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artjrk

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About artjrk

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  • Location
    Herndon, Virginia
  1. Our Troop will periodically have a MB class meet before regular troop meetings. some may be every other week some monthly. But never seems to be more than one running at a time. Every few years they run the cycle for the Citizenship badges. Allows for bringing in local politicos to talk and take questions. Auto repair was popular this past year. On a rare occasion we will have a meeting where we all meet somewhere like the police station to do Fingerprinting. But this happens at most once a year. It does give scouts a sense of change. We will occasionally have a meeting at the local indoor rock climbing place as well. Some MB councilors will meet with scouts one-on-one during meetings during Game time. or after the meeting. We don't as a troop do a lot of MBs during campouts, but I hope to do some cooking MB stuff in the coming year especially as there will be high demand for time on it next year. But meetings in general for Patrol Time, Trip Planning and Scout Skill development.
  2. artjrk

    Tent vs Hammock

    Forgot to add. I also have two types of stands to allow me to hang in an open field (Camporees) one is only 2 1/2 pounds, light enough for simple backpacking.
  3. artjrk

    Tent vs Hammock

    I have been using a hammock at Scout Camp for over 10 years with no issue. My kids use one too. Generally we have about 4-6 using one for some if not all the nights. This year the boys scheduled a Hammock Campout for the Spring. We will be DIYing hammocks with the boys interested. Living on the East Coast, haven't had issues with not being able to hang. When I asked prior to camp this Summer, the Camp Directors response, "We have plenty of trees." I noticed several staff were in hammocks as well. As far as insulation goes. You can survive using a pad in the hammock. I did that for nine years. This past year I have made underquilts using military Poncho Liners and old down jackets. I do have a heavy duty down UQ for the winter. There are also synthetic alternatives to down which keep costs down. I have heard some Scouters say that hammock camping does not belong in Scouting because it violates the buddy system. That is nuts. Many of the older scouts already use one man tents. Also we have had scouts bunk there hammocks to share one tarp.
  4. As I look at it, it could be more of a challenge. Hiking through the city, one comes across a multiple choices in direction to go. Every corner there is a decision to be made. There is no established trail to assist you. In the woods, most of these hikes follow established trails with minimal crossings to allow one to "check the map". Unless the 5 mile hike is set up as a cross country hike off the beaten path.
  5. artjrk

    When exactly can a scout earn his rank badge?

    My first Pack with my two older boys would hold an Akela's Council at every other Pack meeting to present any earned awards or ranks. My current pack with my youngest does rank at either its Fall or Spring Family Campout and AoL at the B&G. Personally I prefer the first. The packs are large enough that to try and do it at every Pack Meeting would be a bit too cumbersome. I do not like the current Pack's method. and glad that my youngest son crosses over this weekend.
  6. artjrk

    Does your troop meet in summer?

    We meet in the school cafeteria during the school year. During the Summer we meet on the school's "front porch". The meetings are a little shorter but afterwards the scouts join the cub scout pack that also meets at the school for their "Summer Games" It gives an opportunitity for the older boys to interact with the younger ones. Occassionally the Scouts will run some of the games. They go to camp in July and try and schedule a campout in August.
  7. artjrk

    Decision delayed

    Was just wondering. If the BSA does allow the local option, how far could a gay Scouter rise in the ranks of leadership? District?, Council, National? or will they be restricted to the local level only?
  8. artjrk

    The emerging Biden Proposal

    Here is an article in the Washington Post just a couple days ago. "Data indicate drop in high-capacity magazines during federal gun ban" http://www.washingtonpost.com/investigations/data-point-to-drop-in-high-capacity-magazines-during-federal-gun-ban/2013/01/10/d56d3bb6-4b91-11e2-a6a6-aabac85e8036_story.html Then I hear the NRA say that the Assault weapon ban was a total failure. Where are their facts. Oh wait they lobby to prevent any research.
  9. artjrk

    Scout Stuff - New Items

    re. the double hammock Having gotten into hammock camping lately, I will say I use a Double Hammock. This only means that the hammock is wider and is capable of supporting more weight. Seeing a lot of the Scouters this is important. (looking at myself here). The extra width also allows one to get a more diagonal lay, which allows one to lay flatter.
  10. artjrk

    Who carries a firearm on Scout Outings???

    I can think of only one time in 13 years of scouting that having a firearm might have been helpful and it wasn't even in our troop. A rabid skunk had entered a scouts tent during the night acting crazy as a rabid skunk would do. The scouts cut their way out of the tent as quickly as possible but were still bitten. The skunk did leave the camp but then returned. At that point the camp ranger and leaders were able to kill the skunk with shovels. So yes a better weapon would have helped but in the night with scouts moving about and the skunk acting erratic, it may have been to hard to get a good shot anyway. Personally, I can not imagine bring a personal weapon to any scout outing. I hope no other leaders bring one either. My neighbor (fellow Scout parent) who is a Federal Agent does have weapons in his trunk on outings since he is on call, but never on his person. I think that is appropriate.
  11. "I wouldn't have an "official" SMC until all of the rank requirements have been reviewed by our advancement chair." This seems easy and reasonable. Let the AC review and verify signed of items, part of his job anyway. Not retest but get a better feel as to when and how requirements were signed off. Also having the boy talk to the SPL first is good for the boy to understand the operations of the troop and its expectations. Then you can have a SMC.
  12. Disclaimer: my son had his T/2/1 Boards all at one time eight years ago. I haven't seen the actual ruling from National stating that there needed to be separate Boards. Where can one find that. I guess that is more recent. If so are we as leaders trying to circumnavigate the spirit of the rule by having three "consecutive" boards in night? Is this the right message to be sending to the scouts by technically being right but side-stepping the spirit?
  13. artjrk

    Cold Weather Camping tips.

    Nice check list. I'm going to pass it on to my Webs.
  14. artjrk

    Troop Bus

    As a youth, our Troop had a bus. Several rows were taken out in back to carry the gear. It actually belonged to the CO (church) so we didn't have a lot of the financial responsibilities, but it was our bus. We also a had a Scout Hut for meetings. The Church own several houses on the block. Back to the bus. It was nice to be able to all travel together. Since the bus couldn't get in the tightest spots, we would park in the main parking areas and backpack into the sites. It was an older bus so it didn't have the greatest power. There were times when we had to get out so it could get up a steep hill. And on more than one occasion we had to push it up. We enjoyed that.
  15. When I was a Webelos Den Leader, I had one scout who I guess didn't appreciate my sense of humor a few years previously. I had hidden his cookies during a hike after he had asked me to watch them for him. He initially thought I had eaten them, but he got them moments later. Anyway, during our final year as Webelos, we were doing an orienteering course around the school. The kids were really enjoying themselves. This scout says to me, "You know Mr. K_____, I used to hate you, but this is kinda fun." Today this Scout is in his final year of Boy Scouts and is set to earn his Eagle as well. He was a SPL while I was SM. Now whenever I visit the Troop he is one of the first to call out "Jimbo!" a term of endearment I have been given by the boys. I can't wait for this scout's ECOH.
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