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About KitCarson

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  1. Back in the day, the Leadership Corps once roasted cornish game hens on wooden spits for their breakfast -- the morning after a troop snipe hunt that they had scheduled as an event. And of course, they made certain that their site was central to the camp so that everyone got to watch and smell the aroma.
  2. "No reason the Patrol Boxes couldn't be used to store a pair of Kudu's Cook Group Kits (KuduKits?). Then the folks who made them woulddn't need to feel bad, their creations are still being used. Heck, could still use the boxes dump camping, it's just that the Scouts are pulling Whisperlites and aluminum pots out intead of Green Coleman's and Dutch Ovens." Exactly. Here's another question. How do you store your troop and patrol camping equipment between treks? Do you have a dedicated SECURE area, or is it an area accessable to multiple groups? If the latter, you need secure storage containers of some sort for your gear lest it grow legs and wander off. You can build/purchase fixed lockers or else lockable boxes that can do double duty as drop boxes.
  3. "The reaction to moving your Troop away from plywood boxes, once established, can get surprisingly personal. " The reactions to facts that contradict a fanatic's particular view can become embarrassingly childish. I'm old enough that I no longer waste my time on too-tall children.
  4. "I'm getting some great ideals from you folks, so a big thanks your way. The goal is not to train "snipers", but hunters. If one is able to place tight group at, say 500 yards, than it should be possible to hunt deer, and make one shot kills at 100 yards with no problem. Or, if hunting prong horns or muley's in the high desert with shots out to 600 to 800 yards, one would have an understanding of estimating range, and windage. Of knowing when, and when not to take the shot to avoid wounding an animal... " If you are training hunters, train them in how to stalk the animal and get close, not to take chancy shots at long range that all too often end up with a wounded animal that gets away and dies later. Very few people have the necessary firearm. Even fewer practice enough to maintain the skill level required to reliably score a clean kill at those ranges. Most far overate their current capabilities and the accuracy of their firearms.
  5. "Plywood boxes will always require more trips than backpack "containers" because boxes are a fixed size. " That's a generalization, not a fact. You are stuck on the concept of the traditional, stand up "chuck boxes" that doubles as a table and pantry. A smaller box intended strictly for storage and transportation of only the galley equipment is much more portable. ""Always" with the pledge that they will spend more money for a second set of equipment for backpacking, but some day in the future "when the boys get older."" Even your zealot Grier admits that to be untrue. From his site: "It's important to understand that in our case, it was the boys who made all the decisions to change from the "old way" to the "lightweight way" over the years. They decided to dump the chuck boxes, they decided to abandon big dining flies (well, actually, they just stopped using 'em), they chose to get rid of the propane gear. I submit that if it's not possible within a troop for the boys to experiment and to change he way the troop works, then we aren't really doing youth leadership, we're just faking it." The key element here is "Boy-Led". The boys make the choice. Your "one size fits all" philosophy doesn't suit all boys, all troops, or all occasions any more than does the old school philosophy. Again, the truth is somewhere in the middle. My first troop went through this same transition. We went from heavy canvas, wood fires, and cast iron to Gerry two-man backpacking tents and lightweight cookware and stoves for most outings, retaining the patrol-sized canvas tents and associated gear for camporees, other long-term camps, and extreme winter camps. Those big mil-surplus tents were much more suitable for winter snow camping than the two-man tents when the night time temperatures routinely fell to twenty below zero. They were warmer and safer, because there were more chances for other scouts to observe and aid a scout in difficulty.
  6. Kudu, "The personal gear is emptied at the destination, with a second quarter-mile trip to pack in the Group Gear Bags. " So, without containers, 300 feet is actually FORTY times harder than 15 feet. That's what I have been saying all along. Of course you can always drop the patrol equipment at the camp site via car. boomerscout, That's pretty much what I was saying, the only difference is in the box material. I favor plywood, because all of my outdoor experience has been at high altitudes in the southwest, and the intense sunlight and temperature extremes (cold as well as heat) eats up plastic, turning it brittle. I prefer hard containers over soft because they protect the contents during those long periods of storage better than a soft bag. Also, they can be stacked atop one another during storage, and locked. This is particularly important if your storage area is not the exclusive province of your troop. I camp or have camped using both styles, both personally and as a scouter. My general camping gear is lightweight to the extreme -- a fly, hammock, bag, and insulating pad, with trangia burner and a couple of pots for cooking. However, when I do a primitive rendezvous, it's canvas, wood poles, charcoal brazier, and cast iron (500+ pounds of gear in all). I still prefer cast iron for cooking and usually include a tiny #3 or 4 cast iron frying pan in my lightweight gear. This discussion is a classic example of the old say that "the truth is someplace in the middle". True lightweight gear is more fragile and more expensive. Old school gear tends to be more robust and is generally cheaper, partly due to the large amount of used equipment that one can find. Many troops, particularly those starting out, have to choose a course somewhere in the middle due to finances. However, gear purchased used, if well cared for, can often be resold a few years later at nearly its purchase price. Thus a troop is not fixed into any one style of camping. The important thing is to get a camping program started, using whatever equipment you can get your hands on.
  7. OK. Let's just call it hyperbole rather than propaganda -- same goal, but it sounds more benign. Packing all those pots, pans, utensils, stoves, tents, flies, groceries, and water 300 feet as separate items rather than in containers is least 20 times harder than packing them 15 feet. Your point????
  8. "Here is a good side by side comparison of "Old Style" versus "Lightweight Style" Troop camping: http://www.inquiry.net/outdoor/equipment/lightweight_camping.htm" Nope. That's a propaganda rant from a zealot. It's just as biased as the guy who insists that all cooking must be done over a wood fire in order to qualify as scoutcraft, and just as erroneous.
  9. A lot of the damage/loss of gear occurs during storage and transportation. This is why unit boxes are important. It keep the gear together, and protects it when not in use, assuming that proper procedures such as drying out tents and cleaning takes place before storage. A plywood box is not heavy -- it's what you put in it that adds the weight. A properly-designed patrol kitchen (not chuck) box that contains aluminum pots and modern stoves in place of cast iron is easily packed 300 feet by two scouts. Ditto a camping box containing tent(s), fly, and associated gear. Consumables are packed in separately for each outing. It's easier than lugging in each item individually. There is nothing about unit boxes that is incompatible with a hiking program. The required equipment is simply drawn from the boxes before each event and checked back in after cleaning and care. This take place either at the troop facility or the base camp.
  10. I lived in the Santa Fe area, and got up there once for a training weekend. I had just enough time between classes to LOOK at the Tooth of Time and go to the store. That's why the thirty-five year old bull on my jacket doesn't overlap the seam, nor will the one on my new jacket.
  11. "Could Philmont and the surrounding area absorb the 50-60 thousand or so participants and related staff without changing its charactor? " Philmont covers 137,500 acres, the National Scout Reserve a mere 10,000 acres.
  12. They already own at least one alternate site large enough for a NJ. It's called Philmont.
  13. Even if you lose the equipment at this point, you have gotten the use of it for several years. As you say, had it been donated, it would have suffered from mission creep and wandered away or been broken. As a result, you would be in the same situation either way -- worrying about equipment. I plan on loaning some equipment to a startup scout troop for much the same reason. I don't want it becoming the property of the Charter Organization, because the odds of the troop succeeding are slim, and the next troop that I work with will no doubt have more need for equipment than some member of the CO. I have no real use for the gear at this stage of my life, so I don't really care if I get it back. I just want it put to good use.
  14. "WELCOME BACK! Yeah, I bet things have changed since you were active," Yes, quite a few things have changed, but some things remain constant. People are still feuding over scout pants; too many twits take advanced training, get their tickets punched, and keep right on running the troop as though they are the SPL; and the program in general is continuing its slow slide towards being a glorified baby sitting service. "Do a few community projects that really benefit the community, and it's better than having a tv commercial for your unit. A few community members will step up here and there for at least a few things if not full time." The SM already has a continuing community project running, is working hard to establish a quality program, and he and I appear to be on the same page insofar as methods. However, there currently is no troop committee to help out, and he has several other commitments as well. I see my first task as getting him some logistical support before he burns himself out.
  15. It sounds as though many here (and the SM in question) missed a golden opportunity to enlist the mother as an ally. I believe that the ideal response would have been to give the mother the information about patch placement, then ask her to HELP turn this into a learning experience for the scout by forcing him to go out and get the information from his patrol leader or other sources (and tell her about those sources). Let her know that she has the correct information so that she can ensure that he has accomplished his task correctly. Explain how this dovetails with the Scouting Program. Hopefully I will remember this when I am stuck in the same situation.
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