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Eagledad

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Everything posted by Eagledad

  1. Eagledad

    And the Teens Shall Lead

    Who would have thought that not following scouts was unusual. Tell your scoutmaster that just like the scouts have to learn to make good decisions, adults have to learn how to stand back. It takes practice. Reminds me of a parent waiting to ask me a question after a troop meeting. At least a half of dozen scouts swarmed me, each needing to ask me their important question. The adult finally slotted in and asked me how I manage to respectably give each scout his time in the middle of the chaos. My quick answer delivered with a laugh was "Practice". The adult leader job in a troop where scouts are given the freedom to make bad choices is the hardest job in scouting because every sense in their body is telling them to do otherwise. Barry
  2. Ah! An Oklahoma fan. Well said. Barry
  3. Eagledad

    And the Teens Shall Lead

    I was lucky, in both my youth experience, and as a leader, our scouts had the freedom to screw up. Oh, I cringed as I watched the guardian adults stand next to their youth leaders during their activities in other Troops, youth leadership courses, AND OA. I have passion and their ignorance of what they were doing hurt a lot. Many of these adults are friends, and I didn't know how to change them. This is a romantic article of what scouting can be for boys growing into young adults. I do struggle a little on how the adults are still credited with the nobility of allowing the scouts to learn. Oh, I shouldn't be that way, I know we adults struggle a lot with how far is too far. But, I remember reading a Boys Life article a long time ago from a middle aged author reflecting back on the Beaver patrol of his youth. While a SM was probably implied somewhere, he wasn't given any credit, directly. The Beaver patrol had to scurry up any gear they used for camp outs and figure out how acquire food. They weren't poor, they just had to figure it out because that was how it was. The article talked of surviving the rainiest backpacking hikes and cooking in the hardest conditions. The article didn't say it specifically, but because the Beaver Patrol watched other patrols at a very rainy Camporee, they realized that the hardest conditions might not had been so hard for them in a different troop. And that made the Beaver Patrol all the more proud of being a Boy Scouts in their troop with their Scoutmaster. I know, the Scoutmaster wasn't mentioned directly, but, well, you know. It's a good article. Thanks. Barry
  4. Eagledad

    Cleaning and Drying a Sleeping Bag

    True, but layers are layers and are better than just the pad. As thicker pads work better than thinner pads, so will your clothes. Not all your clothes, just the ones you are wearing that day. Barry
  5. Does kindness need a uniform these days. Barry
  6. Eagledad

    Cleaning and Drying a Sleeping Bag

    I laid my clothing between the bag and ground pad for a little extra loft and comfort. Barry
  7. Eagledad

    Voice of the Scout surveys

    National's reputation with polls and surveys precedes them. Barry
  8. Eagledad

    Voice of the Scout surveys

    I work in the research field and, more then than not, polls and survey results are often interpreted to support a pre-desired vision. Barry
  9. Eagledad

    Cleaning and Drying a Sleeping Bag

    The advantage of sheet over a liner is sleeping on the top of the bag when it's hot. Liners are to confining. And as you stated, sheets make a 30 degree bag into a 25 degree, or even more with the right choice of a Walmart liner. And not just winter, it is an early summer advantage in the Rockies where the common temps are still in the 30s. Barry
  10. Eagledad

    Cleaning and Drying a Sleeping Bag

    I haven't camped in the wilderness for a while, but I agree, my down bag is a much preferred when take care of properly. The bad side of down is that it dries slower, so they need extra care in protecting them from moisture. We set up camp in the rain more often than not, so I developed the habit of unpacking my down bag last when I knew it the tent was dry. One other trick I learned with any sleeping bag is use a sheet. Even cotton sheets are a good barrier to absorb most of the dirt. Sheets don't weigh much, dry quickly and are can make hot summer night more comfortable next to a tent mate when the sleeping bag is too hot. Noncotton sheets are common today. Barry
  11. Eagledad

    Fooled to want foil?

    Boy! You sure stoked a lot of memories. Fires are where scouts, boys, men, gathered for the important lessons of life. Jokes, stories of school, cars, airplanes, movies, and girls (for the older scouts) were the typical subjects of the patrol campfire. I knew all the words to the movie "Patton" before I saw it a few years later. "Patton" means something different to me than most of other people who have watched it. And while we imagine ourselves sitting around the red and orange natural combustion, more often than not we stood next to it, as if the smoke and the heat bonded us all that much closer. We stood as close as the nerves in our shins would allow, taking a quick break to quiet the nerves, then back again. The boots back were mostly leather and took a real beating. Oh, we knew the smell of smoke saturated every inch of our bodies and clothes, but we didn't think about until our moms reminded us when we got home. More often than not I took my camping clothes off in the garage. We also tested our curious nature by burning the different wrappers and debris found on the ground in camp. The different plastics where especially colorful and interesting in their molted shapes. There were two scouts in our patrol (Flaming Arrows) who always got up first every morning to get the fire going before revielle. Nothing was said, that was the way it was. I was appreciative of their sacrifice because there is nothing like a warm fire to start the morning. There is an art to fires, covering up the bed of coals at night before with a little dirt would save just enough embers to get the fire going again the next cool morning without matches. I know that the sun rose on plenty of warm Oklahoma mornings, but I only remember the cool ones. The ones where scouts popped out of their tents walking strait to the fire in long johns and a sleeping bag wrapped around them. An unexpected cold front drove through one morning bringing six inches of snow on one camp out. I'll never forget the SM walking through camp 5:00 am yelling "don't eat the yellow snow!". I was still young and didn't have a clue what he was talking about. I found myself repeating the same words some 30 years later as a SM. We were a pretty hardy troop, but since the front was not predicted and the highs were in the 70s the day before, most of our scouts weren't prepared for the 25 degree weather. We got up and broke camp. I can't remember if the two scouts had the fire going or not. Probably not, I remember my feet were numb. Propane stoves changed the way boys grow into men in the woods. Propane took some of the natural out of building character. The fire is the center of the universe for curious boys growing into a men. It was a beacon that pulled us together when the program activities were done. It heated the food that filled our bellies, it kept us warm, even on the warm days. It centered the patrol and kept us always facing each other. It was the hand of mother nature that guided our differences into one. If those memories sound nostalgic and innocent, I should add the romantic stories around the patrol campfire was the seed for my passion of aviation today. Still, as great as flying is in reality, it has never been as good as we dreamed around the patrol campfire. Barry
  12. It will get worse. Gays and transgenders have preferences and biological urges as well. The cultural warriors have been in such a hurry to force inclusiveness that very little thought was allowed to consequences for sexual accountability. Even now the Supreme Court is in the process of interpreting the law of sexuality that could change the future of sports. Should biological males be allowed compete against biological females if the biological males claim they are females? Family scouting may turn out to be the only way youth can go on scouting camp outs within the law. Barry
  13. Eagledad

    Country Meats

    We usually opened a box of the microwave popcorn to sell individual packs for a $1. Many folks want to support the cause and willingly dig into the deep scary bowels of a purse for a dollars worth of coins. Country Meats is a great idea. Barry
  14. Eagledad

    Cub Scout Fishing Derby

    This is a really good idea. I'm not sure there is a more more pure outdoor adventure on this earth than fishing. One of the committee members of our pack suggested we do a fishing breakfast for Tiger age families thinking of joining scouts. So we set up a cook stove on the shore of a neighborhood pond and handed poles to dads and sons as they showed up that early cool fall Saturday morning. There wasn't any order to how we were doing things, we were just making it up as we went along and handed plates of pancakes, coffee and orange juice to dads and sons between casting and baiting. Oh we talked about the program a little, but we found ourselves quietly standing back and enjoying the excited moments of most of these tigers first fishing trip with dad. I don't remember how many of those families joined in 1993, but I will never forget the smiles on the backdrop of the early morning sun. There are some days you've just gotta love this scouting stuff. Barry
  15. Eagledad

    Sea Base Staffer Arrested on Drug Charges

    I'm told that I'm surprised by the news these days because I wasn't raised in their way of thinking. Not too long ago, I was relaxing with my dog on the patio of coffee shop. Between a couple of sips of Americana and petting Sophie, I overheard two young men who were counselors of a Baptist youth camp. They were planning for the next group of church youth, but sadly the discussion turned serious in dealing the rumor of a few bragging youth sneaking pot into camp. As a Christian, I was guided early in life that to truly understand God, we must live life to the fullest. And to understand life, we must live God to the fullest. As I struggle hearing about a personal life struggles, I pray that they are only halfway in the search for balance. Barry
  16. Eagledad

    "Serious" campfire skits/songs?

    I even taught in SM basic that every scoutmaster is different and would have to find their own formula for reaching scouts when the scouts weren't asking to be reached. I then followed with a story of one scout who told me that one SM minute I told some years ago changed the kind of person he was going to be. Wow, I'm not sure my ego needed that, but he helped me realize how important the effort should be for every single SM minute even if only one scout was changed in all those years. Two minutes, five minutes, whatever it takes. Barry
  17. Eagledad

    "Serious" campfire skits/songs?

    That is a good point. I found that my best scoutmaster minutes for scout age boys were less than two minutes long and laced with humor. Barry
  18. Eagledad

    "Serious" campfire skits/songs?

    Our troop takes (took) pride in running good campfires. The scouts learned and will tell you that pulling off a funny is A LOT after, as qwazse points out, a long physical day. If, someone has the skills to pull off serious at a campfire, they are certainly very welcome. But, it's rare. I will say that guitar will make a serious song go a long way. My patrol leader as a youth played the banjo and entertained with serious songs. But, he knew the important difference between serious and boring on a campout. He was started with a fun story about his county cousins. The one I remember was talking about out houses in Oklahoma. The general rule was put the outhouse 100 feet away from the house. Typically, that was 100 feet to close in summer and 100 feet to far in the winter. He was as inspiring as a PL as he was an entertainer. The best campfire seriousness I ever experienced was at adult training where the MC got up to tell a quick story of how scouting changes lives. He told the story very well, but the bag pipe way up the hill drew the tiers. Barry
  19. Eagledad

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    Of course, that is why I suggested grilled sandwiches. Heating a grill takes about five minutes and clean up about the same. Even heating cans of soup are easy. This got me thinking, Grammy and I picked up our 3 year old grand daughter last week to take her to Disney on Ice at the state fair. But the boss (Grammy) said I needed fix her a quick lunch first because it would be two hours before we could get her a corn dog. I had 15 minutes while Grammy changed cloths. My grand daughter had a delicious grilled cheese sandwich with chips and Gummy Bears in that 15 minutes. My mother fed me grilled cheese and baloney sandwiches all my youth, but the Flaming Arrows get the credit for my teaching skills. I'm not trying to die on a hill here or anything like that, you've proven yourself to be a really good leader on this forum. I'm just passing along some ideas. Please don't take my suggestions farther than that. I know you are doing it right. Barry
  20. Eagledad

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    Wow, s'mores cheesecake in a dutch oven and chicken thighs with a pomegranate sauce. Pretty impressive, but if scouts are ever going to even consider cooking lunch, maybe something more along grilled cheese and baloney sandwiches with chips and fruit. Quick and easy with almost no mess. Barry
  21. Eagledad

    Webelos 3 syndrone

    I started doing a Webelos/Troops acquaintance coffee gathering each Fall just to get the troops to themselves to the Webelos leaders. We gave everyone calling sheets so the Webelos leaders had number for when they were ready to visit. But, the visit was really intended to get the lesser experienced mostly female Webelos leaders comfortable with the more experienced mostly male intimidating Troop leaders. It was very successful. Leave it to free cookies, donuts and coffee to get adults standing around for an hour to talk. Barry
  22. Eagledad

    Webelos 3 syndrone

    Parkman is certain right, I was responding more to your philosophical discussion of advancement vs Patrol Method and fun. You are responding the same as we did, and I will say that you might loose a few scouts when the parents don't see their expectations happening fast enough. We had a parent pull their son when I wouldn't "Place" their son in the PL position. We lost a few scouts to Eagle hungry parents. I say parents, because the scouts were happy with the program. Ironically, our troop was 2nd with the average number of Eagles in the district per year. That was to a well known Eagle Factory Troop three times our size. But, we had more scouts 14 and older, which wasn't lost on Council. If a scout is having fun and hanging around in a fairly active program, they almost can't help walking away as an Eagle. But, that kind of program requires faith and trust. Parents want a written process that can be tracked. Character growth can't be controlled in a process or tracked. Barry
  23. Eagledad

    Webelos 3 syndrone

    That was fairly typical even back in 1995. We stuck to our guns with our program and eventually the reputation was our marketing tool. But in the leaner days before the reputation, the Webelos watching our scouts in action was the sell. For some reason, most troops change their troop program to a Webelos recruiting visit program, while we just keep doing our troop program with the Webelos in tow. The Webelos liked what they saw and took the risk. We went from roughly 20 scouts to 100 scouts in about 7 years. And that was loosing at least that many from rocky starts. Boys like adventure, adults like Eagle. If the scouts have any vote in where they go, than adventure will win. That doesn't mean the adults need to have a good response to the adults questions. There is a plan to developing character from adventure and the adults need to be able to explain that plan. Barry
  24. Eagledad

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    Our Webelos Den of 13 scouts took over a dying troop of 7 scouts. The SM took us on his last camp out as a scoutmaster to kind of give us an easy start. Sunday morning at 8:00am, the SM opens the flaps on the tent and tells us to start breaking camp so we can get back to the church parking before church service ended, thus preventing chaos in the church parking lot. I ask, "Breakfast?". He throws, THROWS I tell you, a box of Pop Tarts at us and said, snack on them as we pack. That was the first thing we were going to change. I'm shocked at how many troops don't ask their scouts to cook and how many troops do hurry-up breakfast on Sundays for expediency. It's like saying Saturday is Patrol Method, Sunday is adult method day. Ture, it's a boy run program, but the adults are also responsible for developing fitness. We adults started insisting the scouts cook all meals except lunch. We encourage cooking lunch also, but it wasn't required. Meal preparation is the most challenging activity of the average Patrol Method program. The more complex, the more challenging. How can scouts make bad decisions if they don't have choices? And, the troop has to make time for Patrol Method. An expert once told me that a group needs a minimum of 36 hours to even start to bond, so shutting down Sunday for Patrol Method risk loosing everything that we are trying to do in the first place. Our PLC had to plan around a 1:30 pm pickup time for parents after a campout. That gave the Patrols enough time to for breakfast, Scouts Own, Troop activities (usually some advancement time and capture the flag, lunch, break camp, drive home. One thing I really miss about the old days is cooking on a fire. A fire requires skills to start, maintain a temperature, and careful consideration to making it safe. Cooking on a fire is more complex, not only in cooking, but cleaning as well. Just as soon as the cooked food is taken off the fire, the scouts in charge of kp are putting the hot wash bucket on the fire. The process of preparing a meal from a fire efficiently truly requires a discipline team working together. Todays easy method of lighting processed fuel from a canister and switching it off when finishes makes our job of building men of character much harder. Barry
  25. Eagledad

    My son was awarded Eagle!

    EAGLEDAD3 ?😎
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