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Liz

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Everything posted by Liz

  1. 🤷‍♀️ I've heard of this several times from several different avenues (email from both National and Council, seen it shared several times on Facebook, etc.). I don't know yet whether my daughter (4th grade) will wear her uniform to school tomorrow. It's a decision she needs to make for herself. She initially said she would. She's prone to changing her mind though. I made sure the girls in our Troop knew about it. Don't have any idea whether they are going to participate or not. I'm not pushing the issue. I guess we'll see what happens.
  2. My Webelos Scout is outgrowing her blue uniform. Time to move up. The insignia guide ( https://filestore.scouting.org/filestore/pdf/34760.webelosscout.final.pdf ) gives three options for rank insignia. She should be earning her Webelos badge within the next 60 days or less. In the meantime, what I'm inclined to do is center the diamond shaped Bear badge on the pocket. I am unclear on whether this is an allowed configuration. The guide shows the diamond shaped Webelos badge on the pocket as an option, but I'm not clear on whether it's OK for that to just be the most recent rank earned or whether my options before she earns the Webelos badge are all 3 of her diamond badges (Bobcat, Wolf, Bear) or no badge at all. I'd rather not put all 3 badges on the uniform because they may leave some sewing marks that won't be covered by the oval Webelos badge or future Scout badges. Tiger badge was not earned, if that matters, only because they weren't allowing girls in Cub Scouts until she was in 2nd grade.
  3. Liz

    Country Meats

    We don't live in an area that has a strong cultural support of Scouts. There are individuals who will pay/buy anything of course; but as a rule we wouldn't have a chance of having a single Scout selling $1,000 worth of popcorn. We definitely have that opportunity with the candy and meat sticks we sell instead. I lived in a different Council when my older kids were in Scouts. In particular, we lived in an area that had a stronger support of Scouting than the general area the Council covered. We participated in popcorn sales but didn't earn enough to make a dent in our yearly fundraising goals. My kids would go door to door and collect maybe $60 in outright donations if they were lucky and maybe one person would order some popcorn, necessitating another trip out to deliver it. They'd go door to door in the same neighborhood a couple months later taking orders for Christmas Wreaths and bring in a ton of money. For a couple of years, we started selling a local eco-friendly coupon book alongside the popcorn fundraiser. The kids did MUCH better when they could walk up to the door and say "Would you like to buy some popcorn or would you prefer this $20 coupon book?" We went through cases of those coupon books. The only people who bought popcorn were the occasional Scouting family who kind of considered it a tradition to buy the Scout popcorn. As in, maybe one or two people in the neighborhood in any given year. This wasn't a case of them automatically buying the cheapest option to support Scouts. This was a case of actually offering something of value that people were interested in, or at least willing to buy. Planning a trip on Amtrak within the next year? Going to buy a case of organic flour at Bob's Red Mill? Get your money back by using just this one coupon! I agree that popcorn sales are really a "thank you for your donation" more than a product sale. And if you don't live in a place where people are really wanting to make donations to BSA, it doesn't go over real well. I'm so glad the Council we are in now doesn't bother with it.
  4. Liz

    Advice for a new CC

    I love your website! Is this a template that's available for purchase or did someone donate their time and talents to create it just for your Troop? We are looking at getting our website up and running shortly and man, if we don't have to re-invent the wheel, it would make me happy!
  5. While true (at least in terms of REPORTED sex offenders), why does this not mean that we need to have male and female leaders on ALL outings, regardless of the gender of the youth involved? All or nearly all of the lawsuits against the BSA for previous failures to protect youth from sexual predators is from abuse against male youth. Why do they deserve less protection than female youth? Is there any particular evidence that girls are in more danger than boys from sexual predators? We do know male victims report less often than females, but not necessarily that they are victimized less.
  6. That's just heartbreaking to me. I understand where you're coming from entirely. But IMO, we need to practice two-deep leadership and other YPT rules like the law, because that will stop the few rotten apples from doing damage, and from there practice "A Scout is Trustworthy." Yes, I'd allow my daughter to attend events without female leaders present, as long as I had faith that YPT was consistently followed in the unit. I don't worry about unit leaders preying on my daughter partly because I know they are never ever alone with her.
  7. Liz

    Limit for Cub Scout nights of camping

    My understanding is that the difference between "pack" camping and "family" camping is that in "family" camping each cub scout has at least one parent or guardian present. And family camping does't have any such one-night limits, does it?
  8. Help me out here, Scouters! Our Troop is new and the girls are just starting to get their legs under them. They're working on a one-year plan but at the moment we're scrambling to figure out relatively last minute camping options. Here's our situation: * One of the Scouts has a broken leg, very limited mobility right now, and has to keep her cast from getting wet. At all. * We are in Oregon. The odds of it not raining during a campout are not high. * We only have 6 Scouts so excluding even one from a campout is not an option we want to seriously consider. * The only weekend we don't have fundraising commitments for this month is October 18-20 (we help with parking for Oregon Duck home games during the entire football season). * All our in-council camp facilities are booked for our one available weekend. * All the area group campsites that I can find and all the state and federal campgrounds I can find that have yurts or cabins are booked. A group site with a group shelter would give the girl with a broken leg a dry place to hang out, as would a non-tent option suck as a 'dak, yurt, or cabin. But individual campsites at a state park in tents... I dunno. We don't have a lot of equipment yet for creating a decent shelter area other than just the minimum of what we need to do an outdoor kitchen. There is a nearby out-of-council camp that has availability (Butte Creek Scout Ranch in Scotts Mills, OR) and some of their sites have 'daks but I've never been there and I don't know how accessible their sites are and of course nobody's answering the phone on the weekend (totally expected) and during the workweek I am not available to be making phone calls at all. The girls have asked for adult help locating a campground that will include everyone and we're trying but I am not having a ton of luck. We may end up in a local campground so the girl with the broken leg can just join us during the day or something, but she missed our last campout too due to the leg (happened right before our event) so she really doesn't want to miss any of this one. I live in a forest and have a couple of acres. How bad would it be to have the girls camp in my woods for the weekend? We have a fire ring and room for tents. Help me brainstorm a solution here.
  9. Good point. Her parents are on top of the medical treatment so I'll mention it to dad and I'm sure he'll make sure to ask. One great advantage to having it at our house instead of hours away is that if her doctor says "no camping" she can still come in the morning and hang out with us as long as she feels up to it.
  10. Yikes. Definitely not someone I want in charge of my kids out on the water.
  11. Indigenous People Day is not a school holiday in our state anyway. We don't have any area-wide long weekends coming up until Thanksgiving (and I don't think anybody wants to camp for Thanksgiving). We should usually have plenty of camping options within an hour or so of home when we can plan ahead. It just so happens that the OA has that particular weekend reserved for our biggest Council camp, and the only other Council camps with availability just won't offer a viable experience for a kid who can't walk. The ones where you can drive up to the campsite tend to get reserved first. We just need to get our year plan nailed down and then as time goes on it will get easier.
  12. Liz

    Country Meats

    Our entire Council opts out of popcorn. We sell World's Finest Chocolate bars and Tillamook Country Smoker meat sticks (same idea as Country Meats but local-ish / in-state company). They do pretty much sell themselves. My daughter dons her uniform and goes out on Pokemon Community Day and pushes a stroller around downtown with a big sign advertising "Pokemon Trainer Candy" for $1. If it's not raining too hard, people snap it right up. I've also got a secret stash of meat sticks and candy bars in the staff cabinet in my classroom and it's disappearing at a pretty steady rate. I accept IOUs in the envelope from my co-workers to make it easy. Oh, and I buy a fair number myself for my lunchbox and for snacks for the kids. This is a Council fundraiser so obviously we're sharing profit with the Council. Springtime, the Council runs a Camp Card fundraiser.
  13. Liz

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    True. Ignorance and indifference are very closely related, and in the case of this particular company I feel it was a combination of both. I'm glad I don't work for them anymore.
  14. Liz

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    Yes, and I only have a small handful of restaurants I'm willing to eat at as a result. But using breadsticks as table decorations was a whole level of "we don't give a ____" beyond what I could really comprehend for a company that somehow thought they were making gluten free food available.
  15. Liz

    Messenger of Peace

    I know for a fact that none of the youth in my unit (nor most of the leaders) knew what it was for until I told them. Our Council shop sells the shirts with the patches already sewn on. So as far as a lot of people know it's just part of the shirt.
  16. Liz

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    I guess part of what I'm getting at is that simple awareness of dietary restrictions is a skill I think Scouts should learn. Sometimes that's going to mean "Don't forget to wash your hands after a peanut butter sandwich, but the allergic kid cooks his or her own food," and sometimes it will mean "Maybe we could make quesedillas on corn tortillas instead of grilled cheese sandwiches so the wheat-allergic kid can eat the same thing as the rest of us." It's shocking how few people have even a basic understanding of allergens and cross-contact. In a Facebook recipe group I'm in, someone asked for alternatives to corn bread to go with chili because her son is allergic to corn. Most people answered with "Fritos" or "Tortilla chips." Nobody I know is allergic to corn but I dang well know that Fritos and Tortilla chips are primarily made from corn. Once I went to a mandatory office party and one of the executives wandered by my table where I was sitting alone and asked why I was eating the table decorations (they were all made out of tropical fruit, still in the skins and stuck together with bamboo skewers in goofy shapes). I said I had Celiac and nothing they were serving was safe for me to eat. She said Oh, we made sure there were lots of gluten free options, did you see the table of fruit and cheese and meats? I asked her if anybody had given any thought to the fact that they'd used breadsticks as table decorations interspersed throughout the food table. She looked at me like a deer in the headlights, asked for my name, and asked if she could contact me before the next event for advice on how to better serve employees with Celiac and other food allergies (this was a big company with LOTS of employees). I said sure... and never heard from her again, not even after I emailed her to ask if I could help with food planning for another upcoming function. This was just one example - pretty much all our functions were like that. At another function everything they had on the buffet line was marked with a sign that said gluten free... except the buns which were at the front of the table and were the first thing every person put on their plate before going through the line risking cross contact with everything else on the table. They even had gluten free buns available, and an empty serving table they could have used with the gluten free buns in order to avoid cross contact, but nobody stopped to think about it. Sometimes it really is just one small change you can make, which will make a HUGE difference when you want to be inclusive. This applies to food and other disabilities as well.
  17. Liz

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    Very true. My youngest child is sensitive to cow's milk, both the protein and the lactose. She gets tummy aches and eczema. She does fine with butter, as well as sheep and goat dairy products of all kinds, and I don't worry about trace amounts of milk in ingredients for her. But last time she convinced my oldest kid who was babysitting that it was OK for her to eat her sister's goldfish crackers, I had to listen to her moan about tummy aches for a week. 🙄😂 As for me, if I get a trace of gluten in my food I may very well miss a week or more of work over it. Other than a SMALL stash of snacks that my 9 year old is allowed to take to school to eat (hence the goldfish crackers), nothing in my kitchen is allowed to contain gluten. I bought my own brand new dutch oven to take camping that I won't share with the girls because you can't reliably clean gluten out of iron. The key to doing any group meal planning is to ensure you talk to the family and find out exactly what you're dealing with. If I had a Scout in my Troop with, let's say, a life threatening peanut allergy, I'd encourage all campouts to be peanut-free at least in terms of group cooking.
  18. Liz

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    I've had Celiac for more than 10 years and after extensive research I've pretty much memorized the major brands I can count on to list gluten in their ingredients if it's present. I would pass on a generic brand with the same thing in the ingredients list, but I'd buy McCormick.
  19. Liz

    Webelos insignia on tan uniform

    Huh. I guess I missed that memo. On the other hand, "Once an official uniform, always an official uniform," so I don't really see it as "enforceable." Overall though, I don't like the change. I think the gradual phase-in during the Webelos years makes more economical sense. Families with the resources to run down to the Scout Shop and buy a new shirt were welcome to do so, and other families were welcome to wait until the blue uniform was outgrown. Oh well. I opted for the lazy and apparently currently correct route of leaving the rank insignia off the tan uniform entirely. Sewing badges on pockets is a PITA. I think when she earns the Webelos badge I'll sew some Velcro on it and be done with it.
  20. Liz

    Webelos insignia on tan uniform

    Huh. It also doesn't show the blue uniform as an option for Webelos any longer. I don't see that changing any time soon though. A Scout is Thrifty. The "grace period" to let kids outgrow their blue uniform before they switch to tan is pretty useful. In other news, I am trying to decide whether to save or pass along this blue uniform. I'm afraid my petite youngest child might be in 6th grade before she grows into it. 😛
  21. Liz

    Webelos insignia on tan uniform

    That's good to know. Unfortunately, it doesn't exactly answer the question of whether I can place any rank insignia on the tan uniform other than the Webelos rank. 😕 It doesn't show any other options, but it doesn't appear to prohibit it either (and the diamond shaped previous ranks were previously allowed).
  22. Liz

    Webelos insignia on tan uniform

    I guess, but I think those are pretty ugly.
  23. Liz

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    I once had a situation where I hand delivered the "special needs" request forms for the two Celiac Scouts in our Troop to the Council months in advance of summer camp. It included requests for fridge space for the kids to bring some of their own food and that sort of thing. I wasn't really asking for much - certainly not for the camp to provide special food. The kids were willing to bring their own camp stoves and the like; they just wanted a place to store perishable food and a sink to clean their own dishes in. I never heard back so a couple weeks before camp I called the Council office to verify that our kids would be accommodated. They told me it was too late to accommodate anything. I explained that I had brought the forms in months ago and dropped them off myself, including who I had given them to and approximately what date it had been. Eventually they found them mis-filed in the Council office. Their response was (without consulting us) to issue a refund to the two boys in question and tell us that they were not welcome at Camp. My son decided to take them up on the refund. The other one decided he'd rather live on nothing but salad and trail mix for a week and got his mom to call and yell at them until they agreed to let him come as long as they didn't have to actually do anything with his request. I'm gonna be honest here, that left a pretty sour taste in my mouth. In terms of patrol cooking, I don't think it has to mean a backing off of "boy led" at all. It just means the boys have to learn that peanut butter sandwiches may not be the solution for every campout depending on the needs of their members. Adults need to do the same thing they always do - keep an eye out for potential safety violations and say something to the SPL if something is looking unsafe - just like they would if a patrol was undercooking their hamburgers. Food safety is a thing with or without allergies. Learning how to think outside the box and plan a menu with constraints is a better skill than teaching them to live on cereal and sandwiches and donuts whenever they are camping. I've spent the last 10 years or so accommodating not only Celiac but dairy allergies, nut allergies, and shellfish allergies for our family Thanksgiving meal. It takes a little creativity but we do it and we do it RIGHT so everyone feels safe and can eat (almost) everything that is being served. For dessert we usually do have diary and non-dairy options to choose among, and they are clearly marked. Learning how to do food service including the "this isn't always easy" cases is a life skill that can turn into a career skill for some of our Scouts. My son (the one with Celiac) is now seriously considering a career in the culinary arts. He wants to open a food cart serving gluten free pizza. He's becoming quite an excellent chef, actually, and I love it when he comes over to visit and cook dinner for us.
  24. Liz

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    Yes, having the kids do individual meals does help, and that's more or less what we've usually done. But it's not the most frugal option. Individual servings of food tend to cost more. When my older kids were still Scouts, we had an entire patrol we put all the kids with food allergies in. They all had their individual mess kits, backpacking stoves, and did their own individual meal planning. But they didn't have the advantage of learning to cook together as a Patrol. It worked, and I might do it again faced with the same challenges in a future troop, but it's not without its disadvantages. Food preferences should be considered a burden of the individual Scout. But actual medical dietary restrictions CAN be accommodated in a group setting without going crazy. Whether it always makes sense to do so is another question, but IMO it makes sense to do it at least sometimes. It is good practice for the kids. Edited to add: It's important to understand how dietary restrictions affect kids socially and emotionally too. Having that one kid who always has to stay out of the kitchen area and eat his meal away from the rest of the patrol is not a good way to foster a sense of belonging.
  25. Liz

    The Frugal Camp Menu

    Menu for 9 scouts, $50.36, gluten, dairy, nut, and peanut free. Also, I serve a fresh fruit or veggie with each meal because I'm like that. $5.60 per person. Breakfast menu (2 breakfasts): Hard boiled eggs, Cream of Rice hot cereal, Fresh Fruit (oranges or bananas) Lunch: Carrots, "Beanie weenies" (baked beans and turkey franks) Dinner: Dutch Oven Drumsticks (with seasoning), Baked Potatoes, Broccoli Florets.
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