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About jrdalys

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  1. I think I know the family in question...went to Webelos Woods a couple of years ago with my son and was rather surprised at the interesting people running the show. If its the area I think it is, you have a DE who is fairly new but has a District Director (or senior DE) who has been around seemingly forever in the same office (but the DD is responsible for the neighboring district to the north). I wouldnt really expect either to help you very much beyond facilitating a discussion with the SM. Perhaps that would suffice.
  2. We are a smaller pack - we started the year with only 8 boys and had another 8 come to the meeting plus some siblings...maybe 20 or 25 total kids participated. We did it as more of a 'fun' event than our pinewood derby tends to be (the kids have fun there too, but its taken much more seriously) and just allowed the kids to race whoever they wanted. No eliminations, no recording of results, just races for fun. We also had another cool water oriented item also set up (a bit harder to explain...two old fashioned hand pumps set up on barrels full of water, pumping water through sloped gutters into the other barrel). The kids tended to rotate between racing/modifying their boats and playing with the pumps. I spent most of the event talking to prospective scouts/parents and helping get registration done...but there were 4 adults who set up the whole thing and ran it (mostly helping kids assemble boats, preventing absolute mayhem), and they seemed to have had fun with it too. With a larger group I'd suggest more 'lanes' than the two we had, in order to keep the kids from losing interest. have fun!
  3. We had the 'cut down pool noodle' type raingutter regatta last week. We did it as a build then race type event at our first pack meeting of the school year, and also invited all the prospective new cubs to come to the meeting. It was a FANTASTIC meeting. The boys had a great time, the new parents saw how much fun everyone had and felt good about signing up with us...heck, the ONLY bad thing is that our follow on meetings are going to get judged against this one! I'd highly recommend it, even if (especially if?) your group doesnt normally do the traditional regatta.
  4. Our council (Cascade Pacific) takes in funds wherever it can. We have the annual sporting clays event someone suggested earlier...we have a 'rappel off an office building' annual event in Portland, FOS...the council slice of popcorn sales (and candy bars/meat sticks in the Spring) is only one part. Now all that said, our unit last did popcorn 3 years ago. The boys knocked it out of the park and we didn't do it again the next year (we dont spend much typically, but we offset half the resident camp expense for any of them that went to camp). I was the last Popcorn Kernel (while also being the Wolf Den Leader). I'm cubmaster now...and the committee couldnt find someone to be Kernel this year (and there's no way I was doing it again...that stuff took over half my house, and the constant flow of people checking product and money in and out was pretty intense). This year we sold first aid kits...did well...but I don't think thats repeatable. so....guess what? We will be doing popcorn again this next year.
  5. My pack tries to give something to every car...as a way of recognizing all the work that went into building the car, and to make the day more engaging for the boys that may not have cars that are as competitive. The way it works is that one of the adults has a list of potential awards (most artistic, best use of the color yellow, scout spirit, most interesting, fastest looking, etc.) figured out ahead of time, and will then walk around the 'paddock' and decide which cars to give which award to. We DO of course have cars that are faster than others, and some boys still get upset about losing/not winning (choose your preferred term), so it isn't like a "soccer where everyone wins" event, but it is still nice that everyone gets some kind of recognition for the effort.
  6. Don't you think that the LDS church, with it's thousands of units, had their say on the issue already?
  7. My daughter is a girl scout - just bridged over to Juniors after two years as a Brownie. Girl Scouts DO have a uniform, but they aren't too picky about it, and allow alot of variance in how its worn (at least around here). The girls don't have a hat that they need to wear (there's an optional one, and I have never seen anyone wear it). They are SUPPOSED to wear a white shirt and tan pants (their choice) and wear either a uniform sash or vest. That's it. It is lower cost than my son's cub scout uniform, but at least his uniform doesn't change (aside from wear or size) until he hits Boy Scouts. Every 2 years the girls change program levels and need to buy new stuff.
  8. I agree with the comments about the perceived value of the product. My son was one of the top three in sales in the pack this past popcorn season, and I acted as the unit Kernel. The people who bought from us definitely felt like they were making a donation rather than buying a product. I have been looking into other fundraisers that might provide more value for money, and in turn might provide better profits. The Interstate Battery fundraiser that gets advertised in Scouting magazine looks like a real contender. for a replacement of popcorn this fall.
  9. jrdalys

    Cub zip-offs

    Yeah, I didn't expect them to fit like a suit, but honestly...who did the sizing on these things? I like that they have the stretchy waistband things you can tighten, but when no amount of tightening can make them stay up on a typical 7 year old with the smallest pants they sell (size 'S' / 6) it makes me wonder. That said, my son really does like them. He kept playing with the leg zippers in the pew next to me on Sunday (Scout Sunday). Even better, the weekend before, he got his Light of Christ award from the Archbishop of Portland, and told me that he and the other boys in the front pew had a great time taking the zipoff legs on and off during Mass. Boys will be boys. :-)
  10. jrdalys

    Cub zip-offs

    My son (Wolf) announced to me a few weeks ago that he needed a pair of uniform zipoffs. Our pack is a 'shirts only' group, so he'd gone through his Tiger year with me not worrying/noticing, but here's what I discovered after going to the Scout Shop to pick him up a pair: Those things are HUGE! I bought him a pair of 'small' cub blue zipoffs (labeled size 6), and they look like they could go on a 5th grader! With the elastic waist strap things all the way tight, they slide right off...only if we cinch the belt tight do they stay up. Also, these are unfinished pants (fine...less stock for the store to worry about), so we have to hem them. This hid another fun fact - if we zip the legs off, we're left with his pants ending at mid-shin; these things look like knickers! He isn't unusually small...he's a pretty typical Wolf cub size. Did others have similar experiences, or did my son get the only 'special' pair of pants?
  11. I'm a Wolf DL, and my son just earned 'Light of Christ', which is the Roman Catholic religious emblem award for Tigers and Wolves. In going through the program with him (we don't have a religious emblem coordinator in the pack, and we aren't sponsored by a Catholic church), I learned a few important things. One of those is that the parent really needs to be on board with the religious emblem program; that it shouldn't be part of a regular den/pack activity. That's because not all of the boys are of the same faith, and you really can't and shouldn't put them through programs for a different faith (again, unless Mom and Dad approved...but that could be trouble down the line with the Priest/Deacon/Preacher who has to sign it off). You could certainly offer a program on a different day/time than your den/pack meeting for interested boys to come work on it together, but I really wouldn't even try to take a mixed faith group through it. On a side note, my cub pack growing up was 100% Catholic and sponsored by the Church, so we DID go work on Parvuli Dei together as Bears, but again...we were NOT mixed faith in the Den. For your boy who is of a different faith community (JW?), I'd suggest having his folks talk with their Pastor about what he/she would suggest and support.
  12. If anyone is interested in perusing the "Winning of the West" book that SeattlePioneer referenced, it is available for FREE through Project Gutenberg. http://www.gutenberg.org/cache/epub/11941/pg11941.html
  13. I was a member of units sponsored by the Catholic Church (actually it was probably Knights of Columbus, but that's not an important distinction) when I was growing up. I can only remember ONE time attending Mass while on a campout, and that was the year that they had a priest come out and celebrate mass under a large dining fly at Camporee. Sounds like alot of variance in practice from one troop/area to another. BTW - we usually got back in the mid to late afternoon, and while it was theoretically possible for us to make it to evening Mass, I don't know any of the boys in the troop who would actually do so.
  14. Yeah....that's an area our pack could do better at. We have so far had only one 'committee meeting' since back to school time in September. We are short on adult leadership, with only two people who might attend such a meeting that aren't also program leaders (den leaders, cubmaster). I do wish we got together more, but I think I'm the only one who wants to be more organized and involved...which does concern me for the future
  15. Actually, that's probably a good place to hunt for Sea Scout officers - Coast Guard and Naval units. My Sea Scout skipper was a Coast Guard reservist, and I'm fairly sure that some of the mates were too.
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