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Everything posted by HICO_Eagle

  1. Everyone is piling on Schattenmann, possibly in a knee jerk reaction to defend this other SM, so let me take the other perspective. From what I see on the periphery, we have an SM who is taking advantage of a lack of leadership or involvement on the part of the troop committee to set his own sons up for SPL and Eagle by voiding the election process and mandating a dynastic succession for the next year plus. That is not healthy for the troop. resqman and John-in-KC are absolutely right in that it's the CO's responsibility to hire or fire the SM. The CO will usually take the committee's
  2. I would leave the "too cold" judgment up to the parent but I'd precede that with an explanation of what preparations are being or should be taken and why. Show the Scouts (and the parents) why various pieces of equipment or preparations ready them for the weather -- and to what degree. I think the coldest I've ever done in tents is -5 F and it WAS kind of miserable for many of the troop even though we'd prepared pretty well. The ground we were on was acting like some ungodly heat sink so I could feel the heat getting sucked out the soles of my feet even with thinsulated boots and double lay
  3. I'm sorry, I think solar ovens are cool but they're hardly new -- and they won a prize over truly innovative stuff? Sounds like the anthropogenic-global-warming hysteria is at work again -- just mention "greenhouse" and "Kyoto" and win a prize!
  4. I haven't seen a snipe hunt since my troop tried it on me when I was a New Scout. Problem for them was that I knew it was a ridiculous prank and didn't fall for it. On the other hand, we DID send a new scout out looking for the left-handed smoke shifter at my second summer camp. I think the third or fourth troop he encountered offered to trade for the bacon stretcher across camp. He came back empty-handed after an hour and a half or thereabouts. I think he visited every troop in camp and even some staff but he took it in good humor. Personally, I think it was a rite of passage th
  5. I'm not sure what the "perfect example of the current philosophy that is more concerned about recordkeeping than actually doing the program." I was referencing how your response seemed to prioritize the recordkeeping as the "bigger problem" whereas I viewed the bigger problem being the mandates themselves. If the training is encouraged rather than mandated, the recordkeeping becomes nice to have rather than the huge problem it is. If adults can't find the time then maybe they aren't the adults we need in the program. Perhaps my perspective is skewed since I have dealt primaril
  6. Mine, and all the other adult leaders and pretty much every scoout in my unit feels he is not a good scout as he is not there, he shows no leadership, no responsibility, he makes some commitments and then blows them off. To pass this kid along to eagle would be an insult to every kid who actually did the worka and EARNED IT. The rank is the highest one scouting offers and to cheapen it and give it to kids who really do not desrve it waters down it's value and cheapens the BSA. highcountry, in this case you're covered. The Scoutmaster Conference prior to him seeing a board of review requi
  7. Wow, a LOT of discussion on this. I wouldn't go with an arbitrary attendance percentage threshold. Heck, even when I was Scoutmaster I missed a large number of meetings when work had me traveling. I think the key is whether or not the Scout is filling his leadership position. If he is, he's active even if he has to do it all outside meetings or activities -- for instance, meetings could conflict with athletic team practice, activities could conflict with varsity games but he could be filling his responsibilities as Instructor by meeting with Scouts privately to help them advance. If h
  8. Wow, I missed the bit about the ban on simulated weapons, guess I should be checking G2SS more regularly but I really wish National would put these things out for discussion before issuing their edicts. Irving seems to be emulating the nonsense out of DC more and more every year.
  9. My current unit is chartered by the UMC but they are largely uninvolved with the unit. Our finances are completely separate except for the short period many many years ago when we had a troop vehicle that was getting insured through the church.
  10. I used to keep 2 short sleeve shirts, one pair of shorts and one pair of pants plus 2 different leather belts and 3-4 neckerchiefs. I got the second short sleeve shirt so I could stay well-groomed through a week-long summer camp. For a while, I was splitting time between troops in two different states so I transitioned to using beige Velcro to mount my council strip, troop number, position patch and lodge flap. This had the added benefit of letting me swap patches between uniform shirts and remove the patches before putting the shirts in the laundry (I find they do much better when hand
  11. ""Training should be mandatory! " Of course it should. It's the best way to provide the proper program." I'm sorry, I don't believe that. Adults and Scouts should be encouraged to get training where they are deficient but I would rather have an involved adult who lacks formal training than have adults (or Scouts) pull back and not get involved because they "don't have the training" and don't have the right timing to get that training. One of the biggest problems I see right now is this management philosophy that places such a huge value on documented training instead of looking at
  12. Wow, this just adds to my frustration with National. I realize the lawyers are just trying to help preserve the program by avoiding lawsuits that could cripple or shut it down nationally (and I realize there are groups out there that would just love any pretext to do so). On the other hand, this is just more evidence that our society has lost its strength and stamina. Just 100 years ago, the age when Scouting started, boys the age of our Scouts were frequently men of their house, earning (or supplementing) their families' keep. We had plenty of unsupervised or relatively unsupervised o
  13. Kittle -- I'll add my perspective as a childless 20+ year Scouter. There shouldn't even be a question in this matter -- go to resource camp with your son. Presumably we are in this activity for the boys, not our own egos. Yes, you may learn some things at Woodbadge that will make you a better scouter but more importantly, the boys in your troop (and your own son!) need you at resource camp. There will be other opportunities to do Woodbadge when your son is more independent, doing his own things -- there won't be nearly as many more opportunities where he ASKS you to participate in som
  14. This kind of garbage is why I find the training mandated by National to be rather worthless. They keep trying to sell official training as improving the program but I find much of it to be worthless to me (or worse than worthless when they spew stuff that's flat out wrong as you cited). Any training -- mandatory OR recommended -- should offer some kind of benefit to the trainee. That benefit can be personal (education or growth) or administrative (improve understanding of how the council or national operate, reduce chances of lawsuits, etc.) but there should be a benefit. Handing out w
  15. My current unit has an excellent relationship with its unit commissioner but I've always been a little unclear on the benefit to the unit. In times and units past, I never ever saw a unit commissioner, this guy shows up 4-6 times a year (sometimes more) but I'm not really sure what he DOES. Having those materials online is a huge help so I can look and figure out what he's supposed to do and try to use him most effectively.
  16. So how do we express this displeasure to National? I can't find any way to provide feedback to National on scouting.org -- they seem to want all contact to go through the Council but there's no way to see that Council is passing on comments or critiques.
  17. Thanks for the list Kudu. I won't say I agree with all 86 reasons (I don't) but I sure empathize with a ton of them! I am in Scouting as an adult to payback what I got out of it as a boy but I have to say the changes I'm seeing out of National or even my local Council drive me nuts. I want to think they are making these changes with the best of intentions but I really don't like a lot of them. The Eleventh Edition of the Scout Handbook is so bad I'm thinking about running to the thrift stores to find copies of the Tenth Edition or earlier and buying them up to hand out. So many ridiculous
  18. I can see some people misunderstood what I was trying to say. I'm not against training, far from it, many of the adult leaders I see today don't have any background in Scouting and need some. However, what I AM against are mandates that are redundant or can be and frequently ARE counterproductive (IMHO) by driving away adults who would otherwise help with the program. Yes, I know that I'm technically grandfathered for NLE (or TIS) and SM Specifics because I had SMF but there's nothing definite about that listed online -- and honestly, however they want to repackage the training, there h
  19. This sort of relates to a posting I just made in the training forum but in my opinion, we are hurting for willing volunteers. I would much rather try to fix a leader's shortcomings or make up for them in other ways than drive off someone who is willing to put the effort out. How many smaller units that have generated countless Eagles (or better yet, MEN who became productive members of society later in life) would have folded if they had held out for fully trained leaders with the background and time to commit in this vision of a perfect leader? I know I for one would never have gotten
  20. I took my council's Trainers Development Course recently and was both pleasantly and unpleasantly surprised by some of the changes in training. First, I'm very happy with how National has implemented some of the courses as computer based training that can easily be done at your own convenience. Second, some of the new courses look very good. I can think of several of our committee members who will feel much more comfortable with things like the Board of Review training. On to the gripes (of course there are gripes ...) 1. I was apparently overseas and therefore not involved in Sc
  21. Thanks for the information. I was unaware of that change. I will still render the Scout salute when I am on a Scouting activity but will now use a proper salute instead of hand over heart on non-Scouting occasions.
  22. I have two different class A shirts. The one that I bought for my Eagle Court of Honor (and still wear today) has a lot of my older activity patches going back to my Cub Scout days. Back then we had a circular activity patch with arc strips for various summer camp sessions, camporees, etc. and it can be a conversation piece. It also has an older multi-colored ASM badge. The second class A shirt is more "modern"; I use temporary patches in hangers on that one when I want to show one off.
  23. Deleted duplicate entry(This message has been edited by HICO_Eagle)
  24. I actually don't have a problem with electronics on Scout activities including camping or even hiking as long as the Scout exercises judgment and courtesy. What I have problems with are 1) BSA uniforms made in a Communist country 2) Unnecessarily expensive changes when some of my boys have been and are having to live frugally 3) Visine changes to the uniform (getting the Red out) 4) Possible misrepresentations in Scouting magazine Let me explain the last point first. The article I read in Scouting said these changes to the uniform, including changing the colors of numerals, b
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