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Everything posted by EagleBeaver

  1. EagleBeaver

    Summer Pack activities ??? Help !!

    Certainly not human-targetted lasertag, or bungee jumping, or water chugging, or any other restricted activity on http://www.scouting.org/HealthandSafety/gss/gss09.aspx See http://www.scoutingmagazine.org/issues/0710/a-trail.html or http://www.threefirescouncil.org/index.php?option=com_content&id=184 for a way cool hiking program for cub scouts. A great way to get them outside on adventure all summer long. Or Balloon Olympics - http://boyscouttrail.com/content/activity/balloon_olympics-1596.asp Or Silly Olympics - http://boyscouttrail.com/content/game/silly_olympics-428.asp
  2. EagleBeaver


    The troop bugler gets himself up and blows his horn to wake the other scouts. We've not yet had a bugler unable to get himself up. If a tent is still quiet after 5 minutes or so, they usually get a personal wake-up. It's awful hard to keep sleeping with a bugle being blasted two feet from your ear. I don't recall ever having someone sleep-in past a personal bugle call. http://www.troopkit.com/bugle.jpg
  3. EagleBeaver

    LNT training

    There are some training games and activities on http://www.leavenotracedude.com We have three scouts that each present a principle in 10 minutes with scouts rotating through the 3 presentations. So, in a 1/2 hour training time at 2 troop meetings, all the scouts participated in each principle. Not sitting and listening, but doing stuff. These three scouts are presenting at local packs in May since the Cub Scout theme for May is "Leave Nothing but Footprints". We'd like the OA Rep position to include doing LNT promotion since it is tied so close with promoting camping. For 'implementing' LNT, every trek crew does a review training as part of the planning. Setting expectations before the trip makes a big difference. If there's a firepit we have a fire. Keeping food off the ground is probably our biggest challenge at the moment. Breaking a 24-person camping group into two 12-person groups can make a big difference too. Each patrol has a piece of window screen to strain dishwater, a stove for cooking, and garbage bags to help with waste disposal and campfire impacts. The rest of LNT doesn't really require specific gear and is just making choices.
  4. EagleBeaver

    CIT program

    Oldest son was CIT in 07. At Camp Many Point, the scout pays $100 to CIT for 5 weeks, either the first or second half of the summer. The CITs get to try out lots of different program areas. My son was there first half and then got hired for the second. He then worked on staff in 08 as handicrafts director and is going back this summer as first class adventure director.
  5. EagleBeaver

    So how much is too much

    Offering a pack meeting and some pack outing each month sounds great to me. That is what our pack does. Some parents feel that missing a scouting activity might mean their son misses some advancement opportunity and will fall behind the other scouts. They might a bit too focused on the badge collecting than the scouting. Cost is sometimes measured in ways other than $$$ - time, missed opportunities, and required commitment for example.
  6. EagleBeaver

    OA Long Term Camp Length

    When I read "which must consist of 6 days and 5 nights", I just read it as written. To my simple brain, "5 nights" means 5 nights. To add "no more or no less than" would be redundant. Stretching the 5 nights to 6 is just the first baby step to 7 nights and more. If a troop does a two-week summer camp, using this logic a scout that attends that one camp (14 nights) and one more night is eligible for OA. Counting 9 nights of Philmont, for example, has moved a long way down this path. The 50-Miler requirements use specific terms to show that longer is ok - the requirements I've read state "not less than 50 consecutive miles", "minimum of five consecutive days", and "minimum of 10 hours".
  7. EagleBeaver

    OA Long Term Camp Length

    See http://www.oa-bsa.org/misc/basics/ for OA purpose and eligibility. Staying 4 nights at summer camp doesn't fulfill the long-term camping requirement. Staying 17 nights at summer camp gets credit for 5 nights. The scout must camp for 10 other nights on short-term campouts. Giving a scout credit for a 6th night of summer camp, or a 7th, or 8th, ... isn't helping the scout or the OA program. Using that thought, a scout that goes to summer camp one summer and Philmont the next would be eligible even if he does no other camping with the troop during the two years. The OA's purpose, in part, is to maintain camping traditions and spirit, and to promote scout camping. Scout camping being the unit's year-round camping program. That is why the camping requirement is to be fulfilled through short-term camping and a single long-term camp.
  8. EagleBeaver

    Time requirement for advancement

    On page 122 of my 2001 Scoutmaster Handbook: A troop should schedule its boards of review to occur on a regular basis so that Scouts and leaders can plan for them well in advance. In chapter 6, Program Features, all the 'week 2' plans have a board of review. Based on those two things, our troop has BORs scheduled the same time every month. Everyone knows it and scouts request BORs when they are ready. If a scout's time requirement is 6 days after the BOR, he usually waits 3 weeks for the next schedule BOR time. I've told a few scouts they might approach the Advancement Chair about scheduling a BOR, but so far all have chosen to wait. I think if you 'jigger' one small thing, it gets easier to 'jigger' other things.
  9. EagleBeaver

    OA Elections - How many can be elected?

    All 11 scouts could be elected. Maybe that SM had '50' in his head from adult selection limits. If the troop elects at least 1 youth, then the troop committee can chose to recommend for OA selection up to 1 adult for every 50 registered, active youth. In your troop, that could be 0, 1, or 2 adults assuming they've met the camping requirements.
  10. EagleBeaver

    Bring back Campfires at Campouts

    The patrol planning the campout decides what sort of campfire to have, but it's usually skits, stories, and songs. Either the patrol does the whole thing or they solicit skits and songs beforehand from all patrols. We seldom have a non-campfire Saturday night. The adults never lead more than 1 skit, 1 song, and 1 story. The coolest thing is hearing a scout tell a story that I introduced to the troop sometime in the past. The troop has been having campfires for at least the past 8 years with the troop ranging in size from 15 to 63 so I don't think size matters.
  11. EagleBeaver

    William T. Hornaday Award

    Review http://www.scouting.org/Awards/HornadayAwards.aspx for lots of Hornaday info. "Easy" really doesn't fit well with this award. "Significant project" is used often in the information. These cnoservation projects are supposed to be on a similar scope as an Eagle leadership service project.
  12. EagleBeaver

    Water purification

    We use pump filters in the boundary waters and on backpacking trips. I like to keep the stuff from the water out of me, even if it is dead stuff. We've got chemicals also, just in case.
  13. EagleBeaver

    Clarification needed

    Husband and wife can hold any unit positions - SM, ASM, MC, CC, ... however they can best support the scouts. A scoutmaster doesn't teach scouts right from wrong - that is a parent's responsibility. A scoutmaster helps prepare young people to make ethical and moral choices by instilling the values of the Scout Oath and Law. Discipline used in Scouting should be constructive and reflect Scouting's values. It is one of the foundation pieces of the 'safety sandwich' in the BSA training, but discipline and punishment are way different. Most of the behavioral challenges in a troop can be handled by peers once they understand it's their troop and how they can appropriately address behaviors.
  14. EagleBeaver

    Patrol Food Budget

    Refreshing to hear so many confirm that individual patrols do their own menus and budgets! Every new SPL and his team set the budget for their term as part of their planning meeting. Last year, they bumped it to $3/scout/meal so that is what patrols use. Patrols are planning their menus online as part of www.troopkit.com so all patrolmates can see what's to eat and the SPL can check them if used for rank requirements. Adults use the same budget guidelines.
  15. EagleBeaver

    Unknown High Adventure Bases

    Extensive list - http://scoutingdigest.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=382 Sea Kayaking around the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior - http://www.samoset.org/camping/hanna/kayaking.php
  16. EagleBeaver

    SPOT satellite messenger

    We have a backup pair of Energizer AA lithium batteries along, just in case. But, the original batteries have been on for at least 30 days total. SPOT Messenger had a promotion on during March for their sponsorship of a NASCAR driver and I believe you could get a free SPOT unit with a paid annual subscription. It looks to be gone now. They've also had $25 and $50 rebates going on - http://www.findmespot.com/en/index.php?cid=1610
  17. EagleBeaver

    SPOT satellite messenger

    Our troop has and uses a SPOT Messenger. They cost $99 now and the annual subscription is $99 but you can add a 'tracking' feature for another $50/year. In a troop of 25, that cost is 50cents/month/scout. In our troop of 60, it's just $2.50/scout each year which parents seem to think is worth it. The optional tracking mode sends out a lat/lon signal every 10 minutes. This information is displayed on a web page rather than in an email so it doesn't interrupt people. But, it is way cool for tracking a trek route. If you have Google Earth installed, see http://www.troop479.org/philmont.html for our 85 mile trek through Philmont last year. I tied pictures to the SPOT locations after our trek. We use SPOT on nearly all our campouts. Thinking 'outside the box' can make a lot more uses possible than just emergency rescue. - returning from camps, I have SPOT on my vehicle's dashboard, upating our location every 10 minutes. Parents can see where we are and be at the pick-up location on time. I press OK to send an email when we're 15 minutes away so they get there to get their scout. - while hiking, SPOT is on top of my pack and updates our location every 10 minutes. Parents at home can follow our trek in real time and/or see our route at the end of the day. - press OK to send email to parents when starting your day of hiking. Press Help to send email when you get to camp at day's end. The messages sent are customized to say what you want.
  18. EagleBeaver

    Is It Real?

    Here's a new troop fundraiser to consider on this first day of a brand new month - http://www.boyscouttrail.com/blog/408.asp
  19. EagleBeaver


    When scouts request to be my Facebook friend, I accept. I've not asked any of them to be friends. I see it as another way to stay in touch with the world of the youth and be able to understand what they're talking about on troop outings. If they are discussing JibJab, MySpace, BlackBuried, sexting, IM, ... and I can say "Oh yeah, I heard about that" then it's a lot better than, "Huh?".
  20. EagleBeaver

    Troop Calendar

    We follow the council (or national?) guidelines of having a full year planned and a 3-year high adventure plan. New SPL is elected in March and September. He gathers all the patrol leaders to decide on activities a year out. So, new March SPL in 2009 makes schedule for April-Sept, 2010. That team also reconfirms the upcoming 6-month plans, tweaks the 6-months-out plan, and commits a patrol to organize each of the campouts in the next 12 months. That patrol manages the outing online in http://TroopKit.com My job for planning is to gather the school, council, and district calendars beforehand so the scouts have them to figure dates against - and to bring the soda and lunch. :-) Now that they've been doing it awhile, it's pretty easy. If we did the scheduling just 6 months out, families around here would already have plans made.
  21. EagleBeaver

    What does your ASPL actually do?

    Our ASPL manages the chaplain aid, librarian, historian, bugler, OA rep, quartermaster, instructors, den chiefs. He gets reports from them every month or so about their progress and accomplishments - whether that is an email, phone call, or face-to-face talk. He asks them to do tasks for the troop that fall in their area and checks that they complete them. Each troop meeting has a "program patrol" responsible for the program, as assigned at the PLC. That's usually the same patrol organizing the monthly campout.
  22. EagleBeaver

    More Mills?

    Camp Many Point in MN has 4 MB sessions scheduled in the morning and afternoon with some MBs taking up two session slots. There are 'troop activity' times each day where the troop signs up for climbing, shooting, swimming, ... whatever the scouts decided beforehand to do from a list of a few dozen. In the evening, all activity areas have 'open time' for scouts to do what they like best. There are special programs for scouts 8th grade and up that take them away from the younger guys - Huck Finn Raft, Treehouse, COPE, Kayak, Sailboards. Merit badges get a lot of attention, and some scouts even set up additional MBs in the evening, but summer camp offers a lot more than MBs. We have about 40 scouts do camp and distribute around 100 MBs at the next court of honor. But, there's also about 20-30 partials left to complete. I visit the MB areas and feel the scouts complete the requirements. Last year, they came up with some special programs called "All Things ..." where a scout concentrates on a specific area such as Aquatics, Emergency Response, or SCUBA. See http://www.manypoint.org/Older_Scout_Activities-All_Things_Specialty_Weeks I presented WFAB there last year and the scouts were working hard and worn out by week's end. Scout On
  23. EagleBeaver

    Troop Scribe duties

    Our Scribe hands out a patrol attendance slip to each of 9 patrol leaders and retrieves it at the end of the troop meeting. He records the attendance. He also takes notes at PLC meetings and helps the SPL create troop meeting agendas from the PLC planning. He publishes a monthly newsletter. The Librarian is a real leadership position. Scouts check out merit badge pamphlets and other resources from the troop librarian online as part of TroopKit.com and he gets them the books and makes sure they are returned. He also purchases new merit badge pamphlets as needed and purges old books. Historian writes two articles about troop activities and submits them to local newspapers during his term. He also publishes photos of campouts on our website, writes about awards, and keeps a list of Eagles current.
  24. Registered boy scouts should go on boy scout campouts. There are two exceptions I know of: boys that meet the boy scout joining age requirements and are being recruited to join the troop, or Webelos scouts. All these 'camps' are not Boy Scouting. I see big danger, dejection, disruption, and dismal decline into disarray. :-) Scout On
  25. EagleBeaver

    Scout Handbook - Child Abuse Pamphlet Upsidedown!

    I did not notice anything like that in the 15 I passed out this month, and I did look inside each cover. Since I'm 15 miles from the scout shop and the pamphlet gets torn out anyway, and I'm kinda lazy, I'd probably have just used them. But, who knows, maybe page 138 is upside down too. Scout On