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About LauraMO

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  1. Well, my very, very, very active Brownies have collected lots of patches from events & field trips & are quickly running out of room on the back of the vest & we still have 2 more years of Brownies left to go! Some time ago I ran across a snapshot of a vest that had the Brownie sash sewn to the bottom edge of the vest. I figure the width of the sash would make it perfect for sewing on more try-it badges but what to do with more patches? I've even run across some Girl Scouts who attached patches to some gossgrain ribbon with one end sewn to the back of the vest which hung down looking like a pony tail of patches in the middle of their backs. Can anyone share more ideas with me that I may take back to my moms?
  2. A week-long scout camp is the only camping we do in the summer. Tent camping in Texas in July and August is most unpleasant for everyone involved. In addition, our scout families tend to scatter for vacations.
  3. Thank you, everyone, for your comments. For the committee meeting last night I chose to not address the pop-up camper issue. I had to pick my battles for the night so I chose to deal with the travel policy. The SM informed everyone that he and the ASMs will be camping near the patrol camp site for supervision and that the adults, including those in campers (we only have 1 RV camper family -- go figure!), will camp in a remote location to the extent that the campsite can accommodate that arrangement. He specifically stated that the SM and the ASM should be camping like the boys. I guess I did win that battle because that's what I specifically told him when I spoke to him about his camper a few weeks ago. Probably the easiest way to make this matter go away is to only camp where it's inconvenient for a pop-up. Our next campout will be in September so we'll see.
  4. In response to ePalmer84, above, the previous scoutmaster established a policy in October following a campout where a couple of adults left the campsite and took the road less traveled in stead of sticking to the established route. These adults happened to be travling with cell phones containing dead batteries. (Yes, lots of problems with that scene.) The scoutmaster was left waiting for about 2 hours at the home destination point trying to locate these wayward campers. Lack of communication was obvious here. So, the scoutmaster sent an e-mail establishing, in short, that the troop will depart from the same place at the same time. As the new committee chairman, I took it upon myself to begin reviewing our troop handbooks to make certain the content matches our troop practices and goals and vice versa. I wanted to add our travel policy to it. That's when the new SM stepped up with his idea of a family friendly (bring the whole family along), come and go as you like practice, and he wanted to be the advance party for every camp out so that he could set up his pop-up camper during daylight per the G2SS policy about traveling during the day. There was much disagreement with his ideas so I solicited proposals from the SM, ASMs & quartermaster to present to the committee. Last night the committee nixed the "advanced party" idea and agreed that there just wasn't any way to comply with the guide of only traveling in the day. No one was interested in beginning our camp outs on Saturday mornings. Only one person had a question about the "advanced party" idea but following discussion, that person voted against it. The committee adopted the previous SM's policy to be incorporated into the handbook. Thank you, everyone, for your comments!
  5. Our troop will be implementing a travel policy and as committee chairman, I have asked for the SM, ASMs & Quartermaster to prepare their proposals for me to present to the committee tomorrow. Does your troop travel strictly during daylight per the Guide to Safe Scouting? GSS, "Automobiles:" 7. All driving, except short trips, should be done in daylight. Our troop has not found this to be practical because in the fall, winter and early spring the sun sets rather early. We leave on Fridays for our weekend campouts, usually at 6 p.m. from our chartered organization's parking lot. If we were to restrict our travel to only daylight would require most families who work downtown, or across town, to leave work 2-3 hours early. The person who wants our troop to strictly adhere to this rule states, "Guidance from the BSA national risk mgt office is that "short trips" are local; rough rule of thumb is 25 miles or less." All of our campout locations last year were beyond that 25 mile radius. In parenthesis to this person's proposal is his desire to take his pop-up camper to the campsite & set it up in day light. (see my earlier posting about the pop-up camper issue). I'm all for sticking to BSA's rules but No. 7, above, is printed in bold in the GSS which is referred to as a "rule." 'Looking forward to your replies and suggestion.
  6. 'Got a new scoutmaster who prior to assuming this role would take his pop-up camper to all of the troop camp outs. The troop is relatively new (19 mos. old) and is trying to fine tune practices and procedures. The pop-up camper appearing at all of the camp outs has become an embarassment for some scouters, including myself. It's not an image several of the ASMs want to present to the community or to new recruits. The troop does host 2 family style camp outs host in the spring and fall in which campers are welcome. Now that this guy is the new leader, I'm frowning on his desire to continue his practice. He cites 2 reasons for taking the pop-up: 1) I want my wife on the camp outs, and 2) she has back troubles. I am the committee chairman. The committee is meeting tomorrow and the current troop travel policy will be addressed & possibly amended. I would love your thoughts & opinions!
  7. I am a Daisy troop leader. Helping with my meetings is a fantastic 2nd year Brownie (an older sister). To those "bi-scoutal" parents with kids in Cubs Scouts & Girl Scouts, is there a "den chief" equivalent for Girl Scouts?
  8. The DVD is on sale at Target this week for $9.99 along with some other Disney classics (Herby, Apple Dumpling Gang, etc.). I watched Follow Me Boys this afternoon & really enjoyed it! My son liked the war games scenes. I hope I can be so upbeat if I ever find my scouts surprising me with a homemade "scout cabin" & a pan of charcoal biscuits.
  9. This conflicting information about when a Cub can earn his Whittling Chip has bothered me for a couple of years and so Ill take this opportunity to toss in my 2-cents worth. In the Cub Scout Leader Handbook, 2001 ed. it states As the boy advances through the rank, requirements are progressively more challenging, matching the increased skills and abilities of a boy as he grows older. (emphasis added) (Ch. 18-1). The Bear badge is for those boys who have completed the second grade (or are 9 years old). Therefore, you can reason that Bear Requirement No. 19, Shavings and Chips, which includes earning the Whittling Chip as requirement No. 19d, means this requirement is suggested for boys who 9 years old or older. No doubt that the skills and abilities of a 9 year old surpass those of a 7 or 8 year old. The Handbook further states that a boy may not begin working on the requirements for the next rank until he reaches the next grade or age requirement. (Ch. 18-4). BSA has been helping to raise elementary-aged boys for 75 years. Id like to think that if the officials at BSA thought Tigers or Wolf Cubs could handle pocketknives safely at scouting functions, then they would have added the Whittling Chip as an elective or requirement to the curriculum. Unfortunately, BSA has only added fuel to the fire of confusion by saying in both chapters 13-5 and 29-5 of the Handbook that Tiger Cubs, Cub Scouts, and Webelos Scouts may earn the right to carry a pocketknife to designated Scouting functions by completing the requirements for the Whittling Chip card. BSA needs to eliminate these conflicts of suggested procedures and guidelines. My den treated the Whittling Chip card like the carrot before the mule: earn the Bear badge, first, and then you can earn the Whittling Chip card. I didnt become aware of the above procedures and guidelines until the end of our Tiger year. Whenever a new scout joined my den, I gave him and his parent a welcome letter that included, among other things, the information about when the scout can earn the Whittling Chip card.
  10. As always, the Texas Expo is a lot of fun. You could jokingly call it the Scouting Expo, too, because everywhere you turn you see Cub, Boy & Girl scout uniforms. Lots of various scouting merits to be earned and there are usually some speciality patches, too. A couple of years ago it was the "Spills & Kills" patch where the participants learned about the algae kills in lakes & how to prevent them. This year it was the Wilderness Adventure patch wherein the participants had to visit 10 out of 14 stations and at least 6 of those were various shooting sports (air gun, black powder, archery, crossbow, rifle, skeet). Of course, everyone must attend the shooting sport orientation prior to being admitted to any of the shooting ranges. It is HIGHLY advisable to take the shuttle bus and arrive EARLY!!! Wear good walking shoes & carry a water bottle. The Expo is fun for all ages.
  11. Having a den size of 6-8 boys is certainly ideal but it may not be a reality for many of us. My Tiger Den started out with 8 boys then we grew to 12 boys as a Wolf Den. We had a heart-to-heart conference with the parents and managed to get a fantastic scout parent to volunteer to serve as the den leader when we split mid-year. However, only 4 boys transferred into the new den and promptly 2 of those quit. The fantastic scout parent preferred Pack leadership positions over that as a den leader so we dissolved the 2nd den. Last year we were a Bear den with 12 boys. Yes, the meetings were loud. We lost one boy (an ADD/ADHD) who had difficulty coping with a large group but he found a smaller den within the District. I had a couple of boys move away, so now we're a Webelos den of 10. We've accepted the fact that we're a big, happy den. I am the den leader. I have 2 assistant den leaders, 2 den chiefs and each month we elect 2 denners and 2 assistant denners. Since the Webelos program is centered around the activity badges, I have recruited many of my talented parents to lead the different subjects each month. When the den meeting gets rolling we meet in my livingroom for opening pledge & brief announcements. Then the boys are typically split into 3 different groups which gives me a chance to break up any buds who are too disruptive. The boys will either rotate among different activities or they are all working on the same activity that's stationed in 2-3 different rooms in my house or backyard. The loud volume in the livingroom is thus reduced to a loud hum in each room. This strategy has worked very well and we get lots accomplished!! (Yea!) The den chiefs are fantastic helpers and I always have parents willing to lend a hand. One thing we'll be trying out this year is to have a "board of review" style meeting at the end of each month at which time the Webelos handbooks will get signed off. Boys will be assigned to one of the assistant den leaders, the cubmaster (who happens to be one of my den parents) or myself to sign off on Webelos achievements. So, if you continue in a big den fashion you may want to consider regularly splitting the boys for the activities. Another suggestion is to keep any announcements brief. If you need to explain more, tell more, etc., then put it in a newsletter or e-mail to the parents. And as someone once mentioned in an earlier posting on this forum concerning den size, the downloadable Excel tracking charts are already set up for 15 scouts. That may be saying something??
  12. My Webelos' favorite is . . . "He jumped from 40,000 feet and forgot to pull the cord . . . " My goodness it's a loooonnnnnnngggg song!
  13. Thanks for all the suggestions!!! I ended up at a craft store yesterday that had on sale a plastic 6-drawer rolling cart. My son and I sorted various colors into 5 of the drawers. For the 6th drawer, I bought a set of drawer dividers so he could stash away all the little Lego characters, wheels, windshields, steering wheels, etc. We spent almost 3 hours sorting 1 big bin, 1 good size cardboard box, a shoebox & the stash underneath his chest of drawers. We still need to tackle the bottom of his toy box & what's been tossed in his desk. Yep, I think 16,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 is a pretty good guesstimate.
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