Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by GKlose

  1. Yeah, I don't see the problem at all...son asks to go to the pool, and you respond, "sure, maybe you can call Chad and see if he'd like to get something signed off today too". Or else, maybe it turns into just an instructional session with your son, where he becomes a much better swimmer than he used to be. No big deal. When the time comes, both of them can do their "test" where they swim the 100 yds for each stroke, or whatever the requirements are. As far as treating sons differently, I understand that too. I counsel a couple of badges where there aren't that many local counselors. My s
  2. I'm not sure what the big deal is -- our guys will "teach" Totin' Chip on demand, especially on a young Scout's first outing. But I like Stosh's idea of "recertification" every year. I think I'll bounce that one off our SPL and SM to see what they think. Guy
  3. I attended summer camp twice, with my brother in law -- Yawgoog, in Rhode Island. I don't know if they still have the tradition, but in order to gain entrance to the dining hall on Tuesday night, everyone must supply a stamped postcard or letter to home. Here's the funny part of the story, the years that I attended: my brother in law is employed by the USPS, and is a former carrier. One year at Yawgoog, he created a character. A super-hero carrier named "Mail Man!", complete with cape and mask and everything. Used parts of his uniform too (summer uniform over navy blue tights). It was a v
  4. About the jamboree band (sorry, I just finished reading the other notes): it is organized by a Scouter who is also a faculty member at Villanova. The band is most definitely not adult-only; in fact, the online descriptions said that preference would be given to youth, but they had to meet the youth staff guidelines (16+). I figured this wouldn't be easy for my son to get into; I naturally assumed all the slots were spoken for (even by "known" adults). But I was really surprised to find that he was first accepted as a staff member, and then a couple of days ago, notified that he was a
  5. As a side note, my son was just accepted into the Jamboree band for next summer. He's very excited about that (he went to the last one, as a 13-yr-old). But back to the topic at hand -- I've had half a thought to start a Crew when both my sons hit Venturing age, organized as a band. We'll start talking about it next year sometime, if they're into it. Their troop has at least a half dozen band members in it already, and another couple of troops nearby have even more. If I were to try this, I'd try and organize not to interfere with troop programs (but the "dead months" would be marching ba
  6. Yes, D-rat, that's exactly it. I swear the larger the group, the more people that don't listen. :-) But I forgot one of my particular pet peeves: purposefully withholding information from a Leader's Guide, so that one can only get it at the pre-camp meeting! A penalty for not showing up, as it were. Really, the world (Scout camps) would be a much better place if we had clear and complete Leader's and Program Guides available in advance of camp, and on top of that, if these pre-camp meetings were kept as short as humanly possible. Guy
  7. Bill -- I think you missed my point with my question on "who is the audience?" I know who the audience is -- I was just wrapping that up in my point that I view the guide as an "all things to all people" overwrought policy document. The Guide is far more complex than it needs to be, when it mixes the advancement of a Tiger Cub all the way up to an Eagle Scout, with Palms, in a full spectrum. The basic policies of Cub advancement are completely different than what a District Advancement committee needs for Eagle project plan approval and a Board of Review. That's my critique -- I
  8. Here's how I view it -- it is mandatory for anyone who calls an "all hands on deck" meeting to make it worthwhile. My first summer at a camp, I attended a mandatory leader's meeting that went over, in painful detail, everything that could have easily been put in a Leader's Guide (thus saving time for everyone involved). With questions, this meeting was going from it's second hour and into the third when I finally said "I really have to get back to the troop, is there anything else that I really need to know?". Later on, I pointed out that the present Leader's Guide (which was scant o
  9. Honestly -- I view the present Guide To Advancement as an overwrought policy document. I know this is an arguable position, but if I were in charge of it, I would look at splitting it up into parts (Cubs, Boy Scouts, Eagle, Special Needs), editing and simplifying it, and releasing it as separate pamphlets. There's a rash of "all things to all people" going on lately. Who is the audience? As a troop advancement coordinator, I need to look at one subset of the Guide. A Cubmaster, or a Den Leader, needs to look at a different subset. A Troop or District Eagle Coordinator needs to look at ano
  10. One of my regrets is that when my older son's first pack (very small, "one man show") was in trouble, that I didn't do more to save it. We moved to another pack, didn't find it suitable, and then moved to another, and it was worse. But by that time, it didn't make sense to switch (again). Knowing that regret, when he chose a troop that started to have issues, I worked with the adult leadership to rebuild the troop. All the while, I lament that first pack. Should have done more. Guy
  11. As a youth, my favorite troop weekend of the year was Columbus Day weekend. We'd go off on an outing that had an extra day to it -- some of those outings were on the A.T. Backpacking in October is great!
  12. I've been the primary communications channel of our troop (not pack) for a couple of years now. I've gotten a few complaints (one didn't like the volume of email, and asked for "summary email" to be sent out, but had missed the fact that we have a summary email that goes out every Wednesday morning, automated, which pretty much lists everything on the troop website; another mom, who's son missed yet another meeting, asked me why we didn't send out reminders for every meeting. I responded that I do, except they are in that Wednesday morning email summary. She didn't like that. She wanted separa
  13. My wife is great because she'll say anything to anyone -- for example, she hears another mom complain about doing laundry. She'll ask why the other mom hasn't taught her (Scout-aged) son to do his own laundry yet. When the other mom starts to make noise like "well, it's just easier if I do it myself", my wife will respond, "so, do you intend to go off to college with him and do his laundry for him then too?" She and I talked about this when our kids were younger. We came to the conclusion that by the time our guys reached college age there are certain skills that we'll expect them to hand
  14. Scoutfish, YES! My thoughts exactly -- Way back in the dark ages, our SM used to take us on nighthikes. We had two rules: no talking, and no flashlights. Well, we were allowed to whisper if there was a rock in the way, or something like that, but it was liberating to not have a flashlight. I still do the same thing now. I do carry a small (!) penlight in my pocket, and I only use it when I can't see anything at all. My newest pet peeve, though, are headlamps. Everyone I've run into that wears one of those things seems to have a difficult time figuring out that you really shouldn't ha
  15. I live about a mile and a half from a New Balance outlet -- I've been shopping there for years, because they seem to reliably have EEEE.
  16. This is something of a pet peeve for me... Last year, we attended a new (to us) camp, although the troop used to go there many years ago. This is out of council for us, and is a regular advancement-oriented camp (we also returned to the same council's patrol-oriented camp for the second year, and are returning there again this year). It was a challenging week overall. The camp was pretty much at capacity at 500-some Scouts, and with adults and staff, I think was around 650 in their dining hall. I'm normally a kind of "go with the flow" kind of person, but there was enough that happen
  17. I don't have a magic bullet, but when my older son joined a troop, it had severe outing attendance problems (lots of reasons, but mostly because it was an adult-led, advancement-oriented troop -- so because older Scouts didn't need to camp for advancement, they didn't go -- they concentrated on attending "Eagle Week" at the local summer camp, to get their Eagle-required merit badges). It was so bad that my son's first year, there were only "6 nights under nylon" for the entire year, not including the six days at summer camp. How were outings chosen? One adult leader would talk to his son, and
  18. I haven't been to a R/T in over a year (we were consolidated with another district, and R/T was established on "their night", which happens to be the same as our troop meeting night), but in the roundtables at which I have attended, and presented, I noticed a few things. The first is that information is being held hostage -- plenty of stuff goes out by email, but some details are withheld for the monthly R/T. Because so many unit leaders stay away, only about half the unit leaders in the district know everything that is going on. Presentation length: I've presented about a half dozen
  19. About 4 years ago, our troop purchased a trailer. It has annoyed me every since. It is almost as if it changes the perception of what constitutes an acceptable place for an outing. I also didn't like that the next purchase after that was a carport/canopy ("why the whole troop can fit under it!") and a large 3-burner propane stove ("why we can cook for the whole troop on that thing!"). Last thing I heard the same guy ask about was a large dutch oven (again, "we can feed the whole troop out of that thing!"). See the way this was going? It was not exactly reinforcing patrol method. Granted,
  20. But wouldn't it be "Thstar Warth Day"?
  21. Thanks, guys -- I appreciate your responses. I'd been thinking Barkeeper's Friend too, or even Softscrub. What I hadn't thought about is the bead box. We've got an ASM in the troop who is a pro metalworker. Didn't even occur to me to ask him :-). He's awesome -- made us a really nice dutch oven table and also made some dutch oven lid lifters. He even set aside some scrap at work, and was almost finished with a rack for propane bottles, but he said someone else at work swiped it. Thanks again -- Guy
  22. Our troop has some old pieces of Trail Chef aluminum cook kits in storage and I've noticed that some appear to be heavily oxidized. Assuming these can be cleaned up, anyone have any recommendations on how to do so? I would think that anything deeply pitted would get tossed, and that we probably don't want to use any heavy abrasives on them. Any other thoughts? Thanks, Guy
  23. One other distinct memory of that fall '72 trip. We arrived, late one night, and hiked in to our first campsite from a gap. It was dark. We arrived at a lean-to where one other hiker had already settled in. This was long before I knew what a thru-hiker was, and I image that he was one. He said that he'd been on the trail for awhile, and hadn't kept up with news, so he had no idea about Nixon's presidential run (re-elected, of course, less than a month later). I can also imagine that since he was the only person at this campsite, he wasn't too pleased to have a 12-person or so Boy Sco
  24. This goes way back (fall '72 as I recall), but as a young Scout, we drove down from SW Ohio and hiked a section along the TN/NC border, in the area of the Pisgah National Forest. I'm pretty sure we ended in Hot Springs. An older crew of Scouts from our troop, back from a Philmont trip two months earlier, hiked to Hot Springs from the other direction. That was my first backpacking trip, and I was young. It rained a lot, but I don't really recall it being particularly strenuous. I do remember things like spectacular views, old barns and pasture fences. That sort of thing. Guy
  25. I like the clarifications in the new advancement guidebook and Eagle project workbook. Turns out we have one of those districts where the Eagle board chair used to make a big deal about the fundraising aspects (although, I don't know if he required a "Unit Money Earning Application", which I never understood anyway; an Eagle project isn't "unit money-earning", and an Eagle candidate is not a unit). A concrete example: two Eagle candidates, from our troop, within a month of each other. The first one sails through, raising donations from friends and family and by collecting aluminum cans (a
  • Create New...