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About allangr1024

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  1. When I get temporary patches, like Camporee patches or WOW patches, I take a hot glue gun and a 3 inch piece of leather shoe lace, and glue the ends of the lace on to the back of the patch, making a loop. This will allow you to button the patch to the pocket of the shirt. The patch hangs from the button, the same way that the plastic patch holders do. It acts like the Philmont patch, which hangs off the button the same way. I can change out the temporary patches in 5 seconds as the need arises. The glue does not harm the patch, and can be removed fairly easily if need be. I have found it to be a good practical solution.
  2. allangr1024

    What is the future of Training?

    I have found that training is OK up to a point. I have been doing Scout Leader training since 1999, from fundamentals through Wood badge. Formal training can give you an understanding of the form of the organization, rules of the BSA, and familiarity of the scouting program. But when a man takes up the role of adult leadership, the training does not offer much. The leader really needs to read extensively ask advice of more experienced leaders in the district. And he needs to heed the lessons of experience. When I became a Scout leader, and later a Scoutmaster, I had been to the Leader Specific training of the day, Woodbadge, and other classes done by the district. But I also read the Scoutmaster Handbook, then the Patrol Leader Handbook, SPL handbook, and began to research how scouting was done in the past. I found the writings of William Hillcourt, and books by British Scouters about camping, the Patrol Method, and youth development. From these I got some insights into the purpose of Scouting and the goals these men were trying to achieve. I did not get these valuable insights from the District level training. The early Scout Leaders seemed to have an experimental frame of mind when they built their programs. Baden-Powell was always trying new things to build a program, with the attitude that says, "Lets try this and see what it does." Hillcourt became scoutmaster of a troop in New Jersey where he tried stuff out to see if it benefited his scouts. I did not get any sense from the scout training that this kind of experimenting was even allowed. (Well, in Woodbadge we made additions to the uniform on the patrol level. Uniform Daniel Boone hats or bird feather decorations, and stuff like that.) I think Scouting is more organic than what I saw in the training I took. The idea is to do all kinds of things and see what works. I am trained, but I am also experienced.
  3. allangr1024

    BSA Scout Spirit Boards

    You could say that the Spirit Board is a tool for helping sign off on the Scout Spirit requirement for all ranks, and that involving the scouts in a decision making process is a worthy undertaking, but not if it can affect any scouts advancement. As @HelpfulTracks has pointed out, advancement is meant to be in the hands of the SM and ASM's, to be confirmed by a board of review made up of committee members. Any Scout Spirit issues that arise should be caught by these adult Scouters. As a committee member, I have had to address the behavior of scouts if it went against the Scout Oath and Law. As a SM I have dealt with these issues in Scoutmaster Conferences. The machinery to deal with Scout Spirit issues is already there, and should not be added to, especially with the rank advancement of peers. Scouts leading patrols deal with decisions about camping, cooking, hiking, and the like. When they make decisions of judgement over others, that is an area they are not trained in, and need heavy oversight in. I could see it as valid in recommending to the SM that the scout be signed off for Scout Spirit requirements, with the SM making final decisions, BUT, it can easily slide into moral judgement of behavior. That is a bad idea.
  4. I think you will have to define the terms "requirement" and "Advancement Program". I do not see this as being a specifically redefined requirement. I do not hear the SM saying, "I require you to go on 3 10 mile hikes and build a lookout tower out of lashings before I will pass you off. " He is not even denying the scout a conference. He said "Come, I will be here." (BTW, I would not set this up this way, as there will always be exceptions to the circumstances this guy is envisioning.) Holding a conference may fall under the admonition to recognize advancement quickly, but that is not quantified (must be in 2 weeks of the requirements be done), and hard to be held accountable for. And, if I am reading Hawkin's posts correctly, the scout has not brought the issue of being unavailable for two camp outs up to the SM. Has he refused to do anything else to get the scout to a conference? I think this SM has a worthy goal of getting the older scouts to go on camp outs, which they may not be attending. But he would be unwise in being inflexible on this kind of stuff, since these scouts could vote with their feet and find something else to do all together. The scout needs to follow the chain of command. Talk to the SM, then the CC, then the COR. Scouting is set up to have power spread out to the local units in local matters. I don't see the district level professionals or volunteers doing much but making an appeal to the unit.
  5. I do not see this as a problem of the official scout program, or of scouting policy. This is a matter of scheduling (even if it is bad scheduling). The SM is offering scoutmaster conferences, only at a place and time of his own choosing. In our troop scouts meet with a specific person (SM), at a specific time (last monday of the month) and at a specific place (church meeting hall). This SM can say he is exercising his prerogative in how he implements the scout program. As far as the Unit Commissioner and the District Advancement Chair are concerned, these men are support personnel, and have no direct line authority to the SM. If you want to go over the head of this guy, you go to the CC or the COR to make your case. These are the persons who can dismiss a SM. I have heard the argument that making scouts go on campouts is unfair because they have to pay money for their review. But the BSA does the same thing, by saying that only registered scouts can have scout advancement, and that costs a charter or recharter fee.
  6. allangr1024

    Denied a court of honor.

    There is still something not being said here. Why do you think there is discrimination on the part of the committee members? Age? Gender? Political persuasion? Religious beliefs? Past behavior? Has there been ANY communication between this scout or his family and the leaders of the troop. This is not coming out of the blue. Tell us everything about the scout and the troop. There is an animosity here that is still unexplained.
  7. allangr1024

    Winter Gear Up

    I bought this battery: https://www.amazon.com/Freedom-CPAP-Battery-Standard-Kit/dp/B01H637L82/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?ie=UTF8&qid=1531240045&sr=8-1-spons&keywords=freedom%2Bbattery&smid=APZ6KY51K4CVC&th=1 So far it has worked well. I use a Hennessy Expedition Asym Zip hammock. It is ok. If I had to look at something else, I would look into the Warbonnet hammocks. They are pricey, so I would have to go for a used one. I have also made hammocks out of tablecloths from TableclothFactory.com. They have some crinkle taffeta tablecloths that make great DIY hammocks.
  8. allangr1024

    Winter Gear Up

    I have to use a CPAP too. I have a net suspended above my hammock with the CPAP and a battery with a 2 day charge. The hose reaches down from this net and into my hammock. I camped for years without it, due to lack of power, and sprang for the battery this March with some yearly bonus money. I had this setup at summer camp this year and slept very well. I never realized what a difference it makes. Sorry to hear about the gear failure. It happens to all of us. I went camping with a different troop a few years ago, and decided to use an extrawide Tablecloth hammock. I tied the ends into a gathered end and attached the suspension rope. I was in it for a minute when I heard a TWANGGGGG, and then landed on the ground. Fortunately I had my ground pad in the hammock for insulation, and it cushioned my fall. I was embarrassed when all the men came running to see what had happened. After that I started using whoope slings to attach the hammock to the suspension straps, and all is good. Where in OK do you live? I am originally from Louisiana, but have been here for 30 years. I had my sons in scouting, and probably had more fun doing it than they did. They are all grown and gone, and I am still making it to scout camp outs every month.
  9. allangr1024

    Winter Gear Up

    Buggie, I live in Tulsa, so I am very familiar with the weather conditions you mentioned. And, I LOVE Trappers Rendezvous. I have been there when it was 40 degrees, and when it was 4 degrees. With little in the way of a planned program, it is amazing how many people come. I camp in a camping hammock year round. This is on troop camp outs and private trips. I found 10 years ago that I could not sleep on the ground anymore, and alternatives like air mattress and cot seemed either too heavy or too prone to failure. I would seriously consider using a hammock when you go camping. When used properly, it is comfortable, easy to set up, environmentally friendly, light weight, and perhaps a bit provocative. I cannot tell you how may people came up to me at camporee and said "you sleep in that?" As far as brand names for gear, I see a lot of Ospree packs, MSR and Kelty tents and tarps, Merrell boots, and of course, Coleman is always in someone's truck. For me, you just have to see what you can get a deal on, and decide if you care about light weight, Ultra-light, or just good enough for car camping. Good luck, and have some fun out there.
  10. allangr1024

    Is this the new normal?

    I saw the dance thing happen at a camporee this past spring. It was planned and run by a team of Eagle scouts, with a theme of the Olympics. It was very well carried out, and at the ceremony on Saturday night, after the awards were passed out, we had an ice cream social. The team also brought DJ equipment and strobe lights and had a quarter of the dining hall set up as a disco. We had a lot of scouts get up after they finished ice cream, and try to boogie to the music. It was part of the program the older scouts came up with, and I think all the scouts liked it. I am not sure about the adults, who mainly congregated at the other side of the dining hall and talked.
  11. allangr1024

    Required Worksheets?

    I believe that the troop started using the worksheets in the past as a tool to help the scouts to prepare for the requirements that say "Discuss" or "Describe" or "Talk about". If you view these sheets as a tool then it makes sense. But of course, after the original visionary Scouter has retired from his role in the troop, behind him comes adult volunteers who were not privy to the reasoning behind the use of the worksheets as tools, and saw them as the fulfillment of requirements themselves. I think the attitude on the part of the adult Scouters is supposed to be "how can we help the scouts fulfill the requirements? What tools can we use?" But when it comes right down to it, the scout passes the requirement when he discusses or describes or he talks about the subject. If the requirement says to "Demonstrate", then he passes when he demonstrates. If he has to "Write a plan" then he has some sort of writing to do. A reading of the publication "Guide to Advancement" is helpful here, as this has the BSA's take on all things Advancement. I have not checked lately, but the Guide has said in the past that although the worksheets are helpful, they are not required and are totally voluntary. And there are alternate requirements in the Guide that scouts like your son may find better suited to their situations. Explore those. Use of worksheets, especially for work on Merit Badges, can be incredibly useful. But I have seen them used very badly. The people who first put them together were hoping to do a service to scouts and Scouters, but anything taken out of its context can be misused to do a disservice to the scouts.
  12. allangr1024

    Fort Worth Catholic Bishop endorses Troops of St. George

    This is not good. Scouting in the US is fragmenting into pieces. Along religious lines we will have evangelical scouting (Trail Life), catholic scouting (troops of St George), LDS scouting (whatever they are going to call it), Scouting BSA (whatever), and who knows how many other separate scouting organizations. What would it take to bring all of these divergent pieces of the old BSA back together again?
  13. allangr1024

    National, Religion, Membership, Oath and Law

    LegacyLost, I am a Christian believer, but I am not prepared to say that the BSA going coed is akin to violating the law of God. Scouting has always been a tool to help boys grow into men. As such, its purpose is noble and good, and I can use it to help my sons grow into men as well. But the allowing of girls into the BSA does not concern me because it violates scripture. Rather it is unwise, as it brings both girls and boys together at a time when their sense of their distinctiveness is being learned by both sides. Boys need to be around men to learn how to be a man. And I assume that girls need to be around mature women for the same reason. Hormones being what they are, it seems to me that giving boys an environment to be boys is a wise thing, and the same with girls. I fear that as the 12 year old girls in a coed setting mature a bit faster than the boys, the girls will be preferred, and will be set up as an informal standard in behavior and manners. The boys then are told to act like the girls, and then we have what we have in schools. The masculine traits will be considered "Toxic Masculinity" and boys will be treated as second rate. That will be too bad.
  14. allangr1024

    National, Religion, Membership, Oath and Law

    If memory serves, when BP found out that girls wanted to do scouting, he set up a separate organization, the Girl Guides, and had his wife run it separately from the Boy Scouts. This all girls organization is still in business, and by some accounts, is prospering more than the current Scout Association in Britain. How could BP to be so unfriendly, to forsake being a brother to every other scout. He must have been a heartless, bigoted individual who hated females and treated them like crap. I wonder what would happen if the BSA followed BP's example, and set up something like the Girl Guides in an organizational division separate from the boys organization. Both would be scouts, but they could have kept the male and female distinctions, and distinctiveness, intact.
  15. allangr1024

    From National: Official Name

    Sorry, AVTech. I have to correct you. The copy of the Scoutmasters Handbook I got when I became a Scoutmaster in 2007 (copyright 1999) had this quote in the section called "The Aims of Scouting" on page 7, "A goal of the Boy Scouts of America is to help boys develop into honorable men. Scouting's values can be incorporated into a boy's home, school, and religious community, adding to all three and, in some cases, filling in where family, school, or religious support is lacking." They started replacing the gender term "boy" with the work "youth" when they started contemplating the change. In 2012 I started hearing rumors that there would be a merger between the BSA and the GSUSA, with some type of name change like "Scouts USA". Of course everyone poo poo'd the idea, saying "it will never happen." I guess the merger did not survive the meeting of the minds between the two organizations. But here we are now.