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About Horizon

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    Senior Member

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    Southern California
  1. Horizon

    Unpleasant Youth Leader

    Did she have a bad experience with BSA (or GSA) bureaucracy before? I saw this happen - my son was the Crew President and he and the advisor did NOT get along. The Advisor was going down one path, he and the Crew were going down another. Result: The Crew dissolved as an official organism, and instead became a group of boys who did all of the things a crew could and should do. They raised money, went on adventures, scheduled and booked their own trips, etc. To a youth, the payoff of bureaucracy is hard to see, and in some cases might be non-existent. So you COULD be up against that. Teach her the WHY of the safety / forms / etc. that are required.
  2. Horizon

    Patrols 300ft, Marijuana 500ft?

    Robberies are a problem due to Federal laws preventing the dispensaries from using traditional banking or credit card services. The Feds will shut down the account and seize the assets, so they all work on a cash basis. That much cash = great target for a robbery.
  3. Thought I would share this. I liked the father's experiment and patience (something I could work on myself I admit). http://www.backpacker.com/trips/price-of-adventure-follow-a-5th-grader/
  4. Horizon

    Best "Near High Adventure" places?

    Planning an HA trip on your own (how I did the first one). I looked at my calendar, and found an open 7-10 days (including weekends). I then filed for a wilderness permit for Yosemite - high country area. Once I got the permit (good for 12 I think) - I told the boys it was open to join. They could use Troop tents, the troop stoves, and they had to build out their own 3 man cooking teams. I had an 18 year old as my #2, leaving 6 more seats in my truck. We strapped the bags to the roof and took off. Cost was gas and the permit, and they bought their own food. If you have TWO groups - double in size, park at two different ends of the trail, and swap car keys in the middle at an agreed upon camp site on the trail. So - you "just" need to find a good trail!
  5. Here is our local schedule: July 13 - First day for Year-Round Students Fall Recess Sept 19, 2016-Oct 7, 2016 Winter Recess Dec 19, 2016 - Jan 6, 2017 Spring Recess March 20, 2017 - April 7, 2017 Last day for ALL students: June 9th Impact: Summer Camp scheduling, if it is to include the entire troop together, has to be between June 9th and July 13th if the year-round kids are to attend. Note that for us, year-round is only through 8th grade / Middle School. We have done Summer Camp "early" to allow the Troop to go together, though the number of year-round kids shifts over time. I would love to see our year-round kids take better advantage of their long breaks, but that only happens if there is a parent ASM whose child is in the program.
  6. Horizon

    BSA requirements are out of hand

    They are around - but they might not want to fill out the paperwork to be a registered leader and on a Council list. There are a few I know that are happy to help out a few Scouts at a time, but they don't want their phone or email regularly buzzing.
  7. Horizon

    Eagle board of review?

    I love this as well - would make a great memory - would need to get the District folks involved for us though. I have done about half of my Eagle SMCs on campouts or the trail. When I was a Scout they did a mass Eagle BOR night. Must have been 10+ people in the room when I came in and they started asking their questions after I had delivered the Oath, Law, etc.
  8. Horizon

    Eagle board of review?

    We prep because we don't control who the Council sends. If I could honestly state that an Eagle BOR was just the next step up from the Life BOR, then I would not see the need to prep. Due to experience, however, there are situations in the Eagle BOR that do not come up in our Troop BOR. I would rather spend my time prepping a boy for a potential ambush, then fight the politics at the Council level.
  9. Troop tradition is rotation. Adults pull the list of what is available and the cost, boys vote on where to go.
  10. Horizon

    The adolescent brain

    I thought that this TedX talk was great. While focused on children in the criminal justice system, there are some excellent points in regards to the maturity vs intelligence curves of the youth that we lead:
  11. Horizon

    Eagle board of review?

    We do the practice - but it is treated as a practice. We do a uniform inspection, and check to see if all MBs are on the sash (that one popped up too). We go through the paperwork one last time, and make sure the candidate has everything in their binder (another Council thing). Everything we cover is based on things that have happened to candidates in the past. We also make sure that if the Scout is NOT from a Christian church, that they are comfortable with answering / responding to some of the inappropriate questions that have come in the past as well. So it is truly a prep session, not a Troop EBOR. Some of you say you would never prep an older Scouter - I do that all the time for friends interviewing at new companies. Every firm is different in what they want or expect, and just because you sailed through a meeting with IBM does not mean you are ready for Google, and Apple is a whole different game depending on the level of the position. So, yeah, I consider it my job as a leader to help young boys become men - and that includes role-playing out different types of interview situations.
  12. Horizon

    Insight into Public Perception of BSA

    A local paper started requiring a Facebook profile to log in and comment - in other words, no more anonymous trolling. It cut down the commentary significantly.
  13. Horizon

    Last Minute Driver Cancellations

    Once upon a time each patrol owned their own transport. We have gone away from that, but sometimes I wish we would return.
  14. Horizon

    What if the Boy Scouts went coed?

    We have a new crew starting up, based on the little sister of one of our Scouts turning 14. The girls will transition in from a local Girl Scout unit (they might double register), boys from our Troop plus a couple I assume. I think as more successful Crews go coed, we might see more interest. Oh - @HopefullyEagleSoon - I met my outdoorsy wife in college. She has her GSA Gold, I have my Eagle, and we compare notes regularly.
  15. Here is what I care about from the forms as a leader: Allergies (food, bees, etc.). I know the two kids who pack epie pens (one for peanuts, one for bees). Knowing those risks is important. Vaccinations. Mainly around Tetanus, but other vaccinations as well in case someone is sick. We luckily don't have any anti-vaxxers in our Troop right now. Permission for meds - what can I give your kid. Doctor approval for high adventure. More for the adults than the kids (I had one overweight Scout, but his parents were active in ensuring that he did not overstretch). It can be tough for some parents to get through these depending on their insurance, income and community. Also there is a perspective of value as well from the parents. We have a large Troop, so all forms are in two large binders that travel in the Leader's truck on the way to the campout. It sits there in case of an emergency, but we have been fortunate to not have to pull it out. Thinking further, this is a teaching moment for parents on Be Prepared. We make our kids carry a poncho, even though it doesn't rain in Southern California - because it can happen. We do an Earthquake prep day even though we haven't had a real one since Northridge in '92.