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Everything posted by frankj

  1. I also never heard of a rank pin. We routinely give out the "mother's" pin at the COH. Our district office recently began a policy of not selling the rank patches or MB patches without an advancement report -- so for us it is not possible to give the rank badge the same night as the BOR, but we usually give them at the next meeting.
  2. We do a mix of both. Backpacking trips usually take place between late spring and early fall. They are more difficult to arrange but worth the effort it takes, I think, to introduce the Scouts to an activity that truly, they might not be introduced to, but for Scouting.
  3. Thank you for the correction EagleinNY, I knew I had a 50% chance of being right, but did not want to exit the forum to find a website that would tell me for sure. I guess if I were sending out an SOS, I would have actually sent an "OSO", which is Spanish for bear. Before I sent my earlier post, I did try to look up Morse code in my son's Scout handbook. In our book the index goes from Monkey Bridge to mosque, no Morse code.
  4. It sounds like a more worthwhile project than some that are approved.
  5. The packet idea: The don't come 10,000 to a box, the amount is much smaller, like 100 or 500. Someone in our troop had occassion to purchase ketchup, hot sauce, relish in packet form. We got them from a distributor at cost, very reasonable price. I asked at a mini-mart where I get coffee every morning, "where do you get these condiment packs?" They gave me the name and phone number of their distributor, and when they were contacted and were told it was for the Scouts, they sold us the small quantity we needed at cost. I don't like the idea of boys being encouraged to help themselves to extra ketchup at restaurants in order to stock up for campouts.
  6. We do not have TV, cable or satellite and have not had them for about 13 years. Our children have been 'deprived' of this since ages 2 and 4 respectively. We do watch videos or DVDs. Based on this sample size of 2, my conclusion is, it has been for the better in terms of schoolwork and other things. I highly recommend it. With us, it was more a consumer choice than anything else. Regular TV reception in our area was poor to non-existent. Cable service prices were increasing, but content was not improving. We decided to forego it and after a while found out we didn't miss it. No one we know has done this.
  7. Prior to the last post, I thought it was Morse code and he was sending over one letter at a time, it was the letter "O" I believe.
  8. KSScoutmom: It is a great thing you're doing being involved in Scouts with your son. It will provide him with a way to do outdoor things that he might not be involved with otherwise. That you are willing to go on campouts is great, recognize though as he gets more comfortable with troop camping he may not want a parent along. I'd encourage you to get involved in the troop to the extent that you have time. After you have observed for a while, you might want to approach the SM or Committee Chair and volunteer to do something. As for summer camp -- don't feel obligated to go. But if you do go, you'll enjoy it, I think. There is so much going on, you can be a help to the Scoutmaster, I'm sure. Our troop has an job for a parent volunteer each summer: "the bank." Boys bring money to camp and the "the bank" keeps it secure and doles it out upon request, and at times, attempts to moderate their spending so they don't run out of money too soon.
  9. John-in-KC: It is Frist, and DeLay, as well as any Republican in a close race for Congress in the coming mid-term election. The Democrats will seize the issue as one they can use to show how they support the War on Terror. Where does that leave the Republicans seeking re-election? They have to show somehow, that they are even more against the deal than the Dems, but do it without making the White House look bad. A difficult task -- what's needed is a scapegoat. One positive outcome I see is with members of Congress from both parties falling over themselves to get in front of TV cameras to howl about security at home, maybe something will actually get done about illegal immigration, particularly along our southern border.
  10. Dubai Ports World operates 22 ports worldwide and with their acquisition of Peninsular and Oriental they will add another 27 ports to their portfolio. The US ports represent only a small part of the P&O operations: In 2004, profits from US port operations were one-tenth of the overall profits of P&O. This info was in the Wall Street Journal, 2/23/06. My point is, the administration touched off a firestorm and should now cut its losses by cutting a deal. Tell Sultan bin Sulayem to spin off the US ports -- quickly -- or we will kill the deal. The company I work for leases a few properties here and there. Every lease contains a clause that says the lessee (the entity we lease to) cannot assign the lease to anyone else without our prior approval. Duh? For those who are keeping track, I have been a supporter of the President, but the administration is tone-deaf on this issue. It is ironic that President Bush has not yet vetoed a single piece of legislation but he threatened to veto any legislation that would kill this deal. We live in interesting times, don't we?
  11. telemonster -- the best of luck to you. I second the advice to take the training and try your best to pursue the patrol method. As to your tenure, I'd say the longer you can stay SM the better it will be.
  12. Your son would certainly be considered active in our troop too. I think your SM is wrong to place specific attendance requirements on your son. It is the SM that should sign off on it, but what do the other committee members think about it, including the troop advancment coordinator? We have viewed active as a relative thing. A boy like yours who is active in many other worthwhile things outside scouts is cut some slack. I read a posting some time ago addressing this same thing -- the activity level after the Life rank. The suggestion was to get it nailed down prospectively during the Life board of review, so that all concerned understood what activity level the Scout was going to be capable of in case it was going to diminish from what it had been due to band, sports, church activities, etc. It was good advice and we do it in our troop.
  13. I got thinking about the Stones (maybe) watching the game and the conversation that might take place in their skybox as one of the Stones, say Mick tries to explain the game in response to questions from the others: "Hey Mick, how come that bloke keeps dropping the ball?" (referring to a certain Seattle receiver). "Hey Mick, how come those guys in baseball caps keep throwing those yellow handkerchiefs on the ground?" "Hey Mick, why is everybody so uptight while that guy in the striped shirt peers into that box on the sideline?" "Hey Mick, are we gonna play 'Satisfaction' like you told 'em or can we play 'Sympathy for the Devil' and surprise 'em all?"
  14. Its not that simple OGE, as just picking a party although many people do just that. But I think you posed that scenario as a way of stimulating discussion and highlighting the fact that we do have only two parties to choose from and neither one is great shakes right now, are they? I tend toward the Republican ideals, but am very disappointed in their big spending. I am discouraged by something George Wallace said when running for President -- "in terms of legislation passed, there's not a dime's worth of difference between the two major parties."
  15. Once it is signed, it is signed. The original MB conselor sounds like a flake. Transfer to another MB conselor. Explain why you are transferring, bring the previous work with you, complete the badge under a new conselor. The SM needs to have a sit-down with the original MBC.
  16. Trevorum let me explain something Skippy Peanut Butter Smooth Skippy Peanut Butter Chunky Some unknown ORGANIC brand, smooth Some unknown ORGANIC brand, chunky. Now if you have 4 jars of all the same kind open, then there may be a problem.
  17. The Eagle Scout chooses who he awards the mentor pin to. In the Eagle ceremonies I witnessed the awarding of this was done after the Eagle has been given his awards and after the parents received their pins. It was not set up in advance in these particular ceremonies -- the mentor was surprised which made it a little more special. I received an Eagle mentor pin and it means a lot to me.
  18. This is troubling. A million dollar shortfall cannot be attributed in whole or even in part to a failure of the FOS program (in my opinion). I don't profess to know much about Council operations, but an operation this size needs people who know how to read a balance sheet and how to anticipate changes in costs and revenues. They may not find such talent in the paid professional ranks. But they do need someone to recognize this and seek out competent, volunteer help in this area. As to the 52 per year fee -- best of luck. After I was on our troop committee for a while, I proposed a $1 per month dues to help offset costs for badges, etc. In the discussion, someone asked "What do we do if someone doesn't pay? Kick them out?" The proposal died.
  19. To gwd-scouter: white fuel (or white gas) is a common liquid stove fuel. I too, could not find any strict rules against it, but did find a recommendation against using it. Sorry that I cannot cite the source, it was somewhere in Scout literature though. The bias against it comes from the fact it is liquid and it you get it on yourself or spill it, it can accidentaly ignite. Also, leaks or spills in a backpack or amongst the food can wreck a trip. So there are alternative fuels that don't have these problems. One advantage I see is, with this type of fuel, you can always top off your container before leaving on a trip. With gas cartriges its a guess as to how much fuel is left in them unless you've kept track of useage. That said, personally I like the gas cartridge type stoves because of reliability. One thing we've done in our troop, when introducing the concept of stoves for camping and backpacking is to assemble a range of stoves available -- from the homemade HOBO stove to the fanciest backpacking stove that someone may have, to the standard Coleman-type 2 burner propane stove with hoses and tank. Its a great informative excercise for the Scouts and families who might be thinking about adding to their equipment stash. Oh,and don't leave out the ultra small, lightweight fuel tablet stove. These are about the size of a pack of cigarettes (can I say that on this forum) and the tablets are about 1 inch square by 3/4 inches thick. One tablet will bring 8-16 oz of water to boil. They are good as a backup unit, or for solo cooking. If all you eat on a backpack trip is Ramen, this stove is for you. I think they're made in Germany but they're not expensive.
  20. OGE: I am glad you posted this. Our council has a printed form used for written reference. It looks like it dates from 3/98. I think they would accept something not on the pre-printed form too. The point is, based on your description we have been doing it wrong for a long time because we have the candidates contact the references and give them the form, or mail it to them, asking them to hand it back sealed in an envelope or mailed. They bring them, unopened, to the BOR or submit them prior. I'm going to ask our Dist Exec and Dist Adv Chair what their understanding of the procedures are.
  21. I built a shadow box for my son. Displayed inside, sewn onto heavy felt are all his Scout rank badges from Basic to Life and the Eagle ribbon/medallion, along with the Chaplains Aid and SPL patches.
  22. Since you asked, YES, it is necessary in my opinion. There are elements of the Eagle Court of Honor that make it special and this is one. At the Eagle ceremonies I've attended there have always been relatives, friends, whatever, with little or no knowledge of the Scout program. The Eagle Charge is not done for their benefit, but they sure are impressed with the seriousness and the obligation it places on the Eagle Scout. And having another Scout administer the charge, whether he is a father, brother, family friend, or the troop's most recent Eagle recipient is not only a nice tradition, it gets the point across that Scouting is an movement that spans generations. No, you don't HAVE TO have it, but Be Prepared ... because after the ceremony, someone may ask "what about the Eagle charge?"
  23. It sounds fine to me and creative. If carried out with the leadership aspect being met, it could have more lasting value than other projects. Our district has an unofficial list of possible Eagle projects. Most of these are donate/build or clean-up type of projects. Lasting value? Yeah, some, maybe. Lasting potential value of the organ donor awareness project? Could be limitless, couldn't it?
  24. The once a month interval for review seems too long to me. When a scout is at that point, the SM and others should more than meet him half-way. As to the project itself, it sounds like a worthwhile project but if I were asked to approve it I would be wondering just who the gift cards are going to? You said he has a sponsor and a place to send the gift cards, but who ends up with them? If you made a more direct connection with a specific (deserving) group, would the committee be more accepting? It might be worth asking the committee about this.
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