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Everything posted by jackmessick

  1. Local Scouters here keep telling me that pioneering projects that are towers cannot have people on it any higher than 6 feet. I have looked in the latest edition of G2SS and it still only has limits on Monkey Bridges, as to length, diameter rope, number of people on it simultaneously, what it crosses (if anything). Besides out of their own minds, does anyone know where this rule, if it is true, comes from?
  2. You should also check with the city/town/county in which you are camping to see if they allow bow and arrow shooting. Many cities ban the use of Archery tackle and equipment within their city limits. If this was a District or Council event, you would likely need a National Camp School certified instructor in shooting sports, or the Archery USA trained instructor, but Guide to Safe Scouting only requires that you follow the "Sweet Sixteen of Safety," which is outlined in the G2SS book.
  3. The phrases about a tent you have pitched and even that it must be a Scouting trip have been added in the last 30 years to clarify this requirement (That they must all be Scouting trips was actually added within the last 10 years). so the spirit of the requirement, since Summer Camp is usually 5 or 6 nights, is that the other 14 or 15 nights camping must be short term, overnight, 2 night, 3 night, or 4 night trips. I have given grace to some Scouts, crediting one night of camping for things like the second year of summer camp or for NYLT, if they are otherwise close. But, totally by the
  4. Over the last three months or so, the philosophical differences between the Troop Committee and myself as Scoutmaster are apparently widening, to the point where I do not believe I fit in with the direction they want to take the troop. The committee members and parents are focused on earning merit badges, in my opinion to the point where they consider it an aim and not a method. This gives little or no chance for boy leadership to develop, which I have been trying to move the troop toward, as we are still adult-centered more than an "ideal" troop would be. Also, I am concerned tha
  5. Living in eastern Idaho, I am in a minority compared to all the LDS Scouters as an evangelical Christian. There are some reasons why LDS units will not participate, which took me a few years to find out the scoop. LDS units use the Scout program as their male youth program. Thus, they prefer even more division of youth members by age, as the Scout program also includes religious instruction. This is why you have Varsity Scouting in the first place. They have Scouts aged 12 and 13, Varsity Scouts at 14 and 15, and Venturing for 16 and 17. Most LDS Churches in my area also have an "11-
  6. Find the person in charge of the ceremony, and see if they somehow can be involved in laying a wreath, or raising the flag at the ceremony. I was amazed at how happy and excited the American Legion and other veterans groups were when I spoke up and volunteered some troop members. Sadly, it appears that the audience for such events is ever shrinking, in spite of two wars currently on-going. Anyway, some of the vets offered to help train the Scouts to "do it right." I never saw my Scouts more committed to doing a flag ceremony correctly. The hard thing was finding the person i
  7. My version of the latest Scoutmaster's Handbook recommends that Scoutmasters limit the amount of badges placed on his uniform, to maintain an uncluttered appearance. I suppose there is a point to that. I have a number of s/s shirts for summer camp that have just the basic CSP, numerals, position badge, and my Eagle knot. Since I have to hand sew, it definitely encourages me to limit the number of badges. That being said, I don't think there is anything wrong with wearing everything you are entitled to. Not everyone who does that is necessarily a egotist, probably not even the majo
  8. I have used these display cases for a number of years. They do not damage the emblems. Some may consider your badges "sewn" or "used" and no longer "mint." They are pricey, but offer a nice and safe method of display at Courts of Honor, etc. http://www.streamwood.net/scripts/prodList.asp?idCategory=45
  9. When I was a Scout in New England, we NEVER used charcoal; there was so much wood around, we didn't need to spend the money for charcoal. For estimating the amount of coals to put under and on top, we used the TLAR method (TLAR = "That Looks About Right") Of course, thirty-five years ago, we didn't have tables that indicated how many charcoal briquettes equals how much in temperature. Once I got back into Scouting, in Idaho, firewood is so scarce here that you can never rely on having enough, so we always pack charcoal.
  10. Although I came in during the "red and white" days as a Cub Scout and a Scout, I think they should go back all the way to the 1930s when the background for the Cub Scout blue uniform numerals was blue with gold numbers. The whole idea in the uniform change was to subdue the "garishness" of the uniform. It seems to be the best rule would be tan-background numbers on tan shirts, and blue-background numbers on blue shirts, like the 1930s. And like Explorers of the 1940s, have a dark green background with brown numbers for the Venturing uniform. Or pick a color that is a little more
  11. I received both the participant badge and the Boy Scout conference badge (course was called "strictly for Scoutmasters"), but I went the first week of PTC being open. I believe that was done in previous years as well. Either they ran out, or as a previous poster said, they eliminated the Divisions, and thus eliminated the badges. But that doesn't seem likely--I mean, there just pieces of embroidered cloth...
  12. anarchist: I agree that Scouts all should know how to sew. After the first change in temporary patch when I was a Scout, my mother left it to me to sew badges onto the uniform, which I did for the next 12 years for the rest of my time as a Scout and then as adult Camp Staff. But does anyone know how to instill the need for the skill?
  13. The "them" referred to in the opening line above refers to the plastic rank badge holders.
  14. Part of the problem is that the local Scout office sells them, and I have gotten the complaint "the boys advance too fast, although generally i have only seen them advance through the early ranks at a 4 to 6 month rate." I am thinking I could take off points on a uniform inspection, and maybe mention something in our monthly newsletter. Do any of you think it would be a good idea to prevent him from participating in a flag ceremony because of the plastic badge holder. And i do find it curious that the badges are now strongly controlled, but the pins, which are valid substitutes fo
  15. Part of the problem is that the local Scout office sells them, and I have gotten the complaint "the boys advance too fast, although generally i have only seen them advance through the early ranks at a 4 to 6 month rate." I am thinking I could take off points on a uniform inspection, and maybe mention something in our monthly newsletter. Do any of you think it would be a good idea to prevent him from participating in a flag ceremony because of the plastic badge holder.
  16. Dear J-dawg168, Instead of making this a formal unit, you could try asking for some more challenging activities that would be limited to the 14 year olds and older. If you older Scouts can show that having these activities does not severely impact your participation in other camping trips, that you can still provide leadership to the troop for troop meetings, service projects, etc., then you can start to win your Scoutmaster over. In our troop, the Venture Patrol Scouts keep membership in a Scout Patrol and are not separated out at troop meetings (unless there is planning going on
  17. So what is the proper way of handling a bully nowadays? Does anyone know if the BSA national council has only "approved" answers to the bully and cyber-bully requirements added this year? I only ask because I never really had to deal with bullies growing up. My father was a teacher at my school, and was known as the strict, tough teacher. So, I think they tended to leave me alone. I was thinking of ringing up "Dr. Laura" on this one... jack messick
  18. I went to leadership training when I was 13. I think it is the ideal time to go if 7th grade is completed. The latest NYLT is patterned after Woodbadge. They don't have all the Cub Scout/Boy Scout/Varsity Scout/Venture Scout orientation, and it takes place mainly outdoors all the time, but the core curriculum is the same. Sadly, there is no "ticket" for them to work. I think there should be, so that I could see some of this leadership practiced when they get back.
  19. The local Scout office sells both the Rank Badges and Rank Pins, and the current Uniform Guide authorizes both for wear on the left pocket. I suppose at least 99% of troops award the badge. But what I have found is the scouts (or mothers) will not stitch it on, but use a plastic badge holder. Occasionally the boy will lose the badge of rank, especially if the holder is old. Frankly, it looks awful. So, I was wondering if there are troops out there who use the large pins instead. NOT the mother's pin, but the large brass rank pins. I was just wondering if there are drawbacks to t
  20. Having been a Cub Scout from 1971-1973 and a Scout from 1973 to 1980, I recall that the American flag was added to the Cub Scout uniform the year after I graduated to Scouting. I recall younger boys in my school wearing it above one of the pockets on the front of the shirt. When I joined Scouting, at first the only badge on the right sleeve was the red and black patrol medallion. When I bought additional shirts to go to the Jamboree in 1977, I had to have the American Flag patch above the Patrol medallion. I think the Scout Handbooks make it clear; starting the the special bicentennial edi
  21. The 8 hour service requirement is actually a return to earlier requirements for the badge when I earned it in the early 70s (you needed it for first class back then). In a way, I am glad to see some of these badges get a little tougher. I think CITN is easiest only because they get a lot of this in government class in junior high (or they should, anyway; I got a lot of it from those ABC television shorts known as "Schoolhouse Rock"--you know, "I'm just a bill, yes I'm only a bill, sitting here on Capitol Hill.") If you look at the rank requirements, it says for example, "while a first c
  22. Since only "troop leaders" (which is left to the SM to determine if that includes other youth members) can "sign off" on these requirements, I went ahead and held classes at our leisure time in camp, even though they had a program for this. This allowed the newer Scouts to work on Merit Badges. Ideally at summer camp, the staff should be willing to assist you in whatever your goals are for the camp.
  23. Your son should probably start with merit badges that are either -already an interest of his (such as coin collecting or snow sports or leatherwork) -an interest of yours that he kind of likes (maybe law or or computers) -easy. For instance, swimming and first aid are good first badges. So is basketry or home repairs. But he should concentrate on getting the tasks done for Tenderfoot through First Class. We had one boy who earned more than a dozen merit badges over a year and a half, including two summer camps. But he never worked on the early tasks, and was only a Tenderfoo
  24. "Norma Rae" starring Sally Field "You Can't Take It with You" directed by Frank Capra, starring James Stewart "Call Northside 777" starring James Stewart
  25. For summer camp this year, a parent volunteered to go with me as part of the adult leadership (there were three of us all week). Apparently, this parent (a father) made some dumb, inappropriate remarks to some of the boys. One of them went like this: on the way to swim tests, one boy attempted to "pants" another, to which this dad said something like "try it again and I'll take a picture." He was cracking a joke, as he didn't even have a camera with him. I think it was his way of trying to get in with the boys by being funny (since he is relatively new to the troop--last February),
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