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About grampye

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  1. Ah yes. Winter Campout. 10 degrees. 2 AM. Tent starts shaking. Words I don't want to hear again, for sure. "Mr. E, Brian knocked over a gallon of Orange Juice in our tent!" It was about that time I began considering that opening on the district committee more seriously.
  2. pmickle1027 - you mentioned Tuscarora, but let me add Camp Barton. It's out of the same council (Baden-Powell) and located on the shores of Cayuga Lake north of Ithaca. It's a small camp with everything an easy walk and a totally beautiful waterfront.
  3. Obviously, he was glancing over his shoulder at the time, an unsafe practice at best ;
  4. grampye

    NOAC 2006

    Question: Does anyone remember the exact wording of the two side banners on the screen at the end of the final show? They were displayed at the sides of the poster Brandon had made. The upper part was "Love One Another". What was the lower part?
  5. And have you ever watched ducks on the water? Everything looks OK, but who knows what's going on beneath that seemingly unruffled surface? And then it happens... mooning! Exclusion is too good for them. They should be burned at the stake! (or is that burned with the steak?)
  6. Didn't I see something in YPT about cooking and eating one of your Scouts? I think it might be prohibited (or is that just one of the Grey Areas?)
  7. I have no problem with it. After all, I suspect a lot of ducks would rather be eagles, but wouldn't we have to dumb down the requirements a bit? Eagle BOR: So, Donald, which of the points of the Scout Law did you find the hardest to live up to? Donald: Quack! Eagle BOR: Quack? Donald: Quack, quack, quack, quack, quack! (tries to eat the Eagle pin on the committee chairperson's lapel)
  8. If it is important to us not to be rude, we need to realize that rudeness is in the eye of the beholder. The fact that what would be seen as rudeness by the majority is not considered rude in the internet elite crowd is only meaningful while one is hanging out in a forum with others of a like ilk. Is this possibly natural selection at work? Let's see. 1. Someone responds rudely to a post. 2. Person taking the hit can either hang in there or drop out of the forum. 3. Forum evolves into a community in which rudeness is now acceptable. 4. Rudeness becomes the standard for the online community 5. New people who object to rudeness are told they just don't understand the community and that what they perceived as rudeness is actually well within the community standards as to what is rude and what isn't. 6. Person can either accept this or drop out 7. Return to step 3 The problem with this has already been pointed out. There is no "Internet Community" with a universal standard of rudeness. Each forum is its own community with its own standards. You would be roundly criticised if you tried to live in Germany based on the rules for rudeness you learned in the US. Why should you then expect to be able to interact according to rules for behavior in one forum or set of forums when you go to another? Most online forums could care less if any newbies join. I think it is being suggested that this one should and we should: a) be kind in our responses - consider how the receiver will receive what you say b) use real world standards when determining rudeness, not one evolved in some other online community. And for those of you who have been hopelessly damaged by years of interaction in online communities and want help, pass your comments by me first and I will tell you if you are being rude ;
  9. grampye

    Camp Pranks

    Our leadership guys were really good friends with the SPL of another troop in town. One year he was not able to attend summer camp with his troop and we offered to have him spend the week with us. Towards the end of the week while he was out of the campsite his "friends" removed the troop numbers from his uniform and replaced them with ours. I wish they had been able to pull it off, but unfortunately they messed up the sewing job and the sleeve was tight when he put it on. I can only imagine the ribbing he would have gotten when someone from his troop noticed his "defection".
  10. Yes, I'm going, and I am so psyched! The OA is a great organization and I can't remember ever meeting anyone who was haughty or arrogant at a NOAC. OGE, it's too bad you didn't get involved so that the next guy would have at least one good guy to hang out with. It's not too late, you know. I just recently got back into Scouting after a 20 year break to raise some adopted children, and when I heard that NOAC was going to be at Michigan State I got my application and money in (MSEE MSU 1964). Sadly, my money was returned to me six months later with no explanation - just a check. Oh well, I had been to two (Rudgers & CMU) - give someone else a chance. Then about a month later I got an email about a special intensive inductions training session. A few phone calls and an extra $100 for late registration and I'm on my way. Let me tell you, if anyone has the right to be arrogant and haughty, these guys do. They're like the Gods of the Induction. Some of them go back 30 years or more operating at the National level. But I have never been treated as anything but a brother to them in any of my dealings with them. I sent an email to Dr. Buchman asking about the course and stating that I wasn't even sure at the time I could get a slot. Even though he didn't know me from Adam he responded immediately and promised me that if I could get there there would be a slot for me in his course. And Dr Jay Dunbar. Dr. Jay is the author of a very famous booklet for ceremonies training called "The Drum". I was introduced to it back in the early '80s and it had a profound impact on the boys I was coaching at the time. After 20 years, I contacted him to see if I could get some more of the books. He responded immediately and told me that the current printing was sold out but that he would let me know when more were available. And seven months later, he did. Haughty and arrogant people do not remember promises to nobodies seven months later. And I get to spend four days with these guys. I am so psyched! (And just to forstall those who might think of me as one of those adult Arrowmen in it for himself, two of the three youth Arrowmen in our small troop are also attending and the other is on camp staff.) So if you're going to NOAC and have some spare time, drop by the intensive inductions training sessions (or sign up - I believe there are still slots open) - I'll be the one with the big smile!
  11. As far as changing an existing unit, good luck with that. I came is as Scoutmaster of a unit that was struggling about 9 months ago. It's not just the leaders you have to change. Any boys who are currently in the troop are the ones who like it the way it is - anyone who didn't left. Likewise, their parents will happy with things the way they are and be very resistant to change as well (especially if it suddenly becomes more difficult to earn that Eagle), so from experience I can tell you that simply becoming the Scoutmaster will not solve your problems. To change a unit culture takes a long time - years in fact. You will very seldomly be able to get the people who are there to see the light of a better way. Even if you can quote chapter and verse out of the Boy Scout bible, you will be told that that's well and good but it doesn't work here. The only way is to slowly replace them with ones you recruit from the new parents as Cubs graduate into the troop. And that will not necessarily go smoothly either. At camp this summer I was informed by one of my older Scouts that what I was doing was going to destroy the troop, that a lot of the parents were against it and angry, and that if I continued, it would be me against the Scouts. So if you decide to stay and try to change things, be prepared to stay with it for the long haul. I would suggest that you volunteer as an ASM and work with the new boys. I say ASM because that way you can concentrate on the ones where you can make the most difference and not have to worry about the whole sorry show. Reqruit some other adults to help - they will be the core of your new team. If you are doing it right, sooner or later the existing crew will either graduate out of Scouting or give up in disgust at what the troop has become. I would also suggest making some friends in Scouting outside the troop. You will need somebody to talk to when it gets too discouraging. And keep us posted - it's always good to know I'm not the only one in the trenches.
  12. grampye

    Camp Pranks

    Wingnut, your kind of seriousness is encouraged here. Sorry for your loss. OK, maybe one more to test the waters.... This was back in the early '80s. For a while my Scouts had this skit they would do called "Swami". A line of them would enter and sit cross legged in a row. An "interpreter" would announce that the great and all knowing Swami was going to tell fortunes. A Scout with his head wrapped in a towel and wearing a bathrobe would then enter and sit at the end of the row next to the interpreter. The "Swami" would converse briefly in gibberish and in a sing-song voice with the interpreter who would announce that the great Swami wished to tell someone's fortune by reading the bumps on their head. A volunteer would be chosen and placed seated on the ground before the Swami who would examine their head. He would then converse again with the interpreter who would announce the "fortune". Next, after another brief exchange, the interpreter would announce that the Swami wished to tell a fortune by reading a palm and again call for a volunteer. The third time, the Swami wished to read a foot. The volunteer would be placed before the Swami who would remove the guy's shoe and sock, hand them to the Scout next to him, and begin examining his foot. The first Scout in the line would examine the shoe and then pass it to the next and so on. When the shoe had reached the end of the line, the Swami would confer with the interpreter who would announce the fortune - "You are about to embark on a long and difficult journey." - just as the last in line threw the shoe dismissively over his shoulder into the woods behind him. OK, that's the rough outline. We had done this a few times at camp-o-rees so everyone knew what to expect. We were at a camp-o-ree at a site of a small lake and the campfire was on the shore. The boys came in and sat with their backs to the lake and went through the routine. When it came time to chose the last "volunteer" they picked the Scoutmaster of one of the other troops in our town. He was wearing some pretty nice hiking boots and kept glancing apprehensively down the line as his boot was handed from boy to boy. The boot reached the end of the line, the fortune was told, and something flew through the air and landed with a splash in the lake. Afterward, when he'd got his boot back from the Scout at the end who had tossed the log over his shoulder he told me - "As I watched that boot disappearing down the line I kept telling myself "I know these guys - they wouldn't do that to me" but when I heard that splash, I wasn't really so sure."
  13. grampye

    Camp Pranks

    I started this thread to perhaps hear about some of the great pranks that others had witnessed or been a part of, but it's getting way too serious for me. I had a couple more I was going to share, but I suspect they would just draw more fire. Too bad.
  14. grampye

    Camp Pranks

    A couple of weeks ago I was witness to one of the greatest camp pranks ever. Two of my Scouts - let's call them Joe and Sam - tentmates -had begun exchanging pranks. Two others - Ben and Tim - had come to Joe's aid. Sam was out of the camp and the three conspiritors were trying to come up with an idea. Suddenly Ben exclaimed "We got to get a ladder!" "Why a ladder?" Joe questioned. "We'll put his bunk up on the roof over our dining area!" Joe wasn't so sure, but Ben was and he and Tim headed down to Sam's tent. Soon the two of them were coming up the trail with the bunk and mattress. They pushed a wooden bench over next to the roof and Joe and Ben got up on it. Tim passed the bunk and mattress up to them and they slid them up onto the roof. I was watching all this and thinking it a pretty lame prank until Ben hopped down and whispered as he passed by "It's not Sam's bunk - it's Joe's."
  15. I'm really sort of trying to feel my way to a position on this face painting here and I thank you all for your help. Obviously, hazing is out, whatever that is, but are all pranks played by older boys on the younger ones hazing? Apparently the OA has reached some conclusions here as face painting of one person by another is specifically forbidden as a part of any of their ceremonies. As far as my own experience goes, I can only remember the look on one young man's face when he discovered what had been done to him, and imho, anything that has the potential of causing that kind of hurt should not happen in a Scout troop. However, I can also see the possible benefits - the feeling of acceptance that can be provided by being included in the pranks. How to resolve this? Any ideas?
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