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Everything posted by howarthe

  1. howarthe


    Is there a rule against using swords in Cub Scout ceremonies? I did a great knighting ceremony in February, but someone complained to the Cubmaster, so I couldn't repeat the ceremony this month. The Someone used to be a professional scouter at the area level, retired. His grandson is in my pack. He knows everything there is to know about Scouting. Which is annoying because I think I know everything there is to know about Scouting. If it makes a difference: yes, it was a real sword, but no, it was not sharp. That is: the blade had no edge. I had about as much chance of accidentally hurting thi
  2. I had a lot of success with a knighting ceremony. The Webelos kneeled before me, and I said: "I dub thee, Webelos!" and I touched his right shoulder and then his left shoulder with a sword. You could do that with a whole bunch of kids and just dub them to their different badges of rank.
  3. The Martian is brand new, so its unlikely to appear on many lists yet, but i think it is really excellent. It is rated PG-13 for language, but it has lots of really good examples of American heroism. I just love it, and before the end, I felt like the United States really had sent astronauts to Mars. :-)
  4. There are tons of complaints online about merit badge fairs. I'm hoping to start a thread where we can collect some good examples. Merit badge fairs are not going away. As merit badge counselors, how can we offer a truly excellent experience for our scouts? Please comment below if you have seen good examples of how to conduct a merit badge fair.
  5. My son crosses over to Boy Scouting next month. The first merit badge he wants to try for is Chess. The first requirement is about the history of chess. I want to buy him a book, but the titles that pop up on Amazon don't look like they would be appropriate for an 11-year-old. Any suggestions?
  6. I taught ILST last week, and one thing that came up was how Sergio the merit badge fair was. Some say in class for six hours to earn a citizenship badge. I love social studies. I was history major in college, so I signed up as merit badge counselor for the three citizenship badges, and I want to organize some activities that he's ours will enjoy. I want to share my ideas here, and j hope you will share your ideas, too. Hike up and down the historic district in the neighboring town Attend the cinco de mayo festival downtown.
  7. blw2: Latter-day Saint packs meet year-round and advance their scouts from one den to another on their birthdays, rather than in September, so some of them really will have boys earning their badge of rank in September.
  8. Has anyone bought any of the new leader guides? I just want to know if they are bound or if I should plan to buy three ring binders to hold them, too. Does anyone know? Also, it looks like there are new guides for the den leaders, but not for the Cubmaster. Is there a guidebook to help Cubmasters plan pack meetings?
  9. Well, the space derby is wire guided, but not gravity powered. It is powered by a rubber band. We are getting set to do a cub mobile race. The boys and dads are VERY excited about it, but I haven't included it as a recruit event.
  10. I have to ask this question every year. <sigh> I had the old system of knots all figured out, and I have not been able to acclamate to the new list. I'm tying to encourage all the leaders in my pack to work towards earning a square knot. Mostly I'm trying to make sure I don't miss anyone who has earned one (because I was passed over more than once). Anyway, I'm going to tell my den leaders about the den leader knot <easy>, and I'm going to tell my Cubmaster about the Unit Leader knot. He won't be serving long enough to earn the Cubmaster's Key. But I'm stuck on which knot to
  11. Some of my dens meet twice a month, some meet once a month, and one meets less regularly. :-( I leave it to the den leader to work out with the parents. The boys are very active in sports. I don't want to make them choose. They are too young. They are still advancing, so I am content.
  12. I haven't read the new tiger handbook, but I remember that the one-foot hike was part of the old program, and I think its a lot of fun. I actually see a lot of kids at my elementary school (K-2) doing this sort of thing at recess. They bring me moths and robin eggs and leaves and rocks all the time. They are so proud of the things they find. I love it. I have read some of the Webelos handbook, and I really like it a lot. The layout is very simple and friendly. The requirements are listed in a much more straight forward way. Admittedly, it was the old bear book that had the most comp
  13. We do a face painting ceremony for bobcat, tiger, wolf and bear. We do a neckerchief ceremony for each den at the end of the year. The Order of the Arrow does our crossover ceremony for us. We need a new ceremony for the awarding of the Webelos badge and for the Arrow of Light award. We were using face paint ceremonies, but the boys don't seem to like them anymore by fourth grade, so I came here today to find out what you do that you really like. I found a page with dozens of ceremonies listed on it, but I don't want to read them all, and try to figure out what might work. I want my frie
  14. When I recruit at public events, I collect email addresses of interested parents. Then I invite them to our recruit event the following week, but I love the idea of the boat. It would really draw children to the table. In the past, I have good results with stickers, but boats would be better. One year I used rocks. I bought some decorative river stones at the Dollar Store and drew paw prints on them with a sharpie, then I had a page on my table, they could figure out if it was a bobcat print, a wolf print or a bear print, and they could take the rock with them. It was surprisingly popula
  15. Our new Cubmaster is very excited about scouting. He speaks with great fondess of his times as a scout including his time as an arrowman. Is an arrowman always an arrowman? Could he join the lodge here in his new home? Or does he need to be tapped out again as an adult scouter?
  16. If the GSUSA accepted boys, then they would stop being a valuable place for girls. There is a lot of research in place to confirm that girls (and women) do their best when the boys (and men) are somewhere else, so no, if the GSUSA became coed, then I would not enroll my son. I might even withdraw my daughter. The GSUSA is firmly committed to inclusivity, so no there has never (to my knowledge) been a restriction for lesbians, gays, bisexuals or transgendered youth or adults. I am not aware of any historical restriction for atheists. There is certainly no such restriction at present, s
  17. howarthe


    I have posted here before looking for STEM ideas. I have found LOTS of ideas, but I don't trust any of them. What I am looking for from my fellow scouters today are STEM ideas that you have actually tried and that have actually worked. It's one thing to say "make a magnet by rubbing a needle and floating it in water." It is quite another to actually attempt to do that with ten 8-year-old boys. So, let's have it. What have you actually done with your boys to promote Science, Technology, Engineering and Math?
  18. I went to the National Camping School training and I specifically asked if anyone had an idea of what we could do at camp at the technology station that was different from the engineering station (because everyone kept saying levers for both). NO ONE had any ideas. Incredible. But I've been pouring over the Cub Scout curriculum and reading it and re-reading, and I think I finally have something worked out. Science: "use the scientific method in a simple science project." This is from the science belt loop, but I still haven't decided what that science project will be. Water bottle ro
  19. I am the day camp program director. I am completely out of my depth. I need to develop a STEM curriculum. Monday Science: use the scientific method in a simple science project. I need a science project. I have to order materials. I have no idea. Tuesday Technology: I'm completely stumped. Thursday Engineering: explore how levers affect your every day life. I have only the vaguest notion of what should happen next. Friday Math: (here I think I actually have something going.) Calculate how much you would weigh on the moon, calculate the height of a tree, guess the probab
  20. I am planning a den meeting in which the scouts organize collections of leaves, rocks, shells and seeds. I am wondering about how to collect these things without violating leave no trace guidelines. Leaves and seeds don't bother me so much, but I've been advised before to leave rocks and shells where I find them. What do you think?
  21. Im furious. I can't keep track of all my scout stuff. I'm packing for a trip. Want to take my cub scout sports and academics pamphlet, and I can't find it anywhere. I wish I had an ebook.
  22. howarthe


    I'm not the Webelos den leader. Our Webelos den leader is new. Our Webelos den has one fifth grader and 8 fourth graders. We are planning to cross over our fifth grader in February. My question is: does he have to earn his arrow of light to cross over in February? If he never earns his arrow of light, does he cross over in May?
  23. I always invite the kindergarteners to join in June and participate in the summer activities. Few take me up on it. I know that when Cubs repeat the 1st, 2nd or 3rd grade, they don't repeat the tiger, wolf or bear handbooks, they move up to the next book, so this seemed like the same sort of thing to me. I also think its weird that the requirement is 1st grade or 7 when NONE of my first graders are 7 years old. What gives?
  24. Every girl needs the ten essentials, even if she isn't a Girl Scout. Don't stress about not finding cool merchandise at the Girl Scout store. Girl Scouts of the USA has a broader mission than just an outdoor program, so it is inefficient of them to try to provide that type of support. Even so, there are lots better retailers of camping and hiking gear than the Boy Scout store. Find the best gear where ever you can.
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