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Everything posted by IM_Kathy

  1. IM_Kathy

    Do girl scouts need knives, packs tents?

    Sadly it really depends on the leader and the troop. Some troops never camp as a troop while others will camp several times a year. And then those that do camp some will have a unit that has the essentials like tents and other gear and some will have a unit with nothing and relies on the scout to provide their own basics. So really it is something to check with a leader about or if you are unable to check with leader maybe one of your daughter's friend's parent in the troop.
  2. IM_Kathy

    Aquanaut accomodations for special needs kids

    ok cub scouts is do your best. For Aquanaut they would actually have to swim. Now if they start of as a webelos and only can swim say 10 yards and by then end of webelos after working and working and working make it only 75 yards - give it to him. Now that being said he would need to actually get into the pool and work at it and continue to improve. a few things... my son nearly drowned as a toddler and would never go in water he couldn't stand in without some sort of a float. Come time for Webelos summer camp and he decides to take the red swim test and jumped into the deepend without a flotation device of any kind. Did he pass? Nope. Was he proud as all get out? Yep. And he worked and worked and took lessons etc... he never did pass the BSA swim test as a webelos. But he earned his Aquanaut because he did his best and he worked hard to improve. Did he finally pass the BSA swim test? Yep! His 2nd year of summer camp as a boy scout he finally passed the test and has every year since then and even earned the swimming merit badge. He never became a good enough swimmer to earn Lifesaving, but he knows the skills to help someone if it was needed. Another scout I had never had the opportunity to take swim lessons. He didn't try to earn Aquanaut as a webelos. I did get with him as a boy scout and taught him enough basics that he too passed the BSA swim test and earned the swimming merit badge. And finally I have another scout who had cancer as a youngster. His growth development has been affected by this and does not have the physical strength to pass the BSA swim test. It was considered a disability in that they agreed that it would be years before he might possibly be able to pass as written. He did the hiking merit badge last summer and struggled with it but did manage it. Every year he has attempt to pass the swim test mainly to see if he can take a boating merit badge, but so far he has not been able to pass as he still doesn't have the endurance and lacks any body fat to help him stay afloat. And knowing this boy as I do I see him continuing every year to try and pass... every year he makes it a little bit farther and I make sure he knows it, but I know he will be bouncing off the ceiling if he does pass it. So anyway... long story short - if he can try as a cub let him try... if he won't then no big deal. But if he won't then be prepared for boy scouts when the BSA swim test is required for 1st class or going through the hoops for a different requirement.
  3. IM_Kathy

    Pocket knives for cub scouts

    I asked my sister-in-law before hand.... got our nephew his first pocket knife and sharpening stone for christmas. I sat down with him after all the presents were opened and worked with him on his whittling chip. only cut himself once and it was a tiny cut but considering how many times he cut and practices sharpening and opening and closing he did a very good job. And yep I became his favorite Aunt LOL although I might have been that already since every holiday he has some scout relate project he is struggling with and wants me to help him with. Thanksgiving it was survival bracelets, the Easter before that it was square knots. And right now I think he can't wait for my son to get going on his eagle project so he can come and help with it and maybe even get a role in the ceremony.
  4. IM_Kathy

    Why Wood Badge?

    I plan on never doing woodbadge. I'm sorry but I prefer to spend my time on the actual scouts then going off and taking some more boring training. Thanks to GSUSA and BSA not excepting each other's training courses I have been trained and re-trained. I spent all of IOLS trying to teach someone who knew nothing of the T-1st class skills. And I'm sorry but standing in front of a group of 50 people and holding up ropes and showing them all at once how to tie a certain knot is NOT how you teach someone how to tie a knot. Did I learn anything from IOLS - nope. All it did was give me a "trained" patch on my arm yippee. And I hate all the crap about women and them not making for good SM's... sorry to break it to ya, but I have had several of the men in our troop come up to me and tell me I'm the best SM the troop has had since they can remember and considering one of them has been around since the formation of the troop I take that compliment with great honor. Of course I'm not a typical scouter... I don't give a darn about earning and wearing special awards and knots and whatever else they come out with for adults to make them look special... I prefer to go on a campout with my scouts and see a new scout that just learned a knot the previous meeting actually using it and not needing any help with it and then waiting for the next batch of new scouts to come and see that scout now teaching those knots. And I liked a recent facebook picture that was sent to me of a birthday party of one of our younger scouts and to see that we had boys from all the patrols there including a couple of the ones going into their senior year (a couple others had to work and couldn't get it off with the short notice he gave them or they would've been there too) I mean how many boys turning 12 have boys turning 18 come to their party? and how many boys turning 18 go to a 12 years olds party??? My scouts did and I love it! So what is woodbadge going to do for me? Other than take money out of my pocket?
  5. IM_Kathy

    How was your Summer Camp?

    We had a great summer camp except for the dining hall. I'm beginning to think the best bet is to do patrol meals, or since we don't have enough time for the boys to cook since it's scheduled for dining hall I'd be willing to cook 3 meals a day for the group rather than put up with the dining hall mess. Our camp went to cafeteria style last year and continued it this year. I'm sorry but an 11 year old little boy and a 17 year old boy do not need the same amount of food. The 2 17 year olds kept going over to the younger boys and cleaning up their plates! And this year they went to individual packets of peanut butter and kept running out so we started taking our own jar. And I know eggs are cheap, but every single breakfast is a little much. Programs and merit badges were great. The boys said the skits this year they'd never ever seen many before which is incredible since 1 of the 17 year olds has been going since he was in cub scouts... I don't attend the stage shows and can barely do the dining hall due to anxiety in large crowds, but our troop works it out really well. Probably the only down side was that they got new rifles (normally a good thing) but they had no scopes just iron sites. Had 2 of the scouts that are hunters not qualify because they kept getting just 1 shot out of the required size. But working with local shooting range to sign up as councilors as they are willing to do the qualifying make-ups at any time a scout comes in with parent Boys got along great and even got my "I don't want to go without mom or dad" scout to come up for the last 2 nights and he had no issues so looking forward to getting him there for a full week next year plus a bunch more campouts before then!
  6. The Sig mosquito is a great handgun, but it very picky about ammo. I have one myself and with the ammo shortage I have had to go with whatever I can get my hands on for using at the range and I have to deal with at least 1 or 2 jams with a 10 round clip. I only have 1 box of my good ammo left and I am not wasting it at the range!
  7. IM_Kathy

    What is the usual den meeting length?

    I always did an hour back then. However I always showed up early and made sure things were ready to go on time. I let parents know we would start on time and if their scout missed something then I would let them know what it was and if they needed to do it for rank or elective. To be honest the only time I have ever had scouts show up late after letting this be known was if a scout was in a sport and was coming right after a practice. When my husband was a den leader for wolves he had a den that was so big it should have been 2 dens. So he went for 2 hours but split the boys up into 2 groups and did a rotation every so often. There was one year where I was doing a den and also a girl scout troop. The boys meet for first hour and left and then my girls came in for their hour so I didn't have to do two days of scout meetings. I found that if I waited for everyone to show up they just kept showing up late. If meeting started at 7:00 then it started at 7:00. When I was doing both the boys and the girls back to back I let the boys parents know if they needed to talk to me about something to show up early and that for the girls they needed to stay after so that things would run smooth. Now I'm not sure if I had really good parents or if they just knew I stuck to it, but it worked. Even now as a scoutmaster I show up early and expect the SPL to show up early and get things set up. All the MBC know that I come early and so they can meet with a boy for merit badge work. Boys are almost always there at least 10 mins before the meeting and play games and then the SPL calls for patrol lines and starts flags right on time. And when asked I will stay late, but we close flags after an hour.
  8. IM_Kathy

    Eagle fundraiser form

    My son will be performing at least 1 fundraiser to fund his eagle project. He has only found a form for "unit" money earning. Is there a different form for an eagle project fundraiser? If so does someone have a link? He has looked but has not found and no he does not visit this site so I'm posting here. thanks in advance.
  9. If it were me and were in that situation I would split the group between the 2 shelters you mentioned especially if there is some distance between them. Reason being if one were struck and there injuries then the other group would be able to get help and treat injuries. From what I heard of the recent incident they were under rainflys with metal in the poles and were set up next to each other
  10. IM_Kathy

    Eagle fundraiser form

    Thank you very much. I just mentioned to him that when he needed to do a fundraiser that he'd need a form. His workbook binder was in his car and so he just looked online. I haven't looked at his workbook. The only things his dad or I have done is go along and sit quietly off to the side when he's meeting with his coach and whoever for the youth protection rules. When he gets home from work tonight I will let him know that. Thanks again.
  11. IM_Kathy

    Venture Crew supervision Question

    from what I know... since they are a crew they need to have a male and a female. Now if they were a BSA troop with just boys it would be ok because there is no mention in troops requiring 1 adult to be male. ODD isn't it
  12. IM_Kathy

    Can a scout tent alone?

    we had an odd number for all but 2 nights of camp as we had a new scout who was not ready for a full week come up for last 2 nights. He said he would prefer to tent with our SPL so he got to tent alone. Before we got him to attend it was going to be a scout that does have trouble with getting cranky from not enough sleep and needs to have someone that does not talk a lot at night to make sure he gets rest. So he ended up pairing off with who the SPL was going to originally tent with who is also a 17 year old scout and knew about him needing sleep from many campouts. At OA call-out we realized all the OA boys were paired up with someone who was not so for that 1 night the boys just pulled their sleeping bag onto the others cot and paired up and we had one boy that bunked with his dad that night.
  13. biggest thing I would suggest is to wear them on belt rather than in a pocket. Last I knew here if they are over 4" blade and in a pocket they can be considered a concealed weapon. So I always wear mine sheathed and on belt so no matter what I'm ok.
  14. IM_Kathy

    Does your troop meet in summer?

    We meet every week except for winter break, spring break, and the week we are at summer camp. The boys do wear troop or boy scout t-shirts during the summer for uniforms unless they are doing a SMC or BOR - then they are expected to be in normal uniform.
  15. IM_Kathy

    We've always done it this way

    One of the biggest issues I see in what has been said so far is how involved the pack is with the troop. I do think it's cool to have troop members help with pack events, but there should be a total separation with the troop other than an occassional campout where the Webelos are invited. I know my son could not wait to get to boy scouts and then he'd be able to do x,y,z. If boys are already doing those things while a cub then there is nothing special to cross over into.
  16. IM_Kathy

    Alleged drug use; how would you handle?

    thank you Beevah - that is what I was trying to say
  17. IM_Kathy

    Alleged drug use; how would you handle?

    I was referring to if all the witnesses say that they did see the boy(s) say they were smoking and then when confronted said they were not. Being confronted with truth and admiting and willing to accept some help vs denying it... I'd handle them differently.
  18. IM_Kathy

    Alleged drug use; how would you handle?

    your little comments... nope I drive speed limit during scout functions.... I don't lie on my taxes... the other done prior to being a scout leader! and that's the thing... if this was seen while at a park in town I would possibly address this issue differently. But the fact that it was done while at a scout function makes things a lot different.
  19. IM_Kathy

    Alleged drug use; how would you handle?

    how I'd handle it if I were SM... 1) get all witnesses to spill 2) sit down with scout and parent(s) and the buddy and parent(s) but indivisually 3) if scouts fess up and admit to problem discuss what consequences should be.... to me the bare minimum would be 3 months out of troop and 3 months of probation with the troop - after all you can't tell if they have improved behavior without seeing them in person. I would also make attending at least 2 NA or AA meetings a week part of their activity during those 3 months away from the troop unless parent(s) sends them to treatment. 4) if scouts lie - they are out - I'd contact council and let them know exactly why so that if they tried to transfer to sneak in that eagle it may be known.
  20. IM_Kathy

    Patch paradox

    we have a poster type thing with all the boys listed in their patrols (just markered envelope labels) and then next to each scout is their current rank (just markered return address labels) at the end of a meeting where a boy completes his board and has signed off for the rank we call him forward hand him a label with new rank and he covers up his old. next meeting the advancement chair has gotten to scout shop and brings badge and boy recieves badge next court of honor boy recieves card and puts parent pin on a parent.
  21. IM_Kathy

    Pancakes versus Spaghetti

    around here pancake breakfasts are done way too much. Spagheti dinners are great if you can catch them at right time. Great times are parent teacher conf. and such where parents are swamped and like the idea that they can have a healthy meal cooked for them cheaper than fast food joint.
  22. undecided on who is right or wrong on this whole thing, but I will suggest a couple of things. Every SMC I do I have them sit and let them know we are going to start and that I'd like them to stand and repeat the oath and law. I let them know that they will do that again at the beginning of their BOR. We talk over the things they did for whatever rank. I ask them questions - if they give good detailed answers I let them know that they are giving good answers and that is how they should speak when answering questions at their BOR. If they are giving little short or "I don't know" answers I let them know that that's not how to answer questions. I will help them dig a bit and come up with fuller answers. For early ranks: tenderfoot - 1st class I will focus on what they enjoy with the troop, if there are issues they are having, what would they enjoy doing, and such. For higher ranks: 1st class - life I will ask those same qustions but I will focus on merit badges and leadership. What badges they enjoyed the most, what badge has been the hardest. What position have you enjoyed the most, what position has been the hardest, what position do you feel is your best, are you up to challenge yourself with a different position. For Star and Life - I also stress to them that they are higher ranks, more is expected of them: how they behave, how they lead, and how they respond to questions. We try to do SMC and BOR the same day... usually someone will contact me for a SMC and I will set it up just before the meeting begins and then during the meeting the committee and the scout will meet. I think having things fresher in the mind helps a great deal especially if you have a scout that gets nervous or has some medical issues (for example if they have ADD I will make sure they seem calm and are able to concentrate well before sending them in for their BOR) I also pay attention to when a scout is coming up for SMC/BOR and if I see things that will make him not pass I will pull him aside and have a little chat with the young man about what I'm seeing or what others have seen and relayed to me... and then we discuss what needs to be changed... that way it's not a shock that he gets denied - it's done before he's up.
  23. I may have an older one but the list I just looked at says to use a lightweight stove for 4 and backpacking for 6. Our boys use a propane two-burner camp stove or campfire for 4 and then use a cylinder fuel backpacking single burner or campfire for 6. plus even if they are not backpacking - I make them use only 1 pot/pan for their backpacking meals just as if they we were backpacking.
  24. troop planning meeting boys pick out places to camp and troop activity for that campout. PLC meets each month and plans out meetings until meeting after next PLC... they take in what the campout is and if training is needed then some of the meetings leading up to that campout will focus on that. as an example our next campout is ice fishing (weather permitting - not often that you wish for cold weather) so our next meeting is all about ice fishing. We have the owner of the pond coming to talk about bait - best bait to use when ice fishing but also what bait he will allow in his pond because he won't allow live minnows in his pond. The SPL and our 18 year old ASM will talk about dressing for the weather. And they will practice ice rescues. since cooking is going to becoming eagle required and because our boys tend to always eat the same things over and over again usually every couple of months someone will teach a new recipe - some times it's stove, sometimes dutch oven, and sometimes backpacking. Sometimes it is an adult leading, sometimes it is an older scout, but we break into patrols and each patrol makes their own as it is taught and then at end of meeting they get to eat. And while we do NOT have merit badge classes - if a boy is needing to get with MBC they can do so before meeting as we have 30 mins before meeting starts, and they can meet during meeting off to the back of the room. Also if we are working on say first aid in the troop meeting nothing says a boy working on first aid merit badge can learn there at meeting and then speak to MBC and demonstrate their skill.
  25. I have been thinking about this too but not nearly to the extent of the original poster... The first thing that needs to be done is to find out from the CO what their stance is going to be. For our troop I think only 1 or 2 families actually belong to that church and I am not one of them so I do not know there stance on this issue. If CO stance is to stay status quo then there's nothing more I need to do. If CO stance is to allow gay leaders and youth then we will need to look into the only issue I see us having and that is simply the tenting issue for the boys. Most leaders tent by themselves or know the rules of sharing a tent. And to be honest I will happily leave that up for the PLC and Committee to decide, but I do think that it needs decided on before we have an openly gay scout join the troop. I already have our COR coming to the next committee meeting and I will simply mention to him that we need to know what the CO's stance is if/when this change occurs. And then I'm sure it will be taken to the church's meeting thing that they have monthly before we hear anything.