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Everything posted by GernBlansten

  1. Yes, there are breaks in the clouds that keep hope alive! However, as soon as the SM sees the planning process breaking down and steps in to pick up the pieces, the scouts aren't learning from their mistakes. Compound that with the popularity contests we hold every 6 months that rotate scouts through the PLC. Tough to learn from your mistakes when in 6 months someone else will be in your shoes.
  2. Lisa, Your example is a complicated planning session that, frankly, a majority of our adults couldn't execute, let alone 13 year olds. Lets go simple. A simple weekend outing to a familiar campground. The PLC put it on the calendar during the annual planning session. Two months before, the SM sits down with the PLC and "mentors" them through the planning process. He engages the SPL to start planning. Gets a blank stare. Then explains what needs to be done. Another blank stare. Suggests the SPL assign other members of the PLC to complete the tasks. The SPL repeats what the SM j
  3. Ed, the point is that they AREN'T learning from it. They aren't taking ownership of the problem. They are just detaching and moving on. In our ADHD world, if at first you don't succeed, oh well, try something different.
  4. Here's another one from El Rushbo that could be twisted for scouting (Scoutcraft on loan from God)
  5. If we followed Calico's advice, our troop would fold in 6 months. We have tried it, let them fail, but they don't spring back the next time and do better. They just lose interest, quit coming to meetings, find other things to do that require much less work on their part. I'm not sure its laziness or what. But it does exist. Our unit was most robust and kept scouts most engaged when we were essentially a weblos 3 troop. The adults did all the planning and execution, the scouts did all the fun. 70 active strong. A very packed calendar, camping every month, sometimes twice. But that S
  6. Trust me Moxieman, I'm 6'1" too, but my 205 lbs frame feels slow, pudgy and out of balance. When I return to my 185 lbs, like Steve Austin, I will be better, stronger, faster.
  7. Changing the age band for Boy Scouts makes sense to me. End it at 14. If a scout wishes to continue, he does so as a Venture scout. We have a hard time keeping the 14+ active, so why not just roll with it. Allow a scout to continue working on Eagle until 18 as a Venture if he doesn't complete it as a Boy Scout. That would be a huge boost to Venturing. Now, for the girls. Why not. Just make Scouting co-ed, across all age bands. Local option on how to impliment it.
  8. Self reliance come from self confidence. Confidence comes from experiences. Get the scouts away from the car camp. Get them into the wilds where they have to live out of their own pack. Boy led is great, if you can obtain it. But get them out away from their comfort zone, their troop trailer, their patrol boxes.
  9. The Philmont ranger is only there to verify you and your scouts have the skills necessary to complete the trek. They are assigned at arrival to help the crew leader through the base camp tasks. Then they join the crew for the first two nights out on trail. When they are satisfied the crew is competent, they return to base. Although Philmont is a great place to master your backcountry skills, it is not the place to be introduced to them. Any crew who showed up with shiny gear, never using it in field would be like showing up to NTiers and never having stepped in a canoe.
  10. One sure fire method to improve our image to the outdoors public, would be to emphasis Leave No Trace Ethics and The Outdoor Code to our own members. Instead, many of us consider them to be just lip service to keep the liberal boogyman at bay.
  11. When I went on trail at Philmont two years ago, I was 180. When I got off trail, I was 185. But I lost an inch on my waistline. I'm 6'1". Since I turned 40, some 6 years ago, I can no longer drink beer with abandon, eat junk or gorge at holidays without my belly getting pudgy. Those 34 waist pants still hang in the closet waiting for my return. Pre 40, it didn't matter. I couldn't gain weight if I tried. As for fasting, my brother in law has tried to emulate Jesus and go 40 days on water alone. He starts seeing visions about 2 weeks into it, then passes out. So he drinks protein
  12. Ok, in the spirit, lets post our current weight, our target weight, time to target, course to target. I'll go first. Current: 205 lbs Target: 185 lbs Time to Target: 12/31/2009 Course: Eat smaller lunches (I already eat a small breakfast and moderate dinner), drop the brew (don't need it anyways), ride my bike, swim and hike more.
  13. I too will take up the pledge. In the two years since I left the trail at Philmont, I've put on 20 lbs. Heading back in June 2010. Gotta be ready. Another eye opener, went mountain climbing with my son last weekend. I couldn't keep pace with him. 3500 vertical feet in 2 miles kicked ol' dad's butt. He dang near ran up it.
  14. If you thought Bush was fit, how do you feel about those shirtless shots of Obama on the beach in Hawaii?
  15. Yeah, one has to wonder that in the 5000 years we have walked the earth, that only in the last 30 years, we evolved to a point where we can't drink untreated water.
  16. Saw a poster in my son's doctor's office. I don't remember the exact numbers, but they broke it down to if you have one soda per day, the caloric increase in your diet equals adding 10 lbs of fat per year to your frame. So all else being static, if you stop drinking one can per day, you would lose 10 lbs per year. Now what is most common to overweight people in their diets? The ubiquitous soda in their hand.
  17. No course is going to may anyone an expert. For that, go to NOLS. We just need basic outdoor training and ITOLS doesn't cut it. An effective course would be one that didn't try to do too much. Just get the guys out in the field, doing what scouts do. Learn how to make fires, pitch tents, pack, clean, filter water, stay warm, stay dry, stay cool. But do it by doing it, not once, but for several days. And not sitting on a bench being lectured on it. Fill free time with stuff like GPS and other fun scout stuff. Three or four days of that and you will be confident to take your scouts
  18. Oh that's just precious! Fat people wanting to help others more than thin people. The only thing fat people want to help themselves to more than skinny people is an extra doughnut! On my honor, I will do my best To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law; To help other people at all times; To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight. We bar membership on several of those points, but not all of them.
  19. Steripens? Sure. I need the extra protein of the dead bugs and floaties it kills. My high adventure partner and I always have good natured debates on which filter is better. He has a Kadyne cartridge, I have an MSR ceramic. His is fast. Filters a nalgene in a few pumps. Does hundreds of them between changes. Mine is slow. Filters a nalgene in quite a few pumps, then stops and needs cleaning every 4th or 5th. He says his is better because its faster and lasts longer. I say mine is better because its catching more poo, thus requiring more pumps and cleaning. You want it fa
  20. The proper method to deliver a national syllabus of AOLS, would be for the BSA to develop modules that councils would include in their local program. Those modules would be chosen based on the councils local conditions and what scouters should know to take their charges into the wilds. A council in Colorado might include backpacking, winter camping, mountain weather. Sea kayaking would be irrelevant. A council in Florida might skip winter camping and include sea kayaking. A council in Minnesota might skip mountain weather, but include canoeing and bug defense. Standard modules wou
  21. Its not that I'm against WB. Far from it. My perception is that WB is the pinnacle training of an outdoor program, when it does not graduate outdoorsmen. We have far too many leaders who are inept and downright dangerous in the wilds. Or too fearful of the wilds to take their youth out there.
  22. High adventures are a double edged sword. After my guys got back, they really didn't want to work with the "little kids" anymore on mundane stuff. Normal troop campouts were just too boring.
  23. Sitting under a dining fly watching a powerpoint presentation on management techniques does not constitute outdoor training. IMHO. Is it possible that a fully beaded WB'er never wore a backpack?
  24. Eagle92 makes my point. WB is held as the pinnacle of scouter education. To obtain your beads, you have become fully trained as a scout leader. If you don't grasp for the beads, you are somehow a lesser scouter, less able to deliver the program. Yet, you can get through WB without ever pitching a tent or putting on a backpack. Ever starting a fire or delivering first aid. I think it tells a deeper story. One about the direction of BSA. Its away from creating well rounded, confident outdoorsmen and towards creating well rounded, confident managers.
  25. Ok. I understand that the IH is not a member of BSA but a partner, in that they sign the charter agreement with BSA. One would think that partnership would imply that the IH be up to the standards of membership, but it looks like the ELCA dodge a bullet there. Doggone loopholes. Wouldn't this be a grand opportunity for the BSA to reaffirm its position against the gay agenda and pull all charters from ELCA charter partners? Wouldn't that action alone bring solidarity amongst all other remaining charter partners to reaffirm their position against this encroachment on moral values? If th
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