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Everything posted by Gags

  1. Gags

    Sometimes No Hazing means no hazing

    bt - not 7 years. OGE was just resurrecting a thread from way back when. Glad he kept the log - I was half expecting this story to start branching out all over the place. --Gags
  2. Gags

    Two Deep question

    "Let's say DL Joe suffers a heart attack, and he's the only adult present. What do the kids do? But if ADL Sally is there, she can take charge." The cubs may be a little traumatized by watching Joe writh in agony on the floor in front of them, but thank goodness Sally is there to help them finish those electives! :-) \\sarcasm off\\
  3. Gags

    Outdoor Cooking Resources

    I don't mean to hijack this thread and turn it into a debate about the toxicity of ziploc bags, but this statement doesn't sound quite right: "Since the egg and cheese contained in an omelet includes fat of their own the mixture tends to get even hotter than the boiling water" I've never taken advanced chemistry or any kind of physics class, so I'm not sure how an object can get hotter than the material surrounding it? Thanks, Gags
  4. Gags

    Council Exective is a bully

    Skeptic, Only if he was bully AND a right ol' chap. Cheers, Gags
  5. Well, according to possibly the best South Park quote of all time: "There's no such thing as a stupid question. Just stupid people asking questions." -- Mr. Garrison Betcha' when you woke up this morning, you weren't expecting to be sitting here reading about South Park on Scouter.com, did you? :-) (My apologies to Martin Lawrence for butchering another great quote).
  6. Gags

    Scouting Abbreviations

    Perhaps one of the moderator's could pass this on to Scouter Terry, but a successful feature of other boards are the "sticky threads" features, that always show up at the top of the page. I would include an Acronym list as one thread, instructions for new posters in another, and maybe one or two more at the most so as not to clog the screen. Not sure if the current board software has that capability or not. Of course - this still doesn't diminish the need to spell out Acronym's the first time their used. YiS, Gags
  7. Gags

    Captain America/ Superman as Boy Scouts

    That's quite an impressive Thief Knot Supberboy tied. I guess as long as he unties it before he leaves, he's still following LNT principles? :-) --Gags
  8. Gags


    Just wanted to add my .02 and say "Congrats" - I think you're the current holder of the "Scouter.com Shortest Topic Title" award. Unless you were trying to start a discussion on Morse Code. :-) YiS, Gags
  9. In about 3 weeks, my Troop will be holding it's first Spaghetti Dinner as a new fundraiser. We have about 25 active boys, and supportive parents (recently re-built troop - so they're not burned out yet!). So I don't think volunteer staff will be an issue. I've already read the thread from 2007 on this topic, but wanted to see what experience the rest of you have had. FYI - For my role, I'm planning on doing part of the cooking, not sure how far along we are with advertising or any other planning areas. Thanks in advance for your help. YiS, Gags
  10. So what _are_ we supposed to use to tell everyone to stop saluting? Is it just a simple case of follow the leader?
  11. Gags

    What happens if...

    Basementdweller - Sounds like a poorly planned event - I've been on both sides of those myself. But I have a very small district, so it's not uncommon to be asking for staff at Friday night cracker barrel - very often, we don't know who's coming until the troops start showing up on Friday night. Not an excuse for inadequate staffing, just saying that for us it's a fairly common occurence. Back on topic - or maybe related to the "poor planning" mentioned above - I'm one of those "incomplete" Wood Badger's. Attended both weekends, learned a little, make good friends and contacts both within Council and other troops, but, never finished the ticket. Procrastination is a lovely personality trait of mine that has cost me dearly in most areas of my life. I created my ticket, got it approved, and just never got around to working it to completion. Never made the effort to start up the Troop committee (gee, maybe that's why we were down to one scout?), still worked on Camporee's, but don't think I ever publicized it or planned as I laid out in my ticket. I got several calls from my Patrol Advisor offering to help in any way possible, and will still run into him on occassion. I definitely regret it. When someone asks me now "Have you been to Wood Badge?" - I answer yes. If they ask "Have you completed Wood Badge?", I answer no. I don't elaborate unless they ask - I'm not hiding anything, I just don't feel like wasting their time giving my whole background. I know what I learned, but have no incentive (or permission!) to spend an additional $200 (probably more by now), or 2 3-day weekends away from my wife and kids. It kind of sucks not getting to wear the beads (or maybe I'm more jealous of not getting to wear a neckerchief that's actually the right size?), but it's just another un-learned lesson of life for me. I didn't have a house burn down, get sick, lose a job, or anything that would warrant a multi-year extension. If I only get to be ASM instead of SM of a Jamboree troop, I can live with that. I'll still encourage the leaders in my troop to attend future courses. I'm still proud of the fact that my patrol won the "win all you can" game (I know that kind of goes against the purpose of the game - you kind of had to be there), that we had a great steak dinner on Saturday night, and that I got to know a great group of people. Maybe when I'm retired and the kids are in college, I'll go take the WB for the 21st & 1/2 Century course, just to check it off the bucket list. But I don't expect to be given permission years after the fact just b/c I finally got around to completing the ticket, nor would I expect Council NOT to take my money if I decided to re-enroll. Maybe the only real consequence is if your CO considers "fully trained" to include WB? Not sure if this really helped answer the question, or just provided everyone a good example of "How not to take WB". YiS, Gags
  12. Gags

    Peanut Allergy

    At one of our recent pediatric appts for my now almost 2 year old, our Doctor has pretty much lifted the restriction of "no peanuts until (2, 3, 4) years old", for those families with no history of allergies (important caveat there). His reasoning (and I'm paraphrasing here), and I'm assuming he's not some "lone quack" with this theory, is that millions of children world-wide are exposed to nuts from birth, and there does not appear to be a increase in infant deaths due to allergic reaction. I haven't done the research to see if there's been actual studies to verify this, but it's an interesting (and obvious) thought. That being said - we have a 4 year old neighbor allergic to everything - eggs, nuts, wheat, sweet potatoes, garlic, soy. Ever see what they charge for infant formula that doesn't contain milk or soy? And you definitely don't want to smell the stuff. Something about the shorter the chain of amino acids (to aid digestion), the worse the smell. Back to the topic - our troop also now has a severely allergic boy - so it will be interesting to see how the Patrol handles it. --Gags
  13. For those of you who hold competitions during your camporees, what's the most # of stations you've used? We currently have 12 planned, and the scouts will be on the "course" from about 9:30 to 4, with a 1/2 hour mandatory "rest period" for lunch. I'm expecting them to be at each station for anywhere from 5-20 minutes, and they will need to visit each station. Thanks, Gags
  14. Gags

    # of Camporee Stations?

    Avid - thanks for the confirmation. We're expecting 10-15 troops, at the most 20 patrols. I'm trying to spread the events out as much as possible - it's at a Scout camp, so we have the place to ourselves. Theme is The Amazing Race. Mixture of skill events (knots, firebuilding) with team work (spider web, "snowshoes" on 2x4's). So I'm expecting some events to be "in and out", and others to go a full 20 minutes. Trying to make it a combination of skills, teamwork, and orienteering (between stations). Looks like it may be time to start my feedback thread and list all the stations. YiS, Gags
  15. I believe that the original poster meant to put the DO in a self cleaning cycle without any seasoning on it, just the burnt on food or rust you,re trying to remove. As I understand it, self clean takes the interior temp up well above five hundred degrees. Gags
  16. For our Fall Camporee, we're planning an "Amazing Race" type of event, where in addition to having the scouts go from station to station, the station maps will be located on an orienteering map, and the overall event will be timed. I think I've come up with a good list of 12 events that can be done in a "timely" manner, requiring the usual 1st Class and under skills but also a large amount of team work and good ol' think-un skills. Has anyone here participated or organized a similar event? I have several other questions / initial thoughts to run by everyone, and will be posting them in the next few weeks. For now, I'm wondering if there's any major "roadblocks" or "detours" (to borrow terminology from the TV show) I should be aware of that you may have experienced (of course I would gladly accept hearing positive stories as well!). YiS, Gags Message for moderators - suggest creating a folder specifically for camporee discussions? Maybe under Camping / High Adventure topic?
  17. Gags

    Camporee Scoring/Handicapping

    How do the costs go up if you have a Sr. and a Jr. division? Wouldn't they all go to the same stations? Maybe more of a cost in ribbons and 3 extra trophies (if you do 1st, 2nd, 3rd), but we're talking $50 at most.
  18. Initial plans was to not have any scoring - 1st across the finish line is the winner. I'm considering having a mandatory 3-5 minute "debrief" for each patrol so that they can be evaluated on their performance, and also, as was mentioned in the "Camporee Scoring" thread, maybe just giving out a prize for the top patrol at each station, based solely on the judges preference. It's being held at a scout camp, so most of the traveling between stations will be via camp roads and trails, so I'm not overly concerned about scouts running around. (I'm more concerned about lost patrols, which is why I'll also be creating a "lost camper" plan). And thank you for the feedback so far!
  19. Gags

    Camporee Scoring/Handicapping

    The solution in part depends on your district size - my district is urban, with smaller troops - we just merged the whole city into one district, and still aren't expecting more than 15-20 troops at the Fall Camporee. Many troops only have 1 patrol (including mine until last year), a good number have 2, and I think maybe 1 has 3 patrols. Since I've been involved with the camporees here vs. growing up in NJ, I haven't seen a "stacked" patrol as an issue. (Side note - I'm a guilty participant of this from my younger days). There's a couple solutions. 1. Make it a troop award. If there's only one patrol, chances are it' not going to be a patrol of high-performing Star and Life scouts anyway. You could still award 1st, 2nd, 3rd place to each patrol for each station. 2. Create a Jr and Sr division. On the registration form, have each patrol members rank listed. If there's more than 1 Star/Life/Eagle in the patrol, make them a Sr. patrol (or some other criteria - if they're all 1st Class, obviously a Sr. patrol). Depending on the size of your camporee, you can even wait until you get all the registrations in hand before determining the cut-off (for my district, I could wait until the morning of the events, but if you have 300+ scouts arriving, this probably needs to be done earlier). I realize both these options were already listed - hopefully the additional scenarios are of use to you. YiS, Gags
  20. Gags

    Tips & Tricks of the Dutch Oven

    Ed - found this on Wikipedia and elsewhere: "While many believe that the different properties keep heat out when wrapped with the matte finish facing out, and keep heat in with the matte finish facing inwards, the actual difference is imperceptible without instrumentation. The reflectivity of bright aluminium foil is 88% while dull embossed foil is about 80%." While the "shiny side" may offer some additional reflection, it looks like it's less then a 10% difference. Blancmage - I don't worry about the "fuzz". I often just use a napkin to spread the olive oil or crisco on my frying pans. Once it dries, unless you have a really "rough" surface, I can't see that much being left that won't wipe out once it's dry and cooled out of your grill. I'm just too cheap to use a more expensive shop towel than a napkin. --Gags
  21. Gags

    Tips & Tricks of the Dutch Oven

    GK - My old roommate is from outside Boston. He also called it "american chop suey", usually onions, ground beef, tomatoes (crushed or diced can) and elbow macaroni. Must be a New England thing? I grew up in NJ - chop suey was just something funny sounding off the take-out menu (is it even on a take out menu? maybe that's my next research project). But for DO "tips", and the one that made the biggest difference to me, was realizing that it really is an "oven". We would make cobbler all the time growing up, but would often get it stuck to the bottom or worse. (Our leaders were all younger - probably didn't do much cooking at home!). Then I discovered that you needed to "bake" the cobbler, which means heat it from the top, and not cook it from the bottom. Goodbye burnt cobbler! Like the other poster mentioned, I've never used briquettes with a DO - too long get them going, and it's more fun shoveling coals onto the lid. Also can confirm the smell test - if you suddenly start getting whiffs of apple or peach, it's just about done. So here's my "tips": 1. When using coals from a fire (for cobbler), I usually place a layer on both top and bottom. However, I don't "refresh" the layer on the bottom - you want some heat for uniformity, but the main heat source is the top, not the bottom. 2. Get a lid lifter specifically for a DO. Pliers kind of work, but your risk of "ash-fall" into the food increases greatly. 3. For longer cooking times, give the DO a 1/4 turn, and also the lid a 1/4 turn. This prevents "hot spots" from forming - (this is probably more important with charcoal, where it's more concentrated heat). 4. Heavy Duty aluminum foil is your friend. Keep regular "thin" foil in the kitchen at home. Keep the "cheap" foil like you find at Dollar General or other discount stores that are nearest your campsite on the shelves, in the store. 5. There's no shame in lining a DO w/ foil. You're trying to minimize clean-up, not enter the IDOS Baking Contest. 6. DO's are GREAT on a propane stove - especially the coleman's that are "boxier" due to the white gas set up - the DO sits right on the grate, and with a little trial and error, you'll find a good position where the legs of the DO "lock-in" to the stove grate, making it extremely stable. You now have a good pot for stews, chili, one-pot breakfast (potatos, eggs, cheese, ground sausage - use the flipped lid to heat up the burrito shells!) etc. 7. Leather fireplace gloves are also your friend. 8. Long handled tongs are good if using charcoal. A collapsible camping shovel is good for shoveling coals. But if you have the space, a long handled landscapers / garden shovel is even better for not having to get too close to dig those coals out. 9. Bisquick - Measurements aren't always the easiest to do in the woods. Last time we made cobbler, we just mixed the powder with water until it was "doughy" - the result wasn't flaky buttermilk biscuits, but it was definitely tasty and good enough for cobbler or probably even dumplings. That may be my preferred method going forward. Guess since I made it this far, I'll go for a 10th 10. Beware cooking tomatoes (as in fresh or right out of a can) - the acid in them ate right through the seasoning on my DO, which probably wasn't seasoned enough. I didn't have this problem re-heating pre-made tomato sauce, though. For your presentation, maybe bring samples of what you can season with - crisco, vegetable oil, olive oil, vegetable spray, mineral oil (I think Lodge sells a specific oil for this). And pass around a well-seasoned DO - that's what people will remember and compare their attempts against - pictures on the web don't work nearly as well as holding one. My old troop is in the area tonight visiting the Jamboree - may need to go meet them for desert and whip up a cobbler or two! YiS, Gags
  22. Gags

    Eye love a Parade

    I guess this is where I post my pseudo-regrets for not getting down to the parade. Makes it even worse that I'm probably the geographically closest to the parade (10 minute drive to the Mall). First it was the hesitancy to pay $20 just to march in the parade, then I missed both deadlines for that, then responded too late for the balloon handler option, then was convinced by my wife that bringing my soon-to-be 4 year old daughter down there to even watch on a 97-99 degree day was a little too much. Witnessing the storm that came through @ 3:00 did help convince me I think I made the right decision. Funny thing about regrets, though - they tend to stick with you. On a related note, the Washington Post had relatively minor coverage of the event. It made the front page of the Metro section, but the large photo they used was an "artistic" one - taken from underneath the large flag that led off the parade. All you could see was the feet of a few scouts carrying it. Nothing showing the large amount of scouts that presumably turned out for it. On the plus side - IIRC they mentioned that it went off fairly well with no heat related incidents reported - no reporting of the 6 people sent to the hospital. Maybe they're waiting until the Jamboree to blow everything out of proportion? :-) YiS, Gags
  23. Gags

    Obama refuses to sign Eagle certificates

    This was already discussed (and resolved?) back in December of '09: http://www.scouter.com/forums/viewThread.asp?threadID=260065 And Gern - your post was very difficult to interpret. I know many of you see the words "Beck" and "Fox", and then take everything else at face value, but was anything you posted actually said on-air by Beck? I agree that the USDA fiasco wasn't exactly a bright spot in Breitbart's career, but I've watched Beck enough times to doubt he actually uttered the words "Don't you think it's time to get rid of this Un-American Muslim Traitor and get a real American back to running our country, like what we grew up with." It seems like these are the words of original writer of the email. (If he said "Un-American Socialist", then maybe I could attribute it to Beck. :-) ) That said, I agree that this thread should be either deleted or re-titled by the original poster or moderator. Perhaps just changing the title to "Did Obama refuse to sign..." would make contents of the thread clearer. YiS, Gags
  24. Thomas, As you may have seen mentioned in other posts - this is definitely one of those topics that you don't want to "spring" onto members of the committee - this is where that cup of coffee with your key ASM's and CC comes in handy. Let the CC circulate the information - it may still be a surprise to some people, but it shouldn't grind the meeting to a halt and ruin any planned agenda. My troop is going through this now. The SM that replaced me has done wonders, growing the troop from literally 1 scout (the other 3 had aged out) to 3 full patrols in 2 1/2 years time. But, life happens, and he needs to step down. He told me, the CC, former CC and another ASM personally, with the other ASM hopefully willing to step up. With you having a whole year, it should be an even smoother transition. Just realize that if ANY of the scouts know, they all will know, so going back to the "you know your scouts" comment, it may be best to wait until it's the last 3-6 months of your tenure to let them know, to avoid confusion in their eyes as to who's leading the troop. Best of luck, Gags
  25. Just imagine the possibilities if Ben Franklin had his way - would BSA have then created the "Turkey Scout" as it's highest rank? YiS, Gags