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Everything posted by fleetfootedfox

  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
  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 B
  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 intern
  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
  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 no
  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 i
  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 mo
  16. Merlyn_LeRoy, How I feel about liberals and their political agendas is not the issue, is it? Obviously the projects that these girls did was a big part of why they were chosen for this award, because that's all it says about them other than their age and where they are from. Also, I did not criticize the project in question, but I'm pointing out where the GSUSA's priorities evidently fall in contrast to your statement that they keep sexual issues out of the program. Clearly they do not, because they are approving gold award projects which center on these issues and then holding th
  17. A simple google search will turn up many conservative web sites that mention the connection between the GSUSA and Planned Parenthood. Maybe you have to consider the source and these are just blowing it out of proportion. However, consider the following from the girl scouts web site: "America's Top Girl Scouts Named 2007 National Young Women of Distinction ... Madeline, Age 18 Girl Scouts of Milwaukee Area Milwaukee, Wis. Madeline chose to focus on the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community for her project. 'I have many close friends who are part of the
  18. Yeah, I had a hard time with one of my Webelos this summer. At one point it was his turn to be waiter. It was the last day of camp. He and another boy (mine actually) were tired and got it into their heads that it was not fair because by their recollection (which was wrong) they had been waiter more than some other boys. My boy eventually did as he was asked after some bit of arguing, but this other boy (whose parents unfortunately provide little structure at home) just refused to comply. My assistant said something to him like, "if you don't want to be part of our group we could find ano
  19. Merlyn_LeRoy, is using Planned Parenthood to provide sex education what you would call "keeping sexual issues out of the program"?
  20. It is interesting that the AHG seems to have an organizational structure more similar to the BSA with troops being chartered by tax exempt organizations. GSUSA troops tend to be more neighborhood-organized. I think the GSUSA lost control due to their loose organization and unwillingness to take any stand on moral issues. Troop leaders are more free to push an immoral or amoral agenda than they would under a different organizational structure.
  21. Thought I'd weigh in with my own opinion. When people seem concerned that boys would not want to wear their Scout uniform to school, I say so what? Why would they? I don't wear my uniform to work, so why would I expect them to wear theirs to school? If the cubs want to wear theirs to school, more power to 'em, but they would also be just as happy wearing their power rangers pajamas to school. You wear what is appropriate for the occasion. What you wear to work or school is probably different from what you wear when you are mowing the lawn or when you are going to church or when y
  22. When you're in the back country things are different. There are no showers or bathrooms. Everybody knows that people are going to go behind a tree to do their business, and I'm not sure why it would be any different going around the bend of a creek to take a quick bath. On the other hand, I've never gone on a trip that lasted long enough that I couldn't just do without a shower for that long. You can always take off your shirt and wash up a bit. Also, if you have a swim suit, you can bath with it on. Last week at Webelos camp my son and I showered in camp with our swim suits
  23. My parents always used to say there are lots of "smart" people who don't have much common sense. We have a boy who will very likely not get elected into the OA unless he changes his attitude and treats people with more respect. It will be interesting to see if he things his peers are being mean to him.
  24. Yeah, have to look at the big picture here. Lots of boys barely make eagle before 18, so holding him back will decrease his odds. Maybe they had good reason to hold him back, but how does that apply to scouting? I assume the school is not the CO, so they have no say, and neither does the district person. It wouldn't be the first time I have been told something wrong in training. Anybody can be a district level trainer.
  25. "They did not like the way that it focused on advancement and in a lot of cases threw the fun to the wind." More advancement in den meetings is a recognition that more boys have lots of other activities and the schools give out more homework than in the old days, so they typically don't have as much time on their hands. However, you are right that keeping it fun is also important for retention, both for den meetings and pack meetings. If they feel a meeting is boring then they start thinking how they could've been playing video games instead and before long decide the few camping op
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