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Gunny2862

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Everything posted by Gunny2862

  1. Gunny2862

    Philmont questions

    I would advise against the one man tent - while the on-the-ground-enforcer of rules is your Ranger, they reportedly vary in their enforcement. Ours in 2010, one of the worst Bear incident years in quite a while, would NOT have allowed us to go on the trail with one person tents. His stated rationale was that the two man tents especially when set up in a group, look like something the Bear doesn't want to investigate. A one person tent looks like a snack size burrito. All of that said I really like the TT Rainbow and would like to have one for myself now that the kid is moving on to other activities for now. But my son and I together and separately have always used an ALPS Mountaineering Extreme 3 at Philmont (because we have it, because we often keep all of our gear IN with us, because it has been our primary home away from home for about 6 years, because it is bombproof, and because he was willing to carry it - 8+ pounds)
  2. Gunny2862

    Current BSA Policy Vs local option poll

    I can go either way with this. There should be a third voting option IMHO. My problem with the local option is the possibility of problems between Troops where one exercises the option one way and another exercises it the other and what has not been an item of contention in the past now becomes a reason why one group is "forced" to practice tolerance while another acts as it will(and that can occur with either choice acting as the bully). Now I realize that there are adults out there doing this now, but IMHO I haven't yet seen it have any effect on boys i've known yet. This decision could bring that discriminator into the discussion among the youths and force them to make decisions they shouldn't have to yet. As to AZMikes qurestion about in what ways? Folks are inventive, they'll find a way to make it interesting.
  3. Gunny2862

    Top-Down Advancement -- Why?

    I don't believe in additional requirements. I believe in learning the requirements and then having a program that emphasizes using those requirements - no re-test, no showing someone you retained the skill. Just needing to use some of those skills on a campout to campout basis. Just becuase everyone has planned a menu, budgeted, shoppped, safe food handled and prepared as a meal means that if you regularly have campouts that those "requirements" aren't going to be needed to be done again and "refreshed" informally by someone having to do those things. I believe in being a gateway (you do have to reach this point - having done these things and in doing so have grown as a person) but not a gate keeper ( you have to be "worthy" in my eyes" and I'll thorw in a few extra burdens so you can prove you are worthy), according to the program, and if the program is followed only about 1-3% nationally are doing so, they are proved worthy by accomplishing the requirements without adding to them.
  4. Gunny2862

    ?? behavior - how common?

    Because I'm in Scouting, and only because I'm in Scouting I know quite a few Eagle Scouts, not necessarily from my Troop. I'm going to say 20 - 25 just as a representative guess. Now that is 20-25 Eagles out of 667(3% of all Scouts earning Eagle)-833 or 20-25 of 2000-2500(1% of all Scouts earning Eagle). Of the 20-25 I know there's only 2 who couldn't borrow my car just by asking, and 1 of those is still 15. Of the rest of the Scouts, there's only 2 I would hand the keys to, 1 of them is mine. Of all the Scouts(not just the Eagles) there's one that had drug charges, but worked with the system and only did parole time. I know of no girlfriend pregnancies in the group, I know of no other criminal charges. In my locality I think a great predictor of High School graduation is involvement in Scouting - but it is empirical, I don't have data to back it up - I also don't know of ANY Scouts who failed to graduate. I think Eaglemom2b MAY be seeing a local effect or just a cadre effect. But, I like the view from my Scout hut. May it ever be so, and may the Sun rise over yours. YiS, the Gunny.
  5. Gunny2862

    Make Your Own Equipment

    Have always wondered why some minimal degree of sewing wasn't part of the deal - think it used to be an Eagle Required MB, wasn't around for that. It's a useful life skill not just in Scouting - no matter how much your spouse likes to sew - YOUR shirt never seems to get the button back on no matter how many other projects she completes - UNLESS you know how to sew. I like wearing my clothes and learned how to sew early on - my Mom wasn't a big believer in boys not being able to take care of themselves...
  6. Gunny2862

    Certain Ads

    Some Llama marketing guru is either really sharp not to come after this much bait or is really lagging behind the curve.
  7. Gunny2862

    Is it Time to Send the Electoral College Packing?

    SeattlePioneer, it goes to the House, where one would assume the party with the majority members would win, which unless the 3rd party has done it's complete ground game including having a majority in the House - they then lose to which ever of the two other parties holds the majority in the House.
  8. Gunny2862

    Sometimes Scouting volunteers really bug me...

    Backroads, being at the front desk of any help desk situation you have to realize that part of the reason folks show up or call is because they either Have a need for information they think should be available to them and they can't find it and know council should have it(they're the Pro's right?) Sometimes this is frustrating - as a help desk person in part, myself you have to defuse them and realize they aren't upset at you they are upset at their situation which in some cases is just being upset that they couldn't find what should be, and may in fact be, easily accessible information. Or they need to drop off a form but they may realize it's late and it's their fault and frankly it's embarrassing and they're upset with themselves but guess who get's it - you already know. Or it is the third time they've delivered it (and dang it), it WAS on time the first time... It's a part of the job. Learning to communicate clearly and especially to make real interpersonal contact - understanding what they want and what they are feeling more than just the specific language communication - giving them the idea that you really WANT to help them and are committed to FINDING not just the book answer but to do the best you can to resolve their problem - is the essence of being a good help desk operator - you can be a great technician and steer them through the bureaucracy and still leave them feeling cold and un-helped even though they were masterfully guided thru the maze of regulations and red tape. And if that means smiling as you hand them a membership form and explaining that they do need to fill it out completely and add they YPT module paperwork and then get the signatures of the CC and/or the SM depending on the form sand who it's for. Gotta say a little candy on the desk couldn't hurt, but it won't make up for the "I REALLY am here to HELP you " attitude.
  9. Gunny2862

    Going it Alone? Or Active with Distrct/Council?

    The previous SM went to all the Council and District events and then filled in the holes with his own favorite camping spots to produce camping 12 months a year. When I started as SM, the next year the Commissioners decide that to revitalize "Scouting" that if you went to Klondike they would burn your sleigh( to ensure you built a new one each year - actually a good thing, but it was presented horribly, think various socialist dictator style) at the closing campfire - my boys threw the revolt flag that very day. We help at recruiting events(Webelos Woods), put out DL's, do Scouting for Food, do all the Troop level stuff one expects, except go to Council or District organized Camping events other then Summer Camp. Six years later as we get together for our Annual Planning conference with only 1 or 2 of the original "HEck No, We Won't Go" members remaining, I will once again(I've always made it an option) introduce the Council Calendar - and they do organize about half of your year if you let them, and we'll see if they bite - but frankly we get a lot of great campouts in and go to different locations and re-visit some favorites. And most of it IS that the DE's see different goals and sell MOST of the Commissioners on those goals, who then come to the Troop and do things like embarrass a SM in front of the Parents of his Scouts and then wonder why the SM isn't as cooperative as they might have expected. Or a DE who agrees to a certain specific financial arrangement(Deposit of funds in Camp store for MB related purchases - unused balance to be returned - it' be fine if he hadn't agreed to the arrangement but to agree and then keep the overage?!), who then refuses to return the deposit when the rest of the provisions of the agreement were lived up to on the Troops side - then wonders why the SM and Treasurer are grumpy when they see him and wants a FOS appointment - you already took it pal!
  10. Current count is 43, Maine Vermont and S. Carolina excepted so far.
  11. Gunny2862

    Certain Ads

    One a LLama, two a llama, three a Llama, four, five a Llama, six a llama, seven a Llama, eight a llama, more....(This message has been edited by Gunny2862)
  12. Gunny2862

    Certain Ads

    All I know is the polling for neither Llama is to be believed. Llama this, Llama that, I feel a lot like that little girl who is "So tired of the Bronco-bama and the Mittromney, when is it going to be over?" It'll be over when all the Llama's have voted and their little Llama lawyers finish litigating the Llama-fest of litigable Llama selection issues. Electoral Llama College or Popular vote, there's millions of Llama litigation $'s to be had, and they'll all be scooped up like other things Llama's drop.
  13. Gunny2862

    Perversion files released

    Good citation perdidochas, the printed word takes precedence in discussions but when not provided I tend to listen to my spouse, on this topic, a Survivor and has a Masters in Psy. according to the APA she's in error on this point.
  14. Brew, no beating for you, someone else threw a hammer on your behalf. Good intentions, bad execution. Sorry for missing your location information.
  15. Gunny2862

    Eagle Letter of Recommendation

    Okay I missed that part, our Troops Eagle mentor would have no need to see the letter unless they also wound up on his Eagle Board.
  16. Gunny2862

    Eagle Letter of Recommendation

    "Normal" depends on your Councils and Districts Advancement and Eagle coordinating chairs (at least thats who it is here..., as those people change so does "normal". I'm not used to sending off two letters in two different directions for the same Scout but, read the sentence above...
  17. Gunny2862

    Perversion files released

    You know, the reason why I got into Scouting was because of my Spouse, who uttered the famous words "My baby isn't going anywhere with those Tan-shirted freaks unless YOU go with him!" I think she actually meant for the first several outings, but look what happened then... So now that he's aged out, I'm still doing trying to provide a good program. I still recognize that the public perception is out there, it hasn't changed, it hasn't gone away and it doesn't matter that other organizations now use our YP program as a model for developing their own. It doesn't make it easy to go out in public in MY OWN uniform, much more so for the boys. WasE61, I understand where you're coming from in terms of wanting your child to be protected. But instead of taking proactive actions it seems like you enjoy coming here and belittling/berating those of us who are trying to do good things for children like yours (and ours). How about you keep a watchful eye and communicate with your son about his experiences and keep that vital communication line open so that if something that shouldn't does start to occur he'll talk to you about it, and in the meantime give the rest (even just maybe the majority) of us a break? Maybe the reason we give up so much of our time is to HELP your boy, and others like him. In my own case between a campout/bicycle trip, popcorn and Eagle projects, and a workday to prep for our major fundraiser and a recruiting/outreach to Webelos weekend I've been(and will be) working at least 8 hours EVERY one of the last 4 and the next 3 weekends. And yes, statistically a family member is the most likely abuser, nice turn around AZ Mike. WasE61, I have no doubts you want what is best for your son, you wouldn't be such a pain if you didn't, but you are painting with a pretty wide brush...
  18. Brewmeister, Oh, also, we typically use less than 6-7 canisters(have 1/2 to a full canister left on the last day) over 14 days with a 12 Person crew at Philmont, so based on your estimation of gas usage I think you are estimating a little high, especially for a weekend trip.
  19. Having read thru the thread and the parent thread, and admitting it's possible I missed something..., If one wants regional specific advice, it's a reasonable suggestion to either give your location or at least include it in your profile so others aren't offering advice from their region that won't work in yours. On the other hand if folks are willing to offer advice and the location info isn't given isn't it a little bit bad form to be barking about the out of region advice - after all they're offering it in the hopes the OP will succeed. SO, not knowing where Brewmeister lives... The thing about cheap is that without access to supplies it can get heavy. But if you are just starting that gives you incentive to learn and be creative right? Depending on how far you are going, and for starting out 1 or 2 miles from the vehicles/trailer is plenty to get you in the right frame of mind - so expensive hiking boots -probably not - just wear what you have, boots can add up to a LOT of weight given that you lift them with every single step. A piece of cheap plastic sheet material from the hardware store (pennies per foot) makes a serviceable Ground cloth for either under a tent or under your sleeping bag under a tarp; and/or Sleeping tarp and/or Dining fly, A blanket from home or two depending on temps, properly folded together make a great sleeping bag and pad. The old Scout Yucca pack(made of heavy canvas back then) is just an oversized book bag of today, most kids have these or you can get them for cheap $5-10 at garage sales and discount stores( are they going to last?, probably not but you'll know how much room you really need if/when you upgrade to an expensive pack), fold the blankets over the outside of the pack and put the sheeting material over the top for rain. Stoves - no way do I provide a stove per Scout. One per four is what we have done at Philmont and is our backpacking standard. Knowing how to care for the stoves we have never had an issue with isobutane either in the cold (-5 F or above) or at altitude (less than 13,ooo). Although it is recognized that there is the potential for problems( at extreme altitudes and temperatures) one of the best things for cold and altitude is the Jetboil (GCS) Group Cooking System which includes an inverter where the fuel canister is upside down in the operating position allowing one to draw liquid fuel out of the canister rather than drawing the pressurized vapor one draws when using isobutane in the valve up configuration. All that said we've operated our regular Jetboils (PCS) and PCS stoves with Pan adapters everywhere we've been simply by keeping the fuel canisters in our sleeping bags and ensuring they go on a surface that doesn't radiate cold into them before the stove starts running. We also used a 3 gallon regular aluminum pot with a regular Jetboil PCS with the Pan adapter set this last Philmont trip and did boil and bag cooking, I didn't go but the adults and the Crew Leader said it was another good way to go. Point is regular pots and pans won't be as efficient as ones designed for the system but are a lot cheaper and can be purchased at thrift stores and garage sales. Water purification. Cheapest way I know to go is to get some Activated charcoal(not charcoal briquets ground up, not the same thing) and look up the plans on the internet for a homemade hanging gravity water filter, all else you need is a bag and some sand and gravel and a hose to direct the filtered water. We use Katadyn Hikers and Hiker Pros, one per Patrol unless someone brings their own but this forces a break at water fill stops and encourages consumption while AT the water source I personally add the MSR Sweetwater drops as an antivirus measure but this is actually a very low solution of bleach added in a specific concentration to water, if operating on the cheap go to the web, look up the concentration and make your own. I can't detect the taste and even if I could it's way better than the tablet purifier taste(IMHO). There are all kinds of ways to do this and your own preferences will color the direction you want to go but it can be done on the cheap.
  20. Gunny2862

    Cycling Planning Tip

    No substitute for a pre-ride or if you can check from the road a drive-by. Google maps and a couple of other map ing services have shown bicycle trails that are planned but not yet built in this area, or that were open but are now closed for construction. In this area our local bikes shops, while in competition, have joined forces to support the local bicycle club/advocacy group "SpringBike" - they are a great source for what is actually open. Does anyone elses area have that kind of arrangement or is it bike shop by bike shop?
  21. Gunny2862

    2 deep leadership for larger groups

    Those sound like Cub numbers that transitioned with some Parent. Even in Paid Non-Scouting childcare the numbers here (may not be correct in your municipality) run along the lines of 1-2 Infants, 1-5 toddlers(age 1 to 3), 1-10 children (age 3 to 12) and there isn't a specified number above age 12, but your Insurance carrier would like to have a conversation about that.
  22. Gunny2862

    scout denied eagle

    Basementdweller, not that your point is wrong, but your citation is. The second forum link you gave refers to a Scout who winds up a Life for Life, not an Eagle, in his own words. Some folks did advocate for methods of rehabilitation for his error (it IS a youth program), but none said he deserved it in spite of his error.
  23. Gunny2862

    SPL and ASPL conflicts

    Sure, it's true that their method of electing the ASPL(or actually of NOT having the SPL selecting the ASPL) isn't in the book and that they would possibly not be in the situation they are in if they had done it that way, there is no guarantee that they still wouldn't. So, I elected to answer him IN the situation they are in. It is true however that by not operating inside the way the system says to, that in a way you allowed the situation to come into being, are you going to allow it to continue to run that way? It can be argued, and has been, and will be, that you need to change that system. That isn't the point I'm driving towards, so I'll let others argue it. My issue that I'm going to harp on is to reiterate that YOU need to figure out how you can relate to your son as someone who is in your tutelage in his leadership position. Or whether you are going to hand dealing with him over to an ASM for his term in office. I don't know you, I don't know your son - can't tell you how to do it. I do know that to the degree that I was able, I treated my son as though he were any other Scout in the Troop when dealing with him as Scoutmaster, and "on occasion" was still able to be "Dad" rather than Scoutmaster Dad on some portions of Outings, and just Dad at home. He was mature enough and we had a relationship built so that we were able to both play our roles.
  24. Gunny2862

    SPL and ASPL conflicts

    koolaidman - for the win. It's hard when you are the SM and your son is a Scout, much more so when he's in leadership and you get to coach him about how he could do better. Mostly because unless you've built your own father/son relationship really well he may not hear it being about an issue but as a criticism of him. Unless you are going to turn the issue over to an ASM whenever an issue arises that includes your son - I know of others who did this, I chose not to. You need to be able to have the same conversations with your son that you would have with any other Scout. koolaidman has hit it on the head in my humble opinion, although I might add to his comments to the ASPL that he is not the one in charge, nor is he the co-leader, he is the immediate support (and alternate, if absent) to the leader and needs to back him up in any policy that isn't immoral, illegal, or dangerous(even when absent) however that doesn't mean that if he has reservations about something that he couldn't still talk to you or an ASM(adult association) but that should be done in a way that doesn't undermine the Current SPL (like doing it in front of the Scouts).
  25. Gunny2862

    Quality Unit.

    As a relevant aside: "No Combat Ready Unit has ever passed Inspection". attributed to Joe Gay.
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