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Posts posted by johnsned

  1. About the human waste. It is true that the thinking has changed about how to deposit it. As a previous poster stated that a cat hole or where you do #2 should be 6 to 8 inches deep, any deeper and there isn't sufficient baterial activity to break the waste down. There are some situations that is is better to leave it on the surface, the cat hole is pretty much cosmetic and out of consideration of others that may be wandering past your "spot". Waste breaks down faster on the surface.


    If there a group camp site and no facilities provided it is recomended that you use several different locations away from each other, concentrated areas of human waste take longer to break down then several smaller deposits. What is fun (not) is when you are in areas that require that you pack out all solid human waste. This is required in high altitudes and some arid climates because there isn't sufficient bacteria to break down the waste.


    This is probably much more then you cared to read about the matter.



  2. Laurie,


    My deepest sympathy to you and your family, your family will be in my prayers. I appreciate you sharing your sad news with us. I've known a couple of children like Ryan who's life was cut to short be waged the war against there illness with a dignity well beyond their years.


    I pray that our Heavenly Father will be with you, your family and Ryan's family and brace you up and give you the wisdom to explain this tragedy you your kids.


    May God be with you in this difficult time. The world will miss Ryan.


    John Snediker


  3. I just finished the last week end of Wood Badge. I was the Course Director for the Fall Course in the Western Los Angeles County Council. We had a great course from the feed back I received everyone seemed to enjoy it.


    We tried a few things different on this course. In LA we have many Spanish (as first language) Speaking Scouters. We have had several come to Wood Badge each year, this year we had 26 and many understand English fairly well but are often timid about speaking. I formed three Spanish Speaking patrols, they received their patrol presentations in Spanish and they were able to conduct patrol business in the language in which they are most comfortable. All of the troop level meetings and activities were in English, although for two Gilwell Assemblies the troop decided to sing "Back to Gilwell" in Spanish to show support for the Spanish Patrols. It really worked out well.


    Being Course Director was bitter-sweet. I enjoyed the experience I learned a lot being "CD" I learned a lot about myself good and bad. I think I came out of the experience a better person. Now after having been on staff 6 times, I was retired. After you are "CD" you are no longer eligible to be on staff. I am going to miss it.


    John Snediker

    Course Director



    I used to be a Fox...


  4. Eamonn,


    You said "I for one would stack the reflection process up against any list of bylaws or troop rules any-day of the week."


    I couldn't agree with you more!


    I am going to be Course Director this fall I will make sure that reflection doesn't get overlooked.





  5. Eamonn,


    Thank you for you post, those were very kind words. I was lucky to have a Scoutmaster that gave me a great example when I was a scout. I am just trying to follow in his footsteps.


    He had the most cleaver ways of making us learn. He made his expectations clear, let us do our best (make our own decisions) then reviewed how we did, with his skillful way of asking questions he lead us to where he wanted us to be.


    His methods were so subtle that I had no clue how much influence he had over me and how much I changed because of him until I became a leader and reflected by on my days as a scout, now it is clear what he was doing, back then I had no idea. I thought they were all my ideas, I thought I did it myself. I guess I did do it with his almost imperceptible guidance.


    If kids are being significantly distracted by electronic gizmos I would first evaluate, do the boys understand the purpose of the activity and what are the expectations we have of them, what they should accomplish. Then I would evaluate the program, I think it is either not understood, not challenging, not fun, or not what they want to do.


    If the games or gizmos are more interesting than the program it is not the gizmos fault. Taking the gizmo away wont make the program fun or interesting. My goal is to keep them sufficiently interested, motivated and occupied that they wont need a gizmo. I have no rule against electronic devices, if I see them I need to change my approach.

    I am not saying let the boys do what they want but I think spending significant time playing games is pretty clear non-verbal communication.


    My two cents,




  6. I got the following from the Salt Lake Tribune. Apparently it was at a council summer camp (Bear River Boy Scout Camp) where scouts from several troops took part in an overnight to complete the Wilderness Survival Merit Badge that was poorly supervised. Apparently the camp was advised of that there was a ban on open air fires and there were allegedly fires started by the scouts working on the Wilderness Survival merit badge.


    The Great Salt Lake Council is disputing the cause of the fire; I guess we'll have to see how this turns out. This is why it is important for Scouts and Scouters to active above reproach.




    From the Salt Lake Tribune


    Utah and federal authorities filed lawsuits Tuesday against the Boy Scouts of America for allegedly starting a June 2002 wildfire that destroyed more than 14,000 acres in the Uinta Mountains.


    Government attorneys are seeking nearly $14 million from the Great Salt Lake Council and the BSA in connection with the so-called East Fork Fire.


    The lawsuits -- which offer new details about the alleged origin of the fire -- were apparently a last resort after settlement negotiations failed.


    "It's not something we take pleasure in," said Melodie Rydalch, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Utah. "Everyone thinks the Boy Scouts are a wonderful organization, but it doesn't exempt them from responsibility for negligent acts."


    Utah law requires people who start wildfires to pay for the cost of putting them out. But Rydalch said her office tries to negotiate settlements within the range of an offender's insurance policy. "We don't seize assets," she said. "We don't want a bunch of pup tents."


    She added that when negotiations fail, a lawsuit may provide additional incentive to settle out of court.


    The Scouts, however, are apparently denying responsibility for the June 28, 2002, blaze at the East Fork of the Bear River Boy Scout Camp in Summit County.


    Said attorney Robert Wallace: "I don't have any comment other than I think there is a question as to how the fire got started and who started the fire."


    But according to the lawsuits, the blaze was caused by a group of about 20 scouts -- ages 11 to 14 -- who were spending the night in improvised shelters to earn survival merit badges.


    Despite BSA policy requiring at least two adult leaders for all scouting activities, the overnight group was supervised by two 15-year-old boys, the lawsuits state.


    And although a ban against open fires was initiated by the Utah State Forester on June 21, the overnight group started numerous fires during the night, the lawsuits allege.


    The ban against open fires was widely communicated throughout the scout camp, the lawsuits state, and was known to the two 15-year-olds.


    One fire was started by five scouts from Troop 149, which is sponsored by the Peoa Ward, of the LDS Church in Peoa, Utah.


    The fire was built on a thick and highly combustible layer of "duff," consisting of dead and decaying woody debris, the suit states. The scouts -- identified in the suit by their initials -- left the next morning without verifying the fire was out, the lawsuits allege.


    The fire smoldered in the duff, surfaced later that afternoon and grew into the East Fork Fire, the lawsuits state.


    The blaze forced evacuation of the Scout camp, nearby campgrounds and summer homes. At its height, the fire was fought by 1,100 firefighters from around the country.


    The suit filed in U.S. district court seeks $13,344,320 for firefighting costs and rehabilitation to damaged land.


    "These lawsuits are the result of failed negotiations . . . over a significant period of time," said Paul Warner, U.S. Attorney for Utah, in a news release. "It has become apparent that the negotiation process is not working."


    The lawsuit filed in 3rd District Court asks for $606,424 to reimburse the state's firefighting expenses.


    "We have done everything possible to try and settle this matter," stated Assistant Utah Attorney General Michael Johnson in the news release. "This is simply the last resort to make sure taxpayers are not left with the bill."


  7. I think we need to get away from long lists of rules and restrictions it goes against the founding principles of the Scouting movement.


    So the Scout Law was not framed as a list Of DON'T'S. Prohibition generally invites evasion since it challenges the- spirit inherent in every red-blooded boy (or man). The boy is not governed by DON'T, but is led on by DO. The Scout Law, therefore, was devised as a guide to his actions rather than as repressive of his faults. It merely states what is good form and expected of a Scout. - Baden Powell


    I dont understand the need for some Scout Leaders to control the boys. That is far from the purposes of scouting. Scouting was started and is based around telling the boys what they can do and what they should do then provide opportunities to learn for themselves. What is the big deal if a boy brings a cell phone to camp? Whose business is it if he wants to talk to his family, Ill tell you whose, his and his familys business. I dont see that forbidding them from talking to their families are controlling the opportunities to do so helps a boy overcome homesickness,


    We should help set goals for the boys as to what they should accomplish at camp, and then help them accomplish those goals. We should talk to them about the great opportunity to be in nature away from distractions. Give them other things to chose from other than video games and the like. If you want them to look at the stars instead of a Gameboy you need to show them why, teach them, and spark their interest. Not make arbitrary rules forbidding electronics that isnt in the Spirit of Scouting that I believe Baden-Powell started.


    So lets follow the example of the father of the scouting movement lets not Govern by Dont let us lead by Do.


    That is the Scouting I believe in.




  8. I am going to reply to our new friend in Portuguese it is not often I get to use my Portuguese


    Oi Jana,


    Tudo bem, eu acho que meu Portugues vai ser muito pior que seu Ingles. Eu morava por dois anos no Brasil tenho muitos saudades de la. Adoro seu pais, morei en Belo Horizonte tambiem en various cidades no norte de Sao Paulo como Sao Jose do Rio Preto, Riberao Preto, Bebedouro, y Votuporaga.


    Nao tive o oportunidade de conhecer a programa de Escoteiros de Brasil quando eu morava la, gostaria aprender mais de como voces fazem as coisas la.


    Eu so um lider(velho j) nos Boy Scouts aqui in Los Angeles California, moro pertinho de Hollywood e perto do mar. Gosto muito levar os jovens aos acampamentos e tal.


    Como eu falei antes adoro muito Brasil, a gente la sim igual! O jeito de ser do brasileiro otimo. Nem me fala do comida, que saudade, me da agua na boca en s pensar nisso.


    Bom j falei demais, seu ingles muito bom bemvindo ao nosso grupo.


    Um abrao do seu novo amigo,



  9. Here is the official release about the Tiger uniform. It doesn't become the "Official" uniform until August 1, 2004.


    TIGER CUB UNIFORM CHANGING..Effective August 1, 2004, the official Tiger Cub uniform will be the complete blue Cub Scout uniform with identifiable and appropriate Tiger Cub insignia. This change is in line with the program's continuing efforts to promote Tiger Cubs as an integral part of a Cub Scout pack. More information on the uniform changes will be forthcoming

  10. I had a really neat experience with the trust fall activity. The way I learned to do it was to lock your arms and then say, I am John, I trust you with my life. Then I say falling the catchers reply fall on


    I had planned that this activity was the culmination of a special JLT I was holding. I had all of the boys take their turns taking the fall. They loved it, really built the team.


    Then I was last. When I was standing on the rock about 6 feet up looking down on the scouts I got a little emotional seeing all of the scouts many I have worked with for 5 years each with their arms out ready to catch me. I felt inspired to change the dialog. I said My name is John, I trust you with my life, and I also trust in you the youth leaders the program of scouting and my goals and dreams for the troop. I trust you because I know you, I know your potential and I know you can do it. Just as each of you need to do your part to catch me each of you need to do your part for our troop and our friends. Falling.





  11. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for all of your kind words and wishes. This is one of the things I love about Scouters, we all have our opinions but we all stand together especially one something like this happens.


    I appreciate your prayers and council. I am very thankful for having been a small part of this boys life and hope that I in some small way made his life a little better.


    I was with Willie the first time he climbed a mountain, the first time he saw snow (we live in Southern California so its a big deal) and through many other experiences. The most memorable was my first hike with the troop. We started our hike before the sun came up, we hiked up the Santa Monica mountains right above Malibu. As the dawn began to slowly break we reached the peak. All of the scouts sat down looking down the mountain at the ocean just coming into light, the sky still had a few stars and you could just make out the moon in the purple and orange sky.


    I took this moment to give a Scoutmasters minute (or several minutes) I spoke to them about the creation and the love God has for us. The proof of that love is in what we were seeing. For 40 minutes until the sun was bright all of the scouts sat in silence marveling in Gods creation.


    I like to think that Willie is seeing a different panorama today but I imagine his feeling of peace and closeness to God is what we shared that morning.


    God bless you all and thanks again.




  12. Saturday I said good-bye to one of my Scouts. Willie died last week from a fatal car crash. I was his Scoutmaster. I enjoyed William's sense of humor; his wit and his tremendous musical talent. He was a great guy I will miss him terribly. He always stood up for the little guy and made everyone laugh. His death is incomprehensible to me! I can't get my mind around the fact that William is no longer with us.


    He had a family that dearly loved him, his father didn't always understand him but always accepted him and he was and is the hero of his two younger brothers. William also had many friends that loved him, he lived I think a happy although too short life.


    This experience put focused my perspective as a scout leader, helping boys be happy by making smart and ethical decisions.


    I loved him, I will miss him and I pray for him.


    Sorry for the personal post, but thank you for listening.




  13. This is from the BSA Official website www.scouting.org


    TIGER CUB UNIFORM CHANGING..Effective August 1, 2004, the official Tiger Cub uniform will be the complete blue Cub Scout uniform with identifiable and appropriate Tiger Cub insignia. This change is in line with the program's continuing efforts to promote Tiger Cubs as an integral part of a Cub Scout pack. More information on the uniform changes will be forthcoming.



    Here is the link to See the new Tiger Cub Uniform


  14. I am from Los Angeles, I am a scoutmaster in a Latino Troop, and we speak mainly Spanish. I am not Latino although I am fluent in Spanish, and have lived in South America and my wife is from Mexico. I have been Scoutmaster for about 5 years. We have had a lot of success and I like to think we made a difference in the life of the boys that came through our troop. Some of the challenges is like what FOG and Bobwhite mentioned recruiting leaders. If you are focusing on Latinos you are probably focusing on either Spanish speakers or by geographical area. You have some of the same obstacles with both. Parents are usually working more than one job or one job with excessively long hours. Sometimes the boys have to be in Scouting for a while before the parents catch on. In Latin America scouting is very closely link with either the Military or the Federal Police and it is usually for the rich. Another thing is that camping is just starting to become a recreational activity in some parts of Latin America but still very much thought of as an activity for peasants. So it takes some work to convert them to the program.


    Appeal how Scouting helps strengthen the family, traditionally Latinos has a strong sense of family. Materials and training are hard to come by. I am a District Commissioner as well and I see that we give all the training 3 or 4 times a year. We are one of the only districts in the Los Angeles area that offers leader training in Spanish on a consistent bases. You can get most Boy Scout leader manuals in Spanish but only through learning for life or Scoutreach. The Boy Scout Handbook, Scoutmasters Handbook, Troop Program Features are all available in Spanish.


    Economics are also a challenge. We have a very small budget to work with so we have to be extremely creative with our activities. Most boys have problems paying for summer camp and personal camping gear. I have acquired quite a collection of used backpacks and tents I bought at yard sales. So I lend equipment to the boys that dont have any. I am also working with the parents to help them buy the equipment for their sons.


    I have loved working with my troop, we havent done many of the elaborate activities that some troops have but we are shaping young men into great men. If I can be of any assistance to you in this endeavor please let me know how I can help.


  15. FScouter said:

    The tone of your posts, and the tone of your silly story that started this thread is that of mocking those that wear the uniform correctly, and take pride in doing so. Why do you feel a need to lash out against correct uniforming, and defend improper uniforming practices?


    Once again I dont think you get it. Nobody is lashing out on proper uniforms, we take issue with those that go overboard, or there reaction is out of proportion to the offense. That is what the story was trying to convey. All of the examples were as I mentioned disproportionate to the uniforming transgression.


    All of the examples were of public reprimands and not private encouragement to do better, or helping set goals to be in a complete uniform.


    (I think we outed some members of the Double Secret Uniform Police)



  16. Cliff, sorry for dragging you in on this. I never thought that posting an amusing story would cause such brouhaha. Someone I met a Philmont posted your story on a yahoo groups and I thought people on this forum would enjoy the story, so I took, the liberty of posting it here. I had no idea that I would be causing such a controversy.


    Sorry I havent posted anything lately I didnt mean to leave you to fend for yourself. I read your posts and you were doing better than I could.


    I agree that the uniform is important, I wear it (complete & proper) and encourage the boys it my troop and pack to follow the uniform standard to the letter. I will call a boy aside and ask him why his shirt isnt ironed or tell him to tuck it in, but before Ill criticize a boy for not having official scout pants Ill try to find out why. I have personally purchased over 30 uniform shirts for boys from poor families that cant afford to purchase the uniform and for other where it may be a struggle but the family could afford it but dont give that much importance to scouting. I dont want them to lose out on scouting because of a uniform. I can buy 30 shirts for boys and have them all be able to participate or maybe 4-6 complete uniforms. Id rather have 30 boys partially uniformed than only six in complete uniform.


    My goal is to have them all in complete uniforms, I think they will feel better and more a part of scouting and I will give them a since of pride that they have accomplished something and are doing it right.


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