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Posts posted by gardener

  1. My boys got the OA nod. They completed the ordeal. The program is such a joke around here that both have backed off fast. The older went to one meeting. The younger hit two.


    There were two boys in OA from last year (or earlier). Nine of those voted in completed ordeal. Three (or four) went to the meeting(s) (including my two). They know one of the other boys, and he's not planning to go back.


    The leadership is so poor that OA is no honor. Frankly I'm glad that my boys aren't interested. I can't even imagine sending my boys off with this small crowd for camping. The trips sounded neat, but I draw the line and shipping my kids off with adults that give me the creeps.

  2. Thank you KY.


    The boys I was talking about were discussing a reasonable meal which in fact would be more educational and more clearly reflect the intended uses of the backback stove. They were tossing around something like rice (gotta get the timing down on that), meat with gravy using canned meat and flour and then another veggie prob dehydrated and rehydrated with water (given three stoves were available--only two owned by members of the group currently).


    So, now given the feedback here and the huge deal this seems to be, they'll throw a one pot soup/stew or similiar in and heat. Really now, what else can you cook for a troop (6 or more with leaders) in a small pot over a small stove? And on a weekend trip?


    We, too, thought the idea was to learn to use the stoves and to think about good trail food picks and explore possible recipes. The boys were excited about sharing out dishes for a complete meal given it was for "a troop."


    They are learning and talking and seeing what they can do on the stoves. Taking the requirement at face value (cook a trail meal for the troop), in fact, limits the guys. But, they wanted to be sure they were doing what was required and expected.


    The plan now is for each to do a meal as required. For example, they talked about breakfast of oatmeal with raisins. That makes sense as a trail meal to carry and then cook on the small stove. One boy can do that. Fine.


    In the future, they will do individual meals on the small stove or split out the parts of the meal as initially planned. They do want to learn the skills.


    As someone who does cook and who has worked with these boys on various skills related to cooking (no badges attached--just for the sake of eating good outdoors), I can't imagine why a requirement calls for doing something like one boy cooking for a troop on an individual stove. I've taught them about cooking, and they know it would make more sense to each cook trail meals individually or to split out the parts of the meal and group share.


    The idea was never to do less or learn less. They'll do this as required (or the ones working on the badge and asking to do that part), but the guys who want to cook on the trail will know this is a silly way to do things and will make better cooking decisions when it's not Scout dictated.

  3. Three are working on the camping badge and have been for close a year (troop is just over a yr. old). The boys have already camped over 20 nights. They wanted to go camping in Aug. They wanted to do the small camp stove meal as listed in the badge phamplet. They asked if the meal cooking could be shared. I said I'd try to find the answer to that.


    We had no merit badge counselors in place starting from scratch a yr ago. Some adults have been willing to build on areas of interest and expertise to be counselors. We have some really good people who work hard and teach a lot for those interested. I can't even imagine calling BS headquarters to complain that an expert in a field who is willing to help Scouts does not know all the Scout details especially when everyone is trying to help out and asking questions when needed.


    I have read a lot on Scouting and the program and help only in the background. I've been asked to take a position on the district level. Sure. It would be better to have someone who "knows it all." But, a program can be learned. It does take an interest, willingness to learn and also support from within the organization. I have no concerns about the first two. I don't really know the leadership in this area, but the comments here suggest that I would not be comfortable in Scouting. When someone asks for clarification on one portion of one merit badge and the words are twisted (and some things flat made up) and unsolicited advice given concerning an entire program, then that certainly raises red flags. I can see why Scouting is having a hard time finding and keeping volunteers.



  4. Thanks for the input. The boys were volunteers and worked hard at the Cub camp. They pitch in on other projects too. I've been quite impressed with the projects and the hard work they've done. The guys seem to have more fun working than just goofing around.


    We're all pretty new to Scouting and have questions now and then about details. I like to read and research, so the boys and other parents and SM often ask if I know or can find out on things.


    I'll pass along what you shared.


    I hope the Cub Camp gives certificates as well. I know the boys would feel good about being recognized. The Red Cross sent a thank you letter which they enjoyed reading at a meeting.

  5. I find these comments troubling:


    "I understand that people want to help their Scouts get the awards, but take a step back and think about whether stretching the requirements is really the way to go."




    " . . . chasing the mighty merit badge."


    The person working on the camping for any boys who want to do that is new. Since I help with any wanting to learning cooking stuff, he asked me on that after the boys asked him. I said I wasn't sure but thought some folks online would know what was the intention on that.


    When the boys want to work on something and when we're all new at this, it seems reasonable to both have questions and to ask those questions.


    I can't imagine that trying to get information so that the boys can do the work they picked and to cover the spirit of the requirement would suggest that some sort of gaming is going on or that we're merit badge churning or whatever that was or that we're looking at hiking rather than camping.


    Three of six boys asked to work on camping. They want to trail cook next time. They asked if they needed to cook one meal on one stove by one both for three meals or split up dishes and do parts of meals for more variety. This came up when they were talking about food they wanted to eat on the trail.


    The camping MB counselor didn't know the answer on that. He checked with the new SM who didn't know. They asked me, since I work with cooking. Since the little camp stove and mess kits seem designed for one rather than a troop and since groups usually share out duties, I thought that might be fine. But, I didn't want to say that if the idea was to cook for several at one time on a small stove. So, I said that I'd check and find out what was intended by the Scout program on that.


    Thank you for the information. I am, however, troubled by the tone of replies here.


  6. Most of our boys have completed the bulk of the camping merit badge requirements.


    Number 8 is as follows:


    Do the following:

    Explain the safety procedures when using a:

    Propane or butane/propane stove

    Liquid fuel stove

    Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different types of lightweight cooking stoves.

    Cook for your patrol a trail meal requiring the use of a lightweight stove.


    The question we have is about the last thing listed--trail meal.


    Now, obviously, each boy could just make stew or a one pot dish and serve from a single pot from the small stove. We have, at this point, two boys who own the backpack stoves and are willing to share.


    But, we wondered if two boys could cook (each with an mini stove) for the meal. For example, one would fry meat and the other a veggie mix or one a stew type dish and the other rice. They could switch off the next meal or whatever needed. They're not looking to do less work--just trying to make sure that we're doing what Scouts had in mind on this one.


    This is a small group (6 boys if all came). They would all learn to use the mini stove sharing the two stoves (and perhaps one more bought). If they need to break it down and one Scout do one meal, they can do that. But, it seemed like with the size of these stoves and pans to go on them and also for some variety to a meal that it could be shared as far as one working on one part of a meal and another on another part of the meal.


    The boys were talking about splitting up foods and working together on meals, and I said I would double check to see if that was on track. Again, they all like to cook and are excited about learning more about trail foods and learning more about cooking on the small stoves. They and the adults helping (like buying the food) just wanted to make sure that we were on track here.


  7. Thanks! It's not actually my boys that got to help at Cub Camp though it's a great idea to help out.


    The question just came up, and I knew of the boards here and figured someone would know the answer on that. Our Scoutmaster is new, and he said he wasn't sure on that. We asked a couple of other older Scouters. Everyone was just saying: Hum. Not sure on that. The thought seemed to be that it would be good for it to count but everyone wanting to make sure.


    We do a lot of community service anyway (homeless shelter, dog pound, parks, church), but it seemed like Cub Camp work would count. Then, folks weren't sure including the Scoutmaster. So, I just said that I'd ask online and see if anyone knew about that. Hours for all boys are probably over 6 even without counting camp. But, if it came close, everyone wanted to be sure.


    Thank you for the help.

  8. A couple of the boys in our troop helped with Cub Scout day camp. We're aware that community service (for Eagle project anyway) is to be outside the organization of Boy Scouts. So, the question is: Do the hours helping with Cub camp count on the six total with these boys at Star level? Thanks for any help.

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