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Everything posted by gavvin

  1. You forgot Orienteering. Maybe that should be kept strictly map & compass though. If it is going to be added to an existing merit badge, some good requirements would be to explain how GPS works, find your UTM location using a GPS, locate 3 different UTM coordinates on a map, navigate from one point to another using a GPS. Someone mentioned expense, but a cheap GPS works fine (my first was less than $100) and it could be troop equipment. I have already seen boys who spent over $100 each on backpack, sleeping bag, tent, tennis shoes, video games, etc.
  2. I was never suggesting that GPS should REPLACE map and compass, only compliment it. For those who say there is no skill to using a GPS, I disagree. Depending on the brand and model you have there is a degree of skill required simply to turn one on and get it to display useful information. Interpreting that information and relating it to a map is yet another skill and actually navigating to a precise point is a totally seperate skill (see geocaching). As the world gets to be higher tech, GPS is seeing a lot more use. Phones, radios, etc are increasingly equipped with equipment to de
  3. I am fairly new back to scouting (Oct 94) and everything I have heard or read says that a First Class scout may complete his Eagle in Venture. I try to stay well informed and i have not heard anything to the contrary. I even talked about this subject at the Wood Badge course I attended last month. One of the Asst. Scoutmasters for the course is a Venture leader and confirmed that Eagle can be completed in Venture given that the boy is First Class when he joins.
  4. "Map and Compass/ GPS are skills that need to be practiced over and over. " How long do you think it will be before GPS becomes a "standard" scouting skill? I am a great believer in GPS and have used it to play geocaching ( http://www.geocaching.com/ ) as well as a navigational aid. I am considering having our cub pack stash a cache just for fun. I asked this question at Outdoor leadership Skills and was informed that GPS, while fun, had no purpose in scouting and would NEVER be a "scouting" skill. What is the feeling here?
  5. "Map and Compass/ GPS are skills that need to be practiced over and over. " How long do you think it will be before GPS becomes a "standard" scouting skill? I am a great believer in GPS and have used it to play geocaching ( http://www.geocaching.com/ ) as well as a navigational aid. I am considering having our cub pack stash a cache just for fun. I asked this question at Outdoor leadership Skills and was informed that GPS, while fun, had no purpose in scouting and would NEVER be a "scouting" skill. What is the feeling here? NOTE: Reply to new thread in this forum(This messa
  6. In our council and especially our district, cubs camp frequently. This summer, in addition to the week of Day Camp, the Council is sponsering 2 Dad & Lad campouts and 1 Mom & Me campout. The cubs have access to any and all of the council camps but tend toward one in particular. Camp Wisdom has Cub World and there are probably 10-20 packs at the camp on any given weekend. The camp is inside the D/FW metroplex so is easy to day trip to and Cub World has so many activities that a pack could go almost once a month and never duplicate activites. All that being said, our pack holds 1 fa
  7. Our dens (except webelos) are not meeting during the summer but we have at least 2 pack activities planned each month. June - Nature Hike (Leave No Trace), Day Camp July - TX Rangers game/fireworks, swimming(rank and beltloop) June - Picnic/Icecream social (rank requirements), Roller skating (belt loop) We are also trying to plan a conservation project that meets the requirements for Leave No Trace/ World Conservation.
  8. We just joined a new pack where I became Asst. CM. The pack is somewhat disorganized and the CM was thrust into the job this year because no one else would step up. Only half of the leaders are trained, the dens meet every other week and they were not going to have a summertime program. Since I was doing Wood Badge as we joined the pack, I made one of my ticket items to plan and execute a summertime program. We planned at least 2 activities per month so that the scouts would have a good chance of being able to make at least one of them. As I read the requirements, one activity per mo
  9. I completed the practical course a couple of weeks ago. Some impressions: I was tremendously impressed with every single staffer on the course. They were knowledgeable, open-minded, enthusiastic, and put in an amount of effort that I would have found amazing in a paid staff, let alone a group of volunteers. I could not imagine a better group to present the course. The sheer volume of information that is thrown at you is overwhelming, even for those who have had some sort of management training. One person commented that it was like trying to drink from a firehose. I am not sure
  10. Every time I step out of the house, I am carrying a leatherman, minimag, pencil, pen, cell phone, and wallet. I keep a fairly complete 1st aid kit in my car long with a hot spark and compass. I have not run into too many situations in my everyday life that those items did not prepare me for. In almost any situation where it would be legal, I expect any boy with a totin' chip to have a pocket knife of some sort. Anything else really depends on the situation.
  11. When I received my Eagle ('88), I did receive a couple of gifts but I was not expecting any. The gentleman who was my SM when I first joined the troop presented me with a Cross Pen set and my Grandmother gave me a gold eagle watch from the franklin mint. My parents gave me an eagle pocket knife. These were presented to me privately, before the actual ceremony, but at the site. I received many cards from friends, relatives, and those who had some interest in my scouting career (CO members, merit badge counselors, etc.) I do not remember if any had money in them or not. I still have all those ca
  12. I am fairly new here myself, but greetings and welcome.
  13. Being a computer geek, I had to add this one: There are 10 kinds of people in the world: those who understand binary and those who don't.
  14. KA5RDH here. I grew up in HAM radio as both parents were HAMs and participated in the local radio club. My dad was out scoutmaster and we used HAM radios driving to/from campouts to keep in touch with each other. Much better than CBs. These days FRS/GMRS seems much easier, although those bands are getting crowded in some areas.
  15. I HATE it. My wife used it on my uniform because the sewing machine was broken. When she went to change a position patch out, the solvent spread to other patches and all the patches on one sleeve came off. Not only did the patches come off, but the glue got all over the shirt. It was washed 5 times and still has bits of black glue on it. We are taking it to the dry cleaners and will be sewing on patches in the future. The one exception to the sewing are my OA lodge patches, foir which I put velcro on the back of the patch and sew a velcro strip to the shirt pocket.
  16. Is this something that you must be invited to attend or can you just drop in? Living in the Dallas area would make it very easy for me to swing by and see what is going on.
  17. I live right on the border of two councils and our boys attend events on both sides and I have even gone over the border to get training that was not being offered locally at convenient times. I have been less than impressed by my district and when I compare the two councils, the other one always seems to be so much better organized and on-the-ball. I mentioned this in passing to a scouter in the other council at one event we attended and he seemed rather shocked. He was under the impression that OUR council was the one to be in because of our events. Seems like a case of "The grass is always
  18. I wonder if they are going by age. Perhaps the Boy Scout column is for 11-14 yrs old and venture column is 14-21? That's the only thing that makes sense to me.
  19. Merlyn: I hope that you don't think that everyone in these forums is anti-atheist. I have seen a number of people who have posted a disagreement with the current policies put forth by National in reference to atheists and homosexuals. I happen to think that your analogy is a good one, but it has to be a program that kids WANT to be a part of. If schools limited access to sports or band or theater to atheists, yes, people would be upset. Scouting is the premier youth organization in the country (in my opinion). It is no wonder that kids of all religious preferences/sexual preferences/sexe
  20. I would be very interested to see what kind of response you get to that letter. In my (very) limited experience with National, I got the impression that the people making the decisions are almost completely out of touch with the things that happen at the unit level.
  21. Prairie_Scouter said: "The BSA is allowed to discriminate against gays and atheists because the Supreme Court agreed with the argument that they are a private club and therefore have the right to establish their own membership requirements. How far does that go? Could the BSA say, for example, no people of color allowed? No Protestants? I guess the question is, is there a line somewhere that BSA or any other private club can't cross?" As far as I know (not a legal scholar by any means) private organizations may set any limitations on membership that they want to. The real limit however se
  22. I think it is interesting that the Scouts in Canada have adopted a zip-off cargo style for thier official uniform pants. http://www.scouts.ca/catalogue.asp?cmPageID=318&action=listCat&categoryID=98 I wish the BSA would go to something like that.
  23. gavvin

    Patrol Patches

    Something I have seen is patrols using Canadian patrol crests. IMHO, they look a whole lot better because all the animals are colored naturally. You can see and order them from thier catalog at http://www.scouts.ca/catalogue.asp?cmPageID=318&action=listCat&categoryID=16 Of course, these are not authorized, but I have still seen them used.
  24. Things have really changed since I was a scout. With the push for Leave No Trace, campfires are used a lot less often and most cooking is done over stoves. (when I was a scout, only the adults were allowed to use the stove). This being the case, most of the camp meals I have seen involve as little trash as possible and what there is is compacted down to very small packets in order to be packed out, even in front country camps. If there IS a campfire, I recommend not putting anything in it that will not be completely consumed as it will later have to be fished out of the coals. Even in the
  25. I recently completed the practical portion of Wood Badge and I am currently working my ticket items. As I found out, you can get all the good advice in the world about your ticket items and it won't mean a thing if your Troop Guide/Ticket Counselor doesn't agree with it. That being said, my advice is much the same as the others'. Make your tickets SMART. Being a counselor is great but is very passive. In order to be a better ticket, I would run a MB workshop and invite scouts from all over the district to attend. It has a definite start and finish and is easily measured. Just being avail
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