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Everything posted by LeCastor

  1. I have been doing research on high adventure in Scouting and, since I live in Wisconsin, I am especially interested in the former Region 7 Explorer Canoe Base/Northern Wisconsin Canoe Base near Boulder Junction, WI. I know of a site that was set up online several years back for staff alumni but the stories there are more from the 1930s and 1940s. http://www.w9fz.com/canoebase/ I'm interested to hear any personal stories or anecdotes of being on staff during the 1970s. What was it like there? What were some of the activities? Any photos from the trips? For a Boy's Life article from 1972, please view page six in the link below: http://books.google.com/books?id=sfXpaT4q89EC&printsec=frontcover&rview=1&source=gbs_ge_summary_r&cad=0#v=onepage&q&f=false ****** (In addition, I hear that this Canoe Base was a popular place to conduct Wood Badge during the 1960s. Did anyone participate there? What was it like? Photos?) ****** I realize this is more a history topic but it still seems valid in regards to high adventure. We can learn from these experiences and use them for today's programming. Also, I know that Northern Tier exists today but I still am interested to know more about Wisconsin's Scouting heritage. Looking forward to hearing some fun stories! Yours in Scouting, LeCastor
  2. Do the Scouts in your unit choose to attend your council camp or do you go out of council? What do the Scouts look for when choosing one camp over another? What's your favorite BSA camp?
  3. I see many instances where the phrase "cabin camping" is used on the Forum and it concerns me slightly, from the simple standpoint of Scout advancement. While sleeping a cabin is undoubtedly a valid/frequent/normal exercise in the annals of Boy Scout activities tradition, it does not fit within the acceptable activities to fulfill the camping requirements for Tenderfoot, 2nd Class, 1st Class, or Camping Merit Badge. To be clear, I am simply supplying the Forum with a resource from the BSA explaining camping requirements. I'm in no way knocking sleeping in a cabin; or letting the Scouts decide whether or not they want to sleep in a cabin; or whether or not to let the Scouts use paper plates; or letting the adults cook; etc. I think you get my drift.
  4. I thought it might be a good idea to post some resources on here that might help us inform our fellow Scouters how best to let the Patrol Method/System run rather than trying to run the Patrol Method/System. This one is from our Canadian friends at The Dump. Patrol System.pdf
  5. LeCastor

    Am I the only one?

  6. LeCastor

    James E. West Fellowship

    Yes, I agree with you about the "too much US and THEM" on this forum. Very often when reading everyone's definitive answers I can't help but think of The Dude's quote from The Big Lebowski: "Well, that's just, like, your opinion, man."
  7. LeCastor

    Patrol Method/System Resources

    And now the final installment of GBB's "Patrol Ideas" in pt. 4 of the series. Here Bill talks about Patrol cooking, campfire programs, and Patrol flags. Enjoy and stay tuned for more Patrol strengthening insights from Green Bar Bill! Patrol_Ideas_by_Green_Bar_Bill_pt4.pdf
  8. I wish we could go back to discussing topics that pertain to the nuts and bolts of Scouting. You may have noticed that I continue to post in the Patrol Method section several times each week. In my opinion, Green Bar Bill's legacy needs more focus here and less of the discussion of "issues & politics." This particular I&P sub-forum was initiated, I believe, to keep the divisive language and attitudes out of the other Scouting sub-fora. I tend to stay out of I&P because I'm more interested in hearing about Scouting topics like Patrol Method, Advancement, etc., just as @Eagledad mentions above. Why don't we challenge ourselves to stay out of I&P for a week and focus on building up the Patrol Method? How about discussing fun options for Blue and Gold ceremonies? My moderation style is more of suggestions like this and I think it would be great if we could steer our passion for Scouting away from bickering at each other and, instead, focusing on being Scouts and Scouters.
  9. LeCastor

    Patrol Method/System Resources

    And now...Here's Part 3 of Green Bar Bill's "Patrol Ideas!" This edition features articles on Patrol hiking, equipment, and camping! Patrol_Ideas_by_Green_Bar_Bill_pt3.pdf
  10. LeCastor

    The Joy of a Used Uniform Item

    When I was a boy and began my Scouting journey as a Bear, my grandfather, who was a Lone Scout in rural Nebraska in the 1930s, began to give me small pieces of Scouting memorabilia. Some include an original 1929 copy of Green Bar Bill's Handbook for Patrol Leaders, several Scouting jackknives, backpacks, and a mess kit utensil set I still use on camping trips. Of course, the really important stuff my grandfather gave me was the woodcraft, campcraft, and general life knowledge he shared with me over our relatively short time together on this Earth. Since I became an adult Scouter, I have taken joy in finding used uniform items on eBay or the thrift shops because, to me, they tell a story, or stories depending on the age of the item. Who wore this or that? Where did they do their Scouting? As I write this post I'm wearing a vintage red wool jac-shirt that belonged to some unknown Scouter before me. To me it's fun to wonder what adventures this jac-shirt was a part of. Now, in a way, I'm carrying on the adventure of this uniform item with my own Scouting experiences. Do any of you have historical, or not quite so historical, uniform items that you wear? Do you know the stories behind these items?
  11. LeCastor

    Patrol Method/System Resources

    Ok, boys and girls...Here's Part 2 of Green Bar Bill's "Patrol Ideas" for your viewing pleasure. Good Scouting to you! Patrol_Ideas_by_Green_Bar_Bill_pt2.pdf
  12. LeCastor

    Patrol Method/System Resources

    I found a 2010 printing of the Patrol Leader Handbook online. The Troop Program Features are simply canned meetings that anyone should be able to pick up and run with, provided they have the materials, etc.
  13. LeCastor

    Patrol Method/System Resources

    @ItsBrian, I think the simple fact that you're here with us on the Forum shows you care a lot about Scouting and about the Scouts in your Troop. I admire your decision to join this group and give we Scouters a view from the youth perspective. I think what @The Latin Scot and @Eagledad are saying is that, as is this topic's subject, the Patrol Leader Handbook is simply a resource for Scouts on how to implement and maintain the Patrol System within a Troop. I like that you modify the games and such to fit your needs. This is another example of how you are being a good leader and adapting a resource to fit the needs of your Troop's Patrol(s). Like you, my Troop was small and I was the SPL. Coincidentally, I came across my old meeting plans in a box the other day and looked back fondly on the time and energy I spent preparing awesome meetings for my fellow Scouts. You do what you think it best for your Scouts and make sure they are having fun and learning the necessary skills.
  14. LeCastor

    Patrol Method/System Resources

    Who's up for a daily dose of Green Bar Bill? Here is the first part of a Boys' Life reprint called "Patrol Ideas." Enjoy and Good Scouting to you! Patrol_Ideas_by_Green_Bar_Bill_pt1.pdf
  15. LeCastor

    Louisiana Camp Sites

    @daimyo, I came up through Scouting in the New Orleans Area Council (now Southeast Louisiana Council), and we often camped in Mississippi or the Florida/Alabama Gulf Coast. But I think one of the most memorable trips my Troop took was to the Tuxachanie Trail. We parked the cars at a trailhead and backpacked into the woods, camped two nights on the trail, and then hiked back to the cars. I remember using just a visqueen tarp as a shelter, all rolled up in it like a cocoon. When I woke up my Patrol mates were laughing at me because my sweatshirt hood, which was fastened tight around my face, had a think coating of ice from my breath. BTW, I also camped at Tickfaw SP one time. It wasn't my favorite, so I can see why you'd want to go somewhere else. Our Troop also frequented Bogue Chitto SP. Both @Eagle94-A1 and I share a fondness for Salmen Scout Reservation in MS, as we both went there as youth.
  16. LeCastor


    Welcome @Pack1_Axel! As RS says, you could do it yourself for cheap. I know my local council's Program Director has a partner he works with directly and can usually get t-shirts printed up for about $10/each. You might just ask you Unit Commissioner or your District Executive if your local council has a partner.
  17. LeCastor

    OA to end AoL ceremonies?

    The issue of culture and identity have come up several times in this thread. It's a complicated topic, for sure. However, I think we need to be careful when we try to compare German and Irish traditions with those of Native American nations. There is no one NA culture, as there are many, many NA tribes and tribal nations. As said earlier in this thread, some tribes/nations support OA and work closely with their respective Lodges. In other cases, the opposite is true. I'll politely ask again for you to offer solutions to Packs who may need guidance on best practices when it comes to the next round of AoL ceremonies.
  18. LeCastor

    OA to end AoL ceremonies?

    @Back Pack, I appreciate your frustration and understand the points you are making. The Order of the Arrow is a camping honor society meant for the advancement of the ideals of a brotherhood of cheerful service. The youth (until age 21) are the ones leading the show, albeit under the guidance of adults--just as Scouts in a Troop are guided by an adult Scoutmaster. Honestly, I don't think any adults are intentionally trying to make the OA experience less fun. Rather, I'm pretty sure this particular issue at hand, no Arrow Light ceremonies in perceived Native American regalia, is due to lawsuits or the threat of lawsuits, which would bring a further financial burden upon the BSA.
  19. Here is an interesting article from the May 1992 issue of Scouting where experienced Scouters were being trained how to instruct reluctant Scouters in camping skills. Maybe worth revisiting??
  20. LeCastor

    OA to end AoL ceremonies?

    Given that this change from OA regalia to no OA regalia is likely a done deal, what suggestions do you all have for making an impressive AoL ceremony for the Webelos crossing over?
  21. LeCastor

    OA to end AoL ceremonies?

    Our Lodge Advisor attended an event at Philmont Training Center last fall and it was mentioned that, henceforth, OA chapters are NOT to conduct Arrow of Light ceremonies in Native American regalia. (As a member of the ceremonies team in my youth Lodge, I was always encouraged to call it "regalia" and never a "costume." Not knocking anyone on the Forum--just an FYI from my Chapter Advisor.) This doesn't mean that Arrowmen cannot conduct an AoL ceremony out of regalia. No, it wouldn't have the same effect but would still be impressive to the Webelos in that they see older Boy Scouts in uniform with bright white sashes welcoming them to Boy Scouting. Over the years, I have kept somewhat close tabs on how the Order of the Arrow is viewed by various Native American nations. Some support the OA and others don't. There have been lawsuits filed against the BSA by various nations, so moving forward the OA will have to be cautious about how ceremonies in NA regalia are depicted in various media. My understanding is that there shouldn't be any published photographs of Arrowmen in regalia whatsoever. (In theory, no Ordeal, Brotherhood, or Vigil ceremonies should be videotaped or photographed anyway...)
  22. LeCastor

    Patrol Method/System Resources

    Here is another installment of Green Bar Bill's ideas for successful Patrol meetings. Enjoy! (I'm scanning these at the public library and, while I am allowed 30 minutes with the scanner, I get dirty looks when people see me with enormous stacks of papers. Please be patient as I do these little by little. On the plus side, it gives you time to digest these before the next ones come along!) Campfire_of_Green_Bar_Bill.pdf
  23. I don't think that's necessarily the point RS is trying to make. Personally loving the outdoors and being enthusiastic about the Outdoor Program (as a method of Scouting for the youth) are not totally the same thing.
  24. Perhaps this is another situation where training--and training by doing--would be necessary. All active parents would be encouraged to go camping as a group, free of charge of course, to learn about the Outdoor Method in the out-of-doors. No Scouts, necessarily, but rather a retreat of sorts where instruction would be provided by experienced Scouters wise in the ways of the Force, uh, I mean Patrol Method.
  25. LeCastor

    Interesting discussion last night

    When in doubt ask Bill! From the Handbook for Scoutmasters, 3rd edition, 1938, Vol. 2.