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EagleBeaver

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Posts posted by EagleBeaver


  1. I expect you serve junk because it's cheap and easy. Real food takes preparation and cooking. If you can get some volunteers to do the cooking, that's the main battle.

    Check out http://choosemyplate.gov which is the replacement for the food pyramid. Roast chicken, potato, green beans, salad, and milk - that's a real picnic.

    You could have subway-style sandwiches cut into pieces. Use lean meat, light sauces, and whole grain bread.

     

    Healthy snacks tend to be more expensive, but are easy - apple, pear, and banana slices work. You could include small marshmallows and lay out fruit-kebobs if you're not concerned with sharp sticks.


  2. Each monthly campout is planned by a patrol. Part of that planning includes a Saturday night campfire. They usually solicit skits and/or songs from other patrols, but sometimes do the whole thing. The patrol leader of the planning patrol reports his progress to the PLC the couple months before the campout date.

    Sometimes, a scout doing the Communication merit badge will plan a campfire program.

    I don't recall ever having adults plan a campfire. We have participated with a skit or song occasionally when asked.


  3. Wouldn't it make sense to talk with the UC first and share your expectations?

    Tell the UC you appreciate her interest in the unit and willingness to help you succeed. Remind her that you schedule all your time at Scout meetings and would love to add her to your schedule when she calls or emails you ahead of time. If she would like to just show up at meetings to watch, that's fine but you won't have time set aside.

     


  4. Don't forget there're great opportunities to continue BSA volunteer involvement with just adult interaction. If you prefer to have no direct scout contact, consider being a trainer to help all those new dads/moms learning to take over the troop/pack/crew support roles. Offer to share your wealth of knowledge from years of experience offering the BSA program at University of Scouting, IOLS, SM Specifics, or other adult training. That's a great way to keep the program exciting, healthy, and alive.

     

    And, to bigbovine's OP - "cannot wait to get out" attitude is like a flashing billboard to the scouts. They know. The committee should have a succession plan in place, and be ready to use it for death, moving away, or "burn-out".

     

    Scout On


  5. It may be that as long as they are referred to as kids and boys, that's how they'll be treated. Think of them as Scouts and give them ownership of their troop to solve its challenges and they'll take care of most anything.

    I expect the patrol change idea was adult-driven. Letting the scouts group up into their own patrols should work better. I wouldn't want to participate in a group if I couldn't be with my friends, either.

     

    A troop is a collection of patrols. The patrol is the key unit. A patrol leader is responsible for the success of his patrol, not of a new scout in a different patrol. The Troop Guides and Instructors have responsibility for training new scouts so they can succeed in their patrols. The SPL is responsible for choosing appropriate scouts to fill those roles to ensure the success of his troop.

    Train the SPL, Troop Guides, and Instructors to do their jobs instead of seeing 'helping the younger along' as being everyone's job. Require real work in a position of responsibility in order for it to count towards rank advancement for scouts at First Class and above.

     

    1. Scouts make their patrols. Patrols don't need to work together. Scouts in a patrol work together.

    2. Parent involvement.

    3. See #1.

     


  6. I feel it's important to know and budget for the actual cost of a campout. I also don't want those volunteers generous with their time to also spend their own money to subsidize scouts whose parents do not go on campouts.

    Budget $.05/mile/scout - a 200 mile roundtrip costs each scout $10 for travel. A driver on a 200 mile round trip carrying 1 scout gets $10 to cover gas, a driver carrying 6 scouts gets $60.

    Patrols budget $3.00/meal/scout - 4 meals is $12 for the weekend.

    BSA Camp fee is about $5/scout.

    So, a weekend campout normally costs $27 to $30.

    All expected expenses are figured out by the patrol planning the outing and included as part of the price of the outing that all scouts pay before going. Adults that volunteer their time don't pay anything.

     


  7. Merit badges at troop meetings is not part of the current Scoutmaster training.

     

    Someone may have broadly interpreted MBCounselor Orientation at http://scouting.org/filestore/pdf/18-125.pdf which is a 2010 document:

    "Group instruction and orientation are encouraged where special facilities and expert personnel make this most practical or when Scouts are dependent on a few counselors for assistance. However, this group experience should include individual attention to each candidates projects and his ability to fulfill all requirements."

     

    And http://scouting.org/Training/Adult/Supplemental/MeritBadgeCounselorInstructorsGuide.aspx which says "Group instruction is acceptable, but each Scout must be tested and passed individually."

     

    But, of more importance on that webpage: "The advancement program allows the Scout to move ahead in his own way and at his own pace. Rather than competing against others, he challenges himself to go as far as his ambition will carry him. The rate of advancement depends upon his interest, effort, and ability."


  8. The BSA has embraced Leave No Trace as a core part of its program. As leaders in the BSA, we should also be promoting that outdoor ethic. In order to promote it, we need to understand it.

     

    The reason regulations are put in place is because too many people have not taken it upon themselves to regulate their own activities. Take a look at the few pics on http://boyscouttrail.com/a/ and maybe you'll see why those people tasked with managing public lands sometimes take steps that you don't like.

     

    We have other options for gathering after dark - tea candles, flashlights, or just star gazing for a few examples. And, an open campfire does not provide heat to those gathered around it.

     

    Scout On

     


  9. Dean - google * boy scout accident * and you should see that driving accidents are the worst part of scouting. Four in WY, ten in SC, four in AZ, ...

     

    The Traffic Safety merit badge is something I encourage scouts to take, especially just before they start driver's ed.

     

    I set expectations with adults before every campout about being safe while driving. I don't honestly believe it changed anyone's driving habits, but at least they knew.

     

    The Risk Zone IS driver training - http://www.scouting.org/filestore/HealthSafety/pdf/632-006_WB.pdf

    There's a 9-minute video at http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/HealthandSafety/Video.aspx - the first 3 minutes are about driving. The narrator is the most serious dude I've ever seen. :-)


  10. I would recommend 2-person tents over 1-person, and 4-person for first year scouts.

     

    8 1-person tents have a larger footprint than 4 2-person tents. 1-person tents have a smaller footprint so you can put each one in a smaller, flatter space but, overall, you will consume more space.

    8 1-person tents weigh more than 4 2-person tents so your packs will be heavier.

    8 1-person tents cost more than 4 2-person tents.

    1-person tents tend to be more fragile.

     

    If you have 1-person and 2-person tents, be careful about Billy always being the odd man out and being forced to sleep alone. That's a great way to lose a scouting family. That is part of training the patrol leaders.

     

    A patrol's identity could benefit from 1-person tents, especially if they all bought the same model or if theirs was the only patrol that tented singly. The patrol leader should be trained to set up his campsite so he can manage his patrol.

     

    Before investing in shelters, make sure you know the rules at high adventure bases if you plan to visit Philmont, Northern Tier, or the Summit. Philmont has had a rule that 2-man tents are the largest to be used and tents must have a floor. That rule has not been enforced much from my experience there, but it is in their literature.

     

    ------------------------------

    About getting into the "tent business" for the troop...

    I think the key is to educate scouts and parents that it's not really the troop's equipment - it's their equipment.

    It's simple to avoid a problem of scouts not caring for a tent and then getting a different tent next time. When scouts join the troop, they pay an equipment fee. This is used to purchase tents. Every tent is labeled by the quartermaster. Two scouts check out a tent. If damage or filth is reported, whoever used it last gets dinged.

    For $40, a scout that always checks his tent first and returns it clean will have a shelter for 7 years.

     

    Pros and Cons...

    Personal Tents:

    - each person gets exactly what he wants or can afford.

    - more individual responsibility for care.

    - can't blame anyone else for destruction.

    - if it breaks, you might not see that scout camping again for awhile.

     

    Troop Tents:

    - your campsites look like a troop, not a hodgepodge.

    - cannibalize tents as parts wear out to extend other tents.

    - each patrol purchases and pays to replace their tents.

    - quartermaster has some real responsibility in acquiring tents for new scouts.

    - no envy between scouts about getting bigger, fancier tents.

    - leaders are sure the tents are adequste.

    - less expensive overall.

     

    Our troop uses 2-person and 4-person tents. The troop provides tents for the adults also. We've used Alps Mountaineering for the past 7 years.


  11. There are a bunch of different Hornaday Awards with different requirements. See http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/Awards/HornadayAwards1/awards.aspx for details.

    Scouts could have earned the 'unit award' by completing one substantial project, and we don't know how substantial their project was.

     

    This may be an example of reply posts that turn people off from contributing to this forum for fear of being ridiculed or bombarded with sarcasm.


  12. allangr's final sentence is key. I just use the SM Handbook and it has worked wonderfully for me. Pages 23-32 are about Troop Meetings. The main parts are Opening, Skills, Patrols, Activity, Closing. "Activity" rather than "Game" can make a huge difference in the value of a meeting. There are tons of fun scouting games that use scout skills and are more fun than shooting hoops.

    Training the SPL to be the one to open, run, and close his troop's meetings would be a big step.

     

    Scout On


  13. Check the Sawyer Squeeze for about $50 and infinite life. It's simple to backflush in the field. I used one for 6 weeks and 800 miles on the Arizona Trail this spring, getting water from puddles, troughs, creeks, and ponds. Water colors ranged from clear to pistachio green to butterscotch. :-)

    Water temperature and turbidity don't matter. No mechanical parts to break. No waiting for chemical reactions. Just fill the dirty water bag and squeeze out clean water. Plus, the company is doing great things to help provide clean water to communities around the world.


  14. New SPL is elected each 6 months, March and September.

    He schedules a planning session and invites all the Patrol Leaders.

    They review and agree to, or modify, the existing 12-month troop calendar and 3-year high adventure calendar.

    They contribute ideas from their patrols for outings for a 6-month period that is 1 year out. They vote in the outings that sound best to them.

    Each patrol leader selects which outings his patrol will handle.

    They review and add to the long-term high adventure calendar.

    They agree to the 18-month and 3-year calendars.

    The SPL presents it to the committee for support at their next meeting.

     

    The committee doesn't have a say in the outings.

    The only adult directly involved in the planning is the Scoutmaster.

    It takes about 3 hours.


  15. Our commissioner at Many Point met with the SM every morning right after flag raising to check if any campsite care was needed (tp, rope, poison ivy, ...), how yesterday went, the plan for today, and anything else to make our stay better. Over six years of taking the troop, never had a bad one - they were all well-trained and seemed eager to help.

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