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Everything posted by funscout

  1. Thanks for all the responses! I called our Council office, and they don't have an "expert" on scouts with disabilities, but will send me some information. I had heard of cases where disabled scouts were able to earn Eagle after age 18, but I haven't been able to find anything from BSA that states that. Tom will be disappointed if his project gets delayed past his 18th birthday, but I'm glad that he can get more time, if needed. I have been an unofficial advocate for Tom ever since I first learned that he would be joining our troop. His parents have asked me to be his interpreter/advoca
  2. I am looking for advice on how to help my troop's scout leaders understand that a scout with Down Syndrome can earn Eagle. Tom (not his real name) is a 17 year old Life Scout, is nearly finished with the required merit badges, and has written up his proposal for an Eagle project. Some of the leaders don't think he can be an Eagle scout because he hasn't shown good enough leadership skills. Tom can read and write, but due to his somewhat unintelligible speech, he isn't able to "lead" the other boys as easily as those whose speech is understandable. I am a former speech-language patholog
  3. Even though pistol shooting may never become a merit badge program, it has already generated renewed BSA interest in some former scouts. During my 5th-6th grade Sunday School class, a scout was telling others about the pistol program and you should have seen the eyes light up in those nonscout boys! I let the boys know that they could always join/rejoin Boy Scouts and that they, and the girls, could join Venturing when they were older. Boy Scouts are looking cooler, now, then some of those kids had realized.
  4. Basementdweller: The only gun I have ever fired is a BB gun, so I wouldn't be much help to our scouts! My husband hunts, so our sons have lots of opportunities, and one of our ASMs worked at camp as an NRA pistol instructor, so I guess our scouts do have opportunities if someone who knows guns will take them. I realized how gung-ho our scouts were about guns when I read some of their camp evaluations before turning them in. One wanted the camp to offer fully automatic pistols!, another wanted to see Air-soft gun battles, etc. They were just being funny, though, as they know these will
  5. Thanks for the clarifications, and sorry for posting outdated information! Fred8033's link didn't go through when I tried it, but I'm sure I can find that info. The scout I know who was denied Eagle is much older than my boys and was in a different troop, so I only found out about it years after the fact. Our troop apparently tried to help him out, but as a busy 17 year old who was working at camp, he must have felt he didn't have the time to pursue a challenge with Council. This young man has continued to be an awesome staff member at camp, so it truly is a shame that a rigid SM denie
  6. While I understand your husband's frustration with boys who are scouts on paper only, BSA says that troops can not set a certain % of activities to be met. I found this info. on BSA FAQ (http://www.scouting.org/BoyScouts/GuideforMeritBadgeCounselors/RankAdvanceFAQ.aspx) It says: "The unit leaders are responsible for maintaining contact with the scout on a regular basis. The Scout is not required to attend any certain percentage of activities or outings. However, unit leaders must ensure that he is fulfilling the obligations of his assigned leadership position. If he is not, then they
  7. NJCubscouter: The initial post was about the topic of "rejected" merit badges being passed around on Twitter. Since I don't use Twitter, I have no idea if my ice cream merit badge idea has already been talked about. I'd go for the knot, too! As a matter of fact, I think I'll go work on some ice cream right now!
  8. shortridge: Yes, you are right, the 6 boys per time slot was due to the number of instructors, not due to lack of interest. I wasn't offended by anything you said, but I didn't appreciate my boys' interest being called "silly" by someone else. That has nothing to do with whether or not pilot programs become merit badge programs. As I tried to say in an earlier post, if Pistol shooting doesn't become a merit badge, it's okay, because any interested boy still has the chance to try pistols if he joins Venturing some day. I know it's been a while since I've posted on this forum, but who
  9. I reread one of my posts, and I'm wondering if some of you took offense to my encouraging scouts to join venturing. I did NOT mean INSTEAD of boy scouts, and I only meant those kids who were unable to do pistols at camp and have no other opportunity to do so. I hope this clears things up.
  10. I suspect pistol shooting was such a big deal for our guys simply because they knew ours was the only summer camp able to offer it to boy scouts. The boys thought that was pretty cool. Basementdweller: not all our boys have parents/uncles, etc. who can or will take them to a pistol range. Your kids are fortunate to have that option. Twocubdad: Belt loops are for cub scouts, but I know what you mean. No, not everything has to end in a merit badge. Our camp didn't offer the brand new Kayaking merit badge this summer, but we still had kids sign up for kayaking BSA. We also had s
  11. Our boys take at least 2 showers at summer camp. On Wednesday for Family Night and on Troop Swim night. If a scout chooses not to swim, he is still expected to come to the pool with us and at least take a shower. Our council camp's equipment list does not list deodorant! I made sure to add that to our troop list of summer camp equipment, and I ask the parents to stress deodorant use with their boys. I also recommend that boys bring dryer sheets for refreshing scout shirts, helping foot lockers/duffel bags smell better, and for stuffing in their shoes when not being worn. Just
  12. I don't use Twitter, but several of our scouts would definitely earn the Ice Cream merit badge if it were offered at summer camp!
  13. Our troop goes to our local council camp each year, and we normally get most of our boys to go. The leaders have shown them several options to try instead of the local one, but each year, the boys choose the local one. We do have kids who leave camp to attend baseball or band functions, so they like the local choice. Also, our older scouts really bond with the staff members who come back each year, so they don't want to miss out on seeing their older friends. Another troop in our town is on a 3 year rotation of local council camp, followed by 2 farther away camps. I posed the optio
  14. Since it's looking like pistol shooting will not become a merit badge in the near future, I guess I will encourage my young scouts to join Venturing when they are old enough. shortridge: If Councils talk to their local NRA groups, they might be surprised to find enough people willing to become (or already are) pistol instructors, especially those of retirement age who do not need to take time off work in order to come out to work at summer camp.
  15. I think our camp used semiautomatic Rugers, but I didn't ever make it to the new pistol range, which was quite a hike from the rest of the activities. The boys had to be 13 or older, but I would have been more comfortable with 14 and up. Camp Loud Thunder,(near Andalusia, IL) did have to add several more staff members, just for pistol shooting. Many of the NRA trained instructors were retired gentleman who had the time and were more than happy to come out to work with the boy scouts. One of the staff members said that the program took extra long because they had to teach the boys all t
  16. When I was WDL for each of my sons, I also encouraged parents who couldn't attend a campout to line up someone else to be with their son, rather than have their son miss out. Sometimes it was another parent willing to watch his own and another, or sometimes it was an aunt or uncle. I became WDL for both sons by default - no one else would do it, and I was happy to continue on with the boys I had led since Tiger Cubs. Knowing that I was by no means an expert in certain areas, I relied on my Den Chiefs and also asked troop leaders to present skills to my cubs. Because only one troop
  17. Our camp did a pilot program for Pistol shooting this summer and I'm wondering if others involved in pilot programs could tell me if those programs became actual merit badges the next year, or if it took longer? We had 7 boys interested in taking the pistol class, but we were only allowed 2 spots. The other 5 boys did get to do open pistol shooting after taking a safety course, but they, (and our 12 yr. old scouts) are hoping pistol shooting will be an actual merit badge next year. Any thoughts on how quickly these pilot programs become actual merit badges?
  18. This year we had 4 scouts from another troop camp provisionally with us. An ASM from the other troop and I emailed back and forth quite a bit before camp, and I believe this helped her boys have a great time with us. When we found out our boys' schedules, I checked to see if we had scouts taking the same merit badges (or at least in the same area) at the same times as her scouts. We discussed how we approached various situations such as: cooking at the campsite, keeping snacks on site, activities that we were planning on signing up for, etc. so her boys would know what to expect from us.
  19. Our troop also offers several $10 camping weekends, which are well attended. We are fortunate to have several nearby camping locations, some of which are at no cost to the troop. The boys are able to canoe, hike, bike, fish, cross country ski and/or climb at these these affordable campouts, so parents do get lots of "bang" for their buck. Unfortunately, our high adventure campouts are not well attended, due to the expense. We often have more leaders than boys sign up for trips such as Boundary Waters canoe trips and Colorado backpacking trips. In our small farming community, many of o
  20. Hallelujah! It was very brave and admirable for the muslim leaders to take this step. Hopefully their message will speak louder, now, than the extreme muslims who deny the holocaust ever happened.
  21. I'm not sure why some people think that my believing that practicing homosexuality is wrong means that I am discriminating and hateful. I have worked with gay folks before, and I never treated them differently than my other co-workers. Mormons think using caffeine is wrong, but that doesn't make them haters of coffee drinkers!
  22. I'm late to this discussion.... but getting back to the original question - I actually DID change my mind about homsexuality after I became a parent. Before I had kids, I knew that homosexuality was wrong according to my religion, but I'm afraid I just thought it was okay for others to be that way, as long as I wasn't. Then I had kids and I realized that I needed to be a Christian role model and live up to God's word. I don't condemn PEOPLE who act on their homosexuality, but I no longer condone their ACTIONS. When I sin, I certainly don't expect people to condone my actions, either. It's
  23. I am not a fan of Obama and feel that he disrespected the scouts by choosing to attend The View rather than Jamboree. However, I do NOT condone the booing. I have stopped scouts from badmouthing political leaders from both parties. I tell them it's okay to disagree with someone's point of view, but they need to be courteous about it. Also, if security was the real reason why Obama didn't attend Jambo, then that reason should have been told. I feel like it was a slap in the face to choose to go on a talk show that could have been done anytime, when this is the only time we will ever h
  24. Heather, what a tough situation you had - but you handled it beautifully! You and your troop showed compassion and were able to use a difficult situation as an excellent learning opportunity for the girls. You and "your girls" should be proud of yourselves!
  25. Another plus for dining hall at camp is the socialization with other troops. It's so gratifying to me to see our boys branch out and mingle with scouts from other troops that we sit near. Also, mail call is quite a highlight at each lunch and dinner. One of our special needs boys always did a "victory lap" on the way up to receive his mail, and the whole camp rejoiced with him. We felt like one big family of scouts, instead of several different troops, each doing their own thing. If we had stayed at our campsite during meals, then I would not have gotten to know other scout leaders and bo
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