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Everything posted by lrsap

  1. It was fantastic! Our spot was beautifully nestled in some tall pines, and the weather was great. The first thing that happened was a zipper breaking on the tent door my PL son and the QM were using for the weekend. They broke out the duct tape and spare bed sheet to make a new door. The best part, no complaints! Just dealing with it. Although they did end up a bit more bitten than the rest of us. Watching the two of them cook breakfast Saturday morning was one of the best Scouting experiences of my life. Just something about watching an 11 & 12 year-old working camp stoves and just,
  2. While my impression is that these events are low in quality and shorting boys of the true MB experience, I have never actually seen one for myself. With our brand new troop just starting out, I feel I would not want our boys attending one if I had my choice. But my suggestion would be do what I plan on doing. I plan on attending and observing one before I allow a scout in our troop to attend. I feel it would be unfair of me to judge these events without first seeing one myself. If I am somehow pleasantly surprised, and see good instruction, small groups and a quality experience for the b
  3. "I went in for the day to lead a hike and was told that they were having movie night tonight because of weather conditions. The wind is blowing 30-40+ mph all day today. Not safe to have a campfire, storms are threatening tonight. Lost 4 tents due to the winds and damaged 4 more in the winds, probably about $750 in damages. The troop ended taking what was left of the tents down and moving into the recreation building they're camping beside. They are making the best of a bad night." This was a reply to a thread about movies at camp, but when I read it I was surprised there was not one resp
  4. Well, the patrol patches are on order. The emblem they decided on was a monkey riding a sea horse. A manly sea horse, of course. And I know what you are talking about with the flag. They have finally decided on the material, a bright....no, make that BRIGHT yellow duck cloth. Goes with the whole "golden" thing. I'll post some pictures when the patches come in. What will be really interesting is the scrambled eggs they will be making at their first breakfast on their first camping trip as a patrol this Saturday.
  5. Being a new troop, I made a deal with my scouts and their parents. The door will never be locked, but we will always start on time. If the boys are late, they're late. No punishment or discipline, but I sure hope they didn't miss something really good because when it's done it's done. If they NEED to know it, that is up to the PL if he wants to offer the scout what he missed. But as I have asked for my time to be respected, I told them I will also always have respect for their time as well. By the 90th minute at the latest, the door is locked and we are walking to the car. If I can't fig
  6. Our pack ended up being double-billed at a home improvement store with a local troop one year. We were the second ones to ask, and the troop even had a letter from the store when they asked. After all that, they still offered us a door. VERY scout-like behavior. We politely thanked them for the offer, but moved on because it was rightfully theirs. Two years later that troop got four boys from my den instead of the troop we were supposed to be feeding. Just goes to show, you never know. Not to mention the place we moved on to that day did a couple hundred dollars better than we would have
  7. The "mandatory" wearing of the uniform on all trips has always been interesting to me. I'm not talking about a trip where the troop is going to a district or council event, or where the trip may include stops along the way. In both of those cases, being identified as a unit or a Boy Scout troop has its advantages. I'm talking about the troop camping trip that is a 90 minute drive from gathering to campsite or trail. How would you explain to a boy why you need to wear the shirt for a car ride, take it off and leave it in the car so it doesn't get dirty, then put it on for the car ride home.
  8. "Ideally after the BOR the scout should immediately receive his rank insignia. I know most troops don't do this, but this is a best practice in my opinion." The fact that most troops don't makes no sense to me either. Why in the world would you want a boy to wear a patch for anywhere up to 6 months that does not represent his true rank? Not to mention the possible limitations it could present a young 1st Class Scout that is forced to wear his 2nd Class rank until BOR. How many things can you think of that have the requirement of at least 1st Class where the only proof a kid has is the pat
  9. Being a Floridian I can definitely sympathize. Hunker down, keep safe and we will keep everyone's spot at the campfire warm.
  10. "I wish National would release an "Outdoors" MB with each "Indoors" one. " That might be one of the best ideas I've ever seen on these forums. I would say one good use of a chessboard might be that 40 minute, mid-afternoon rain shower during summer camp. I am in no way a great player, but I do enjoy a game every now and then, and I appreciate some of the things (strategy, planning, concentration, etc.) it can teach. NOT a good use of a chessboard? Summer camp Chess Merit Badge class.
  11. I am so glad I ran into this thread. I was about to run a training session to go with our election this week, and I like this much better than the old one. Thanks!
  12. Golden Sea Monkey Patrol?? Really??? Oh well, just have to keep repeating to myself, "It's their game, not mine.....it's their game, not mine...."
  13. I thought I would check in on this thread, since we finally had our first troop meeting last night. We have actually started with 7 boys, and we hear more are on the way. It's just amazing how long it takes to actually get a unit off the ground when you want to be truly ready to go. While I think we got off on a good start, it's already been an eye-opening experience. You would think after some years of leadership as well as leadership at work I would know better, but it's amazing how much I didn't get to last night. You can tell by all the email I sent tonight. I have to say what m
  14. Callooh, that was a great post. We bemoan the numbers of today's youth that are not in BSA today, yet think they should scout like it was thirty or forty years ago. That is not to say we don't challenge them or offer adventure. It just means we realize it is their program, not ours. Instead of banning cell phones, which is "easier", we can use them as a tool ourselves. If a scout breaks out a cell phone when you don't think he should, that could be a subtle sign about the program itself. An engaged scout would be less likely to break out a cell phone than a bored one. Not to mention
  15. I actually like the way you describe the Journalism MB experience. Probably one of the best ways to tell if a MB was a quality experience is to ask the parents what the scout told them upon arriving home. Did he say, "We went all over the camp, and then we interviewed everyone including the camp director which was really cool, and then we worked out all of the stories to make them fit, and then we printed the camp newspaper, and then we delivered it to all the campsites, and then...and then....". Or did he say, "Uh, I got this merit badge."
  16. I definitely feel for the guy, but I can't help to draw the parallel to the "make sure you don't have your pocketknife in your backpack" talk we give Cub Scouts during Whitlin' Chip instruction.
  17. Kudu, I'm happy to know the idea I had about not worrying about an SPL until we had at least two patrols is shared by some others. When I first heard about the Life Scout coming over my first thought was "Great, here's a kid that can do SPL". But after giving it about 5 minutes of thought realized it wasn't such a great idea. Just seems to me if you are an SPL over one patrol you are less leading and more left out. Besides, the last thing I want to do is start out with bad habits by appointing a kid to a POR. Now if I could just get one of my well-intention'ed scouters in the n
  18. Thank you very much and I fully agree that these older boys do need to do their part in leading the younger scouts. My thoughts are running exactly in line with the point you made that I don't want to get caught in the trap of burdening them with work that borders on babysitting. The approach of treating them like 35 YO is one I hadn't thought of, but now that I do makes a whole lot of sense. The "not teaching a square knot" thing is along the lines of not doing something for a boy he can do himself. While a Life Scout can teach a square knot with the best of them, so can a Tenderfoot. I guess
  19. Hello all, I'm looking for a little advice and I know this is the right place. With our new troop opening up soon, I have an opportunity I didn't envision when we began planning. The original thought was that when we started, we were going to be a small group of scouts no older than 12 and no rank higher than 2nd Class. Because of that, we had a good handle on how to approach the camping and outdoor program. Now surprise (funny how that happens ) we will also be opening our doors with a 15 YO Life Scout and his 15 YO friend who is 1st Class. Both are well experienced in the outdoor meth
  20. This is part of the reason we are starting a new troop. My son became disenchanted with the MB methodology of the first troop we joined. One of the ASMs asked me "Have you signed up for your 30 yet?" Meaning, the adult leadership in the troop registered as MBC for up to 30 MB, thereby controlling the MB process from beginning to end. What this meant was MB class troop meetings. Also, it means my son has his Canoeing MB and is still a bit nervous when getting into a canoe. When he tried another troop, and one of the first things he experienced was Citz in Comm class troop meetings, it was
  21. As SM of a new troop starting next month, we have the unique opportunity of not breaking any bad habits. The adult Scouters associated with this troop are all friends and dedicated. Our trick will be to create an environment that acknowledges everybody's individual approach to leadership and organization, while at the same time realizing there will be others that will eventually replace us. If we create a model that works, people will be more willing to use it and even improve upon it in the same friendly vein. It reminds me of the argument against regimented adult-led troop meetings tha
  22. During my den's Bear year, I taught them the concept of "Dress right". It was a great way to get them in line and paying attention. It worked really well during awards presentations at Pack Meetings. The most important thing to remember is if the boys are not having fun, you're doing it wrong. Teach them the moves then let the denner lead, or give each boy a chance to call the group. And keep a smile on your face. If you start to channel your inner drill instructor, you're REALLY doing it wrong.
  23. There have been many times on this forum where someone posts a question based on what another person said is a "rule". The advice most commonly given is to ask the person quoting the questionable rule is "tell me where its written". I happen to think this is fantastic advice. But the scenario I believe all of us envision is an adult-to-adult conversation. How would you feel if, in your role as adult leader, a youth presents the same challenge to you when you speak of a Scouting "rule"? Are we above reproach, never to be questioned by the youth we lead? Or can we swallow our pride and han
  24. There have been many times on this forum where someone posts a question based on what another person said is a "rule". The advice most commonly given is to ask the person quoting the questionable rule is "tell me where it's written". I happen to think this is fantastic advice. But the scenario I believe all of us envision is an adult-to-adult conversation. How would you feel if, in your role as adult leader, a youth presents the same challenge to you when you speak of a Scouting "rule"? Are we above reproach, never to be questioned by the youth we lead? Or can we swallow our pride and han
  25. From their Uniform Guidelines section of the web site: "We like to be the only troop in FULL uniform...." " In addition to its obvious functionality, it is still the broad-brimmed hat which makes Troop 238 stand out from other troops in camp or at a parade." I know troops with this type of mentality. It's not only about making sure the boys in the troop are as good as they can be, pleasure is taken in being better than anyone else. Then we will make sure to let you know. Sounds like adults "living the dream" to me.
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