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fling1

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About fling1

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  1. fling1

    Learning something new

    Snopes is your friend, Eamon :-) http://www.snopes.com/language/stories/brass.htm http://www.snopes.com/language/phrases/sonofgun.htm
  2. fling1

    Switching from aged-based patrols

    Great Question! I have mulled over whether this could work for us, also. Our troop is too small to make the shift, I think, but I'll be watching this thread closely! Beavah, I observe your point about patrol competitions -- it would make almost no sense with our 3 patrols. Semper, OGE, your posts sound like this was a process that got repeated on a somewhat regular basis. Am I right about that? Or was it a one-time switchover from age-based to mixed-age patrols? OGE, you said that there had been a structure for how many star, life, etc. per patrol, but that was abandoned in order to facilitate putting friends together. How did you prevent the re-emergence of age-based patrols if there was no mandate to include some of each rank? For mixed-age patrols, is a periodic re-shuffle typically part of the model? If so, this is unexpected for me. I think of these as "permanent" patrols, as in *permanent*. Mike, thanks for the solid metrics! Very persuasive. Good discussion. Where's Barry? ;->
  3. fling1

    ballista plans

    One of my favorite topics!! This might be a bit more ambitious than what you asked for, but I'll post it anyway in case others have perked up their antennae on this topic. I like to think of this as the world's only Cub Scout-powered trebuchet. I don't have a picture handy of the scouts playing with it, but here are some of my cow-orkers and neighbors giving it a try... http://scouttroop.org/oh/bsa/476/kidsonbench.jpg http://scouttroop.org/oh/bsa/476/wildride.jpg http://scouttroop.org/oh/bsa/476/treblaunch.jpg http://scouttroop.org/oh/bsa/476/mid-fling.jpg and http://scouttroop.org/oh/bsa/476/punkin1.mpg There are plenty of internet resources to help you design a trebuchet, if you want to get into this topic. If you poke around, youll see that it is pretty easy to get in deep :-) Heres some initial stuff to get you started After a bunch of reading and looking, I settled on the following useful rules of thumb (all of which are observable in the photos I linked): hinged counterweight beam length ratio: 4:1 5:1 (I used a 16 2x6 with the axle at the 3 mark that makes 13:3) axle height such that the cocked machine is at ~45 degrees Sling length ~= L1 (longer of two arm lengths) this puts the ammo more or less right under the axle when cocked Weight ratio = 40:1 50:1 (we throw 8 -10 lb pumpkins with ~450 - 600 lbs or so of people. We threw a bunch of 5 lb-ers this year and they launched beautifully with ~250 lbs of people. Voice of experience: if you get this ratio too low, you will release early and throw vertical not a good thing :-) Release pin angle is pretty adjustable to get a well-timed release You can get a more efficient machine by diligently working through the many variables. But you will get a working machine quickly with these rules of thumb. I built mine in the pioneering tradition of trees and rope for several reasons: cheap materials, easy to scale up always enjoyed pioneering and thought this was a cool way to show scouts that it can be fun tripod design means this can be built on uneven ground and made perfectly level! This last point is really the best reason. Set up the tripods and install the axle. Take your time to adjust the legs so that the axle is level and perpendicular to the desired throw. Very small leg placement adjustments will dial it in nicely. When all is squared away, install the braces on the tripods. Note that with 500 lbs, you are putting a large load on the tops of the tripods. Use stout timbers and strong rope. I buy a new 50 bag of 3/8 manila each time I assemble it, just for the tripod lashings. I have found significant rope stress, including breaking, when I disassemble it. I also try to keep the tripods as close together as I can, so that the axle takes less bending stress. Hope this helps, -Derek.
  4. Bummer, Packsaddle! Someone stole your ZIP stove?? http://www.zzstove.com/index.html I love mine. It's light, never runs out of fuel, and fun to use. It takes a bit more attention, but that's part of its charm. Whenever I get mine out, I have boys hovering around wanting to help feed it.
  5. fling1

    Dealing with gung ho new parents

    Hmmm.. This sounds familiar. Oh yeah -- you're talking about me! I was very keen on finding a place to contribute in our troop when my son first crossed over. Like you, the existing leadership encouraged me to wait a while and grok the Boy Scout Way first. But I was very well aware of the boy-led issues (they were the reason my son chose this troop!) plus I had a lot of enthusiasm and energy. I started by helping the SM with the website, then took the climbing training, essentially just stepping up to a ASM role without really waiting to be asked. Long story short -- After a sudden and unexpected transition hit the troop, I ended up SM after only a 6 month tenure. Not what I expected, or even wanted, but I was in the best position to take it up. My advice? Don't push back too hard. Invest that energy instead into learning how your new, energetic parent can best contribute. (Have that talk that OneHour described so well.)Then let them contribute. If it turns out they are all wrong-headed, invest your energy into straightening them out. They'll still be energetic, and will appreciate your efforts to help them fit in with the program.
  6. fling1

    Gay rights vs. religious beliefs

    Well, Brent, We could very well be arguing all of this from a much different starting point, if Utah had taken a stand on this topic way back when. The polygamy practices that were somewhat common in the Utah territory were outlawed as part of Utah's bid for statehood. Somehow, they were led to believe that it would be easier to convince Congress to admit them to the Union if they dropped that particular aspect of their culture. If the good and principled Mormons of the day had taken a stand on this, and challenged the US to prove to them that their definition of marriage was incompatible with the US Constitution, polygamy might have gained a grudging acceptance as tolerable in the United States. (Probably, every other state would have promptly outlawed such, but that's what states are supposed to do -- reflect their local culture and make a best-fit situation for their citizens.) There are lots of viable family structures and marriage arrangements. My personal favorite is the "linear marriage" as described in Heinlein's _The_Moon_Is_A_Harsh_Mistress_ (highly recommended book, btw). These are fascinating topics of discussion when accompanied by frosty adult beverages :-)
  7. fling1

    Hammocks

    Hi Campcrafter, The majority of our troop use these! They are awesome. Here are some images of our hammocks in action: http://www.scouttroop.org/oh/bsa/476/HammockCampsite.jpg http://www.scouttroop.org/oh/bsa/476/WoodedCampsite.jpg http://www.scouttroop.org/oh/bsa/476/HammockCity1.jpg We have been such a good customer for Hennessy that we now sell these as a fundraiser. Check it out at http://www.scouttroop.org/oh/bsa/476/HH476.htm I currently use the Expedition A-sym, which is their mainstream model. Longer or heavier folks can scale up a bit. The A-sym models really do feel a bit roomier. I have spent rainy weeks in mine (we take them to summer camp, cause they are *that* comfy) with no trouble. It is probably the coolest option available for those really hot, muggy outings. You can kind of fold the floor over and lay on the outside of it for a nice rest in the breeze. I don't usually use it once it gets to about freezing temps. The cold air under your compressed bag will suck the heat out of you just like the cold ground would. So just like a tent or tarp, you have to insulate under you, but it is a bit tricky to keep a pad under you in the hammock. I really should work out a custom solution for that :-) The best part is how you are never on a rock or stick or slope that annoys you through the night. You can sleep super-comfortable on very rough terrain. I totally love mine, and highly recommend them.
  8. fling1

    no fire - not scouting - RANT

    FWIW, I will weigh in with Venividi and SR540Beaver... The old pack allegiances are just not that important. The institutional allegiances are just not that important. If you can find a troop that suits your son better, join it. It sounds like you have decided that the "better" troop is not there for you, so working for change may be your best path. But in general I would not advocate letting tradition or peer pressure or allegiances drive your troop choice. Choose on best fit. Better yet, let your son choose the best fit for him.
  9. fling1

    Dinning Hall vs Patrol Cooking

    Oh Boy! We did patrol cooking this year at Camp Liberty (Heritage Reservation in Greater Pittsburg Coucil) and I was SO happy! We skip around and attend different camps, so I've seen a few dining halls. Eating in camp meant no more marching up to the dining hall, waiting around in the sun to get going, waiting in line to eat, sweeping up other boy's messes (grated cheese!!), etc. etc. etc. Instead, we ate like kings, sprawled out on the lake shore in our camp chairs. Better food, the accomplishment of cooking, patrol development. All positives, no negatives, from my point of view. The system at Liberty is that each patrol's food is loaded into stacker boxes, along with a list of contents (including how many people if feeds) and cooking instructions. The designated food runner takes a custom backpack (a plastic trash pail on a backpack frame - genius!) up to the commissary and transfers the goodies from the stacker box to his backpack. This process provides the opportunity to spot ommissions and errors immediately (solves Ranchlady's problem). He returns and we feast! Nice stove rigs and a patrol box are issued for each patrol. I got a kick out of one of our adults who was irritated that the boys seldom glanced at the cooking instructions :-) I thought it was awesome that they would just dig in and go for it. The patrols cooked for the adults, too, so we just ate what they fed us -- and we ate GOOD! (This also gives the adults an excuse to step up and help a bit on cleanup if time constraints arise or the workload gets too onerous.) Our adults are really very good about staying out of the patrols' business, so they were free to proceed as they saw fit. But a couple of them couldn't help supervising more closely on STEAK NIGHT :-). So how many of you dining hall folks look forward to steak night?? Patrol cooking at summer camp rocks! edited part: regarding the weather issue... we also got lots of rain through the week and had a strong storm warning right at dinner time one evening. One patrol decided to cook fast, and was able to serve up their fajita wraps in a canvas tent while the torrential rain and hail did their worst. The other patrol just hunkered down and cooked after the storm blew over. Of course, each thought their strategy was the better one!!(This message has been edited by fling1)
  10. fling1

    Scoutings Gray Areas

    I'm enjoying this thread. A couple of data points: My son was at NYLT this summer, and apparently they also learned about gray areas. The result was not so much that all gray areas were avoided -- merely that when "grey" material was used, it would get a response from the group as they all sang out "gray area!". It seemed it made it OK to use the material so long as you said "gray area" afterward. Funny, really. The best example at the Wed campfire was the "saloon" skit (where the director has the actors go through a scene at the saloon several times and of course there is no film in the camera when they finally get it right). One scene was "with feeling" and they played it up very funny - like a movie on Lifetime. The director hated it (of course) and part of his critisism was that it had "waaay too much affection for an all-male cast." The crowd immediately crowed, "Gray area!" It just made it funnier, really. At summer camp, the Reservation director let us know that they were following the guidelines for gray area stuff, so there would be no references to bodily functions, among other things. (He rolled his eyes and said, "I know, I know, but that's the way we are doing it.") He encouraged us to submit skits for the Friday campfire, but required that we clear them with the Program Director by Thursday, including performing it for him so any censorship could be taken care of. The result? Exactly one troop-supplied performance at Friday's campfire. If you would have told me that MY troop would be the ONLY troop to contribute to a campfire program, I would have laughed myself silly (our troop is traditionally reluctant to participate in these things -- too cool for school and all). But that is exactly what happened. (We performed a funny blues song by Lonnie Mack and *killed*! A real highlight for me.) My personal feeling is that censoring "bodily functions" is over the line. No "important papers" or "hot meal" or "gotta go wee" skits? Silly policy. Eventually, the troops will sign up for campfire and the program director will ask, "do you guys want to do 'invisible bench' or 'froggy'?"
  11. I think Michelle is on the right track here -- you are talking about a ~4-day council camp experience for cub scouts that sorta-kinda looks like a boy scout summer camp, right? (You said "overnight adventure camp" instead of "day camp" and "such a long period of time" which sounds longer than two days.) I did this four years in a row with my son's den. Our camp ran Mon-Thurs, (leaving Fri-Sun for "fun with son" weekends on the same property) -- four days and three nights. As Michelle described, our day was wall-to-wall with activities, including one period of scheduled downtime, suitable for napping. The biggest challenge was keeping everyone on schedule all day. "C'mon boys, we shoot BBs in 10 minutes -- get your shoes on!" I brought a few diversions with me, but rarely used them. I think the most valuable thing to bring is plenty of patience and enthusiasm. Freeze-pops were a big hit at the trading post -- treating the group to one was always a winner. Also, our camp had a "fort" and "castle" arrangement for the youngest campers (wolves and bears), which were essentially bunkhouses. The Castle in particular was made of cinder blocks and got a lot of sun, so was radiating like an oven at bedtime. A box fan was *very* helpful for getting to sleep. When ours were at this age, we tried to get them out of doors on a clear night. We dragged mattresses up to the roof of the fort, which worked very well. You'll probably have a campfire you can perform a skit in -- if you think ahead and bring a couple of costume/prop items, it will help. And take plenty of pictures :-) You'll have a blast. Here's a few from our last year... http://www.cubpacks.org/oh/cs/336/ac.html
  12. Hi Lisabob, "And since he must have signed off on Scout Spirit and SM Conference, there's a presumption that by the time they arrive for a BOR, they're ready to advance in his eyes. Given that, how far do you press behavior issues in a BOR?" The BOR serves two purposes: 1) double check the completion of requirements as evidenced by sign-offs and dates. I've had one come back to me because I overlooked a service hours sign-off, although I had just reviewed it as part of the SMC. Cool -- it worked! 2) monitor the program quality, as revealed through the impressions and opinions of the youth membership. Ideally, if the Board felt that a boy came to them with a Scout Spirit sign-off that was not deserved, they should take that up with the Scoutmaster that signed it. Likewise if their monitoring efforts (listening) revealed a weakness in the program, those findings ought to be shared with the Scoutmaster - perhaps leading to a plan for addressing the shortcomings. The BOR should not be treated as an inquisition nor an opportunity to "veto" an existing signature, however. Helpful?
  13. fling1

    Safety Afloat question

    So, CNY, there are two issues here: CC says you need a lifeguard to take the troop canoeing CC is willing to do a parent+child outing rather than disregard G2SS Which of these is annoying you more? For issue (1), as you have discovered, certified lifeguards are needed for your non-swimmers. So the CC is correct in this, if you have non-swimmers in your group. If your group can all pass the swimmer test, you need simply put your CC's mind at ease and educate him/her on the details of Safe Swim Defense. And issue (2) becomes moot, for now. For issue (2), the difference between "wink wink" and full compliance is simply full disclosure. If participants know that they are assuming their own risk, including liability, just like they would if they went by themselves, then you are not skirting anything. You said that your training explained the standard as "promoted in troop meetings, attended by troop members and run by troop leaders." But if your scouts have parents who know they are responsible, then you are not running or leading anything, and are not liable for the actions of others. No need to feel dirty or dishonest about it. If you think your unit is not fully disclosing this, that is probably a pretty simple fix, too.
  14. fling1

    Calling a Scout

    I'm with Dan on this. If, as a troop leader, I am expected to keep a parent apprised of every communication I have with their scout, then I am no longer interested in the job. I am not very likely to write up minutes of every conversation I have at meetings and outings for the scouts' parents, either. I am happy to identify myself whenever I make a call (to anyone) because I am as tired as everyone else of marginal phone manners and unsolicited sales calls. If I call someone who doesn't know me, I'll try to make it clear why I am calling, too, just because it otherwise sounds like I am trying to sell mortgages :-/. But I feel no obligation to force the parent into the loop. They can ask their kid who they were talking to if they want. Adult association is a method, right? I often send email straight to a scout's address. I treat it as any other communication I might have with that scout in person. Sometimes, if I am giving some responsibility to him, I'll *blind* copy [bCC:] his parent's address so that they can proved some level of gentle oversight, but I want the scout to understand that my request is to him, not to his parent. Since I keep my "sent" mail, I am not worried about misunderstandings... we can always "go to the videotape" to see exactly what I sent if it ever comes to that.(This message has been edited by fling1)
  15. fling1

    Captain Kangaroo or Mr. Rogers

    Hi Eamon, According to Snopes, this story is almost entirely fiction: http://www.snopes.com/military/marvin.asp Although the point of the story is a good one, it probably isn't wise to make it by passing off fiction as truth. Fwiw, I always check Snopes when I get an "email from someone" that contains amazing stories or little-known facts -- Snopes is your friend :-)
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