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Posts posted by fotoscout

  1. In this day and age it's prudent to shutdown risky activities when lightening and thunder are in the area. I happen to believe that most camps are deficient in posting and communicating an action plan for lightening events in the area of camp.


    However, when it's just raining some judgment needs to be used. Torrential rains certainly warrant the shutdown of many, if not all outdoor activities. But light to moderate rain ought to be view as just a nuisance and nothing more. Boys will always slip in the mud, and they will always get cut with pocket knives. It's foolish to think that we can provide a camp environment that is so sterile that know one has the potential for injury.


    This sounds like the fear of litigation taking over.

  2. I have also seen Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts marching in military fashion. It's not nice! I do however grant some leeway to Packs and Troops that are associated with the military. Imitating Dad or Mom is not a bad thing, as long as the marching thing is not taken too seriously. Unfortunately, when it happens in the vast majority of Packs or Troops, its being done with little real knowledge precision drill.


    The comment about this being a very small part of the day needs some work. The time spent moving from station to station or area to area is a critical piece of any successful camp program. Believe it or not, there are program elements designed for this transition time. It takes a special kind of leader to pull it off, but this time can be the highlight of a boy's time in camp. Songs, jokes, games, and just simple conversation with an older scout is some of what should be done during this time. Long after the thrill of archery or bb's, or crafts is gone, the campers remember their den chief because of the fun they had with him while moving from station to station or area to area.

  3. It sounds to me like your council needs to get its arms around the Cub Day Camp and Resident Camp Programs.


    The boys should be divided up into reasonably sized dens. In fact, there is a national standard about ratios (scouts vs. den chief or counselor). Which brings me to the second point. Each den should have its own youth leadership. We call them Den Chiefs in our Cub programs but by any name they are counselors.


    If the program you're attending is herding people from station to station, and there is no youth leadership, I would think that it is "Family camp" or "Cub Parent Camping" and NOT a day camp or resident camp program. There are very distinct differences in these programs.


    Getting back to your original question. Marching in lines is never "Scouting Structure". Walking together two by two is always nice and usually works in school, but we are not in school here. An appropriately sized group with friendly, casual leadership is always the best, especially when the boys are in camp.

  4. With respect to the tents, we may not be talking apples to apples.


    Canvas tents do not, and should never have a waterproof coating applied to them. The one exception here is when the tent has exceeded it's normal life and you apply a waterproof coating in order to squeeze another year or two out of the tent. The standard BSA platform tents are 100% canvas and are not delivered with any waterproof coating.


    Canvas tents get their waterproof characteristics from the cotton canvas material. When the material gets wet, the threads in the material swell. They swell enough to close up any gaps that may exist in the weave. When they dry out, the threads never return to their original diameter, leaving the tent with some waterproof properties. When it rains again, the material swells again, and so on and so forth.


    We do not have any prohibition on aerosols in camp. I always tell my kids to never spray bug repellent inside the tent...bad stuff to breath!!!!

  5. I suspect you noted that I said I spray the platform and the bug net, not the tent.


    Unlike the traditional "Bug Spray", the permethrin sprays are formulated to be sprayed on clothing. I suspect that they would do little or no damage to the tent.


    Traditional "Bug Spray" on the other hand will eat through all sorts of stuff if you spray enough of it. I don't like bug spray and avoid using whenever possible.

  6. We do have the occasional visitor or overflow campers that setup personal tents. But, other than that, everyone is in a camp tent.


    Our tents are the typical BSA 2 man platform tents with cots. Yes, like most other camps' we have our share of mosquito's (and other insects). Our boys all use mosquito nets. For my own and my son's tent I spray the platform and bug net with a permethrin spray. There are many brands of this stuff, any one of them will do the job. This stuff is great!! Last summer I spent 3 weeks in a camp tent and only got two mosquito bites. it really works.

  7. As a general comment, I see more and more of our troops using buses for summer camp and for long distance outings. When you add up the costs for all the automobiles or trucks, the difference isn't that great.


    As an added benifit, you can often get away with fewer adults. The downside (maybe), is that everyone is captive for the duration of the entire outing so this option doesn't allow people to come late or leave early.

  8. Beavah, and everyone else, you really gotta be careful here!


    I agree very strongly with the thought that the G2SS is too restrictive when it comes to Webelos(and at times Cubs as well). But, if you engage in an activity that is not approved for Webs or Cub and have a problem, you are toast. No one will stand behind you.


    Family fun activities are OK, but again, make sure that everyone understands that this (these) are not a BSA activity. Don't hand out flyer's about the event at den meetings, don't use the Pack's tax exempt certificate to save a few bucks, don't book your rafting trip as a CS group to save a few more bucks, no uniforms, and, a constant reminder that "this is not a CS event" is always helpful.


    I've always thought that this is the most infuriating aspect of the CS/Web program. The G2SS protects everyone from the often cavalier and over the top behavior of some leaders. Unfortunately, it also severely limits the ability of conscientious and responsible leaders to bring a great outdoor program to the boys.

  9. I am never very fast to suggest that a new unit be started and in this case I'll stick with my gut feel. You have a struggling unit in the area, help it succeed! Provided that the struggling unit wants the help, put the resources into that unit and help it become strong.


    Aside from that, I have not become a fan of units that are controlled by "longtime Scouter's whose sons have aged out of the program". At this point in my scouting career, I see too many lame units that are just not offering an exciting program because those units are being run by a clique of old timers scouter's who have no children in the unit. It is the rare exception, when these groups of scouter's are truly in sync with todays youth. In the end they seem to be more enamored with themselves in uniform, than with keeping the program active and exciting.

  10. Ed,


    For the most part I agree with you. When we camp locally the kids don't seem to bring any of the electronic "stuff". But, when they're going to be in car for an hour or two, we'd rather they be occupied and engaged. The ride is always part of the outing, and I happen to believe that they are entitled to have some fun on the ride.



  11. We actually went so far as to ask our Executive Board to support a complete ban on youth cell phones at camp.


    This has become a huge problem, especially with kids who are special needs or borderline special needs....you all know the kids I refer to. In one case a kid called home and told his mom that the camp had no food. She called some other moms in the troop and before anyone knew what was going on, there were 5 mom's coming into camp with tons of food for the poor boys who had no food. Well of course the Camp Director got wind of this and decided to give the mom's a tour of the walk-in boxes, freezers and food storage areas. I understand that the kid who started this little episode had a really rough summer from that point on.


    As for other electronics in camp, video games are prohibited, but we don't come down too hard on Ipods or other music players. We do remind everyone that no electronics are the best electronics, and that they are on their own. Don't come complaining when your Ipod disappears.


    As for the trip to camp or any campout; we let the boys have whatever they like, video games, DVD, etc...etc. It all stays in the car when we reach our destination.

  12. First lets get something straight, there is a difference between a Webelos Program at Camp, and a Webelos going to summer camp with a Troop.


    If he is going to camp to attend a Webelos Program...so be it, there is nothing wrong with that.


    If he is going with a troop, and plans to integrate with the rest of the Boy Scout campers a big flag should go up! Not only is this bad for the boy and bad for the troop, but it can and should put the camp's accreditation in jeopardy. Just as Packs/Troops have YP standards for CS's camping with BS's, so do the BSA Camps. There are national standards about CS's and BS's mixing at summer camp. Facilities must be dedicated to one or the other while a session is being held. Programs must be separated, with separate leadership. At one extreme, many believe that CS's should not be on the property while a BS Camp is in operation. National has upheld this interpretation on occasion.


    Like many other camp visitation specialists, this would raise a flag for me if I caught it during a camp inspection.



  13. It is very possible for a new Webelos II to earn the AOL, even if he does not go to camp.


    Camp will make it easier, but check with your local council about their camp programs for Webelos. Some programs concentrate more on Webelos activity pins than others. Don't mislead the boy into thinking that he can earn 4,5,6,7 or even 8 Activity Pins at camp. Some camps focus on outdoor summer fun and do very little advancement work in their CS Camp programs. Be informed.


    It the boy and his parents move along at a steady pace, they will be in good shape to earn the AOL sometime in Feb. or March. In some parts of the country Webelos cannot camp thru the winter, so make sure to have the boy get his "overnighter" in before the winter.


    If he is motivated this in not a big deal!


    Good Luck.

  14. Although many CO's don't want to fess up any commitment to a troop or pack, many have some knowledge of the BSA program.


    In your case there may be a bias against Cub leaders doing WB. Especially if someone in your CO is old time scouter.


    Also sending three people to WB is expensive. If a CO was going to spend money on a unit, I suspect that they would rather see that kind of money go to the boys rather than to training a leader.


    You may want to do two things: 1- Remind your CO that the new WB is for all scouter's, and that the target audience is scouter's with 2 years in the program, and 2- Ask for a more reasonable sum of money.

  15. Not the greatest thing for a 22 year old female to be the scoutmaster. But, better to have an SM than to have no SM.


    You chide her for having a baby.

    You'd chide her for having an abortion.

    You'd also chide her for placing the baby in daycare so that she could go to work or get an education.


    I commend her for getting on with her life without shame or embarrassment! I am sure that the example she sets is a profound one.

  16. I seem to see many references to Scouting on TV lately. Some in sitcoms, some in cartoons. Usually the reference or scoutlike characters symbolize something fun or good. I wouldn't say positive or promotional, but never bad and dorky.


    Even Spiderman III has Cub Scouts in it!!!

  17. Here is my list:


    1. The Charter Organization structure must be eliminated. Too often BSA hides behind the phrase "We don't own the units, the Charter Organization does". Consequently BSA is lame when it comes to implementing meaningful rules across the board; rules like mandatory training. Additionally, it's the large blocks of Charter Organizations that have rained havoc on the BSA for years now. We would be in much better shape if the organization were centrally "owned"


    2. Small, floundering units should be routinely shutdown by their Council. Too many people get a bad taste of scouting because they become associated with one of these small floundering units. We get too much bad lip service because of what happens in these troubled units.


    3. BS unit activity calendars should be screened yearly for the activities that they bring to the boys. Too many units exist with an activity calendar that does not excite the boys. Units should be forced into providing exciting outdoor activities for their boys.


    The opening post in this thread commented about the folks in Irving, and whether or not they read this forum....... About 4 or 5 years ago someone in this forum created the concept of a "Den Meeting in a Box". By now you all must know that "Den Meeting in a Box" is now available at your local Scout Shop. So, I would say that yes, they do read this forum. Now if someone could tell me how to collect my royalties I'd be much obliged.



  18. So I need to buy a new pair of uniform pants and I'd like to try the switchbacks. One problem, they will need to be shortened.


    Some people have told me to shorten them at the zipper where you unzip them to turn them into shorts. Does this work??? Does anyone have a better idea ?????




  19. Why don't you take a trip across the sound and go to Baiting Hollow Scout Camp. It's about 200 acres located on Long Island's north shore. It has a lake and the Long Island Sound. What it lacks in size is more than balanced by the hospitality and friendly atmosphere. The staff is truly outstanding. Too often we find the camp staff to be arrogant and snobbish, not here! These people make the camp!!! From the new scout program, to motor boating and water skiing for the older boys, the program is great. The food might just be the best in the northeast.


    One out of council troop declared it to be the best camp they've attend in 5 or 6 years.


    Office phone # is 631-924-7000, ask for the Camp Director.

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