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Everything posted by HICO_Eagle

  1. Eamonn, there's hope for all of us. Christmas season always started for me with my father's reel-to-reel tapes first thing in the morning every morning and the first song up was Andy Williams singing "Happy Holidays" so it never felt like Christmas until I heard him singing. Maybe that's why Christmas seemed so lackluster this year -- no music in the house! I liked John Denver and the Muppets but that was just one Christmas special, Andy did new ones every year. I like the Nook Tablet and the Nook Simple Touch. Having them is SO much better than carrying the 2 or 3 paperback
  2. Irsap -- I've been away from the forums for a while but I'm sorry you feel you have to defend yourself and other adult leaders who were never Scouts. As you say, NS leaders are in demand because we don't have enough involved leaders period. I think nearly all (if not all) of us recognize someone doesn't have to have gone through Scouting as a youth to be a good Scout leader. Both of my scoutmasters growing up were non-scout leaders assisted by a couple of recently graduated ASMs. Had the SMs not given what they could of their time and organizational skill, the ASMs could not have
  3. I'm not a fan of JTE -- as was said, I don't like "grading" units. However, I think a lot of you are taking this the wrong way. The point of JTE as I understood it was partly recognition of those units who have a superior program but also to help the District and Council identify which units may be having a tough time and target them for fixes or improvement before the units approach collapse. A unit which is performing on all cylinders is obviously not going to learn much (if anything) from this. Congratulations, you don't need help, you know it all. The 10-20% that get Bronze -- or
  4. IMO, the lawyers and the professional "educators" are the ones taking the fun out of Scouting. Can't do this or that unless you have permission slips, tour permits, abide by G2SS and have everyone "trained". I detest a lot of the policies instituted by National in the past decade but I realize tort lawyers have driven most of them. In the end, I just convince myself that it's all for the boys and grin and bear it.
  5. For simple active use, I like the canvas convertibles, especially since they're not made in the PRC. I took a pair with me to Argentina and Antarctica because I wanted the utility pockets. For ceremonial use, I prefer the ODLs or the olive-drabs of the 60s-70s. I liked the style and ease of storage of the flight caps. Yes, they don't give much sun protection but I grew up in a warm sunny climate where we generally didn't wear headgear anyway so didn't notice the lack of shade from the flight caps. Can't stand the Centennial uniform and won't be buying one unless I pork out and can
  6. I know this situation is OBE at this point but I side with those who say don't sign. I have seen scouts literally decide to NOT finish out as Eagles because they'd seen guys like this get passed through the ranks to the point that the Eagle rank no longer meant anything to them. Letting someone like that through just cheapens the rank for the rest of us.
  7. I just took the new ARC course Wed night and you DO care about AED training because it's a part of the new curriculum. It's not hard -- just be aware of what type of machine you have and listen to its instructions -- but it is now part of the four-step critical process.
  8. Is your troop having to pay the $80 to the church to have them conduct the fingerprinting or is that the estimate cost just to have it done? When I was in FL (about 8-10 years ago), you could get the fingerprinting done at the local sheriff's office or police station for about $10.
  9. I don't think EDGE is poppycock, I just don't think it's some magic formula or really anything new. Like so many fads before it, it does have some elements of truth and the mnemonic is a decent way to remember steps of instruction if you need the memory jogger. The concepts of giving someone the context of why they're learning something (Explain), showing them how to do it (Demonstrate), taking them through the process of doing it themselves (Guide) and then freeing them to do it themselves (Enable) is a pretty solid teaching method that goes beyond motor skills. The methodology worked
  10. I don't mind the existence of a Guide to Safe Scouting -- in fact, I like it. Waht I don't like is that it has evolved to be so risk-averse as to be limiting. I am really torqued by the elimination of adult-less patrol outings. Some of the best campouts and hikes I took as a Scout were Just Scouts.
  11. Honestly? It wouldn't even have occurred to me that an OA team would show up in less than complete uniform -- and our troop uses the "waist up" policy for most cases. We have a uniform bank and I have personally purchased two sets of pants for the bank when we needed FULL uniform for a very public flag ceremony. The lodge in question may have different standards and I'm certainly not going to argue if they have a cogent reasonable explanation of why they would send a team in less than complete uniform -- but they should have a cogent reasonable explanation. I have some Scouts in my tro
  12. I've always seen them called hurricane lanterns. I thought smudge pots were small pots (almost like canned heat) that created a small flame and a lot of smoke.
  13. Don't get me wrong -- I have nothing against professional scouters. We need them and we have a great bunch of them in my council. Having said that, being "professionals" doesn't necessarily make them more qualified on Scouting training. It's not like being a doctor or a pilot or a dentist and quite a lot of management "education" is faddism (anyone remember TQM/TQL? or Demings? or Seven Habits?).
  14. The analogies aren't apt due to both depth (10 years of rigorous academic and practical work) of study and relevance of the material. If you want to do surgery then of course you need to study biology, physiology, technique, etc. After 20+ years of academic training and practical experience, I'm not convinced you can say the same of the kind of management education that is being pushed. "BSA has a training program developed by professional scouters" ... and your point is? What makes the training program developed by the professional scouters worth anything much less better than th
  15. I think the most I would do at this stage is the suggestion to record the results (not the proceedings) of the Scout's BOR. I'm not even sure I would put in the bit about Council considering removing him for life -- the fact he failed a BOR should give the new troop pause for consideration without prejudicing his future in the troop. Remember that most other Scouters should (will?) be looking at the "new" boy with an eye toward the safety of the other boys in the troop as well. We need to balance the Scout's need for a fair shake and ability to change with the duty to the other Scouts to pr
  16. Ridiculous. Does anyone in Irving actually think or get unit-level feedback before issuing these changes?
  17. I was going to say get a new patch and send me your old beaten-up one
  18. I have the Barnes & Noble Nook Color myself. It's great to have an entire reference library (G2SS, camp leader's guide, merit badge info, etc.) at hand and the whole thing slips into my thigh pocket. I like the Nook because it reads both PDF and EPUB and the color version means I can open up color pictures as visual aids. I'd love to get Boy's Life and Scouting magazines in PDF or EPUB format and save a few trees ...
  19. I have a big issue with the general comments about being no reason to not take a well-prepared troop winter camping. I hope smug comments like that boosted your epeen but the reality is that we have a wide variety of troops and the experience level within the troop can vary over time. A good SM knows his or her boys and their capabilities. There is a big difference between taking them into general winter camping with snow shelters and such versus a full out winter storm with high winds or icy rain. I think Engineer61 got it right -- the SM deserves kudos for realizing the Scouts' abili
  20. "If you are goig the embroidered route, red on tan IMHO" I agree completely but shouldn't that be green on tan for the new Visine uniform?
  21. I still think the new new new form stinks. The Talent Release doesn't belong on Side B and I dispute the use of BMI tables that were drafted as a guideline to healthy living rather than as any kind of guideline for outdoor activity. I prefer the old approach where the physician certifies the individual is cleared for specific types of activities -- or indicates which ones s/he won't certify.
  22. "So, you have no interest in learning about troop meetings, PLC meetings, patrol meetings, team formation, team development, team leadership, communication, diversity, project planning, chaplain aides, Leave No Trace, problem solving, managing conflict, coaching and mentoring, self-assessment and overall Scouting vision and enthusiasm nor see much use for above?" I have already learned plenty about troop meetings, PLC meetings, patrol meetings, team leadership, etc. in the past 30+ years. There's always more to learn but I don't believe the "Everybody Wins" game is going to provide much
  23. I think 5 to a tall can is about right. Side story: I challenged the boys in our troop to pass a uniform inspection at summer camp (we were having issues getting complete uniforms). The Polish exchange Scout on staff who conducted the inspection gave them a pass so I took it like a Scout -- we scheduled the pie toss for flag ceremony on the last morning of camp and I wore my spare set of class As for the toss. Well, the camp didn't have whipped cream so they substituted a huge can of chocolate pudding. A few observations: 1) The increased weight of the pudding made it much easie
  24. "Our knowledge of leadership, what works, how it works is always being worked on. B-P never knew about concepts like situational leadership, tead development, servant leadership, etc. Its nothing about the old being 'bad', but that we have learned so much about what works & doesn't work." I think Green Bar Bill and B-P both knew about situational leadership and the like, they just didn't bother creating fancy terms for it. I have been singularly unimpressed by most "leadership training" I've taken in the military or Boy Scouts -- much of it seems to have been put together by academic
  25. I think the BEST hot chocolate is homemade with real milk and cocoa powder but as far as instant mixes go, I like either Ghiradelli or Land o' Lakes. Can't use it on Scout outings but a little Bailey's or Kahlua help make the hot chocolate so smoooooth.
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