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About anarchist

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  1. Buffalo, Forgive my long post... The encouragement to go through your CC is due to the fact that technically speaking the CC is the "hire-fire" person for the troop...its what "he" does...that said, after many, many years we have found very poor results from family meetings and "please help us/help the boys" missives... What has worked for us has been simple nose to nose asking. But this is part of a long term effort. Current committee and SM/ASMs spend over a year trying to get to know leaders of the packs and who will/might be crossing over...We have been accused (occaisionally)of selecting adult webelos leaders for recruitment rather than the webelos themselves. We give handouts at pack events, service projects, webelos woods, as well as our own annual webelos/scouts skill traning day.These consist of troop history, copies of the troop's (and district's)activity programs, activity pictures, High Adventure pictures, sevice project photos and "fast start" info for up and coming boy scouts... lots of "trash can fodder" just to make folks feel at home. To make it plain, we spend as much time figuring out which adults in a pack will fit the needs of our troop as we do getting to know the webelos (that task is primarily for our SPL, troop guides and den chiefs). We identify adults and actively (if somewhat softly) recruit them. If their sons select our troop, we then go "head to head" and ASK POINT BLANK FOR HELP! old salesman once said..."you can't sell "manure" unless you ask for the order"...So you ask and maybe ask again...sometimes it takes a while...usually it is best to work them "in" slow...We have had great success getting people to commit for a meeting a month as a committee member and then over the course of a year or so changing some of these folks into ASMs... Then of course there are the naturals...the pack Committee Chairs, Cub masters, den leaders...if they are "good" we really work with them to help make them feel "at home" with our leaders..."scoring" a good leader is like a touchdown! But this takes planning, commitment and time (and lots of coffee). Each pack we recruit boys from gets a recent pack parent whose son has become a member of our troop as a 'coordinator" the next year (If possible and some work better than others). These folks, are already known and comfortable in the pack environment and are tasked to find things the troop can do to help the pack...demonstration nights, den chiefs, award programs, etc. They also try to insert our webelos training weekend (free lunch for all) into the webelos activity shedule. This is so that a pack activity does not get planned "on top" of the weekend we want the webelos to visit one of our encampments. It is really not a hard job but it can pay big dividends. pick your targets and ask! Its hard to say no when you have been cut from the herd...trust me. anarchist
  2. Beav...they "got" Dingle yesterday...he lost his committee chair. There seems to be a lot of hostility towards the US auto makers (both for the big shots and for labor)...There are also a lot of "bad product"- "bad car" comments...that I find interesting...personally speaking remember when "made in Japan" equaled "a piece of trash" ... On the home front, I have had pretty good luck with detroit's "iron". Personally speaking, I am a truck guy...my last truck was a chevy half ton, extended cab 4X4 with a 3/4 ton suspension and towing package and a 350 cc engine...1987...I got 360,000 miles with only a rebuilt short block (which was my fault) a rebuilt transmission (while we had the engine out anyway)and normal brakes and tires and oil changes and a rebuild on the front end and transfer case (my fault again-four wheel drive doesn't mean you won't get stuck...just that you will get stuck in more "interesting" places). My current truck is a 2002 Ford 250 4x4 diesel with 208,650 miles and still going strong...only repairs so far have been an oil sending unit (warranty) and some front end work caused mainly by where my truck and I sometime go for fun and relaxation...I religiously service these things...they may need a bath but they get oil, brakes and fluid changes on schedule. During this same time My wife has had a Pontiac a 1989 she drove 136,000 miles before we got her a new car and let one of my sons take "moms bomb". Her "new" car was a $27,000 -2000 model year rice burner which she has put on just over 100,000 miles (not a bad car but it has had more "stuff" go wrong than the other three combined)...so in my book detroit is not all that bad...just stupid- planning wise. Like many folks they closed their eyes and hopped for cheap gas forever and American buyers held them up by buying SUVs and trucks. Personally, I couldn't give a "nit" if these guys survive or not but unlike most folks bad mouthing a bail out -I see shock waves in and already screwed up economy that could cause a lot more than "a ripple" through everyones neighborhood. I think (MHO) that an orderly downsizing with iron-clad oversight and mulitple strings attached will be the best way to soften the impact. (certainly nothing like the nearly blank check the bankers were given.) I suggest we start with the demand for a special bankruptcy proceeding leading to a take over of the "participating" auto companies by a govenment entity. the second order of busines is the termination of the three morons who flew private jets into Washington to beg for a bail out...they all should be "toast". Republicans and their sponsors have been feeding at the public trough for many more years than the Dems over the last 32 years...so whats the big surprise when they go all "socialist" on you? (rhetorical question) and certainly the Constitution is not a problem...the people who can bring you unauthorized wire taps, kidnapping, lying to congress, illegal wars, and torture surely can bring you mini socialism...right? anarchist
  3. Gosh we are willing to have a major negative impact on ten percent of the american work force over a little 25 billion but we give AIG 150 billion and watch as they give their excecs two large parties and $503,000,000 in deferred income. lets say if GM goes chapter 11...how many cars buyers are willing to look at a car made by a company that might not be here next year...already poor sales results will flat line sales... at least car makers produce something...what does AIG produce...paper? We are sitting back letting Paulson hand out 700 billion to his chronie banking friends with no real oversite or transparency but are willing to hurt millions of americans 'cause THAT's socialism...give me a break...please. If we bail out banks and insurance bandits we should at least help the workers of the car plants...It could be the sea change this country needs, if viewed as an opportunity. 'course even that would need to be structured and have strings galore attached. For example...start with bankruptcy where the U.S. government through an agency like the resolution trust (remember the last time we pulled the finacial boys chestnuts from the ol' fire?) Under bankruptcy protection we begin with a 50% lay off of corporate execs...GM does not need 50 + big wheels. Then set corporate pay for the big wheels at five or seven times the base hourly rate of the lowest paid full time line employee-not a penny more. No bonuses or extras of any kind until U.S. government is paid in full. Banks lending to big three take an immediate 15% hit on outstanding loans and time terms are extended. Labor takes the same 15% hit and get revised contracts, health and retirement benefits. Parts suppliers take a minumum 10% hit on cost of parts and increases are caped at inflation rate or cpi...take your pick. Retired workers take an immediate 10% benefits hit and increases are flat for three years and will increase afterwards only with profitability. auto lines (read hummer, pontiac, buick, dodge, etc) that are in the red after 12 months are dropped immediately. Government has majority of voting stock and veto seats on the board until profits and buy-out occurs. head of design for new car/truck units are picked from brightest engineers availble...they can design anything they like so long as it has a bumper to bumper 100,000 mile trouble free life and gets 35-60 mpg...even large pick-ups... vehicle having lower milage rate are taxed at sale 50%. Results- many fewer land boats or more efficent "boats" just some cardiac drug induced ramblin' thoughts.(This message has been edited by anarchist)
  4. Kahits, Though not a difficult "trek" as high adventure goes... your crew might want to do some distance kayaking/canoeing just to build up a few skills and some endurance. long term-Light exercise is needed to build endurance...not for the "struggle" of the trek but to have enough energy to keep the crew participating rather than wimping out cause "they are too tired!" I would also recommend spending a good bit of time learning to snorkle and really getting comfortable in the water. SWIMMING is important...If you have weak swimmers-start this week on skill improvement! Rent time in pools if necessary...join swim teams anything you can think of to help make your crew love the water. Your crew needs to be strong enough to pull themselves out of the water and onto the boats/kayaks or docks without ladders...several times a day...practice get out of the deep end of the pool until its a piece of cake! We have sent a crew (some times two per year)to Out Island Adventure seven of the last ten years and the only members who weren't just bubbling over when they came back were the guys who did't want to get their "faces wet" ...or swim at night or go fishing or diving for lobster. And those poor souls who were confirmed couch potatoes and had no real desire to "dive" into the program...they were always too tired to want to do anything (thank goodness it was the same crew...they really missed out on a lot of stuff). Both of my sons did the MUNSON Island thing and had a ball. Both carried several good under-water cameras and came back with some outstanding pictures-sharks, baracuda and many reef fish. Both ate very well (dolpin-fish(mahi mahi) and lobsters) and they especially loved snorkling the reef at night and fishing for sharks with their hands...(not to worry...its a MUNSON thing)... but like the "lottery ads" love to say...."Ya gotta play to win!" Enjoy the key deer, the "bacca coons" - keep your food locked tight! And avoid the poisonwood trees (really)! Most of all have a great time! Anarchist
  5. Adult leaders with no kids in scouting is creepy, wow! I did some research a couple of years ago as our troop was approaching what we thought was it's 50 year mark...Council had lost (in a fire) most of the old records but I did find a few bits and pieces including some "original" membership lists and several advancement forms from various years etc. What I found interesting was it appear that the same name appeared on the SM line over quite a long time. Seeing as how the troop was in a rapidly gentrifying rural area many old family farms still existed and I was able to locate many old scouts or their families. It seems the orginal CO was a fire house and a volunteer member became the SM...for over 20 years...this guy and his wife had no kids of their own but obviously, he had a good heart. After talking with many different "locals" I got a pretty good picture of a man who liked the out doors and thought scouting was a good way of preparing boys to be good adults...and he also liked to hike the legs off of scouts who didn't listen well... To a man, everyone I spoke with respected this old leader and loved him...I wished I had been around to know him...No one thought he was creepy or strange...just a good neighbor. Eventually, we were given a box of old scouting records that had been left in the old scouters brothers house...not good for much... but fun to go through and learn appreciate a long lasting program. It was only several years after he had passed the reins to others and a new CO was "found" that the program started to slip...and the charter lapsed for a few months...but eventually the troop found its way and grew strong again. Now many of our more active dads stick with the troop for a couple of years (some more) after their sons Eagle or age out. It is sort of a way to be sure we pass on the program to other capable hands before steping into the shadows... Fear and unfounded suspicion are terrible barriers to many areas of growth and knowledge. anarchist
  6. cheffy, ouch why the hostility? These folks might not have given you what you wanted (we rarely do) but they tried to help you solve your scout's issue. First, legal route is a lost cause...do you really want to try to enforce an unwritten (no signatures) contract? lesson to Eagle should be "when given a lemon...try to make lemonaid" ...not stomp the lemon to mush. I am not a lawyer no do I play one on TV but I do engage them frequently, in my line of work, and even when I win...I really do not win...just spend more money than it was truly worth. Depending on the fire regulations in your neck of the woods a fire screen might only be needed during "fire ban conditions" ... that said, here in Virginia, some times a quarter inch screen opening is good, some times it is not...In many Virginia jurisdictions you can use a screen on an above ground burn barrel but not on a ground fire (go figure) and sometimes any burning whatever (even charcoal) is prohibited...so someone needs to really check the fire codes. Would hate for the pain of finding a spark screen to prove to be for naught. now, practically speaking if you zero in on the screen opening size... once you have that, the rest is just busy work. your Eagle (not you) will need to track down the screen material...(local steel or welding supply shop or internet), while doing this he could call around to local high schools who have old fashioned shop classes or perhaps a trade school with welding classes. Or perhaps an auto body shop, steel stair and railing installer, Heck he could even rent an electric welder and do it himself ( it is not rocket science and it is kinda fun...I weld on my old farm gear and it ain' "purdy" but it works and I haven had a shop class in 40 years. Just be cause the pit is round..the screen does not have to be- the screen could be square and free standing...even though I am not a designer, I could draw up 3 or 4 variations using some angle iron to make a box frame, spot weld screen sections on to it, heck even add a couple of pin hinges and a handle so you could open a section to feed the fire... this is what the project is about...planning, executing and solving problems that crop up..not learning the ropes of small claims court. take a deep breath, relax then point your scout and his eagle adviser in a different direction. life is short, don't waste it with turkeys! anarchist
  7. Dustincoc, Any troop should have a good inventory system and update it regularly. It is not rocket science. Anyone with a couple of folders and a few sheets of paper can do it- a laptop spread sheet is even nicer. "tonight" is not the way to do it if you have any sizable set of gear. This should be a whole troop endeaver. A call should go out to troop leaders and all scout families to search home, basement, sheds and garages for "misplaced" troop gear and bring it to the "Inventory day". It is a Good Saturday project. The boys pull out everything....everything and set up tents kitchens, stoves lanterns, tarps, left handed smoke shifters, bacon stretchers, and all the shore line you can find in the "shed"...have a couple even broom out the bus/shed so stuff goes back into a "clean home". Adults and older scouts check out the lanterns and stoves younger scouts inventory pots, pans, kitchen gear, shore line, etc. Tents are set up by other groups of scouts, as are tarps and then the leaders (you?) evaluate their contition and assess whatever parts/repairs are needed from what you see. This should be done in broad daylight so you have plenty of time to inspect even do some quick "servicings" (stoves & lanterns) to see if you can get 'em "up and running". the troop QM, SPL and PLs should be working close with the adults to plan future needs against by what you have to start with...each small group should turn in to the QM a list of what they have inventoried, what is missing or damaged and age if known and general condition of each item. (we have all the kitchens, stoves and pot and pans washed down at that time.) when entered into a data spred sheet your QM then has a way of evaluating needs and inserting new gear as the troop acquires it. You also have a good tool for future planning you can "look back" and see that you purchased a stove or lantern or "whatever" in 2000 and by joe it is still going strong or perhaps it is about due for replacement. Once you have the troop inventory "on record" you can assign gear to patrols and track it down or at your next inventory you can say "hey timberwolves" you had a complete set of cookware in September...now in June you are missing a frying pan and 4 quart pot...go find them!" this system has worked well for our QMs...we generally hold a trailer "cleaning" twice a year and the new QM gets a cd or disc from the old QM with a solid inventory as well as a good idea as to what gear is where... it works... good luck Anarchist
  8. Wingnut, Developed camp grounds that are "pay to stay" do generally stipulate adults be present...however, millions of acres of national parks, wildlife management areas, state parks and private lands have no such restrictions. 'course bathrooms, outhouses and running water are also not usually available so the boys will have to know what they are doing. Much of this type of camping is "hike in" rather than "drive in" camping. Private ground is usually available if you look around enough and are willing to ask...and then be ready to leave nothing but foot prints. Issac Walton chapters may also be able to help. Many national forests and trail have primative camping with nothing more than self registration/check in/check out forms... last but not least a few cups of coffee with the local agriculture agent for your county might result in some leads for private sites as could the local farm co-op or FFA chapter at a local school.
  9. cookiemonster, forgive the long post. congrats on a swell sounding young man... over a rootbeer with the SM (your son should buy) have him chat about what the troop goals are, in what he perceives as discouragement of middle aged scouts attaining eagle. perhaps he will get some troop insite and perhaps he will also get a so called "green light". Personally speaking, I would rather keep a boy active and in scouting until he ages out (without an eagle), than have him push for eagle and leave at 15 or 16... More to the point, we tell most of our boys that they should be "outdoor competent", self confident and ready to take the lead on any trek at any time in order to be ready for eagle...and no we are not adding to the requirements...we are simply asking the boys to rise to a challenge, to a level of growth and maturity before looking at the SM and saying "I'm ready." ( I am famous for asking eagle candidates if they would like to spend a week in the woods following the lead of an exact copy of themselves?!) sorta like asking a scout if he thinks he deserves a rank during a BoR...we challenge our boys to develop skill, leadership and a sense of maturity before the final step. The number of times I have had our young scouts (first class and star) who have come to me after staffing a camp or cub scout/webelos event or day camp and brag that they handled "stuff" (skills) that Eagle scouts "in charge" could not is truly amazing (and sad). Our current SM tells me (frequently) how his son (when a young scout)repeatedly reported back to him after helping with council events,(his mom is a district type-very involved) that he had pulled some "clueless" eagle scout's butt out of a problem situation that the eagle did not have the outdoor skills to accomplish. His son still appreciates the skill training he was "forced" to learn and use... Perhaps it is time for your son to slow down, just a bit, to smell the roses and work towards undermining the leaderships "crap" by making himself indispensable...doing more than his "share" at campouts and troop gatherings, taking on special projects, helping plan and execute treks. I recall watching a good kid with some significant learning/behavior disabliities- simply bowl over our leadership by always finding something helpful to do and pitching in! He went from "that kid they all wanted to use as a canoe anchor" to "gosh "joey" has really grown up this year!" Sometimes honey does work better than vinegar... And, perhaps I am misreading here, but you seem a bit too "close" to the situation for your lads own good...back off a bit...(please, no offense meant), take a long deep breath and look for a leader in the troop to mentor and advocate for your son...sometimes as parents we just take things the wrong way. Sometimes we don't "hear what is being communicated". We miss things. In our troop most of the successful scouts are not advocated for or mentored by their own parents...we know first hand that our kids, generally speaking, seem to take advise and help better and easier from another adult than from "mom or dad". I have "adopted" numerous SM's and ASMs kids and many with no show parents...and my boys were helped by other dads...so I know it can work. good luck and remember scouting is a game with a purpose...IT should be fun! If we take the fun out of it...it becomes work...and your son has years of that ahead... anarchist
  10. long live white gas...off with the heads of well meaning, but sadly misinformed urban myth spreaders (like manure spreaders...but not a nice smelling)...get a new ASM! send the one you have back to district with a note to train the person before dumping him on a troop again... anarchist
  11. hi all, just a (sorta) bomb throwing question here... If LDS troops do not follow the BSA program to the letter...why should this troop? I go back to a question I asked these forums years ago...If a troop is successful, and if the families are supporting the troop and it has a long string of successes...what is wrong with a tougher than usual program? Maybe that's what the CO wants! afterall the BSA says the CO can taylor the program and the LDS certainly does... When most of us look in the mirror we understand that BSA has watered down the program trying to be everything to everyone...(lowest common denominator theory), so if these boys and their families want a "tougher" program...what's the harm? Let the the weaker weekend warriors (and families) find a pablem and bottle fed webelos III troop and be done with it... Those who want to eat lotus blossom can... and those who want to take pride in more difficult tasks can have a place also...no one has ever forced a boy/family to join a troop (I hope). 'course, I already know the responses.... let the howling begin... Anarchist
  12. shortridge these are no cook meals our treking scouts really love: summer sausage and/or pepperoni and/or hard salami and/ hard cheeses crackers/or pitas/soft tortillas, thin sliced onion small packs of mustard... virtually no clean up...(a knife, cutting board, some small plastic packages, and cracker boxes) or dried fruit, (LOTS OF DRIED FRUIT! apples, rasins, pinapple, mangos, appricots, cranberries, prunes you name it!) hard cheese, nuts, crackers pitas, chicken (pouches- just like tuna) onion, diced small pouches of Mayo small pouches of relish mix on the trail when needed... only makes a little trash- a knife and spoon and large zip lock are your clean-up! (condiment packs can be purchased by the box at Costco type stores or restaurant supply companies) or hint; fold up several small sheets of paper towels for clean up and store with the "makings"... in the large zip lock. For fall and winter -a small vacume bottle (Thermos)filled with boiling water (at breakfast time) and "loaded" with ramen noodles makes a great trail meal! get even- eat well! Anarchist (This message has been edited by anarchist)
  13. just a question in passing... Have the CO's started hanging board members heads on pikes yet? Just interested in seeing if the folks who wasted all this time and effort will pay for their malfiesance? anarchist
  14. Jtanner, Fly recommendations - depends on what you consider "light weight" and how you are going to use them. for car camping our troop uses a really cheap ($12.98) roughly ten by ten poly fly we get at K-mart (other big box store have them also) the poles and "ropes" are garbage and we discard and make poles (five) out of 2X2s with threaded studs epoxied into the ends. We love these things 'cause if one "accidently" comes down on a hot lantern...we can duct tape the damage (hole) a couple of times then simply replace the fly with out major damage to the troop budget. For hiking and canoeing we have discovered that Sportsmans Guide (a mail order/on line operation) sells a pretty nice, very light weight (aprox.) 12x12 nylon fly for about $28.00. We make our own set of lines (the ones shipped with the tarp are garbage) and these tarps seem to work very well...however they will "vaporize" (like most nylon) if they "drift" down on a hot lantern. I personally have a really nice 16x16 tarp/fly that weighs under five pounds from kelty but if memory serves it set me back $80-90 a couple of years ago and there are real ultra lights for 2 and 3 times that amount! cook set depends on the number of people in the patrol...the old BSA sets are great for full 6- 8 person patrols...and some of the cook set items can be found in various scout shops as "open Items"- but hurry BSA is down sizing the patrol gear...you might find a couple of the large pots and then want to buy a smaller cook set...but you need a four quart pot (or larger) for patrol sized pasta. we rarely use the plates and cups...they are the "company china" used for guests (SM, parents, district folks having a look see etc.) The troop has a bunch of dutch ovens and some iron fry pans for certain meals. Most of our boys have learned the modern mess kits are a waste and bring only half of the kit (and a spoon or fork) leaving the top half and "pot" at home...same for the plastic cup (more garbage) many of our boys are using big metal mugs, serria cups, or WWII canteen cups (good canoe bailers also). The current aluminum mess kit can serve as plate/bowls for two boys (thrifty). Cooking in thin aluminium is tough for scouts so if they are going to cook in the things "push" for stainless steel. let us know what direction you take. anarchist
  15. This is why we have our own boats... hey OGE...$1,000 is peanuts for a good modern canoe...many of my friends plunk down $1,800-$2,400 for fancy touring canoes or solo semi-ultra lights. $1,000 is a "so so" royalex 16/17 ft boat in todays market. and almost no boat likes to be wrapped around a rock with a couple of tons of water pressure doing the wrapping! and as was said above ...don't borrow what you can't replace...don't lend what you can't afford to lose! Troop owes nothing...They didn't borrow the boat, and the CO certainly did not borrow the boat. It seems to be a $500 per man lesson in canoe handling, caution and risk taking.... Even when you rent boats, you are on the hook for anything more than "normal wear and tear" some liveries do offer insurance and I have heard that you can probably find someone to write a theft or accident policy or a rider (schedule) to your homeowner policy for personal gear but probably not for troop equipment...but most likely it would be ridiculously expensive, but in this case I can't see any other way...than paying the good friend....
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