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Everything posted by LauraT7

  1. On Friday, July 28, 2006 Wm. Paul McKay was killed in a one-car auto accident. Paul was the SM of Troop 159, Woodstock IL for the past 5 yrs, a wonderful father to Will & Kori, loving husband to Diane and good friend to many. Paul was not a man of many words - instead, he lead the boys by his actions and his quiet presence. He guided them with love, humor and LOTS of patience. He was the kind of Scoutmaster that made the job 'look' easy - the adults supported him wholeheartedly, and all the kids adored him. Paul was extremely proud of his children - Will and Kori - with g
  2. Hi all - I haven't been able to check the site in quite awhile - it's been a busy summer. I do want to say that I appreciate the support and consideration you have all given me with Jon's situation - even if you disagreed with me, you did it with courtesy and thoughtfullness - a true 'scout' quality that I really appreciate. I also thrived on the long hours and hard work of camp when I was a teen - But I have also learned that even the toughest, nastiest jobs can be endured with a smile when shared by good friends who can lift your spirits in adversity. I think that was the m
  3. My son and i prefer camps with lakes, too - a pool is nice for learning swimming strokes, in water that doesn't have fish nipping your legs or seaweed, that is distracting to begining swimmers. A pool is fresh, clear and clean - and feels 'safe'. Though we have no problem with swimming in a pool to cool off - there's just something so much more relaxing about a lake.... in a lake, you can wade in the shallows and try to catch minnows in a bucket, find water-striders, frogs or turtles, identify footprints, build castles and dams, or bury your buddy in the sand. You can take in
  4. Jon has decided to quit this weekend after the end of the 4th camp session. there are a number of factors in this - some things came to light that I was not previously aware of - because of talking to other parents and leaders, & from visits to camp one full day during third session and another full day (10 AM to 11 pm) with our troop 4th session and actually seeing the 'program' in action. If it were just my observations, that would be one thing - but the leaders & boys in our troop reported that Jon was not 'himself' when they saw him at the pool and at meals. Jon is usu
  5. these are AWESOME! Keep 'em coming! What a talented goup of boys you have! laura
  6. Wow! thanks for this thread, folks! I have been told repeatedly by many sources in our council that boys under 18 cannot use power tools - especially in reference to Eagle projects. I was told that was SPECIFICALLY forbidden in the Life to Eagle packets, but had not had the time to research it myself or really read Jon's packet. I assumed that our SM and committee knew what they were talking about.... now, on second thought, knowing our committee, I SHOULD have assumed they were wrong - they usually are! ;-P I will make a specific effort to find the Official BSA backu
  7. I guess I know the answer is that summer camp staff is is expected to be much much more than, for example, a job at the local burger joint....with a time clock and 15 minute breaks and scheduled lunches. I did it myself for a number of years - though I can't remember what was 'assigned hours' and what was 'volunteer'.... I just LIVED it. However, as a unit counselor, I had 'downtime' when my unit had 'downtime' and a little time tomyself, besides. I know that as a BSA camp, Jon's job is much different than the one I had as a Girl Scout unit leader. And I was older (17 - 21). At
  8. Hi! One of the things that is great about being an adult in scouting, is being included in these priceless moments as you watch these boys grow up and realize how valuble their scouting years are..... You have a sensitive and intellegent boy if he realizes it himself now. something which might help your son with his 'transition' into Boy Scouting: talk with him about what made Webelos camp so special for him - was it the activities? the waterfront? the counselors? being with his buddies all day? camping out? campfires? did it really have all that much to do with WHERE he wa
  9. Hope this isn't too late for your camp..... We used to do a 'water olympics' every year with girl scouts in our council.... some of the events were.... Drown the counselor ( not really) however, this is good for non- swimmer participation in shallow water. 2 ( or more) teams - you put a counselor in a a canoe in knee-deep to waist deep water - and give the kids buckets, teaspoons, whatever. the first to 'sink' their counselor wins! you can make it a group with buckets or a relay, or whatever. CANOE TUG_O WAR tie the sterns of two canoes together, about 6' - 10
  10. My son is a life scout, and will be 16 in two weeks. He is working his first paid job as a camp counselor (swim instructor) at our local council camp this summer. the camp is short- staffed. Jon's best friend applied there just before school ended and Jon decided to apply just a week or so before staff week. I had no idea he wanted to be a camp counselor, but I had been a camp counselor myself for many years and had such great memories of the experiences, I encouraged him to go for it if he truly wanted to. I was rather surprised that the Director would hire a 15 yr old (almost
  11. I don't have the actual letters - but I heard my mom tell this story many times over the years.... Girl scout camp in wisconsin in the 70's was very different from boy scout camp - we did not go as a troop with our own leaders like the boys do - you usually went alone or went with one or two friends from your troop or area. Camp sessions were TWO weeks, not a week, and the counselors were high school and college girls who ran our units and lived in the same kind of canvas/ platform tents we did. no adult leaders, and certainly no one we already knew. One summer a group of 3 of us
  12. I think that the boys should have some 'troop' unstructured time, rather than 'individual' unstructured time... For example, a free hour after lunch or before dinner when they can all return to the campsite, visit, work on badge 'homework', organize an impromptu game of baseball or football ( our troop loves a game of football, with the tenderfoot scouts and SM against the older boys - the tenderfoots usually win!), hang up their wet towels and straigheten their tents, play a game of cards, whatever THEY choose to do with that time. the whole troop does not have to do the same thing - but
  13. btw - when we are recruiting 5th grade, 2nd semester Webelos, "inviting' them to participate in a troop activity, we follow Webelos rules and allow them to count the activitiy toward their boy scout activity requirements. In other words - a Webelo is still a cub and must have 1 parent/ 1 child supervision - and there are certain things a scout of that age can't do without training, etc - like if he canoes, he must pass the BSA swim test. So I would encourage a parent to go with this boy. It's a good intermediary step in this case, lets you get to know the family, who has no
  14. How old is Josh? many 5th graders are 11 or turn 11 during the school year - the minute he turns 11 yrs old - he can JOIN your troop officially. laura
  15. We ran into the same difficulty when trying to go back to a 'boy lead' program. The boys wanted to come up with their own ideas, but those ideas weren't very imaginative or original - they were same old/ same old. They don't know where to get ideas. what I have done is that everytime I see something that I think they might like I cut it out, collect it or print it. When we go on family trips, I collect brochures from the state visitors kiosks and take them back to the troop. when I hear of a troop that did a great trip, either online or at a scout training event, I get the info
  16. I am the 'unofficial' troop photographer since joining our troop 4-5 yrs ago - we get a group photo at the start of each major event (in uniform) like a high adventure trip, summer camp, etc. Periodically thru the year I try and catch the boys in uniform for individual photos for their TroopMaster file photo. I also get a couple of group photos at Scout Sunday. These are usually our best and update the whole troop at least once a year. We have a reception between services, and this is a great time to get multiple photos of everyone in uniform, with the leaders, parents and Pastor
  17. I have been a leader in our troop for 4-5 yrs, and have attended a number of Eagle ceremonies from our troop and others. I would say that a gift is not expected, or encouraged - but if you feel close to the scout or family, then let that be your guide. Some of the boys I have seen reach Eagle have been boys that have come up with my son since Tiger cubs. others are older brothers of troop memebers that I didn't really know personally. Since I tend to take alot of photos of our troop and it's activities - one thing I have always done (esp since Digital cameras makes this eas
  18. yes, I can believe it! it even amazes me how many BOYS can't get a fire going when they first join the troo! Even when they do learn - we found they often get rigidly set on ONE CERTAIN WAY to make a fire, without really understanding what makes a fire 'work' n certain conditions, and what doesn't. However, our boys can NOW start a fire - pretty much - by rubbing two sticks together - or any other firestarting / building method. The boys really enjoy learning the 'alternatives' to matches - flint and steel, magnesium stick, magnifying glass, and yes - the old "rubbing two sticks"
  19. Well, I guess that's my question, then - If I have to be 'recommended' by the one adult in our troop who is OA - and he doesn't want any other troop adults in OA, I'm out of luck? We do have boys elected to OA almost every year - but have NEVER had any adults, and this one adult was inducted as a boy. he is not married and has no kids in the troop himself. or is it the general troop committee that 'recommends' adults to OA? laura BTW - scoutldr "merely walks around with a coffee cup or comes to meetings just to socialize in the back of the room is really ju
  20. Hi - I have been with my troop as a leader for over 4 yrs, very active with the boys and go on most of the campouts and summer camp with them. We have an AWESOME group of boys who I am very proud to be associated with. However, I have been EXTREMEMLY frustrated with the adults in our troop - over and over again, they mess things up with their petty crap. I would join another troop, except that my son is close to his Eagle and really does not want to leave his friends. As I love to camp, and the main purpose of OA (as I understand it) is to promote camping and program wi
  21. Just have the parent come up with every odd injury they have ever heard of a kid doing - it's bound to happen again to somebody! injuries i've heard of : ( not all in our troop, thank heaven! we've actually had very few injuries, most solved with a basic first aid kit and Mrs t's 'expanded' stuff) Broken bones - usually arms, collarbones, shins - once a knee and an ankle - both on caving expiditions. Scrapes - lots of them. Make sure you have plenty of wipes or liquid available and soap to wash them, and gauze pads and tape to keep the dirt out until they get a scab over it.
  22. Not only should you wear your uniform - in Full, baubles, pins, pants etc - but PLEASE encourage the boys to wear FULL uniform with Badge sash and neckerchief, etc and uniform or dress pants (not jeans) and nice shoes ( not gym shoes!) Esp as many troops are chartered by churches, those church members like to SEE what the boys are accomplishing. It makes a great ice-breaker between services for the boys to have their pins and badge sashes on, people ask the meaning of the 'baubles' and learn about scouting, or reflect on their own scouting experiences. For some reason, our
  23. whatever happened to usscouting .org? I know I haven't been around for awhile, but I tried to find it again for some links to scouting with a palm pilot / pocket pc that I knew they had, and I can't find it. Did it go down? loose their servers? where did it go? help! Laura
  24. Seeds don't always work - esp as kids tend to overwater or under water as they get bored before the plants poke up. if you are going to use SEEDS - pick something large - like a bean or sunflower, so they can see the seed split and start. it's easier if you start them between wet paper towels or seed starter with the group, and then plant them individually from those that actually germinate. better yet - use some kind of pretty, easy to grow houseplant that roots easily from cuttings - like pothos (what you see hanging in all the restaurants and dr's offices - green w/ white
  25. You did get some great answers - as a scouting parent of an ADHD/gifted boy who is also "odd" - I can relate. Jon doesn't 'seem' to be handicapped, but in social skills and maturity, he often is seen as 'different' or 'odd' by his peers. We searched for a troop that is understanding of differences. Our troop has a number of mild and not-so-mild 'special needs' kids. And while there has been some teasing, for the most part, the adults are real quick to nip it in the bud and not let the boys get away with that stuff. it just isn't what scouting is all about. I won't say we
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