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About fleetfootedfox

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  1. We have had this issue in my troop. The SM sometimes (not always) prefers to do things as a troop instead of in patrols for convenience sake. For example, on one recent camp out, the SM decided they would cook as a troop instead of in patrols. I think this is because we couldn't park close to the camp site and it was raining and it was just inconvenient to haul all of the stuff up a big hill in the rain. Anyway, at breakfast the boys started out doing the cooking, but the eggs were getting burnt so one of the moms took over cooking the eggs. The adults were happy about the boys doing most of the cooking and didn't see a problem with this. However, if they had been cooking in patrols, the adults could have had their perfect eggs cooked by adults and if the boys burnt theirs then they get to learn from their mistake. By having the adults save them from burning the eggs they get more to eat but don't learn as much. Some of the older scouts who are now gone from our troop used to say that it was the burnt meals that they remember the most! Just a small example of the difference between the so-called "troop method" and the patrol method. I think it is more unusual for a SM to just completely throw out the patrol method. I think this would be a potential reason to leave the troop, but then you have to consider that the grass is always green on the other side of the fence and maybe your son would be happier with the friends he's made where he is. Another solution, of course, is to offer to take over the SM job, but if you do that don't wimp out on the patrol method when it's inconvenient for you.
  2. I haven't had this training, but I've slept in cold weather, and I would say definitely get a zero degree (or lower) mummy bag. I always want a bag rated 20 degrees below what the temperature will be. I have slept in 20 degree weather fairly comfortably in a zero degree bag. If you are big like me you also want to pay attention to the dimensions of the bag. Too small and you will be uncomfortable. There are some non-mummy bags that might be okay too. You may have some reason that a mummy bag would be uncomfortable for you. I see Dick's Sporting Goods has the Wenzel Tundra Sleeping Bag rated for -10. However, I'm guessing this is probably a very bulky bag. That is one of the advantages of the mummy bags. They are less bulky for the same comfort level. I hope I'm not just stating the obvious with all this advice. Not sure what you were looking for exactly. I do know good sleeping bags can get very expensive. If you want one that's both warm in cold weather and also very light, you will pay more money.
  3. Yeah, I agree, but I could tell them this until I'm blue in the face, and they either don't care, don't comprehend, or think they know better. Since there don't seem to be any consequences for doing it wrong, there is little incentive to change something that as far as they are concerned has worked well for them in the past.
  4. When I started in my son's troop, I was told that you had to be an ASM who had been through Scoutmaster training to serve on a BOR. As I learned later, according to the training materials it's supposed to be a committee member job. When I pointed this out, I was told that the training materials are just guidelines, not actual rules.
  5. Eamonn, I liked your story and agree with your thought that a person should look at themself first and what they can do before criticizing the other guy. However, your story was a little different in that you are the senior person taking the other guy under your wing. If you are an ASM with a SM who is doing a poor job, you can't offer to mentor the SM. The SM is in the more senior position and that creates a different dynamic. Nobody likes to receive criticism. Many people respond very negatively to it. The SM may even see ASMct as the real problem. I found an article on the internet called "How to Criticize Your Boss". I will try to summarize and reword to fit the Scouting issue: 1. Be sure that the Scoutmaster can handle the criticism. If you don't have a good enough relationship, or the Scoutmaster doesn't seem to want input from others, the criticism may not be well received. Even if you've had a good relationship, he may still conclude you are the problem if you are having to bring up such concerns constantly and/or other people aren't telling him the same things. If he knows what he is doing is wrong and he doesn't care (as is probably the case with a SM who abandons his troop in bad weather to go sit in his van), once again he is not likely to want people around who are going to point out such things. 2. Keep it private. This is generally a good idea. Criticizing in public will almost automatically create hard feelings. There may be times when you have to bring up an issue to the Troop Committee, but if so, be prepared for a fight. 3. Time it right. At week long summer camp, you will notice the boys near the end of the week fighting more. The same can happen with the adults. Pick a less busy and stressful time to bring up concerns. 4. Be objective. You should have specific concerns, things that can be fixed, and be prepared to offer solutions. 5. Balance your criticism with a compliment. Compliment first, then let them know your concerns. Don't do it in the reverse order.(This message has been edited by Scouter760)(This message has been edited by Scouter760)
  6. No offense intended, but I think some of you are taking the beads way too seriously. There was really nothing special about those little beads before B-P gave them out other than their unique shape. If he had given out little red glass beads instead and told some story about how he got them from Geronimo, that's what we'd be using today. We give beads to cub scouts when they complete achievements, and they get more beads than we do for completing Wood Badge. Why be so stingy with the beads? Maybe we should give out a bead for each ticket completed. Also, I don't see any real problem with Wood Badge changing with the times, as it has many times. Maybe we should get rid of the beads and replace them with a knot.
  7. We were at S-F this year. Somehow they messed up and didn't light the bon-fire at the call out. Otherwise it was okay, but Camp Lewallen's call out the previous year was better. I should also add that we would prefer a camp where the boys don't have to do all the cooking. At S-F they do patrol cooking, which took up a lot of time where the boys could've been doing other things. (I don't really care to get into a discussion of the merits one way or the other unless somebody wants to spin off a new thread.)
  8. Our troop is in Missouri, but we are looking to go out of council next year to someplace a little special. We are interested in camps that have a good older boy program as well as something good to offer the first year campers. We are also interested in camps that have a good OA call out. Any suggestions? Thanks.
  9. One other thing... I assume you have all your son's merit badge cards and book signed off so you don't have to ask the troop for this stuff.
  10. It sounds like they have already made up their minds, and evidently you do not trust these people, so why wait? To dismiss him from the troop requires some paperwork and cooperation from the CO. This would damage his reputation and self-esteem. The ASM does not know what he's talking about. There is no need to inform the old troop of your quitting or ever talk to them again. You can just go to a new troop and fill out a new application with the transfer information. You don't have to give any reason unless the new Scoutmaster is suspicious and pushes. Even then, you can give some non-committal reason. The Council will check their records and re-assign him to the new troop. People at the Council level will not want to get involved in troop affairs. The old troop will wonder for a few weeks where you went to and will eventually figure out that you are gone. If the new troop does hear anything from them it will be unofficial and they are not likely to act upon it.
  11. Nick, Good question. You will find in life that often what you get out of something depends greatly on what you put into it. If you look around at the people in scouting who are enjoying it the most, it is the people who are putting the most effort into it. If you have been SPL, you know that it can be fun to be in charge. If you aren't willing to do the job, though, you won't ever find out how much fun it can be. The same is true of many things in life. You don't get to be a good musician or athlete without lots of practice. If you put in enough time to get good, that's when it gets really fun. You won't make good grades if you don't do your homework. If you don't make good grades, you don't get into a good college, etc. Unfortunately, a lot of people never really figure out this kind of stuff. They don't understand delayed gratification. They don't understand sacrificing one thing to achieve something else that is better. On the other hands, there are people who just like to complain. They don't seem like they are ever having a good time because they complain so much. So, what I'm saying is that some of these people may be having more fun than they are willing to admit.
  12. In our council, Pow Wow is a Cub Scout thing. UOS is both. The format may be different too. I also have found Pow Wow to be more fun, probably due to the emphasis on games and songs.
  13. Synthetic materials are damaged more easily by flame. I got a hole melted in a jacket when cooking with charcoal. Also, my SM had a jacket get a hole in it when poking the campfire. Polyester will melt instead of burning, which can be particularly nasty if it melts onto your skin. Cotton is both cheaper and also will not melt like this. I know at camporees and OA events they often have big bonfires and we do a lot of cooking over various heat sources, so I prefer natural fibers.
  14. I could easily see a Scout not being clear on the requirements and just making a mistake. Don't blow it out of proportion.
  15. Yeah, Merlyn_LeRoy, what I said before is that the GSUSA has not taken a stand and you replied "I think they took a stand on moral issues by not excluding people..." Now you are quoting them where they say they take "no position". We seem to be going around in circles. What I am trying to say is that they take no official position on the national level which then allows the Councils to do whatever they want. Here's a quote from a 2004 article at http://www.lifenews.com/nat369.html: "...Kathy Cloninger, CEO of the Girl Scouts of America, appeared on NBC's 'Today' show Friday morning to discuss the boycott. 'The Girl Scouts in Waco, Texas, really made a decision based on local community context, they decided that in this particular situation that it would be in the best interest of girls and their families to discontinue the relationship with Planned Parenthood,' said Cloninger. Cloninger explained that Girl Scouts of America addresses the challenges girls face in today's world, including issues regarding sexuality and body image. 'We partner with many organizations. We have relationships with our church communities, with YWCAs, and with Planned Parenthood organizations across the country, to bring information-based sex education programs to girls,' added Cloninger." So, despite not having an official position, she doesn't have a problem with using the word "we" when talking about partnering with Planned Parenthood "across the country".
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