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Everything posted by gwd-scouter

  1. OGE: Nope, sedan chair never quite made it. I do have some wonderful memories of the support from the Scouts and Leaders when I went through the OA Ordeal. The best was them trying to get me to talk by saying things like: I was the new local Republican campaign chair. LOL!
  2. This may not be a popular position here on the forum, but I have always told my scouts and parents that I thought the First class rank was the most important rank in Scouting. In means the Scout is capable of taking care of himself. The further ranks are more about leadership. In our troop, when I took over as SM, the First Class/First Year mantra was thrown out. I saw too many scouts before then barely capable of putting up a tent that were first class. Interestingly enough, our Troop grew over the years when this policy was put in place. Our Scouts LEARNED and became proficient in what they learned. Yep, most of them did make it in their first year, but that's because we had a campout every month, we worked with them, their patrol leaders worked with them. They learned.
  3. Beavah gives a good description of a Troop Committee. Ours, finally, has no ASMs on it. When I stepped down as SM last year and moved to Committee Chair it was my main objective to build a real working committee. Hooray for us that we have that now. We have a treasurer, advancement chair and a fund raising chair. It wasn't always this way for us. For years, we were a tiny little troop with only three adults doing everything. Now, because our Troop has become quite popular because of our AWESOME program (LOL), we are overwhelmed with adults. Be careful what you wish for.
  4. Hi Scouters! Been away for a while from the forum. Very busy with the troop and all. I stepped down as SM last year after a really fun seven year run. Oh my gosh, the turmoil and triumphs over those years (fairly well documented here in the forum). Happy to say the Troop is still growing, but at a nice steady pace instead of the insane sudden influx we experienced a few years ago. A solid Troop of 26 boys with a fantastic SM at the helm, a fully functioning PLC, and awesome ASMs at his side. Patrol method? Oh yeah!!!!! I serve as the Troop Committee Chair now and it's a good place for me. I'm very grateful to the new leadership for wanting to keep me on - you know how that can be cumbersome sometimes! LOL. Figured I'd pop in now and see if I can share an wisdom I've gained over the years with any new Scouters. Or, maybe, just share a laugh with some of the old guard.
  5. Oh yes, Eric was in Alpha Phi Omega at Clemson. Patrick's college doesn't have a chapter, but he's trying to get one started.
  6. Hi 00Eagle. My sons are both Eagle Scouts (2001 and 2010). Elder son was still actively involved in Scouting until last year when he got a full time job after college graduation. Younger son is going on his 6th year working at summer camp. I don't think either will ever leave scouting completely, as older son still goes up to camp to help out at the waterfront when he can. The program meant so much to them and they try as they can to pass that along to the younger generation. Wishing you all the best. Yours in Scouting, Karen
  7. The internet postings have been going on since then, too. Come up every year.
  8. Stayed up to see the lunar eclipse, but too cloudy in my area to see anything. Oh well, Happy Festivus.
  9. Watching C-SPAN's Washington Journal this morning, the host was reading headlines from several newspapers. One was about DADT and stated that the service chiefs want at least a year before implementation in order to train the troops. My question, and I am not trying to spark a debate about the merits of DADT, is: what kind of training of the troops is necessary? Our military is the best-trained, most professional, most disciplined force in the world, right? I just can't imagine what kind of additional training they need before homosexuals are allowed to serve openly. Not being snotty here folks, I really just don't understand.
  10. Maybe we should just do away with health insurance altogether. Rich folks, of course, will be able to pay for what they want or need and will keep the doctors, hospitals, medical device companies, etc. in business. Poor people will have to rely on the generosity of strangers. How about all the faith-based and charity organizations we keep hearing about? Old people, those that aren't wealthy of course, will just have to die instead of getting expensive treatments to prolong their lives. The rest of the population? The middle-class people? Well, presumably if they were allowed to keep more of their money instead of paying into Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc., they would have plenty to put into medical savings accounts from which will come whatever they need to pay for health care for themselves and their families. Doctors, hospitals and other medical services will post their prices and we, the consumers, can shop around until we find a price we can afford. Can't afford Dr. Bob's appendectomy? Maybe Dr. Jim has a better price. Imagine the competition! Dr. Bob has to lower his prices to compete with Dr. Jim until everyone can afford everything. Welcome to HealthMart! The service providers will bill patients directly. Maybe ask for up front payment or at least a down payment. Can't pay? Sorry, no more healthcare for you. At this time of year, can we all say "decrease the surplus population"?
  11. Congratulations to your son. That is quite an honor to receive Vigil, especially when still so young. Then, to become an Eagle Scout only a month later. Fantastic! I can certainly understand your pride in your son's accomplishments and do doubt you and your wife played a big part in guiding him along the way.
  12. "this guy is a sincerely sensitive person who has a soft spot for children" Careful, Pack, someone could find hidden meaning in that statement. Awe, now I'm being a mean-spirited liberal again. Heh heh
  13. John Boehner choked up and had tears in his eyes during a press conference the night the Republicans won back the house. He cried again on Barbara Walters when talking about children and the American Dream. Mitch McConnell choked up today during his remarks about Judd Gregg leaving. You may also remember his breakdown and outright sobbing last February as he said goodbye to his Chief of Staff. I suppose I could view it as these men showing their humanity, despite their sometimes hateful rhetoric that left me feeling as though they have no hearts. Then again, maybe they aren't fully stable? Maybe they are following the Glenn Beck model? I don't know, but I find it a bit amusing and somewhat disturbing.
  14. Our Troop does something every month year-round. We do, however, take a break from regular Scout meetings while the guys are out of school for the holidays. Just before Thanksgiving we take a backpacking trip. This year, we had two weekend trips back-to-back: one shorter, easier trip for the younger guys and a second 30 miler on the AT for the more experienced Scouts. December is our annual trip to our Council Camp, Camp Old Indian. Even though we are in South Carolina, the weather can be quite varied in December. Some years we had 60 degrees, other years temps in the teens. Last weekend's trip saw a break in what had been temps in the low 20s for about a week. At least on Saturday when it reached somewhere in the high 40s during the day. Of course, the guys were very excited when they saw a bit of snow on the ground Sunday morning. Yes, our mild weather Southern boys have learned to be well-prepared. Though the holidays are over, I'll add a few other winter outings. January is usually a snow skiing trip, although we don't camp for that one. February is another backpacking trip, usually very cold and most times raining. Again, the guys have learned to know how to pack and prepare properly.
  15. Last night, we had our year-end Court of Honor. It was a wonderful ceremony with ranks and merit badges given out to the Scouts. Very cool that five of them earned the special tracking merit badge - they were very proud of that. At the end, I announced my resignation as Scoutmaster. What a fantastic seven years I've had watching "my" boys learn and grow. While I am sad to step down, the time had come. I could no longer be the kind of robust and energetic Scoutmaster I had been and wanted to continue to be. As my health began to fail a few years ago, I wondered what would happen to our small Troop. We struggled for years, having little success in recruiting, with somewhere between 10-12 boys at any one time. I kept knocking on Pack doors, but still only got one or two takers a year, most preferring the two larger Troops in our area. Then, in what I call a huge leap of faith, two Webelos Dens along with their leaders joined our Troop two years ago and our Troop grew from 9 to 24 Scouts. It took very little time before the boys learned how to be Boy Scouts and the adults shed their Cub Leader ways to become a most marvelous group of Assistant Scoutmasters. One gentleman in particular stood out among the group. Although he announced during his Den's crossover that he was looking forward to retiring from leadership, within a month of joining the Troop he had signed up for SM training and never looked back. He is to be our new Scoutmaster. Ah, but they don't want me to go away and asked me to stay on as Troop Committee Chair. I am looking forward to this new challenge in Scouting and continuing to watch the fellas as they make their journey in Scouting. I posted a few photos of our Troop and my younger son's (Patrick) Eagle Ceremony from last summer. These are on the Scouter.com Facebook page. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=172739770499
  16. Just an aside about informed consent. When we prepare consent forms for a new study, we must be careful to make sure they are not written above an eighth grade literacy level. Not all that easy when dealing with genetics. I can't believe I forgot to mention the most important source of my news - Facebook. That's right. I can always count on reading a non-biased, fact-based, fully informed post from a friend, who reposted from her friend, who got it from her boyfriend, who posted after reading it on his buddy's page, who got it from his sister's, boyfriend's, mother's, Farmville Neighbor's, hairdresser's, dog walker's, best friend.
  17. I watch C-SPAN most of the time. Washing Journal in the mornings is an interesting few hours of conservatives and liberals and their talking points, along with call-ins from folks around the Country giving their, usually biased, points of view. Can be very entertaining at times. Then, when in session, one can watch the House and Senate in action, or inaction as the case may be. The healthcare debate in Congress was mesmerizing. Want to really know what your Congress critter is saying and not just the talking points you hear on the news? Watch C-SPAN. C-SPAN's Book TV and Newsmakers programs are also interesting and enlightening. I guess I just like to go to the source and form my own opinion after listening to both sides. For general news, I watch CNN. In the late afternoon I watch Shepard Smith on Fox. Since I get up very early in the morning, I watch the reruns of the Fox evening lineup. Brett Baier's Special Report is the only program I can actually watch all the way through, however. All the others are merely opinion shows and greatly skewed to the right. For pure entertainment and a good laugh, I'll watch Glenn Beck from time-to-time. We don't get MSNBC in our area, so I can't opine on that channel. I read Time, Newsweek, and USA Today, but not as regularly as I used to. I do subscribe to our local newspaper. Its editorial content leans heavily to the right (small conservative Southern town, after all), but a great way to keep informed about the community. Need to know who's been arrested? You'll find it there.
  18. "I listened to the healthcare bill debate over the various news outlets and I have not heard of republicans attaching amendments or being included in any form in the healthcare bill." I also listened to the debate, but not on news outlets. I watched it happen on C-SPAN. Contrary to what most people believe, the Committee meetings about the healthcare bill were aired on C-SPAN's various channels. What I saw was a lot of republican amendments added that they ultimately voted against. I was disgusted listening to town hall meetings last summer and the rants from people who clearly had no clue about what was in the healthcare bill. To the original question: no, Obama has not failed at everything. What he has failed at is living up to what both sides believe him to be - he is neither the socialist muslim antichrist nor our savior (or "annoited one" as Hannity likes to say).
  19. Our choices in SC for Senator were Jim DeMint and Alvin Greene. Some choice, huh? There was also a Green Party candidate on the ballot. None of the Above would have been a very nice option.
  20. So, Murkowski won the write in campaign even if some folks didn't spell her name quite correctly. Still, voter intent...right? Haven't we heard for so many months about how the "people" have spoken, the "people" want this, polls say...etc. Seems to me that what Americans want is only important to politicians when Americans want the same thing as said politician.
  21. "If you want to find that racist boogy-man you can. Just say it's there and POOF there it is." OK, that's a fair criticism, and chances are if I was still living in Wash, DC suburbs I may not have these feelings. Heck, I'd likely still consider myself a conservative. However, when I moved to South Carolina twenty plus years ago, I found racism to be openly alive and well. Not just under the surface and hidden politely, but in your face racism. It was quite shocking.
  22. Pack - apparently the American People just did what you propose. At least that's the way I'm hearing the spin. You know, regular folks with good ol' common sense and American values on their way to fix things in Washington and do what's right for the people. Oh wow, I really have gotten cynical recently.
  23. Beavah, I'm surprised at you. Did you really think you could get a reasonable discussion here on this topic? Not even a page yet and already you've been slammed by the typical right wing answer "It's all Obama's fault," but has nothing to do with who or what or what color he is. It's all just Obama's fault. OK, here's my rant: I, too, have often asked the question about why there was no outrage before Obama? Where was the outrage about government handouts with the prescription drug plan? Where was the outrage about deficit spending with two huge tax cuts. Oh yeah, both during two wars that weren't paid for either. Why have folks forgotten that tarp was proposed and approved BEFORE Obama took office? Why do these folks conveniently forget that the government has bailed out the auto makers before and I don't remember big rallies screaming about government takeovers and socialism then. Savings and Loan bailout under George H.W. Bush which also led to big budget deficits - anyone remember that? Where was the Tea Party then? Oh my, there are so many more examples on the left and the right. Still, I cannot ever get an answer from anyone that supports the Tea Party about why they didn't have a problem with all the previous bailouts and spending. Lastly, why do these folks only talk about rolling spending limits back to 2008? Why not all the way to 2000 when the real problems began? No, I don't think all Tea Partiers are racist. But, I do think it has roots in racism and I'm afraid no one, especially the Tea Party folks themselves, pundits on Fox News or any other right wing talking head, will be able to give me any statistics, talking points, a nice picture of a couple of blacks or Hispanics attending a rally, numbers of signs or lack thereof, or anything else to convince me otherwise.
  24. Speaker-elect, John Boehner, will get a raise when he becomes Speaker of the House. Haven't heard him say he'd turn down his raise. I seriously don't expect any of our representatives to turn down their salary or raises or whatever - comes with the job. If we, the people, don't want to pay our representatives their salary or give them their benefits and pensions, then I suppose it is up to us to change it.
  25. For a while I wore all my knots. Then, I bought a new shirt and didn't bother to put the knots on. I rather liked the clean look. I very close friend and fellow Scouter died last summer. He was really into knots. He knew them all, what it took to earn them, and was always promoting them at roundtables. In his honor, I sewed all my knots on my shirt to wear at his funeral. After having a clean shirt for so long, I think I look a little silly with all those knots now. Just my personal preference, and not to disparage anyone for wearing their knots, but now that I am a Scoutmaster I will probably remove those earned during my Cub Scouting years.
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