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Everything posted by gcnphkr

  1. Precooked bacon, ham, leftover cold cuts from Saturday's lunch.
  2. There are a number of possibilities. For starters, youth see things differently than adults. It could be the ballot. I've seen three different types of ballots and they get different results, especially if there are a lot of candidates. Ballots that require the scouts to write out their selections tend to be the smallest with the most well known being selected. I'm guessing that is your method. Ballots that list the scouts in some set order tend to favor the scouts on the top of the list. I've not idea why this is the case. We started making randomized ballots. This seems to work well, although the election team hates them, as they are much harder to count. Typically, about half get elected and with a good correlation to my predictions.
  3. The JASM generally eat with the patrol, although they are welcome to eat with the adults. The SPL and ASPL generally eat with the adults. There are times they don't like what the adults are having and will go off to beg from the patrols. On occasion they will eat with their friends in their home patrol.
  4. I'm a bit surprised at how many are ready to throw the ASM under the bus. After speaking with the various ASMs, SPL and PLs it was fairly minor stuff. The scouts had known they had for several weeks that they were staying late to clean up. The ASM used to send parents an email regarding what the patrol was doing, but the scouts asked her to stop that a while back. They all said they had let their parents know that they were staying late. Chances are some either did not make this clear, or the parents forgot and looked at the permission slip for the return time. Simple mistake, easily remedied. The scouts did leave the scout in the camp. But actually talked about it during the inspection so that the judge was aware of the situation and got a bit of a laugh out of it. Short discussion on being trustworthy and loyal, matter closed. Asked the PL what happened at the Flag Retirement. They had expected to be using the main campfire but at the last minute had been told use a secondary one. Adults will tend to do this so that the main fire can be extinguished while the smaller one that the retirement is done in can be allowed to burn out on its own. People's sensibilities at flag retirements always cause issues. Anyway, this caused confusion in the scouts and resulting in their arguing about how to handle the changes. The PL is fairly quiet and a bit rigid, this would have been very challenging for him to deal with. We discussed strategies for the future, primarily in practice and planning for the wenches that adults will throw at them. I've no idea how they won the contest. I don't really care. The PL, whose patrol took 3rd was fired up about taking 3rd and the boys all seemed to have a good time. There was not a hint among the PLC that this patrol did not deserve the win. The big lesson from it all. Trust your people and remember that no matter how well trained we all might be we will still make mistakes.
  5. Talk with your COR, explain the situation and determine what needs to be done. One thing you need to determine, why was he made the CC when there was a "blow out" when he was selected? There must have been a reason he was installed despite objections. What has changed that now makes it so that the people that were not listened to last year need to be listened to this year? Then the two of you should sit down with the CC and be frank about the situation. If the two of you have decided to remove him then thank him for his service and install your new CC. Hopefully you know who that will be. You likely do not need to get into whose fault it is or all the things that the CC is doing to make the DLs want to quit. It likely will not do any good and could make things worse. They don't matter anyway. The CC is frustrated, the DLs are frustrated and you are frustrated. It is much easier to replace a CC than a number of DLs. All the more as frustrated DLs will likely leave the pack and take their sons and other scouts with them. Best of luck with this.
  6. Have you discussed this with your Charter Org Rep? This is really his responsibility.
  7. Generally at camporees. Typically at summer camp it is an honor system, "Was your unit in 100% uniform at evening flag 4 days this week?" At camporee they have scouters inspect a patrol in another unit. Points are deducted for things that are wrong. I'm not sure how consistent people are.
  8. BadenP. I feel secure in my ability to handle the situation. I posted it for a couple of reasons. First, I wanted to make sure I was not over or under reacting to various aspects. That is something that is difficult to do from within an organization. Between writing things out and reading your responses I think I have a good handle on it, not much different than when I started. Second, it was a bit more interesting than most of our usual complaining about how National is trying to ruin scouting, the BSA's inability to make an affordable and practical uniform in the USA, what the heck to DEs and UCs do anyway, and of course what is wrong with Woodbadge.
  9. Each of the 6 patrols has an ASM assigned to coach the patrol leader. Okay, two patrols (NSP and Venture) have JASMs and not adults. It is a common enough structure that it is on page 16 of the Scoutmaster Handbook. This particular ASM is more hands-on than I like. She would say they need the added involvement. It may be that the ASMs need to be changed, although they are initially chosen by the patrol. I try to get them to chose an adult without a son in the patrol, but it doesn't always work that way. This is one of those patrols. I'm fairly certain that the ideas of doing the flag retirement, the dessert and staying to help clean up were all hers. I do not consider this a "troublemaker" patrol nor would the SPL. They can be generally relied on to be where they need to be and do what they need to do. There are a number of lessons. Winning is good, having honor is better; the value of loyalty, courtesy counts, proper decorum, etc. (Funny thing, the PLC has discussed playing Simon Says using drill instructions. But that is another thread entirely.)
  10. tmmw4, I get the impression that you were not on these campouts. I hope that you went to retrieve your scouts and did not make the scout leaders return them to you. If you did the later then you should not be surprised if the leaders do not want your son to come camping with them. Even if the former is the case, this can cause a problem with the unit. "Johnny got to go home, why can't I go home?" Now I find that not allowing him to come camping is extreme, although I could see requiring a parent to come along. Have you spoken with the leaders about all of this? If they gave a reason explanation and you still are not trusting them then you should move on to a troop that you do trust.
  11. Beavah, I'm the SM, I guess that is why it is my concern. I don't think that the other ASM's are whining because their "little darling's patrol didn't win". One's son is the ASPL and did not compete, the other's son is in the patrol where its members were practicing for the Call Out Ceremony. The ASMs where just letting me know how the event went. On other occasions something will happen at a campout that I am not aware of and when a parent then talks to me about it I am clueless. How the Spirit Award is determined is a mystery. It certainly does not involve input from the unit leaders or the entire camporee staff. I have no idea if the ASM was involved in the judging or not. Yes, skipping the games and throwing rocks while making a dutch oven dessert would not likely even get a "knock it off with the rocks" from me. However, I have a hard time seeing how giving points for activities they did not do would be acceptable. The not calling of the parents was the ASM's responsibility. The parents I received calls from had young scouts that do not carry phones. I've no problem with the patrol sticking around to help clean up. As for what the "complainers" did. When the realized that a scout had been left alone back at camp they sent two scouts back to get him. Latter they talked with the PL about the indecent. They did not inform the camporee commissioner, which they say was a mistake. When lunch was over and the other patrol left to play games, the ASMs went to find out why the one patrol was still hanging out in camp. It was at this time that their advisor started working with them on the flags. No one was aware that the patrol was given points for games they did not do until they were awarded the prize for being the top patrol in the games. At that point people asked how they could win when they only did about half of the games. Evidently the top patrol received compasses and flashlights in addition to the usual ribbon. I don't know who the second place patrol was as it was from another troop.
  12. I received the information 2nd hand from other ASMs. That, and the parents that called me wondering when their sons would be back. I doubt if the people that did the inspection asked if everyone was present, they generally don't. I would be surprised it 25 or more patrol would have know to give their okay. One of the troop's patrols had half of their scouts practicing the OA Call Out. They just played the games as best they could. You make choices, sometimes that means you don't win. The patrol wants to be together. They choose which patrol they are in. I would be very reluctant to break them up. The ASM is likely the source for many of the issues. We have a PLC and ASM meetings tonight. I'll learn more then. After that, I'll go to the next patrol meeting to talk with the scouts. Hopefully, I'll have a better idea of what to do at that point.
  13. This weekend was the district camporee. I was unable to attend. One of the patrols did the following: At morning assembly, had one scout hide in camp as he did not have his uniform for the inspection. Skipped the afternoon games, to practice a flag retirement ceremony for the campfire. Instead of doing this they played, threw rocks and made a dutch oven dessert for that contest. Their ASM was on camporee staff and arranged for them to get full points for the games they did not complete because they were working on the ceremony. Laughed and talked during the flag retirement ceremony, when they cut the flag into its parts they just had the parts fall to the ground. In general, showed a lack of respect for the flag, seriousness regarding the ceremony and lack of preparedness. Did not return with the troop on Sunday morning. Instead they stayed to help clean up at the camporee. Parents were not informed of this and did not know where their sons where or when they would return. While cell phone service is spotty where the camporee was held, there is service within a half mile. For all of this they were awarded the prize for top patrol in the competition, first prize for the dutch oven dessert and the Spirit Award for the patrol best displaying Scout Spirit at the camporee. This is a mixed age patrol with scouts that have ADD, Asperger's Syndrome and other developmental issues. The ASM places a lot of importance on the patrol winning because of their special needs and her ego as well. Some of these things bother me more than others. What, would you do? Which are the most important issues?
  14. Gunny2862: "It's a curse having such a big trailer because it's easy to get into car camping and not taking those coll backpacking trips AND you limit the number of vehicles that can pull the thing." You've got that right. We don't take it on backpacking or canoe trips.
  15. We have a 7x14 tandem axle cargo trailer with electric brakes. We installed shelves made of 7/8" angle-iron and plywood. It holds the troop and patrol gear for nine patrols plus adults. There is room for about 110 gallons of water when we need to haul it in. This gear includes 10 chuck boxes, stoves, lanterns, propane, 2 16x20 canopies, patrol dinning flies, axes, saws, rope, charcoal, tables, etc. The tables are old folding tables that had the tops replaces with expanded metal and are used to hold everything in the shelves when we are on the road. There is a small solar panel on it that we use to keep the brake battery charged. There are stock lights, but they require that the trailer be connected to the vehicle. We generally disconnect at site. Except for the initial unloading they are rarely used. We are looking into converting to LED lanterns instead of propane. If we do, we will set up a charging station inside with a set of solar panels to handle that. Still cost prohibitive, but it is getting close. The trailer it replaced had a rack on top that we could put canoes of poles on. We still have not found a good replacement for that. It is big. We've not taken it to a scale to weight but we think that it is normally at least 2 tons and could top 3 tons when fully loaded. The tow vehicle needs a trailer brake controller, a HD transmission and lots of torque. We carry personal gear in an open trailer. A smaller unit could get by with a single trailer. I'm not sure it was the most cost effective solution but I'm glad we have it anyway.
  16. acco40: "instead a basic discussion on our assumptions of what we expect out of our government is in order" I wonder if this can even be done any more. Most of what has passed for philosophy in school for the last 50 years has been so skewed by progressivism that very few understand the liberal foundation of the nation. Start to discuss the issues with "positive rights" and people start getting confused and either blow up or shut down.
  17. evmori: The point is that you make the choice to purchase from a store and pay the tax or not. PackSaddle: "What I see is someone who seems just to have discovered the problem and seems to think no one else has." If 20+ years is "just" then you could be right. I "shout" about it because our fiscal policies, are wrong, both economically and ethically. The problem is people just take government action as the way things are and do not bother to ask if it is the way they should be. Just because people "have long ago decided to let circumstances dictate the terms of the outcome" does not mean that we should just give up and say, "Fine, people are foolish and will reap what they have sown." The truth is that most people still have no idea how bad things are getting. Even fewer have really thought through the ethical questions. I do share your pessimism. Look at the Debt Commission's plan. It recommends that spending be kept to 21% of GDP when the Federal Government has only managed this in 1944-1946 (okay, it came close in 2000 at 20.35%). If they had suggested it at 16 or 17% they might have had something. The Republican "Path to Prosperity" doesn't cut a dime from defense, even though we should be winding down two wars. It also does not address Social Security at all. We spend more on defense than China, the UK, France, Russian, Germany, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Italy, India, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey and Israel combined. With 2/3 of those counties being our allies, we ought to be able to cut back our defense spending a little. Social Security has to be dealt with. Everyone knows (even the blue hairs in Sun City) that we will need to increase the retirement age and implement means testing. But no Republican or Democrat will come close to doing anything about it. Eamonn. If the bums we have will not do the job, we may just need to keep kicking them out until we get ones that will. Bums are fairly interchangeable.
  18. >>> The only way to avoid taxes on purchases is illegal. Come on, you know that is just not true. In most states private party sales are not taxed, generally the exception are only for purchases of registered items like automobiles. In many states used items are not taxed. In areas where food it taxed, you can either grow your own or purchase it is a place that does not charge the tax. In some jurisdictions Internet purchases are not taxable as long as the retailer does not have a physical presence in the area. There is some question if the use taxes that 22 states are imposing on their citizens is a violation of the Commerce Clause. So far no case has made it to the SCOTUS. And of course, you can simply not make the purchase.
  19. >>> All taxes are involuntary. Not exactly. Should a person choose, it is possible to not ever directly pay a tobacco tax, gasoline tax, highway toll or property tax. While more difficult, they can also avoid, and certainly can minimize sales taxes, duties and tariffs. Generally the inconvenience of accomplishing this adds additional costs so that a person is better off just playing the tax. While it is possible to avoid payroll taxes, it is very difficult to do so legally unless you are very rich. >>> That doesn't make them wrong or illegal! I never said it was illegal. But where it is right or wrong is subject to debate. Indeed, considering that, if a private citizen were to take money from another person against his will it would be wrong, the onus is on the person advocating a tax to demonstrate that the tax is NOT wrong. For some taxes this is fairly simple to do. For example, a highway toll is intended to be used to pay for the construction and maintenance of a highway. The users are the ones paying for it and rightly should pay to do so. The same is the case for gasoline taxes, although it is flawed as it penalizes vehicles that get low mileage, but this is balanced by the added negative externality of pollution. But you have a much harder time doing this with income taxes. It be very difficult for a person to give a moral or economic justification for most of it. The most common will be national defense. But the amount we spend on the military far exceeds what is needed for defense, how do you justify the excess? The second will be that society has a moral obligation to take care of the weak. That claim is exceedingly to difficult to establish. The arguments tend to be loaded with emotion and very little reason.
  20. You will have great times with your son. Yes, it can be bitter-sweet watching him grow. There are times I miss that little Wolf. But as I look at the young man he has become (he turns 18 in June) I just marvel at him. Enjoy your time. Go to what you can and enjoy the ride.
  21. >>> No, it's not. Go check your dictionary. violence: an act of aggression (as one against a person who resists) What do you call throwing a person into prison? >>> In a civilized society, we have to follow the rules. Our rules are set by our chosen >>> representatives. Nearly 100 years ago, they chose to adopt the federal income tax, >>> even putting it into the Constitution. Is capital punishment not violent? Is war not violent? Just because something is legal, and maybe even necessary does not make it non-violent or even right. For its first 77 years the Constitution allowed slavery. Did that make it non-violent or right? >>> I'm fairly certain the U.S. waged war before the income tax came along. But it sure makes it much more affordable. BTW, the only truly expensive war prior to the passage of the 16th Amendment was the Civil war. It was paid for in part by an income tax (See the Revenue Acts of 1861 and 1892). There may be a need for taxes, but when you go to the ballot box to loot your fellow citizen, you should at least have the courage to call it what it is. You should be able to stand there, look a person in the eye and say with confidence that you know better how to spend their money than they do.
  22. How am I "profoundly ignorant about the Fair Tax"? It is a consumption tax is it not?
  23. In general: What role to the Dads play in the Troop if they are not leaders? They may go on campouts, become merit badge counselors, join the committee, be a help. Just going to the meetings can make a big difference for a scout. There will always be those "I don't want to go, I just want to hang out at home" nights. Most of the time if you say, "I'm going anyway" it will help him get over whatever it is that is causing the lake of motivation. Are we expected to seperate ourselves in favor of letting the Patrols run themselves? Yes, at least in many troops but to varying extent. What can I expect and what can I tell HIM to expect? You can expect him to become less and less reliant on you and more interested in doing things on his own and with is patrol. Tell him that he will have fun, have adventure and make great friends. In another year you will likely find your scout is not as timid. In all likelihood your campout with your scout and a troop will have you very involved with his camping. You might still be sharing a tent, although they generally want to be in a tent with friends at that point. You will likely still go on his first campout (March) as a Boy Scout. Despite the troop leaders encouraging you to stay back and let him learn from the other scouts, you will likely still be very much involved and I'll bet you will end up helping with his tent, sleeping bag and maybe meals. Each campout you will find that he wants your help less. Generally by the second (April) or third campout (May), and certainly by summer camp, you will both feel comfortable with him camping without your tagging along. You still can, but you will not be needed.
  24. T2Eagle: "This is the view I dont understand. We have somehow come to believe that we dont have to pay for our democracy, that somehow taxes themselves are an evil thing levied upon us by ignoble forces they are not, they are rather one of the cornerstones of democracy." There are taxes and then there are taxes. Initially the Federal Government was funded mostly by tariffs, user fees and property taxes of various types. Being voluntary, these forms of taxes tend to be readily self limiting, which is why, until the establishment of the income tax, government taxation and spending was mostly local. The confiscatory income tax changed that. Now instead of the users of the service being the ones to pay for it, government is able to provide services to the people that do not pay for it. Such charity cases as GE, ADM and Boeing, as well as wonderful activities like war.
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