    The last couple years, it's seemed more difficult for Webelos families to make a commitment. We've had a few last-minute cross-overs each year no matter how many time's I've asked for numbers. It's not a big deal though. I also try to locate the parents of Webelos not joining a troop while at their ceremony. I mention that giving their son a 4-month test run at Boy Scouts wouldn't be a big deal. It's worked to get a few to try it out. Sliding off-track a bit, our troop's "gimmees" have evolved over the last few years. At cross-over, the scouts replace the blue shoulder loops with green ones, remove the Webelos neckerchief, and tell the new guys that they will receive this really cool custom neckerchief, slide, troop numerals, and Scout patch when they complete the joining requirements. They also hand them a Scout Handbook "just to borrow" until they are officially Scouts when it will become their own, and show them the requirements. This has cut our expense and gives the new guys specific tasks to work on right off the bat. http://ScoutChallenge.com
  14. EagleBeaver

    Interesting Summer Camp Merit Badges

    They had Fingerprinting this year at camp. 40 scouts got the badge since it was offered as a 1 hour troop activity rather than a week-long session. It could have been more thorough, but it was pretty interesting and the staff covered the 5 requirements. Our camp got a handful of digital cameras and now offers Photography. The scouts really liked that one. I've been hoping for Pottery, but no luck so far. Maybe camps should offer Plumbing and Home Repairs and get some facilities fixed up by the scouts for free. :-) Scout On http://ScoutChallenge.com
  15. EagleBeaver

    X Post - Buying a Klondike sled

    paying $249.00 for a klondike derby sled? - http://www.affordabledogsleds.com/slider.htm I must be misreading something in this thread.
  16. EagleBeaver

    Needing help planning a summer trip

    Start going over a Trip Permit to make sure you have your bases completely covered through experience and training, like Safe Swim Defense, Safety Afloat, CPR, Wilderness First Aid. Maybe ask some other scoutmasters in your area if they've done this trip before and will share their notes.
  17. EagleBeaver

    Best tents for scouts ??

    Look for: - sturdy zipper - rain fly that goes all the way to the ground - vestibules rather than open ends to the rainfly - advertised as "4-man" would be good for 3 - poles: aluminum are more expensive than fiberglass, but lighter for backpacking. - 2 doors - one on each end, covered by vestibule Check out ScoutDirect.com for the Alps Mountaineering tents.
  18. EagleBeaver

    Best pocketknife?

    Victorinox "Tinker" BSA knife - two blades, screwdriver, opener, scredrivers, awl, tweezer, toothpick See http://www.jaysknives.com/victorinoxboyscout/Tinker55121.jpg This is what I use for all my scouting and whittling. My mommy got it for me and had my name engraved. :-) ScoutStuff.org has an Eagle pocket knife on sale for $10 but I don't know it's quality. Scout On www.ScoutChallenge.com
  19. EagleBeaver

    Webelos Transition to Boy Scouts

    http://www.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/28-406.pdf - the BSA youth application says: Your son can be a Scout if he has completed the fifth grade and is at least 10 years old or is age 11 or has earned the Arrow of Light Award and is at least 10 years old, but has not reached age 18. A 10 year old 4th grader that earned the Arrow of Light can join a troop. All the packs in our community have Webelos cross-over in Feb. of their 5th grade year. I've not had a 4th grader request to join our troop.
  20. EagleBeaver


    The Red Cross and BSA partnered to create a new Wilderness First Aid course this past year to help make camping and treks safer. Seems like the 'mandatory training' for registration might fit into the discussion. The Journey to Excellence quality program replacing the Quality Unit Award program - http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Awards/JourneyToExcellence.aspx Figuring out meaningful metrics for the 'Active' advancement requirement might benefit from an innovative solution. Scout On http://ScoutChallenge.com
  21. EagleBeaver

    Spring Camporee Theme- "Gladiator Challenge"

    party stores have plastic gold coins which often have an emperor-type dude on them. Lions and Gladiators - two teams. players have a 'tail' or 'plume' which the other team tries to remove to take the player out. Last team with their tail or plume receives gold. Messenger - first person on team has an important message read to him. He runs 1/4 mile or so and relays the message to next team member, and so on to the emperor. Fastest teams with most correct messages get more gold. BDPT: our district camporees are usually hosted by a troop or two and other troops are often asked to man a specific activiity. It works very well. Scout On http://ScoutChallenge.com
  22. EagleBeaver

    Camp Theme: Boy Scout Resident Camp

    Many Point Scout Camp has special weeks each summer that are titled "All Things ..." which have been "... Emergency Response", "... Aquatics", "... SCUBA". Scouts attending these special programs can earn many different certifications rather than the normal merit badges. They are great for older scouts that have done the regular program. See http://www.manypoint.org/Older_Scout_Activities-Tier_Three:_All_Things_Specialty_Weeks Scout On http://ScoutChallenge.com
  23. EagleBeaver

    New Scouting Health Initiative

    A BSA camp that offers soda, slushies, candy bars, and other nutrionless sugar treats should also offer healthy alternatives. That does not happen at our summer camp or the three other council camps our troop has used. The only treat I could find that was not sugarful was a bottle of flavored water - exactly like you can buy at Costco for $.33/bottle - priced at the trading post for $1.25 Soda was priced at $.75 My consistent evaluation at the end of summmer camp for the past 6 years is to mention that alternative healthy snacks would be appreciated, and repricing unhealthy items higher than healthy ones would subsidize the healthy choices. Moving soda to $1.00 and water to $1.00, for example. I'm not asking to remove the big money-makers, just include some alternatives so I can have a healthy snack and be a good role model. My wee voice crying in the wilderness, I guess. Our council has soda vending machines sitting on the porches of camp lodges. I have two reasons why it's wrong to have them. - Being out on a night hike and seeing that artificial, luminous beacon from over 1/2 mile away is one of the more obnoxious parts of using camp. It certainly adversely affects the experience. - Nutritionless soda does not support any part of scouting and directly contradicts one of the three aims - personal fitness. Plenty of studies have shown the contribution of soda to national obesity. I would also say there are many reasons why soda should not be part of a dining hall (or any) menu - tooth decay, stimulant, addiction, obesity - all with no reasons why it should be included. An occasional soda is not a big deal, but having it constantly available to scouts at camp is effectively approving and promoting it. Scout On http://ScoutChallenge.com
  24. EagleBeaver

    Campouts without the scoutmaster

    hmmmm, and here I am, a scoutmaster still trying to push the scouts out into the woods on their own. As a matter of fact, I've been asking the SPL to arrange a meeting of the 9th-11th grade scouts for the past month to discuss with them what they'd like to do early next summer all by themselves with no 'little kids' around. They've all been on high adventures and have all the skills they need, it seems just not the motivation or imagination.
  25. EagleBeaver

    Share Your Web Site

    http://www.ScoutChallenge.com Our troop has been having a "scout challenge", so I put it online. Now, scouts can track their own progress easily and other troops can create their own custom challenges. Proceeds from patches and pins help fund our troop. Scout Challenge is available integrated with http://www.TroopKit.com or by itself. Scout On