Jump to content


  • Content Count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by hot_foot_eagle

  1. hot_foot_eagle

    The campaign hat

    Does anyone know the secret to campaign hat sizing? I was recently given a campaign hat (official) as a gift, but it was too large despite being the correct size according to scoutstuff size charts and also being my usual hat size. I exchanged for the next size smaller and it's snug fore and aft and large laterally. If I sweat and the hat stretches any it'll be on my ears. I would assume correct wear is about 1" above the brow and brim level to the ground. Is it just my odd-shaped head?
  2. hot_foot_eagle

    Depression era scouting?

    A question for those more familiar with scouting history: What did the BSA do to survive the Depression? Did they alter their mission or program? How were membership numbers affected? Are there any lessons to be learned for today's rough economic times?
  3. hot_foot_eagle

    "Stages of Team Development"

    "All" does wind up being a pretty big word. I, for one, have been involved in at least two groups that skipped the storming phase entirely. In both cases there was an external threat that bonded the groups. I'm not versed in Tuckman and Blanchard, but the BSA position still seems a useful model for discussing group dynamics in general terms.
  4. I had a bit of an epiphany the other day when my oldest son came home from his church youth group with an invitation to go whitewater rafting. He's very excited about the opportunity to try it out. Since he's only 12, he has to wait another two years for that type of adventure at scout camp. He also had a great time at church camp this summer. Among other activities, he had a chance to do some rock climbing and the high ropes course (COPE). He'll have to wait another two years to do that at scout camp, too. Do you see the trend? The BSA has become so paralyzed by risk management that we're being out-scouted by non-scouting organizations. We need to be challenging our boys and giving them adventure at an early age and we seem to be failing by design.
  5. hot_foot_eagle

    BSA adventure risk paralysis?

    To some extent shortridge's observations are correct; scout camps try to restrict adventure so boys will keep coming back. Our older boys did a week-long high adventure trip this summer made it quite clear that they are done with scout camp. On the other hand, I see a non-scouting group that I might expect to spend much of their time learning about life and religion indoors instead doing all sorts of outdoor activities without being overwhelmed by policy. (Look Ma! No Tour Permit!) We sell our children short when we get too concerned about age appropriateness of activities. Think of the responsibilities very young boys had while Americans were still hacking their way through the frontier trying to make a new life. Boys are bigger, healthier, and better educated today than ever. I wouldn't send a canoe full of unfit and inexperienced 11 years old down a whitewater river, but le Voyageur's portage is a great example of what I'm talking about. His portage should be an opportunity for leadership, teamwork, and personal challenge, not a reason to restrict youth from adventure.
  6. hot_foot_eagle

    Tree identification

    Another option is tree sort cards. I got a set from Forestry Suppliers. The cards have holes punched in them for various tree and leaf characteristics. Take the deck and identify one feature, e.g.: simple vs. compound leaf. Poke a wire through the appropriate hole and shake the deck and the cards are sorted into two stacks - one of simple-leafed trees, one of compound-leafed. Repeat with another characteristic until you've eliminated all but one and that's your tree. In addition to being accurate, it's a fun learning tool for boys to use.
  7. hot_foot_eagle

    How Common are Cub Scout Resident Camps?

    We run Cub day camps and a Webelos resident camp, but haven't done a Cub resident camp yet. I have noticed a very strong correlation between WRC and Boy Scouts in my Pack. Very nearly 100% of the boys who complete WRC cross over to Boy Scouts. Of those, the ones that do well at WRC (good time, no homesickness, no dehydration issues, etc.) stay in scouting for the long haul.
  8. hot_foot_eagle

    2010 Scout Weight Restrictions

    A timely thread - I just got back from my physical, and I'm 2 lbs. over max. And I could be one of those borderline cases without enough fat to lose in order to make the cut. What's a guy to do? I can't understand the height/weight restrictions as they relate to medical evacuations. Medevac helicopters, for example, generally have a max patient height and a max weight, but they are independent and based on the aircraft design. Moving a downed hiker in most cases is similarly dependent on max weight. I think national had the right intent here, but didn't think this one all the way through.
  9. hot_foot_eagle

    Religious people make better citizens, study says

    BrentAllen wrote: > "I wonder why he left Mother Teresa off the list - maybe because > she was devoutly Christian and pro-life? Sorry, but I know > Christian bashing when I see it..." Ironically Mother Teresa seems to have hade serious questions about her own religious beliefs, even as she continued to perform all the good works for which she is so well known. I believe reports giving insight into her loss of faith were published around the time of her passing. If we keep telling ourselves that we are "preparing young men to make moral and ethical decisions. . ." etc., I wonder why we so adamantly reject the very boys who, by our own admission, need exposure to exactly what we offer? Are we afraid?
  10. hot_foot_eagle

    Crew has found a small niche

    It sounds like the Crew is off to a great start. Is the plan to move forward with other training and certification? EMT, CERT, etc? I'd like to hear more as this project progresses, too.
  11. hot_foot_eagle

    So how much is too much

    Our Pack schedules one Pack meeting per month and one other activity. We used to do quite a bit of camping, but it seemed like only a small number of people would attend. Now we do more day trips and have better success - until baseball season, but that's a rant of its own. I can say from experience that if the dens are not active, good Pack activities can keep the boys (and parents) involved and excited about Cub Scouts. More than one a month might be too much, but it should work if everyone understands that you come to the ones you can, and don't worry about the others.
  12. hot_foot_eagle

    Functional Troop Buglers

    I'm a bugler from way back in my youth. My son is interested in becoming a bugler, too, so we've done a bit of looking around. Just about every bugle call is available online in print, and as an mp3. We found good information on the US Army Band website, and on Wikipedia. For me, at least, learning by ear was quicker than reading the music. No more buglers than there are these days a troop call probably isn't needed in the beginning, but once you have a bugler it might catch on...
  13. hot_foot_eagle

    patrol cooking competition

    Another take might be to do a prescribed menu (jambalaya, spaghetti, or whatever) and let the patrols choose the ingredients to make the dish(es). In addition to taste, you could also use other grading parameters (simplicity, lowest cost, scratch-made, etc.).
  14. hot_foot_eagle

    Answer to Judo / Karate Question

    I have two sons who actively participate in Karate. Perhaps it's only our dojo, but there has been a strong emphasis from the day they started on the responsibility that comes with power. "Fighting" has always been presented as a defensive action of last resort. I think that the current popularity of MMA muddies the waters a bit when it comes to the martial arts, but the Karate prohibition predates this fad. Based on the benefits I've seen for my own boys and others, I would like to see the BSA reconsider their stance on the discipline.
  15. hot_foot_eagle

    Any one had there pinewood yet?

    Our PWD is 7 Feb with district 2 weeks later (we're hosting the district event). We've added a sisters' class and a judged car show. The car show is open to any car of any vintage. I'm hoping that the car show inspires some creativity and excitement for next year.
  16. hot_foot_eagle

    No Older Boy Scouts?

    BW, I think you're using the word "exclusive" in the sense of a sole provider when my argument would define it as superior and/or desirable. But I suspect you knew that.
  17. hot_foot_eagle

    No Older Boy Scouts?

    BW writes "It is a vaild statement that some do misrepresent what the Eagle rank signifies. It is a terrific personal accomplishment worthy of recognition. " Irrespective of the place of Eagle rank in the grand scheme of the BSA, it is THE BRAND that is known by the public. The achievement "Eagle Scout" should tell the public something about an individual. Yes we continue to teach boys to make moral and ethical decisions and all that, regardless of rank - but I'm talking about our public image as an organization. Would an HR director know what a Venturing Silver Award is? Probably not. Do they know what Eagle Scout means? Absolutely. And if it doesn't hold the weight it once did, it is because we are failing to preserve its exclusivity as a brand. Venturing is fine as a coed opportunity for high adventure and other interests, but positioning it as "the next step" without some extensive and successful marketing will kill scouting. Quite frankly, I don't think the BSA has the fortitude to pull that off - it requires too much risk.
  18. hot_foot_eagle

    No Older Boy Scouts?

    By effectively cutting off Boy Scouts at 14 (or 15, or 16) we are saying "Mission Accomplished" before the real tests of character (and the opportunities for learning) that one faces in high school. How well is that likely to pan out in the long run? In the process of making Eagle a middle school accomlishment we are diluting the Eagle Scout brand. If the damage to our flagship brand becomes irreversible, we will lose our relevance as an organization.
  19. hot_foot_eagle

    Questions of faith

    In my experience, cubs aren't going to get into heavy theological discussions. Keep the focus on things they can relate to. We usually discuss how people from different cultures / churches / families might show reverence. Sometimes boys share some custom or tradition of their own, other times it's just generalities. We've had a good time comparing bedtime and mealtime rituals, for example, both family and religious. I always found it most comfortable to broach the topic of religion by way of discussing our freedoms as Americans. Most of my boys attend church regularly and represent many denominations. When they consider that in some parts of the world you can't go to church, or that you might be harmed if you go to the "wrong" church, I think they begin to understand how important it is to allow and respect religious differences.
  20. hot_foot_eagle

    The campaign hat

    Some random sources (and I have no affiliation with any of these companies and don't know if they're even reputable except for Stratton): Stratton http://www.strattonhats.com/uniform.html Knock-offs: http://www.millerhats.com/stetson1b.htm http://www.cowboyhatstore.com/campaign/index.htm The cowboy hat store has some with turned down brims if you're interedted in seeing how that looks.
  21. hot_foot_eagle

    A silly song for Thanksgiving

    I thought I'd share a silly Thanksgiving song. I'm not sure where it came from, but it's one of my kids' favorites. To the tune of "The More We Stick Together": I'm glad I'm not a turkey, a turkey, a turkey Oh I'm glad I'm not a turkey on Thanksgiving Day! They'll stuff you and baste you and then they will taste you, oh I'm glad I'm not a turkey on Thanksgiving Day!
  22. hot_foot_eagle

    A Scout makes a difference.

    This was a cubmaster's minute from our B&G banquet last spring: Earlier this year in January (2008) I read a news story about a young man who foiled an attack on the president of the Republic of Maldives. The headline read: Boy Scout Foils Assassination Attempt. It went on to say that the fifteen year old boy was apparently one of the first to see and react to a man with the knife who was trying to stab the president. The boy was able to wrestle the attacker at least long enough for security forces to intervene. Interestingly, the journalist who wrote the article did not give the boys name, but did make a point a headline of the fact that he was a Boy Scout. I think thats significant. But thats not all that I wanted to talk to you about. Around a hundred years ago, an American businessman was lost on the foggy streets of London, England. He met a boy on the street and asked for directions. The young man escorted this businessman to his destination to make sure he didnt get even more disoriented. As was the custom of the day, the businessman offered the boy a tip a reward for his help. The boy declined, stating that he was a Boy Scout just doing a good deed. The businessman was intrigued as to why this Scout would jump at the chance to help a stranger and not expect anything in return. Before returning to America, he investigated this thing called Scouting to find out what it was all about. Here, one hundred years later, we still tell this story about a Scout whose name we dont know just the fact that he was a Scout. I told you these two stories, in part, because they are examples of what Scouting is supposed to be. Im pretty sure that neither of these boys woke up one morning and thought, Im going to do something to make me famous today. They just did what they thought was right when the situation arose. Whats most significant to me is the fact that one of these boys committed an act of bravery and heroism and saved a life a presidents life. But it was the other boy changed the world. For the American businessman who was lost on the foggy streets of London brought Scouting to the United States. And here we are today. Dont ever believe that a small act of ordinary kindness isnt significant.
  23. hot_foot_eagle

    The campaign hat

    Thanks for the input everyone. In poking around the web, I discovered that Stratton offers campaign hats in the usual sizes, but also in several configurations - round, wide oval, elongated oval, etc. Stratton hats seem to be better built than the BSA Stetson. If I can ever get the correct base size I'm going to keep my official hat drill sergeant flat, chin strap behind the head. When I dress up in uniform, I tend to go for the spit-and-polish. (I don't expect that out of anyone else; just myself.) I've also thought about buying a $35 knockoff and allowing it to weather and develop character. I just don't know if I can stand this trial and error sizing. Shipping ain't cheap.
  24. hot_foot_eagle

    Changing summer camps: To do or not to do?

    I believe in supporting your local council camp, but also in trying something different every four or five years. It's good to get out of everyone's comfort zone and bringing some good ideas back to the home council helps keep things from stagnating. You may or may not get the older boys to buy in to the change. If they're not going to camp anyway, what does it hurt?
  25. hot_foot_eagle

    America wins...

    Look at things in this context: Nearly 150 years ago our nation was so divided that it split in two. We may still feel lingering effects of that conflict today, but the country is whole and has become a world power. In four years we will have an opportunity to correct our nation's course if needed, or to continue with the new course we've charted, if that's our desire. Whining won't help. In the words of my drill sergeant, "Suck it up and drive on!"