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kudzu

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About kudzu

  • Rank
    Junior Member

Profile Information

  • Location
    Northwest Arkansas
  • Occupation
    web designer + developer
  • Biography
    Den Leader (2009-2011); Cubmaster (2011-2013); Assistant Cubmaster (2013-present) Cub Scout Roundtable Staff (2010-2012); Cub Scout Roundtable Commissioner (2012-present); District Training Chair (2013-present); Merit Badge Counselor (2012-present); Troop Committee Member (2012-present)
  1. kudzu

    Leave No Trace award is gone?

    There has been no lawsuit between the Center for Outdoor Ethics (the LNT people) and the BSA. A quick Google shows that. The BSA decided to broaden their approach to outdoor ethics and pulled all those efforts under the Outdoor Ethics banner. These include LNT, Tread Lightly (about motorized recreation), the Land Ethic (cf. Aldo Leopold), and the BSA's Outdoor Code. Just a glance through the reorganized Outdoor Ethics awards shows that LNT continues to play a large role in how the BSA approaches the subject. For more info from the horse's mouth (so to speak): http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/outdoorprogram/outdoorethics.aspx
  2. kudzu

    Recruiting up or down this year ?

    Our pack is in an area that is extremely underserved for the number of available youth we have (but the District's inability to start new units is another topic altogether). Our pack has ranged between 80 and 100 Cubs for the last 5 years. We're at 89 right now with 21 Tigers. We have had one school night roundup (our DE claims he's having trouble getting into the elementary schools this year), and have otherwise been recruiting via word of mouth and our pack website shows up well in Google searches. So far this year, we've recruited 21 Tigers, 3 Wolves, 2 Bears, 2 Webelos 1s, and 4 Webelos 2s. That's nearly a whole pack on its own. We definitely need more Packs in our town.
  3. kudzu

    Switching den chiefs

    I wouldn't leave it up in the air with the curent (previous?) Den Chief. I'd contact him and ask him (a) if he still wants to be the Den Chief and (b) if he plans to do all the duties of a Den Chief. Be direct but polite. Have you done Den Chief training with him so he knows his duties and responsibilities? If not, you should do that first thing with whatever den chief you end up with. If they don't know what to do, many Scouts (and people in general) won't do anything. But, if you train him and let him know what your expectations are, he may step up and be an excellent Den Chief.
  4. kudzu

    Tent vs Hammock

    I've converted to hammock camping in the last 18 months or so. I find it more comfortable than sleeping on the ground (even with my big plush camp Thermarest), and I like being more open and exposed (but off the ground away from the creepy-crawlies and critters). With a tarp, underquilt and top quilt, I stay dry and warm. I've hammock camped down to about 20 degrees (with a stiff wind), and I stayed plenty warm. It's also lighter and more compact than a tent. As long as there are trees, you can nearly always get a decent hang. I've spent too many nights on rocky or sloping ground in a tent. There are a few downsides or at least adjustments to be made after tent camping for so long. In the tent, I had all my crap (gear) all around me and it was easy to get to in the night. I miss having a convenient place to keep a book and water bottle. I'm still figuring out the best way to do that. But, overall, I'm much happier in a hammock.
  5. kudzu

    Why the outdoors?

    My long answer is to suggest you (and everyone else) read "Last Child in the Woods" by Richard Louv. He details exactly what a lack of connection to nature is doing to our children. The short answer is that being out in nature allows us to experience the real world unmediated by video games (an easy whipping boy), the internet, TV, music, social media, and everything else that distracts us from ourselves and each other. I see it in my son (he's a 10-yo Webelos Scout) and I see it in myself (a 44-yo Scout Leader). I spend 8-12 hours a day in front of a screen (I'm a web developer when I'm not Scouting), and after a weekend in the woods with my son and the other parents and siblings, I just feel BETTER. I'm calmer, I can concentrate better, I don't get as frustrated with myself or (especially) others. It resets all of those jangly nerve points. I find it very much like a really good night's sleep (and I often have those on campouts in my hammock). Do I want to live in the woods all the time? Not really (though I do fantasize about it occasionally). But I do need regular doses to help keep myself centered and connected to the world and people around me.
  6. kudzu

    Sunday Cub Scout Activities

    We've had great luck scheduling outdoor activities for our Pack on Sundays. We have a lot of boys (and families in general) who participate in sports, and Saturdays are often filled with various games and practices. But, Sundays are still avoided by most sports leagues around here. We often schedule our monthly pack hike for Sunday afternoons between morning and evening church service times. That's worked out well for us. We have one den that has decided to meet on Sunday afternoon/evenings, too.
  7. kudzu

    Cub Scout LNT Award being Discontinued?

    The CS and BS Leave No Trace Awards are being expanded into new Outdoor Ethics awards: one for awareness and one for action. There's also a Scouter version available. They focus on the BSA Outdoor Code and also incorporate LNT and Tread Lightly (a program aimed at motorized vehicles). BSA is still getting this info out (and onto their website), and the actual awards aren't yet available though they have posted information about them and the requirements to the Outdoor Ethics section of the BSA website: http://www.scouting.org/scoutsource/OutdoorProgram/OutdoorEthics.aspx I'm working on a presentation for our district's Roundtable about the new awards, so Ive been digging up all the info I can find about them.
  8. kudzu

    Cub Scout LNT Award being Discontinued?

    They ARE working on new editions of the Cub Scout handbooks, and I've heard that there are some fairly significant changes. You can --- and SHOULD --- still talk about LNT! They're just adding Tread Lightly (mostly aimed at motorized vehicles) to the mix.
  9. kudzu

    Camp Orr 2013

    Water levels are MUCH better this year, as in northern Arkansas we've had a wet winter and a wet spring so far. When the Buffalo National River (which runs right through Camp Orr) is running (and everything else isn't drought-stricken, too), it's a blast at Orr. Climbing to Antenna Pine, Canoeing and Swimming and Fishing (for our beautiful native Smallmouth Bass) in the Buffalo is awesome. We have had two bad drought-stricken summers, and that has affected Orr, but it is looking positive for good water this year in camp season (June, mostly).
  10. Like most everyone else, up high is "How much does it cost?" but we also get "Where do you meet?" which, it turns out, is mostly a variation on "How much time does this take?" Now, sometimes that's because they don't want to drive across town (we're sadly one of just three non-LDS packs in town, and we draw a lot of kids from the other side of town from where we meet because there's not a pack over there), but it's often also because they have other kids who are involved in all sorts of activities, too, and they have to shuttle numerous kids around at different times every evening.
  11. kudzu

    Do you have a pack meeting every single month?

    We have a pack meeting 10 months out of the year (no June or July). We have almost 100 Cub Scouts (about 65 that are active and earning awards), so just handing out awards to the boys takes 30 minutes. Our Pack Meetings have been pretty slow because of that, and I'm working on some solutions (moving some awards to den meetings, etc.), but we also do skits, songs, and occasionally guest speakers. We do a pack meeting in nearly every month even when we have a special event. August: Ice Cream Social and recruitment kickoff September: regular pack meeting with popcorn sales kickoff October: regular pack meeting November:regular pack meeting with added Popcorn awards (and I usually take a pie in the face from the top seller) December: no pack meeting, but we go caroling at a VA hospital January: regular pack meeting (Pinewood Derby is a separate event) February: Blue and Gold (no regular pack meeting; we only give out rank awards and some special awards) March: short regular pack meeting plus Webelos Crossover April: regular pack meeting with special guest, held outdoors May: Pack graduation campout, pack meeting at campfire. No pack meeting in June or July, but we do 1 monthly activity (swimming party, bowling, Scout night at local minor league baseball park, ice skating, etc.) in addition to twilight camp and cub/webelos resident camp in June and July). We also have monthly hikes, 4-5 campouts (including 2 council and district events), a bike rodeo, a disc golf "tournament", and a few other events. We are a super active pack (and it wears a Cubmaster out!). Thanks, Steven Jarvis Cubmaster, Pack 46 Fayetteville, Arkansas cubscoutspack46.org
  12. Hey, I'm an adult (36 year old male) who would like to volunteer with Scouting. I was a Cub Scout as a kid, but never a Boy Scout (we moved when I was in Webelos, and my new town's Boy Scouts program was in shambles at the time). I have a son who's about to turn three, but I'd like to get involved now instead of when he's old enough. I participate in a number of outdoor activities, and I'd like to use those skills in some capacity to help. One of the things that's gotten me more interested in volunteering with Scouting is that a friend of ours is in the Air Force Reserve, and his unit has been activated for duty in Iraq. He'll be leaving for 12-18 months in Baghdad in June. They have a kindergartener who'll be without his dad for all of first grade and most of second. I'll be doing all I can for them while my friend is away in Iraq, but that really made me think about all the other kids out there who don't have a strong male presence in their lives. I'd really like to get involved in something like Scouting where I can hopefully make a difference for some boys. What's the best way to get started as a Scouting volunteer? Thanks! Steven
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