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Everything posted by allangr1024

  1. I have a dilemma here. By the charts I am overweight for my height. My heaviest should be around 207, but I am 210. I also have diabetes. For some reason I do not lose weight as I exercise. The disease goes in and out of control due to something my doctor calls Insulin Resistance. I don't overeat. My wife sees to that. But is is extremely hard for me to lose the pounds. I went to Philmont in 2005. I went down from 210 to 202. Everyone else in the crew was dropping 20 or more pounds, but not me. Two years ago I started to walk to work. It is a 3 and a half mile walk from
  2. When I brought my sons to our troop, i noted a practice that I did not remember. In my youth in the 70's, our meetings were about playing games and practicing putting up army style pup tents. My sons meetings revolved around merit badge classes. The troop would appoint one of the adult scouters to do the Physical Fitness badge, or the Citizenship in the Nation badge. All the scouts had to do was sit in the class, listen to the adult, answer a few questions at the end of the class (usually asked to everyone, as long as someone gave the correct answer the class passed on it), and receive the
  3. Man, that is moving. It is amazing to see something like that come from where it is not expected. I would like to do a Scoutmaster minute out of it. I don't think anyone will notice that it is 7 minutes long. My boys comment on my 10 minute scoutmaster minutes as it is.
  4. Are you not just postponing the inevitable? If you don't have new scouts coming into a troop, where are you going to get new venturers to join a venture crew. You are going to have to recruit from the scout troops around. Our crews around our area are hurt when the scout troops around are under sized, just as our scout troops are hurt when the cub dens are under sized. It is a viscous cycle.
  5. Well, the scoutmaster handbook says "Each time Scouts are formed into a new group, whether it is a new patrol or a patrol leaders' council, the Scoutmaster must evaluate the skills, abilities, and morale level of the newly formed group, then provide direction, coaching, and support based on that evaluation." So where is this guy? Any coaching going on? any direction provided? Why has ejkelehan and his ASM's had to meet with this SPL? Maybe someone evaluating, coaching, and directing could implant some vision into the kid, or convince him to step down and let the ASPL take his place, s
  6. So I have a troop of 8 boys, and I have struggled to get even 2 new scouts per year. In my area of the country, the schools are not favorable to us. Our troop is in the middle of two school districts. One will not allow any scouting organization to come on their campus. The other district has a bunch of administrative hurdles and rules. At elementary schools they can do one rally event per year, so the cub packs get that. Last year for the first time the district director got permission to set up a booth in the cafeteria at the ninth grade center, and then at the eighth grade center, He
  7. We do 10 tent camps per year, not including summer camp. In August we do a 12 mile canoe trip just for the day. It is hard to justify the extra expense of cabin camping at state parks, and our council does not allow use of scout camp buildings for troops to sleep in. Besides, tent camping is the skill we want to instill.
  8. So, I have a small troop of 8 scouts. We are not associated with a Cub Pack. I need to recruit, and our DE says to recruit at the Webelos Dens, and he gives me a list of the packs with a cubmaster's name and phone and a WDL name and address. I took an evening and called all the WDL's on the list, and got 3 on the phone. Two said that they would bring their boys over for a visit, and one said he would send the parents an email to the parents, saying that they should visit our troop. I left messages on the phones of the folks I missed. Did not get a return call. The two dens cam
  9. I have a uniform shirt from the 1960's that I wear every now and again to show the boys what they looked like (No shoulder bars? weird!) But I do not have any scout pants from that era. Did they have the red piping around the pockets like the youth sized pants had? I also remember a scoutmaster tie or bolo that our revered scoutmaster, Mr Reynolds, wore to every meeting. Do they still sell those?
  10. I use an Osprey Atmos 35 as a day pack, and have used it on an overnight backpacking trip. I like it, since it is comfortable and seems to be well thought out. It has a good waist belt, can distribute weight very nicely, and has several bells and whistles. My only problem with my model is that it zips open on the back side. I have twice had the nylon material around the zipper tear away from the pack, and start to shred. But Osprey will fix this kind of stuff if you send the pack to them for a few weeks. I would like to get a larger backpacking model and see how it works on a t
  11. One thing I have learned about scout skills is this: If the boys don't have to use them, they lose them. Can't tie a taught line hitch? The kid never needs to. When I was a young scout, we had to use army pup tents. Those only stayed up if the lines were properly tied. If not, we woke to a tent fallen in on us. I think we scouters need to find uses for these skills around the camp, and make it the normal procedure to use them. Are the patrols required to put up a patrol rain fly or tarp? What knots are used. Do the patrols rotate the scouts on chores like fire building and patro
  12. I have been camping in a hammock since 2004. I started out with a Marina mesh hammock. I found this guys website (http://mormonsite.wordpress.com/camping-in-a-hammock/) and followed his method to the wire. I did this summer and winter, down to temps of 10 degrees F. I love camping in a hammock. I shudder at the thought of the condition of my back if I have to go to ground again. I now have a Hennessey hammock that I bought on Ebay for $50.00. From that source I have also purchased the Hennessey Hex Fly, and a Thermorest pad to put in the hammock for insulation. I would sugges
  13. Yep, that is about the way our troop looks on any camping trip. And I marvel at the skill of this scoutmaster. If only ours was as cool under pressure and knowledgeable of scoutcraft as this one is.
  14. Barry, Our troop was camping this weekend in Cleveland, OK. I almost missed the earthquake. The wind on Saturday was so strong there that when the quake happened, we thought it was just a strong gust. It explained the train sound that my wife says she heard at home in Tulsa. Monday's quake happened when we were sitting watching TV. I felt that one for sure. BTW, don't say that stuff about the volcano too loud. This is Oklahoma, after all. As you know, in this place, anything goes. So, I figure we should not tempt the powers that be with any more "novel" natural conditions.
  15. I started using a hammock after I saw this article: http://mormonsite.wordpress.com/camping-in-a-hammock/ I got the Marina double web hammock and set up just the way this guy did. I got a good pad to put under my sleeping bag and a regular tarp for the rainfly. The other scouters at the time (around 2004) chuckled and smurked when they saw what I was camping in. But, I remember one night we got caught in a storm. My son and I (both above the ground) were the only ones dry in the morning. The only drops that landed on me were the ones that bounced up off the ground. Now
  16. Gunny is right about Philmont's views on tents. They told us that tents are required for protection from bears. That is the reason for NO hammock camping up there. I am a hammock camper, and was disappointed. On our first day we did some exercises in getting ourselves grouped together in case we ever saw a bear. Our campsites were laid out with bear protection in mind. And we had to shed all "smellables" in a 20 foot high bear bag every night. In fact the only things we put in our tents were sleeping bags and cloths to jump into in the morning. That year we did not see a bear.
  17. As a Scoutmaster, I would take the facebook postings and definitely sit down with the scout in question. We should remember that conferences cover a bunch of different topics and circumstances. Boards of Review are about advancement. I sit down with my scouts at least once per year, whether they are advancing or not. SM Conferences are about all things Scouting, which someone here has rightly said, about everyday life. So if I see a disagreeable posting on Facebook, or anywhere else, I think it is within my sphere of influence to have a SM conference with the scout to discuss and remed
  18. As I recall, in the late 1970's or early 1980's, a scout found a plant that looked like the drawing in the handbook, made a meal of it, and got poisoned. The BSA had to axe the requirement from the program because the plant in question was hard to identify as poisonous, and a liability issue arose. I remember making a stew out of roots and plants when I was a boy, and I hate to see this kind of stuff happen. It is a sign of the times. Many will rage against the BSA as cowards, but I also remember the wave of court cases the BSA faced over scoutmasters who molested their scouts. The BS
  19. My view is this; It is my job as SM to sign off on the skills. I may delegate the instruction of the skills to an ASM, or an SPL, or even a patrol leader. But I am there to see that the scouts have learned the skill. So I have them demonstrate the skill or explain the information, or whatever. I view the camp staff as people who I can delegate the instruction to. It is still my job to see to it that the skill is learned. I like to meet with the scout the next week and go over the list I get from the camp. If the scout meets the requirement, great, his book is signed. After that
  20. I would prefer that the scouts read the MB Pamphlet as a start to the badge. But most don't, although they might use it as a reference. When I was a boy I never read them either. Some I have used are very good. the Pioneering pamphlet is excellent in teaching the subject. Others I have a hard time with. I tried to sit down and read the orienteering book one time in preparation to teaching map and compass. The text was so badly written as to be unreadable. And I was not sure the technical info about map symbols was correct. Sad.
  21. Let me suggest our own council camp, Camp Tom Hale, or Hale Scout Reservation, at Talahina, OK. It has trail to eagle, merit badges (lots of water stuff), dining hall, modern rest rooms and showers, a program called "Outbound" for older scouts tired of merit badge work, a good Philmont practice trail hike called the Bohannon Trail (all uphill both ways, lol). And it is close to Texas. In fact some weeks the majority of troops are from Texas. We have done a few out of council camps. I liked Ben De La Trour's option of cooking in the camp site. They had not aquatics, but we went to enjo
  22. Our troop here in Oklahoma plans 2 per year. I pretty much tell the PLC they have to work in a fall and a spring backpacking trip. Usually November and March. We are constrained by access to good backpacking trails. Arkansas has loads of them, but at 3 or 4 hours away, it is hard to do more than that. And, like someone else here has said, summer is too hot at 95+ degrees. Add to that the fact that our scouts want to do a variety of things. We have a campout for skying in Missouri, rocketry, canoe trip, an event called Trappers Rendezvous, Webelos Woods, summer camp... And t
  23. As scoutmaster, I thoughts on the t-2-1 programs are these: I am responsible for seeing that a scout has the instruction in all of the skills covered in the requirements. I may decide to teach these skills myself, or I may have our SPL or patrol leaders teach the younger scouts, or I may send the scouts to the summer camp classes. But when I sign off on a requirement, I myself, or an ASM, test the scout to see if he can do the skill. If not, then further training or practice is required. I do get a list of the skills taught for each day at camp. I have learned that a boy in a class
  24. Our troop is failing, due to our lack of recruiting. We are now down to 4 scouts. Neither me (SM) nor our CC, nor any other adult with our troop has seen any training on how to do this, nor have we found much literature (I have read a pamphlet on open houses), nor are any of us recruiting types or professionals (Sales). I would love to have a unit commissioner come work with us. The problem: I don't think our council or district has any unit commissioners. I have not met any. I have talked to our DE, asking for help, and our District commissioner. But in the 3 years I have been with
  25. In our troop I give the scouts and families the option of doing their own program or having the troop leaders do it. Since it is all about honoring the Eagle scout, I can go either way. There is not a set series of elements required in the Eagle ceremony. Anything tasteful is ok as long as the medal gets pinned to the boys uniform at the end of it. I can recommend the book "The Eagle Court of Honor Book" by Mark Ray. He has examples of lots of different ceremonies you could use. Mark seems to have a sensible approach to the whole thing. I have used two of his entries, slightly
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