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Liz

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Everything posted by Liz

  1. Hi, folks! I am just curious about how other councils do this. In my council (I am told), the staff at the summer camps are required to have not only a complete summer uniform but also the *most recent* summer uniform. Since my older son is talking about volunteering at a summer camp this year, this has become of particular interest to me. Even though I'm somewhat dismayed by the thought of having to fork out the $$ for a Centennial uniform because of some of the quality concerns addressed in a previous thread, I in no way question the right of my council camps to make this a r
  2. I can't speak for all states, but at least here in Oregon it would be very unusual to have a no-out-of-state-travel clause in a custody agreement. It would only hold up if either both parents agreed to it or there was a reasonable question about one parent taking a kid and running. I can't imagine any pair of parents agreeing to such a thing without something for exceptions; "Little Billy is not allowed to travel out of state without permission in writing from both parents" or "without 10 days written notification to the other parent" or something of that sort. This is the most likely con
  3. King of the Hill is the BEST! I'm sorry I missed this episode. I'll have to keep my eyes open for a rerun. Of course, after reading _The_Slippery_Slope_ (Series of Unfortunate Events, Book the Tenth), I will never again be able to listen to the recitation of the Scout Oath and Law without thinking "Xylophone!" Anything worth doing is worth spoofing. -Liz
  4. Why not point the requirement out to the boys who are requesting information, and remind them that they need to fulfill it? Also, maybe they were active for 6 months after becoming Life Scout, but just aren't any longer, in which case you probably don't have much to say about it -- but you can still encourage them to come and share some of their experience with the younger scouts. Rather than looking for excuses to turn them away, why not look for excuses to get them back involved? -Liz
  5. It also sounds to me like the parent was out of line, and the leader... it's hard to know without seeing exactly what happened, but the leader was right to intervene. I think it's important to support your leaders... but... I am very concerned that the parent has apologized and offered even to stay away from the troop so her son can continue, and the leader is not willing to let it go. I think a reasonable compromise would be to let the boy continue, have the parent stay away until she has completed some training (or, worst case scenario, until the leaders leave if you think th
  6. For the first question, regarding SM's role in removing a problem scout from the unit, I would personally have a real problem with my committee if they tried to overrule our SM's decision on such a matter. If I didn't have faith in my SM to make those kinds of decisions, I would have my boys in a different troop. Ideally, of course, it would be best to have the SM in consultation with the CC and other people in leadership before taking such a drastic step. For the second question, if this came up in our unit and if I were in charge, I think I would invite the boys to attend certain outing
  7. Tourrette's runs in my family so I have a fair amount of experience with and knowledge about it, given that I'm not a medical person or anything. First, I would definitely talk to the boy's parents. I would find out what, if any, diagnosis the child has, and what, if anything, you have their permission to share with the other boys. The other suggestions about using this as a learning tool for the kids, understanding differences and disabilities, are all wonderful -- so I won't repeat them. :-) Remember, if the child has T.S., any attempt to suppress the symptoms cause a great d
  8. I AM proud of them. The boy who did the post-production emailed me the link and asked me to put it on the troop website (I'm the troop webmaster) -- which of course I did. Both my sons are in the video; my younger one is the original zombie, and my older one's wearing the orange t-shirt and grey hat. -Liz
  9. Unfortunately, it's not my call. But I agree with you, eagle77. I'd like to see the adults step back and let the kids take the reigns most of the time. Anyway, it was fun to see the kids' video. Ours can't be the only ones out there doing stuff like this, right? -Liz
  10. Generally speaking, our troop is a little heavier on adult-initiative than I'd like, but the boys come up with their own activities from time to time, as they did on a troop campout last weekend. This was the result: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jc_DQY4dvvU Do your troops every do things like this? I'd love to see other troop-created YouTube videos if they're out there. -Liz
  11. Ditto J-KC. While it might be desirable in some areas to have road hikes, and one could read the MB handbook to imply that it ought to be road hikes, it doesn't state it outright. In fact, I would read the requirements slightly differently: "Avoid major highways" certainly includes using bike-only pathways if they're available, IMO! Safety is key; if it's unsafe to ride your bike on the roads in your area, then find off-road alternatives. The boys on our troop do troop hikes for some of the MB requirements. I'm not a Cycling counselor, but if I were I would still encourage this. Mo
  12. "Plus, there are some people out there that want to have a co-ed scouting program" But there already is one. Hasn't this guy ever heard of Campfire USA? -Liz (Former Campfire "Bluebird")
  13. I don't know how big your troop is or how many Webelos you have attending, but something fun might be to have the patrols compete with each other for training the Webelos in some skill; assign each den to a patrol, have the patrol teach the den something (lashing, making a splint, whatever), and then make the patrol step back and let the den compete for who learned the skill the best. The best den wins, AND the patrol that does the best job at training wins! This has the potential of doing a few things: 1) The patrols will have an incentive to interact directly with the Webelos scouts in a m
  14. I like what the others have posted so far. I only have one small thing to add. I think you need to try to discover whether this theft is a symptom of a larger problem. Some examples: Is the boy tired of Scouts and is maybe looking for a way to get "kicked" out? Does the boy have a particular problem with the other boy he stole from? Has the boy gotten into drugs and is "needing" money to fund the habit? Is the boy going through some kind of trauma at home (divorce, someone laid off work, abuse, anything) that he might be "acting out" as a result of? What is t
  15. "I hope they aren't implying a 'night watch'" They didn't just imply it, they told me flat out that they recommended a 24-hour night watch and wanted to make sure we had enough adults available to take rotations through the night. If I remember the conversation correctly, I don't think they said it was absolutely required to have a night watch, but I'm not sure. If you and/or any of your boys want to meet up with us while we're down there, we'd be happy to have you along. :-) We will be there in March... PM me if you are interested in exact dates. How did you get a discount fro
  16. We *occasionally* do stuff like this. I think maybe our unit was planning to do an Archery badge this coming weekend. The trip I'm taking the boys on in the spring is being billed as a "Railroading Merit Badge Trip" but that's sort of a misnomer -- although we will be covering maybe 2 or 3 requirements on the trip, we'll be doing 90% of the MB ahead of time and some of the boys working on the MB aren't going on the trip at all. Other than riding the train to Sacramento and visiting the railroading museum, most of what we'll be doing will not be directly related to the MB. In realit
  17. Thanks, CA_Scouter! I have been to Old Town Sacramento a few times. When we went to visit my husband's siblings this summer we swung by to take a look at Camp Pollock. It looks like it will be just fine; I'm more concerned about light rail or going downtown after dark. They told me we need to post an adult watch at all times at the camp, so I'll follow that, but I don't actually expect any problems. It's interesting -- I called Budget and they told me that they didn't have any 15-pass vans. I wonder about the law change; it's all very confusing. AAAAH! A Mini-van would definitely
  18. Hmm. All good ideas if the CDL driver falls through. I *did* ask the lady at the council when I made the camp reservations. She suggested chartering a school bus. I did not ask the DE, but if push comes to shove I will try that. I know there is a wide range of how knowledgeable the volunteer at the front desk at the council is (or is not). The ideas of checking for promotional rates from Limo companies or calling the law enforcement officers do have merit. The link to the Explorer posts might come in handy in that respect, too; maybe some officers and Explorers might be interested i
  19. Hertz in Sacramento told me they did not have 15 passenger vans. The most they had was 7-passenger. I called every rental agency in Sacramento before resorting to Enterprise. *sigh* -Liz
  20. LOL! I love the horse-drawn carriage idea. But it would be hard to make it up to Big Trees State Park (we're kind of hoping for a side trip, seeing as how we have to rent a van anyway). Thanks for the encouragement and ideas, folks. I do feel better knowing that it's a state law issue and not just an annoying insurance policy on the part of Enterprise rent-a-car. So far, it's looking more and more like the one boy's aunt really wants to go. Apparently, his mom's been talking to her about it since we started planning the trip, and she's been complaining that it sounds like SO much f
  21. heehee. When my dad taught me to drive, he made a point of teaching me about NO caravans. Every driver must know where he or she is going, and not rely on having to follow someone, because that leads to unsafe driving choices (running "yellow" lights, changing lanes when it's not safe, etc..) I don't know about your personal no-convoy prejudice, but I have to say from experience that I agree with my dad on this one. I won't let anybody get away with "I'll just follow you." I print them a map. :-) 2 vans might work if necessary, but it would increase the expense and spread our adult leader
  22. I've never had a traffic ticket, but I've also never heard of anybody being offered a class to get rid of a ticket in Oregon. I know my husband got a ticket last year (his first since he's lived in this state) and they certainly didn't give him that option. I remember him mentioning it from when he lived in California. *shrug* -Liz
  23. Ok, I did not know that it was state law in CA. It is NOT the law here in Oregon. A 15 passenger van is within the limits of the G2SS everywhere else, so I thought it was just a rule for the rental agency. In fact, this is what they told me: "It's an insurance thing." If she'd told me it was state law, I wouldn't have thought to be annoyed with them about it. (Annoyed with the state of CA, maybe...) In order to get the Class-B here in Oregon, it would require someone to be willing to fork out $150 or so, in addition to studying for and taking the behind-the-wheel test. The camp do
  24. Can I just vent for a minute? Of course, if anybody has any suggestions, I would be thrilled to hear them. I am planning to take a group of boys to Sacramento on the Coast Starlight in the spring. We can hike from the Amtrak station to Camp Pollock, where we'll stay for a couple of nights. The problem I have is, in order to catch the train back home, we need to get back to the train station at around 11:00 PM. We will probably send a parent down with a pickup-truck and a small trailer to take the majority of the camping gear. Since it is inadvisable to walk around in downtown Sacr
  25. Our dues are only $10 per year plus Boy's Life, which is somewhat optional (It's assumed, but if you can't afford it the treasurer will take it off your bill if you ask). We do have excellent participation in fund raisers. Boys who are from very limited income families aren't bothered about dues if they participate actively in fund raisers. Popcorn sales go almost 100% to the council; our troop and boys get a few pennies on the dollar for popcorn. We actively push Friends of Scouting campaigns for the council. Our other fundraisers are split between the boys' accounts and the troop. I do
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