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About alexiv

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  1. Today, April 23rd is the traditional feast day of St. George, patron saint of Scouting. St. George was a Christian Martyr in the 2nd Century who was persecuted by the Emperor Diocletian. St. Georges bravery in the face of persecution and holy life are models for scouts. Catholic scouts and scouters should pray to St. George for the advancement of the scouting movement. All other scouts should see him as a historical figure that held true to the values that scouting now represents.
  2. alexiv

    Who carries a pocket knife?

    From the point of view of a student, I see the zero-tolerance as ridiculous. Various times in grade school I would forget to take my knife out of my pocket before leaving for school. Ive outgrown most of that forgetfullness by now. I worry somewhat about these no tolerance weapons policies though, its a little ridiculous. I keep the arrow given to me when I kept the Vigil for OA on the back dash of my car. I like to have it in a place where I can see it every day and have it as a reminder. Every time an administrator stops to talk to me the back of my mind says, oh here we go, Ill probably get expelled for the "weapon" in my car. I dont even own a bow. What would I do? Stab someone with the arrow? As others have said, sometimes these "weapons" are not so functional, but reminders of things. Someone said his buck knife reminded him of his father. People keep symbols around for lots of reasons. Just another example of how zero-tolerance doesnt consider the causes of the offense.
  3. alexiv

    Patrol Flags & Yells

    Similar to the patrol standard idea, my patrol is knows as the "Lost Hubcaps" Our standard is...a hubcap, on a pole. We found the hubcap on a patrol hike, we have an intense sense of ownership for it and it always stands out at camporee. Just another idea. Alex
  4. At least once a year at a CoH I read a selection from the '57 scoutbook. Its called "Living the Scout Ideals" Gets our scouts thinking about the points of the law. This discussion as far a "courteous" goes got me thinking about a time when i read that particular passage, courteous, and got laughed at. The passage reads: "Am I truly courteuos? Have I learned to do the many small courteousies that a gentleman does as a matter of habit-- Rising when a lady enters a room, giving my seat to an older person, making genrous use of the little words 'please' and 'thank you'?" One of our more discourteous scouts just kind of chuckled at this idea. He stopped laughing when he noticed he was the only one. During the potluck I went to talk to him, he says "alex, no one does any of that anymore." I said yeah, just watch, the rest of this dinner, maybe not specificly the things that I said, but youll notice a lot of things you probably dont see at home at a scout dinner. I think I made an impression upon him. So my vote, no etiquette merit badge, but maybe we need added emphasis on the oath and law. Teach a point a month, seems like a system to me.
  5. alexiv

    A wagon on a backpacking trip

    Im glad to see that mine is not the only troop that had had a "wagon incident." Now, Ive never seen one on a backpacking trip, and I think thats the real problem here, but we take our troop wagon to summercamp and most other cabin camps. Two years ago at summercamp some first year boys decided to ride down a heavily wooded hill in our beloved troop wagon. Luckily no one was hurt (except the wagon) and after they all served theyre time dishwashing we now are able to laugh about it. Our second "wagon incident" I have to admit was my idea. The 3 oldest youth in the troop, the leadership patrol built a 2-story Polar Bear shelter on a winter campout and we wanted a picnic table for our "livingroom". So we got our fixed up wagon, brought it over to the next vacant campsite and proceeded to lift a 300 puond oak table onto the radio flyer. It all was going swimmingly until we hit one of those camp-road potholes and shot the axles right through the floor of the wagon! With some scout ingenuity and 2 leathermans we were able to fix it though and it still serves us loyally today. In fact, this week the boys are out at summercamp for "Go West" week, the wagon has become so much a part of troop lore that it even gets its own theme costume. We built a frame and a canvas cover to make our own mini prarie-schooner. So thats my tribute to the wagon. Anyone else have wagon stories? But I agree, its definitely not appropriate for backpacking.
  6. alexiv


    One comment about the jewelry issue from a scout who has experienced it in a unique way. There are certain pieces of jewelry that are respectable, and many that are not. I wear a chain into my right pocket. About a foot long, but thinner than you would see on a normal teenager. Very often when I am in uniform and at a scout event where the leaders do not know me well, I reach into my pocket and at the jingle of the chain they will all turn and look like, should you be wearing that? Thats not part of uniform. The complexion of the situation changes greatly when I get to the end of the chain and check the time on my pocketwatch. My watch is a statement of individuality, just like any of the other forms of jewelry mentioned here, you dont see too many 16 year olds with pocketwatches. The difference is, the watch and chain is perceived as respectable, while the earring or the wallet chain is not. So Im really not sure weather to stick up for my brother scouts who just want to be themselves. Or stick with the leaders, who want to keep the uniform respectable. I agree with both parties to a certain degree. Just an interesting real life anecdote to prove that things are not always as you perceive.
  7. If you dont mind spending the money, the best wool blankets that would hold up at camp are the old Hudson Bay blankets, (5 point blankets). You can probly find more information about these in the discussion from a couple months ago about capotes, as they are the traditional material for making a capote. You can find them usually at traders such as www.crazycrow.com
  8. alexiv

    Competition Patrol Makeup

    I wish it were that clear cut. The troop has 4 patrols. A leadership patrol of anyone over life. Then all the 1st/Star scouts who are over 13. Then a 2nd year patrol, and the just bridged Weblos. none of these patrols are big enough to compete with a full ticket on their own (except mayeb the 2nd year...but oh well) And so the arguement I get from the leadership is, well, we have to combine them in order to compete anyway, so why not mix up the ages? So this throws yet another twist into the argument.
  9. How do your troops work patrols for competitions i.e. klondike, camporee, etc.? Our rules state natural patrols, but I have one adult leader int he troop that always wants to mix boys so that the younger scouts can taste some competition. (Im the SPL by the way) I hold a great deal of pride in my camporee patrol and how well we do, I really enjoy competing against my friends in the OA lodge. I paid my dues as a younger scout somewhat struggling with my young and underpowered patrol, thats called scouting, and its called patrol bonding, overcoming obstacles together. basicly my question is, how do i present this feeling without causing a major ruckus in the troop. All the other older guys are with me, we want to compete on our own and have a chance to win, not mix up ages and doom both patrols to mediocrity. Just looking for opinions, thanks Alex
  10. alexiv


    From a scout that sews most of his own patches (mom usually does the round ones because they tend to roll away on me) but heres a tip for sewing onto the pocket. Cut up a plastic milk jug or similar substance roughly into the size of the pocket and slip it into the pocket when you sew. Make sure it is something that your needle cannot pierce, this is why milk jug is good. This way the only thing that your needle can contact is the patch and the front side of the pocket. Its kind of a crude method, but it was invention from nessesity after i sewed my pockets shut a couple times. (which is a viable option if your son doesnt use his shirt pockets) Hope that helped
  11. alexiv

    Left Handed Smoke Shifter

    BTW, I know this is getting pretty far off topic, so i would invide the list moderator to move it to a different thread if he feels it appropriate. Sorry for going off on a tangent, but its a good discussion isnt it?
  12. alexiv

    Left Handed Smoke Shifter

    Maybe it is an arrogant comment, but i think that today's leaders can be, or can become, better than in the past. Isnt that what its all about? We all grew up in the era of political correctness, and there is a place for that sometimes. There is also a place for tradition and good clean fun. My generation of leadership faces the challenge of melding those concepts together. I know it works pretty well in my troop, and i know the boys that I have trained handle it pretty well, I imagine that this is probably not an isolated incedent.
  13. alexiv

    Left Handed Smoke Shifter

    Hazing? Honestly? I agree more with Rooster. As long as "everything in moderation" is observed, i dont think that it is harmful. As a 16 year old SPL, i have seen just about everything, good and bad, in the youth of scouting. I have been sent for somokeshifters ect., and i have sent others for them. Being able to laugh at yourself and take a joke is a sign of character. In the same vein, you cant make him the butt of the whole weekend, as long as everyone is treated with dignity and respect in the end, its all good. Scouting is a place for BOYS, we always talk about boy run, this is what boys do. I am the chapter chief for the OA in my district and I run the annual Tap Out, (gasp! you cant Tap Out anymore) I dont buy into that " you cant touch another boy, thats hazing. But theres certainly no open palmed slaps, and we dont break collarbones like back in the 60s. There is a line that some people cross, but the vast majority of it is innocent, and you cant condemn everything as hazing in one broad sweep.
  14. PETA? Is that: People Eating Tasty Animals??? Err...somehow i think thats backwards. :-)
  15. alexiv

    Campfire Robe

    This is a link to a capote pattern written by Dan Beard. It is a little sketchy, but if the father of scouting can do it, why not us? http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/okpik/gear&clothing/capote.htm