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About JerseyScout

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  1. Oh, how I wish our District Advancement Committee had this mindset. They make the Scouts jump through all sorts of hoops, threaten to fail them for all sorts of nonsense, and sometimes do fail them for the silliest of things (my favorite - one Scouts didn't say exactly where hammers were coming from. Because it's so hard to get hammers. They made him come back with letters from people documenting that they'd lend him hammers). One of our moms, who's son went through the process, said her son's write up for his proposal was harder and more complicated than her grant requests, and she's a pr
  2. Late to the show, but I've been happy with my REI Done 2 man (2 man meaning two without gear). It's $100, weighs 5 pounds (split it with a buddy), and if you have a membership you get 10% back at the end of the year anyway. Bought it as a cheap "not sure I'm going to keep doing this" option, ended up using it for over 300 miles of backpacking and counting (including 13 nights with a buddy in Wyoming). If you want to carry it by yourself and have room, it's not completely awful (although definitely not ultralight either). http://www.rei.com/product/731378/rei-camp-dome-2-tent
  3. Our old council that disbanded just over a decade ago went back to 1921. Our troop goes back not nearly that far, only to 1965, still a respectable 45 year run.
  4. Hey Shortridge, Here's where I pulled that idea from on Youth Protection Policies - http://www.scouting.org/training/youthprotection.aspx : "Cameras, imaging, and digital devices. While most campers and leaders use cameras and other imaging devices responsibly, it has become very easy to invade the privacy of individuals. It is inappropriate to use any device capable of recording or transmitting visual images in shower houses, restrooms, or other areas where privacy is expected by participants." Between bathrooms and tents (where kids change) are what I refer to as "certain situ
  5. Is there any National BSA policy banning the use of cell phones for youth members? Youth Protection bans the use of camera phones in certain situations as inapropriate pictures can be texted or uploaded to the Internet, but that's all I've found (and it may be it). Our Troop Committee unanimously passed a ban at the last Leader's Meeting to deal with growing safety concerns within the troop related to cell phone use on trips the past year (so its a done deal), I'm just gearing up for the backlash. It should be fun!
  6. We dole out badges at our weekly meetings (usually you wait two weeks or so for your badge to make it back from council). We have one Court of Honor each year, in December, to coincide with the troop's birthday. Quick recongniton of all adult volunteers (read names, everyone stands up, everyone claps, move on). Quick "state of the troop" speech on numbers on trips, advancements, etc. Together these take about five minutes, including bad jokes. We then recognition of each Scout for their achievements the previous year. If we're lucky, they don't knock any candle stands over.
  7. It depends what you'er comfortable with. I like to have about $2000 in the acounts at any given time. We've gone as low as $1500 and, at one point years ago, were at almost $10,000 (which was too much). Do what you need to do.
  8. I could never turn a kid away, especially as our troop gets half of our kids from word of mouth. Word-of-mouth kids are obviously interested in being with their friends more than being in Scouts as a whole. Our troop has more than doubled in size in two years to about 35 kids (14 to 20 on each trip, depending which sports season it is). 35 kids is the size of a large class of 5th graders, and is very managable for me, I am still well within my comfort zone. Ten years ago, this troop had over 100 kids in it with a very similar program to the one in place now. I remember having 50 to 60
  9. On camping days, I try to wolf down my lunch and spend the balance of my lunch time taking a nap. I then suck on Reese's Pieces while driving.
  10. Don't worry about it. To be honest, to be good at Scouts is less about having been in Scouts and more about being good with kids. If you're good with kids, you can learn the rest out of manuals, at training sessions, or from the people around you.
  11. For patrol cooking, I swear by the simple, straighforward two burner Coleman stoves. I've taken mine cross country through deserts and high mountaints, used it in 102 degrees (that's nighttime Death Valley for ya) and in 6 degrees (our Klondike Derby last year) and never, ever had a problem. We have troop ones that have to be twenty years old and are still kicking. For backpacking, I have a pocket rocket that I like just fine. The coldest weather I've used it in is about 40 degrees (in a rainstorm) and it worked lovely, but I can't vouch for it below freezing because I've never had to
  12. At the end of a hard day, I don't need the joke, just a big "1-7". hahaha! hahahahahaha! haha! Stupid Cowboys. Fly Eagles fly...
  13. Eagle92, you are my favorite person ever at the moment. I just sent an e-mail to the proper fellow over at district.
  14. "Every visitor to troop meeting was openly welcomed and immediately included in the action (boy action - not adults - and probably the most important by a lot" This is absolutely, positively key (and entirely up to the boys in the troop). If the visitors feel immediately welcome, they'll almost always stay. Other than that, good luck, I feel your pain. My own troop was tetering toward a final collapse two years ago (we were down to about 12 active Scouts, almost none of them younger ones) due to poor management and adults suffocating the kids, made all the worse by the Eagle mill
  15. I can see and 110% get behind the idea that every leader should have Youth Protection training. I didn't mind taking the 700 online courses. In fact, I took every one of them, required and unrequired, just to make sure I had the best idea of how the program is supposed to run top to bottom. I am fully First Aid and CPR certified, and get renewed every two years through the American Heart Association for work. I enjoyed my one day Scoutmaster 1,2, and 3 course, I argued endlessly with the other people taking the course how their troops were "adult led" (the instructor foun
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