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Everything posted by GKlose

  1. We're in a similar situation. With an aging set of camp stoves, and the need to invest more money, I (as CC) proposed to our SM that we start approaching a set of 3 cooking methods: 1) cast iron dutch ovens, skillets (a few new purchases, less than $200 total), 2) cooking one-pot meals over open fires (using the old 10qt trail chef pots we have), and utensil-less cooking ("meat on a stick", one of our favorites, and foil-pack meals), and 3) start using portable stoves, in cooking groups of 4, with 4qt and 2qt trail chef pots (backpacking stoves, new purchases, less than $300 total) So far
  2. We just returned from a trip (4/20-26, Coral Reef Sailing). Heard something interesting from another crew there -- in fact, there were four crews from MA there all at the same time (which includes us). One guy told me that they tried to get a summer slot (sailing, I think) and weren't able to. So they tried again on our (MA) spring break. Got right in. Since our arrival day (4/20) was Easter, we were wondering if some crews just opted not to go that day, which opened it up for some of us (like me) that forgot to check if that day was Easter (I just knew it was during our school break, so
  3. Hello all -- just got back from our trip yesterday. What a fantastic week! Everything went extremely well (except for one minor nutty I had: we had two crews -- the other one left shortly after dinner on Sunday; our boat stayed on the dock Sunday evening...it agitated me, so in the morning, I sought out the sailing director, didn't find him, so I unloaded on the program director -- his first response was "well, we don't guarantee that boats go out the first night". And I responded "I've been hear for 19 hours already and I'm still here". I could have handled that better -- but it really stems
  4. Thanks for the advice, Qwazse -- I already saw that one coming
  5. Hey Duckfoot -- I haven't been on the forum as much as I used to -- the Camelbak I bought was the Alpine Explorer model, which I recall was around $85, full-price, at the time.
  6. Hello all -- just another followup, seeing as how we are 4 months out from the trip. Just paid the final installment to Seabase, so we're really going! Airfare purchased -- much angst to get that going -- I kept watching fares climb up, realizing that I'd lost a window of great opportunity and thought we were going to have to blow the budget. But one adult leader kept his eye on Southwest.com (BOS-FLL). Caught it the morning they were opening up new routes. I signed on early, and got 8 seats for a really great price. He delayed by about 15 minutes, and all cheap seats were gone, so his seats w
  7. For years (through Cubs, and hiking on our own), I used what could best be described as "book bags" for day hiking. One by LLBean, one by Jansport. Those weren't comfortable day packs at all, and didn't carry loads well. So I splurged and bought a much higher-quality daypack. In particular, I got one of the larger Camelbak daypacks. Very comfortable, can carry larger loads. Not so inexpensive, but I'm awfully glad I got it. Day hiking has been much more comfortable ever since.
  8. One more thought -- the oral appliance is called a "PM Positioner" and was purchased and fitted through an oral surgeon. My dentist cautioned me by saying, "I'm glad you didn't get something through late night TV advertising." Here's the real bad news -- the cost was $1600, but was covered by insurance. My CPAP machine was about $1600, covered by insurance. Seems expensive for a couple of small hunks of plastic and some stainless steel.
  9. Well, my solution isn't perfect -- but soon after starting on a CPAP machine, I realized I couldn't go on a particular 5-day remote canoe trip with the troop. So I talked to my various doctors (Somnodoc, ENT and oral surgeon). The oral surgeon had a solution, that he admitted doesn't work well for everyone, and that (his words) "CPAP is the 'gold standard'." So through him, I got an oral appliance. I've used it on every troop outing since then. The oral appliance basically moves your mandible forward, creating more space in your throat. Less obstruction, less problems. But it isn't perfec
  10. Thanks guys -- this really helps. My default position would be to economize every way possible, so a combination of all three might be the way to go -- Guy
  11. For those of you that have experience at booking Scout air travel -- any recommendations? We have an April 2014 Seabase trip planned (likely BOS-MIA, or FLL) and I'm just now looking into air travel. I did contact one airline about group travel, and their quote was almost 70% higher than what an individual could get by booking via their website. I understand paying a premium for the service, but I think 70% is kind of overboard. Just thinking out loud -- I see three options: - talk to a travel agent about group travel - check group travel with other airlines, to see if I can get a low
  12. It doesn't meet your criteria, but we go to a patrol-oriented camp in New Hampshire, and I love it. At this point, our Scouts don't even remember the old in-council "advancement-oriented" camp, loaded with all-day merit badge classes, that we are missing. I mentioned this to a D.E. once, and his reply was "our local camp has patrol cooking". I said, "the camp we're going to has way more to it than just patrol cooking -- activities are all patrol-based too" (and even though they don't have the same emphasis on advancement, a motivated patrol can earn several different merit badges). I aske
  13. Had a very similar circumstance, which was chronicled on this forum, a little less than a year ago (under "Seems Like Skirting") -- but there were some major differences. We had a Life Scout who disappeared on us, just after his Life BoR. The only outing we can remember he attended was a 5-day canoe trip, about 4 months after his BoR. Didn't see him for a long time after that (Aug 2009 to Sept 2011). No POR or anything. The next we heard from him, was an email to me, asking about some dates. I thought the question sounded like he was prepping his Eagle Application. So I asked him about hi
  14. Thanks for your response, bwest. I haven't been on this site lately, and just recently read your response. Guy
  15. Oh my -- I just realized I should do a followup -- we were selected for two crews, Coral Reef Sailing. Just this last Monday, I got enough firm commitments that we can get the minimum for each crew. I'm pretty excited about this. Seabase opened up about the same time I aged out, and it's always been a dream of mine to go there. The only bad part -- they said I'd have three weeks once I received the letter -- not true -- the letter was sent out and I received it with just over two weeks to go. So I'm scrambling to collect deposits, and get an SE signature (why?) just so I can drop the form
  16. While I've never done this myself, I have heard about Scouters buying "replacement patches" -- just a few, because if you have a stock to hand out, when you finally do go to file the advancement report with a patch purchase, you'll be picking up some patches (that you might have already awarded).
  17. There's one thing I really hate about Courts of Honor, and that is what I'll call the "baggie syndrome". That's a Court of Honor where a baggie full of cards/patches is held up and a list of stuff is read off for a Scout, he comes up, grabs the baggie, people applaud and then he sits back down again. Still haven't broken that cycle in our Courts, despite my pleas. If anything, maybe just start with calling up everyone that has earned Tenderfoot, recognize them, then go to Second Class, etc. But a couple of other quick thoughts -- one idea borrowed from my days as a Scout -- we had several
  18. I have no idea if we are typical or atypical, but when we were were adult-led we had about 24 Scouts, roughly 18 active, and an average of 6-8 outings. Ever since we tried to actively expunge adult-led everything, our troop grew. Now we're up to about 38 Scouts, and the average outing has 22 to 24 Scouts. :-) One more set of data points -- in 2008, there were 18 Scouts at summer camp, the next year (my first year at camp) there were 14, and the next year, 8 (these were in all the adult-led years). Then in our first year of new leadership, we bottomed out at 6 Scouts at summer camp. The ne
  19. Thanks -- I'm okay with the "upgrade" so far. Looks nice. Two comments so far, but one isn't a bug, just a preference: - suspected bug: I'm using Firefox. When I'm on the Scouter Forums main page, and click on a forum name, the page refreshes but still leaves me on the Scouter Forums main page (listing all the forum names). Doesn't seem like I can actually enter a forum by clicking on the forum name. - a preference: on the main forums page, there is a lot of white space between forum names, which means that you don't see as many forum names (most are scrolled off the page). Personall
  20. I just realized -- has anyone checked other browsers yet? For example, I am using Firefox (my default browser) and I clearly see things like "post reply" and "new topic" buttons. However, it isn't clear how to reverse the ordering of posts. Still looking.
  21. Okay -- up at the top, in a drop-down next to your login name, there are some settings that can be changed. So far, so good. However, what I would really like to figure out is how to get "latest first" on postings. Right now, it seems to default to "earliest first". Guy
  22. C!C! -- I like that. Outside of even my "outside the box" :-). Here's another thought -- yes, the three aims are character, citizenship and fitness. Advancement is a method, just like Outdoors and Patrols are methods. But 7 or 8 out of 12 Eagle-required merit badges are, more or less, classroom merit badges and have little to do with the outdoors or patrols. A little incongruous? Room for improvement, no? Rick/Kudu has been saying it to us for years, continually referring to B-P's "parlor Scouts". Why would there be resistance to adding more Scoutcraft into Eagle? Aren't we Scou
  23. Jay K -- please explain. At one time, I recall that Swimming MB was required for Lifesaving MB, and although that isn't the case now, there is a certain amount of swimming proficiency required (requirement 1) before continuing with the rest of Lifesaving MB. There is little overlap between the two merit badges, and there is no requirement that Swimming be done before Lifesaving, but I would guess that the average SM would suggest to a Scout that he attempt Swimming MB before attemtping Lifesaving MB (unless, of course, the Scout would have already demonstrated a good amount of swimming profici
  24. My older son was at the 2010 Jamboree, and loved it. Except that's not what he said at first. When I asked him what he did, he said he went to the ranges a lot. But over the course of time, he's opened up more and more about what he did while he was there. And to me, it sounds like he had a lot more fun than when I went, in 1973 (at the same age). He came home with a really interesting collection of patches...stumbled upon a sniper in a ghillie suit...traded shoulder loops with some South American Scouts...talked with some Swedish co-ed Scouts...all sorts of things. He loved it so much, he app
  25. Just because an "aim" exists -- does it really mean there should be multiple Eagle-required merit badges to address the aim? We still have rank requirements too -- in fact, I've always been impressed by the "vertical integration" of the Scout advancement hierarchy. For example, you have a Tiger Cub learning how to put a Band-Aid on a cut, to a Second Class Scout learning about blister prevention and treatment, all the way up to First Aid MB (and WFA). I like the idea of Citizenship in the Patrol (but not as yet another merit badge!). Like I said, I'd love to see a combination -- hey, why
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