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Everything posted by Liz

  1. Our young ladies have decided to reserve 2 yurts at a state campground for a "cabin camping" weekend next month. Each yurt holds 8 people. The intention is to have the youth in one yurt and the adults in the other (we only have 8 youth planning to go; it's a new, small female unit). How would you interpret this rule to apply here? We'll need to get creative for the male and female adult issue (probably involving the addition of an RV or something, and one male leader has offered to just sleep alone in his truck), so I'm confident we'll find a way to handle that. But I am not entirely sure how to deal with the 2-year thing for the youth yurt. Do we follow a tent rule because no specific exception is made for lodging, or does that rule not apply because it's not mentioned for lodging? The only thing I can think of to get around it is to have our 2 or 3 oldest Scouts pitch a tent outside the yurt or something. Our Scouts are all fairly closely clustered from 11-13 years old, but we have at least one who hasn't turned 11 yet (recent crossover), and a couple of the 13 year olds are getting pretty close to 14. So... OK in a large group because of the limitations of the lodgings? Or pull out the 13 year olds and tell them they have to tent it?
  2. Right. That was a case where we had one Scout who, while the same age as the others, was MUCH larger, and he had a long history of major behavioral problems. We couldn't see any sign that his parents were acknowledging or addressing those problems. He'd been in cub scouts with my oldest, and the incident occurred at their first Campboree shortly after crossing over. I think all the kids in my child's patrol were traumatized by the incident. They all did single-person tent camping from there until the end of their Scouting days (which for several of them was 7 more years).
  3. I've seen an abusive situation happen in a large tent full of same-age (11 year old) Scouts, but then again, we were able to quickly put a stop to it and the offender was immediately sent home from the event and then barred from Scouting. That might have been more challenging in a 2-person tent where it was one kid's word against the other's. I feel quite comfortable with our girls sharing a yurt. I just wanted an outside pair of eyes on the G2SS rules to make sure I wasn't conveniently interpreting it to suit my unit's situation. Stringing a hammock outside (without rain and wind protection) would not be an option for a February campout on the Oregon coast, but it's definitely something to keep in mind for other outings.
  4. So, news outlets are notoriously lazy about details. It didn't actually say that $1200 cash was donated to the senior center. It vaguely "went to" the senior center. If the Scouts in the unit decided to spend $1200 on an event that they made possible for the Senior Center, I don't see a single issue for that. That's not raising money for another organization, that's using money they've raised for their unit to do a good turn for a neighbor. I don't think the distinction between those two things is all that blurry (maybe it can be sometimes). We don't really know exactly what happened. Sure, the article makes it sound like donated money, but I don't see a direct quote from anybody stating it was donated money. Just that it was used for the benefit of the seniors. I've read too many news articles about issues I had first-hand knowledge about to use anything written in a news article as evidence of wrongdoing.
  5. oh yeah, and a red numeral 2 (actually two of them) or a 20 but I already have a few 0s I have a zillion random patches I can trade. I’ll post a photo if anybody has the above patches laying around they might want to trade me. I can walk into the Scout Shop and buy these for a few bucks each of course, but A Scout is Thrifty so I figure I should ask here first.
  6. Ah, I didn't realize there wasn't one for Secretary. Troop Committee would work.
  7. Our Council will waive the 5 Scout requirement if there is a plan in place to promote growth. Our Girl Troop started with 3 in July, and we're up to 7 now including the Scout we just accepted at Crossover last night, plus there's another girl that's almost done with her AOL that we know is committed to joining us shortly, and we are having a Webelos Night this week and will have a sign-up table for the 5th grade girls. Our Pack had all its recharter paperwork ready with 4 Scouts, our Cubmaster attended a meeting to get recruiting ideas we were getting ready to implement, and everything was going to be approved when our COR stepped down at the last minute (or maybe not at the last minute but they didn't inform us until a few weeks ago) and the CO declined to replace her so *poof* our Pack dissolved in a puff of steam. One of the 4 Scouts finished her AOL and crossed over ahead of schedule (see above) and the other 3 are joining other local packs. I think the "is there a plan in place to grow" is a reasonable question to answer when making exceptions to the 5 Scout rule.
  8. We usually start with a round of "Sorry I'm late," and "Do you know if so-and-so is coming?" We usually meet after hours in a truck stop type restaurant owned by our CC; occasionally if we're not in too much of a hurry she'll take orders and make everyone a burger or something. Every once in a while, if a financial or policy change decision is made, someone reminds the rest of us that someone should make a motion and we should officially vote on it. That's pretty much it. Our committee meetings are very informal.
  9. This week our pack's CO informed us that they would not be renewing our charter. I'm not sure why, but perhaps the fact that we only have 4 cubs, one of whom is just weeks away from earning her AOL, has a lot to do with it. I'm sure for the oldest girl she will just transition to the Troop a little earlier than planned. That leaves my 4th grader and one other, and one 3rd grader to find a new home. I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for here other than commiseration maybe. We switched to this pack less than a year ago after dealing with irreconcilable differences in our previous Pack leadership. We will need to weigh our options. We could merge with another small pack in the area. On the surface, that makes the most sense. But at the time when we moved to this pack on the other side of town (I have to allow 45 minutes to get to a pack meeting to allow for traffic) we didn't have any closer options that were accepting girls. Now we do, and I was planning on investigating a nearby Pack next year when my youngest is old enough to join Lions. So if we stick with one of the neighboring Packs, I'm probably looking at switching again a year from now and that feels overwhelming to me right now. On the other hand, I'd like to allow my daughter to finish Cubs with the other kid she's been working with for the last year or so, as that's important to her. So unless his parents want to start coming to my side of town for meetings, switching again next year might just be inevitable. Anyway, I'm really just venting, but if anybody has any great advice, I'm all ears. We had been planning to take our kids to an out of council Webelos-only summer camp this coming summer, too. I wonder how that will work if we integrate into an existing Pack with its own plans, or if we end up in different packs.
  10. Liz

    Have to find a new Pack... again. :(

    Well, we've visited both potential packs. Both my daughter and I really prefer the pack that is closer to our home. She feels much more comfortable there. The other pack, she didn't want to be there, she wanted to go home, and she didn't want to go back. Why? I'm not sure. I felt it wasn't as organized as I would have liked but I didn't have the visceral "I don't like it here" reaction that she did. But the one in our neighborhood seems like a super fun, super inviting sort of a group, with a decent amount of structure and discipline while still room for kids to be kids, as well as a great meeting space for kids to play indoor games in winter and next door to a large park for outdoor activities closer to summer. My daughter is sad about "splitting up" from the other kid her age from our old Pack, but we'll be getting together to work on the Moviemaking pin and I'm sure other things over the next year they have as Webelos; and they'd eventually have to go to different Troops anyway. I'm feeling a lot better just having the decision made. Now we just have to figure out how we handle her re-registration.
  11. Liz

    Neckerchief Slide

    My daughter has lost her Bear slide. Any ideas of homemade slides she could make to replace it? I don't want to buy her another one - we're getting pretty close to Webelos. She is pretty crafty. I welcome a variety of suggestions with a range of skill levels, but prefer something that doesn't involve power tools just because I'd like her to make it herself. Then again, if it's a great suggestion that involves power tools we can probably still make it happen. Surely mine isn't the only cub who has lost a slide by this point in the Scouting year.
  12. Liz

    Amtrak crash takes Scout family (FL)

    I suppose if I lived in an area where I knew there were lines that were decommissioned, and I knew where those crossings were in my own neighborhood, and they were appropriately marked as hiking trails, it might be a little different for those specific crossings; but I still wouldn't assume any OTHER crossing was completely out of service. Most active railroad crossings at least have a sign. That sign ALWAYS means there is a chance of a train. Even if it's rare.
  13. Liz

    Amtrak crash takes Scout family (FL)

    Not me. All railroads are assumed to be active. I stop every time. I cross at one of these unregulated crossings on my way to and from work every morning. There's a sign, but no lights or crossing arm. I come to a complete and total dead stop and look both ways TWICE before proceeding. I do occasionally see people blow through it and it freaks me out every time. I've only ever seen a train go down those tracks once. But once is enough. Plus, since I happen to be a railfan, I know that trains pass that way several times a day; just not usually during my commute times. I spent months working with an entire Troop of Boy Scouts to help them earn their Railroading Merit Badge, at the end of which time we took Amtrak from Portland to Sacramento and had a great trip utilizing both Amtrak and Lightrail systems. I required all the boys to demonstrate proficiency in understanding railroad safety before I'd let them sign up for the trip. They could have earned the merit badge without going on the trip, but they weren't going on the trip without me feeling confident that they would be safe. I didn't want the liability. I showed them videos from Operation Lifesaver as well as a video of a guy getting hit by a lightrail train because he ran in front of a stopped train which blocked the view of another train coming down the second track. I am also that person who calls out my friends when they post photos of themselves or their family members on or near railroad tracks. I have been working with Safe Kids USA for 8 years now, not specifically with railroad stuff but generally in injury prevention. I don't screw around with this stuff. I know too much about what can go wrong. I can't guess what went wrong that caused this grandmother to cross the tracks when it wasn't clear. Maybe she was distracted. Maybe she had a medical event. Maybe she just had terrible driving habits. But we can't get these kids back. And no, I never EVER blast over tracks assuming they will be clear. EVER.
  14. Liz

    Did BSA "Abandon" LDS?

    This is hardly a scientific poll or anything, but the only LDS person I've talked to who had bad things to say about the BSA was spouting off about how much she disagreed with my daughter being in Cub Scouts and "THIS is why the Church has decided to discontinue its relationship with Boy Scouts." She wasn't particularly in favor of allowing gay or trans members either, but that wasn't her big issue. It was just simply not OK to allow girls to do something she felt was reserved for boys. It didn't matter to her that the Church had every possibility of continuing to only offer the program to boys. Man, I got tired of hearing her yammer about how the whole program was ruined because of allowing girls in. Seems like she should have had a clue by the fact that the conversation started with me breathing the words "daughter" and "cub scouts" in the same sentence that she wasn't going to find a sympathetic ear in me. LOL! Other LDS people I've talked to have generally been in continued favor of girls in Scouting and continue to support BSA Scouting in general as a concept and with a "Let me know if there's anything I can do to support your new unit for girls" kind of an attitude. Opinions on whether the LDS Church should or should not have discontinued its relationship with BSA vary, but it's only been that one person who had an axe to grind with BSA.
  15. Liz

    Teaching First Aid Stories

    At cub scout camp this year they had the First Aid station right next to the fire making station. I happened to know that they had an open packet of burn gel sitting on the table because someone earlier had needed it. They showed it to the kids as they were talking about burn first aid. After my daughter finished up her first aid session, we went over to try our hand at making a fire on a sand table. We were only allowed one match, and mine broke, and since it's been a long time since I've used a regular match I have forgotten how easy it is to burn one's self on it and without thinking I tried to strike the broken match (honestly thinking I wouldn't get it to strike anyway) when it flared up and burned my finger which was too close to the match head. I asked my daughter to go over and ask one of the Boy Scouts at the first aid table for some burn gel. Which she did, but was completely ignored. She came back empty handed. So I called over to the Scout and said "Hey, I burned my finger, can I get some burn gel?" And he looked at me and proceeded to completely ignore me. I then walked over to him, held out my finger, and said "I KNOW you have burn gel over here. I saw it like 5 minutes ago. And it's already open. Please give me some, and while you're at it, may I please have a band-aid?" He stared at me blankly but eventually pulled out the open pouch, put some on my finger, and reluctantly handed me a band-aid. Seriously. The burn was small but it HURT and it shouldn't be that hard to get a Scout with a first aid kit to help you out. Yes, I was being stupid, but still. SSScout - You'd better hope my littlest one is never in your unit. LOL. She's going to turn any Scout leader's hair grey overnight. Yesterday after she landed flat on her face on the living room floor I had to tell her, "You cannot fly. Please stop trying." She answered. "Oh yeah. I forgotted. I was just trying to fly like SuperGirl." This is not the first time I've had to remind her that she cannot fly. She is almost 5. 🤦‍♀️
  16. Liz

    Appropriate Insignia UNDER Right Pocket?

    https://www.scoutshop.org/cub-scout-youth-patch-vest-red-600540.html - They're official again now, but they were on hiatus for several years.
  17. Liz

    Appropriate Insignia UNDER Right Pocket?

    When my older kids were Cub Scouts in 2001-2007ish, they weren't even available to purchase and were no longer considered "official" Scouting wear. Most of the kids in our dens used a "brag blanket." I know they have made a little bit of a comeback and are now available for purchase at the Scout Shop, but I don't know anybody who actually has one.
  18. Liz

    Appropriate Insignia UNDER Right Pocket?

    I don't think I've ever seen a Scout with a red brag vest in real life.
  19. Liz

    Appropriate Insignia UNDER Right Pocket?

    That's how it's done in my current Council and in the Council I was in before. At least in the previous council the round patch placed on the right pocket was a District patch which you could argue had some value by itself (the segments being a different matter). But in my council it's just a 2nd council patch, which is, if nothing else, redundant. If you buy a shirt with patches pre-sewn at the local Council office, they even include this extra council patch. I don't like it. I grudgingly complied with it on my daughter's blue uniform, but now that she's in tan, nope. My older kids did it and I always thought it looked tacky. I'm far from uniform police, but this is so far away from a neat and tidy look that I just boycott it.
  20. I don't have any objection to teaching things to 4th graders, but only a tiny percentage of 5th to 8th graders are in cub scouts. And I'm not sure I'd go into details about addiction that young, mainly because I don't think kids that age have enough frame of reference to understand and therefore pay attention and retain the information. "Drugs, bad; don't take any drugs your doctor doesn't prescribe specifically for you" is a good lesson at any age.
  21. Den leaders? Are they actually targeting this to cub scouts? The article says 5th through 8th grade. With dens. 🤷‍♀️ I hate how sloppy journalism is.
  22. Liz

    Have to find a new Pack... again. :(

    There are only two troops for girls in our city, and the other one is "closed" to new members, so unless the one girl in this nearby Webelos den happens to be the daughter of the Chair of the "other" Troop (which would be unfortunate, but that's a long, other story) it's safe to say she'll be joining our Troop if she joins any Troop at all. We had our meeting tonight and I think I've pretty much made up my mind to go with our neighborhood Pack, for several reasons. As a bonus, our Troop Scoutmaster who was at the meeting pointed out that it would give us a good opportunity to make another connection between our Troop and another Family Pack in the area. My daughter is disappointed but I think the other kid that she is currently doing Webelos with and she can still get together and work on electives and stuff, and we may still go to camp together next summer. Once they move on to Troops they won't be able to be in the same unit anymore anyway, and this gives her at least a chance of working towards her AOL with a girl who she might end up in a patrol with later. The unit the other family is planning to go to, which is in their neighborhood, is registered as a Family Pack but I don't think it has any girls at that age level. It's not a done deal yet and I reserve the right to change my mind before it's all over, but I think this is a reasonable course.
  23. Liz

    Have to find a new Pack... again. :(

    I’m not crazy worried about how the Pack is set up in terms of separate dens as long as she isn’t excluded from hanging out with the boy den if it’s just her or maybe one other girl. The closest pack to our house only has one other girl in Webelos but right now it’s just her and one boy working on Webelos rank so whatever. If we do that, we probably won’t be able to stick with the other kids she is currently Scouting with because they all live on the other side of town. We can join a Pack on that side of town and all stay together, but that leaves us with switching packs again once she crosses over because I can’t keep up with one kid in a Troop and the other in a Pack that is soooo far away.
  24. I'm in the "It is what it is" camp. I recognize this could be a real challenge for some families. But I also don't expect Scouting to be a free handout. My child needs to fundraise her way through it. BSA has to stay in business somehow. In leaner times in my life, I'd pay the fee and it might mean my child didn't get to attend summer camp next year.
  25. Liz

    BREAKING - Fee Increase Numbers

    I suppose that's one way of looking at it. Another is to ask whether MBCs should be expected to pay for their own background checks in order to volunteer their time to help kids out. Maybe it's appropriate for the kids to fundraise the cost of screening and then having these mentors available.