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jdsmerud

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About jdsmerud

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    Lansing, Iowa
  1. I'm currently a District Commissioner, Cubmaster, Scoutmaster and Crew Advisor. Yeah, I have alot of free time, now that I'm retired. All my Unit's have Unit Commissioners and a strong committee, so there is more than one set of hands in the mix should a problem arise. I don't think this is a conflict of interest, usually when a problem gets to the District Commissioner to be solved the District Key 3 is involved as well. Not to mention the loads of time spent with the folks on the District Committee, I'd say as District Commissioner your units get more attention as you should be using them as an example for struggling units. Put the oldest wisest Unit Commissioner you have to look over your units and you won't have nothing to worry about. In my expierence the old hats will have no problem letting you know about any problem that could arise and get it fixed.
  2. I only bring this up because roundtables are starting up again, and the progression cards will be going out to all leaders, and I wanted to combine the available Commissioner awards into a "training and performance tool" instead of just handing out the progression cards. We will have many new folks moving into these roles this year and it would be an excellent guide for them to spot-check themselves over the coming years. Just wanted to have the best info as this particular award would be part of this progression timeline. If anyone can answer the question posed in my above post concerning "backdating" it would be helpful for our long serving folks and in general. Thanks.
  3. Interesting take on this, we thought tenure would be based off your actual tenure registered in that position if still registered as that presently. The progression sheet says only serve 2 years in this posistion and that tenure cannot overlap (like the other awards of this type). It didn't say 2 years since the introduction of this award and it's not as much backdating as counting current service in that job. I think it would be "backdating" if the tenure was 2008-2010 for example. If it was 2008-Present though, that should qualify an individual as long as the tenure was not used toward another award. This would allow Commissioners serving before the award was introduced and still currently serving in that role to qualify for this award before the date you mentioned in 2013. Just a thought, we have always understood "no backdating" meant to avoid every long time Scouter earning every award the day it is introduced because they completed the requirements years ago. I wouldn't say it applies to those presently serving in the role as their tenure goes to current, just my thoughts on it.
  4. Quick question... In 2011 National announced the Commissioner Award for Excellence in Unit Service and we promptly got the progression sheets out to all our Unit Commissioners as this award fits nicely into the current progression plan of our Commissioners. The physical award (knot or certificate) doesn't seem to exist yet, so as folks complete these requirements, we are left sitting on the completed progression sheets. In trying to research this, I've heard "internet" rumors about this award being phased out at the end of 2013. Does anyone have any info on this particular award? When it will be available?, if ever. I think it is kinda silly to introduce an award, but not make it available to actually award. This one is less fluff than most and really fits into our training plan for new Commissioners. Any info would be great, I'm sure someone here is following this. Thanks.
  5. We go ever two years and our group sizes have ranged from 5, on 1 permit, to 20 on 3 permits. I've talked to the FS folks quite abit about this, and the spirt of the regulations is to preserve the area and the experience for others to enjoy. Even if you cross each others paths during the day, you are being true to the regs, make sure your split up for portages and campsites as to leave a smaller impact, but a Scout Troop in canoes is alot different than a college group complete with beer and the shennigans that come with it.
  6. I use a pillow (rolled up fleece or stuff sack) in my hammock when I'm reading. Sometimes it stays for the night, most the time I don't use one. Helpful hint though, for those whose butt is lower than the rest of them, in a camping hammock (think sleep, not nap) you should sleep diagonally to the hammock, this allows you to sleep flatter, so you don't get the "butt dip" and it save the knees and back after a few nights in it.
  7. I just wanted to comment on BSA24's earlier post. "If you see a grizzly, be afraid." I think I understand the context he was using and that he knows what he is doing. I don't mean to offend, only to clarify the problem with statements like this, so inexpierenced folks don't take it the wrong way. All bear encounters are dangerous and should be treated as such. Expecting Black Bears to be timid and shy is a recipe for disaster, varying conditions such as food source, cub proximity, prior human interaction, etc. can make a Black Bear just as or more dangerous than a Grizzly encounter. The second thing that should be clarified is that if you do encounter a bear, being afraid or at least showing signs of that fear is one of the most dangerous things you can do. There is an old adage that still floats around most bear safety training that "if you act like prey, you are (or become) prey. I have a powerpoint that I use with the Scouts before heading into bear country that they seem to enjoy. It's basically a shorter verision of the training module we use for training guided groups going into the backcountry. I'd be glad to foward it to anyway that has a Scouting use for it. As, for the original question on the cigars, Yes they stink and need to go into the bear bag, even the remaining "butt" if it can't be totally burned up in a fire (if your having campfires). If you want to get real technical, in REAL bear country, clothes worn when cooking should also be stowed with the smelly stuff, so I would take the same precaution with a "smoking jacket", but only if bear activity is recently high in that area. Just like cooking smells, efforts should be taken by the smoker to make the wind isn't taking those smells near sleeping areas, or near the scouts (for other reasons).
  8. Nothing gives me better pride than a Troop uniting to get through a rough situation like this, good on all the leaders and boys that posted here, I'm glad things turned out well and even prouder at the actions of the boys. Not sure how far internet kudos go, but tell the Scouts good work from me.
  9. Without reading all the responses, how far are you from East Dubuque, IL? If your close by I have several things you might be interested in. PM my on this site or email me at jdsmerud@gmail.com, if your close and we might be able to link up.
  10. That certainly is an interesting perspective. As a retired special operations Marine I'll post my simple perspective in regard to this this. John 15:13, those that have been there know it, those that care will look it up.
  11. If the ECOH, involves other Scouts and Scouter's awards of course WB beading's are included. If the ECOH solely involves the boys recieving their Eagle than let it be about them. If it's just a father and son than its easy, ask them. If it involves multiple Eagles and the Troop than let those Eagles and the SPL give direction to the event. If I ever see a FOS presentation getting pushed into an Eagle only COH it's gonna be a bad day for that DE.
  12. In your situation, if your app gets signed by the Chartered Organization Rep and the Troop Committee, you'll be fine. Most Districts/Councils will defer to the judgement of those with a better understanding of the situation. Rarely have I seen an app get turned down because of a DUI, and when it did it was because of the community preception of the individuals unfitness (is that a word) to be a leader due to alcohol problems. It sounds like you just had a single incident of bad judgement, who hasn't, right? I hope it works out well for you, I'm interested in the outcome, as I've seen this play out locally.
  13. Seattle, I hear what you are saying, and I'm with you on signing up any Scouting age youth that may get involved with the program even slightly in the future. The problem I have is with new unit charters and in-active registrants, unless the unit recruits heavily prior to the next re-charter, they will be carrying these "ghosts" until the unit gets more established, which could take some time. I would rather they wait until they have 5 Scouts ready to be active before a new unit charter, it makes the unit start in a more traditional organization situation, which will carry on as the unit picks up more youths. I don't mean to offend or accuse the OP but 2 parents, 2 boy units turn into helicopter parent advancement machines, that don't serve the boys developement in the way the patrol method does. Common sense rules in these situations and not being directly involved begs these kinds of discussion, I don't mean to entice arguements as I'm sure we are all on a similiar page here.
  14. There is a reason the focus has shifted from "scout-hours" to "leadership demonstrated". A scout might show considerable leadership through collecting data, securing supplies, mail campaigns, etc. but the project involved a small amount of "work hours". For example researching historical info, contacting personal involved and placing markers at the sites involves few work hours but demonstrates excellence in leadership by the Life Scout. It is really relative to the project and the Scout, as a leader we have to make sure we are pushing the boys just enough. As for dad doing the whole project for a boy, it has and will slip past the board unless the local leader corrects the adult early on. Don't put a boy in the position to be rejected because of your unwillingness to speak out against a parent, like I've said in other posts it isn't pretty sometimes but it's your job. We have a obligation to the future of the program and to each and every boy to keep the standard and ensure that each Scout gets something out of the expierence. It may be a dual standard, but I expect higher achievement from the high achievers and high achievement from rest. It is our honor to push these young men beyond what they believe to be their limits.
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