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Everything posted by madkins007

  1. The 'Rules and Regulations' can be tricky to get, but I had a copy and they were pretty unhelpful. For example, all uniform stuff you need to know is in the Insignia Guide. Just FYI- I like the hat idea, but would not support it since I don't wear hats. I agree that the 'Trained' strip is not the greatest motivator, but perhaps a great temproary patch would work in its place.
  2. Scriptures: 1. The bit about the money changers is TOTALLY out of line and a very non-Scriptural application, as has been pointed out. 2. You are trying to pay your own way- this is covered by several Scriptures: Deut. 25:4- "You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing." Matt. 10:10- "or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support" (Jesus' disciples were to go out with literally nothing and let the people support their work- kinda like what you are trying to do.) How about the ages old practice of alms-giving? That was allowed on the steps of the temple (Acts 3:2 "And a man who was lame from his mother's womb was carried there and placed every day at the temple gate called Beautiful, so he could beg from those entering the temple complex.") without condemnation- it was an everyday thing. Or the general practice of 'helping others', as in Hebrews 13:16 "Don't neglect to do good and to share, for God is pleased with such sacrifices." So, do you enter a 'Bible Battle' against the other people? NO! That is a sure way to create bad feelings and division. Your job is to win them over with compassion, empathy, love, and even a dash of concern that they might not understand your situation. My technique would be to invite him out to lunch or for a dessert/coffee (neutral ground and food- big helps to negotiations!) and let him know that you were hurt and troubled by comments you heard that he had made (note- NOT accusing him of having said stuff- give him room to gracefully suggest you or he may have misunderstood the situation). Suggest that you just want to clear the air and make sure you both understand each other's positions. Explain that you fully understand that the church does not want to be associated with some things, but that you were simply curious as to whether this applied to the troop/pack and if so, why. Help the deacon understand that the BSA is basically the church's 'boy's club'- that the charter is an agreement that the BSA will run a structured, character-oriented, activity-filled program for the church's youth, and that it helps to serve others in the community as well- an outreach of sorts for the church. Believe it or not, boys and families DO start to go to churches that support their unit (especially after they experience things like church staff coming to camps to run services, Scout Sunday, etc.!) Good luck!
  3. If it was slightly curved, it could be the patrol award (Baden Powell Patrol Award?)
  4. In our pack, we had dues of $45/Scout (part was for registration, part were den dues, part was pack funds). You paid them up front, then could earn money in fundraising to help pay them for next year, or pay for camp, etc. This way, families that did not participate did not reap the benefits of the labor of others, and people could make their own choice. By the way- this policy was voted on by the entire pack every couple years and passed easily each year. We also were an inner-city, low-income pack. It IS a good idea, though, to keep a careful eye on fundraising too. It can run away with you if you let it!
  5. Just FYI: You can store patches in a way that keeps them flat, dry, and safe, and lets you file them away until you think of a use for them. The easiest/cheapest way I think is to use those disposable baby bottle liners. Take a liner, drop a 3x5 card in it with the pertinent info writen on the card (ideally in pencil), drop the patch on the blank side of the card (so the inks or pencil don't touch the patch), then fold the flap over and tape it down. Most liners have places on the outside to write stuff as well, which you can use instead of the card, but the card still helps keep things flat and manageable. I've got a few plastic shoeboxes full of these- my old patches, my recent patches, my son's patches, my daughter's GSUSA patches, etc.
  6. Badges, pins, etc.- I'd sell back to the Scout Shop and put the money in the account. 'Garage sellable' stuff- track, uniforms, etc.- with the COs permission, sell to other Scouters. Put money in account. Money- turn over to the CO after repaying reciepts, debts, etc. Pack supplies (books, etc. that the CO might not want, are not garage sellable, and cannot be returned) can be donated to the district/council or another pack with the CO's permission. Rule of thumb- it is easier to store money than supplies and 'old' materials become dated or damaged easily. They are more useful being converted for cash and put in the hands of people who can use them. As far as your terminated membership- I am so sorry. This has happened to people in our old council as well- and from what I know, it was for standing up for what was right (and according to official BSA policy) when a few higher-ups on the council wanted to go a different direction.
  7. Sometimes, the unit's finances can be a window into the very heart of a unit. A troop I was somewhat associated with for a while had several thousand dollars in the bank, but was a very small unit (under 10 boys). Troop leadership refused to use the money to pay for things like camp, routine expenses, etc. Why? Because the money was raised several years ago by other boys, and since these boys did not earn it, the leadership would not use it for them. This makes me wonder exactly what the plan for the money IS- those original boys are long gone- do they indeed plan on NEVER spending the money? Would it surprise anyone to learn that there were a lot of other questionable practices going on at the same time? As a parent- knowing what I know now I think I would challenge the troop to show me why they need $x per boy MORE when they have that much in the bank. What is the plan for the money? As a unit leader- I believe that the best unit budget has a safety buffer (let's say an average of about $10-20 per boy), but otherwise pretty much works to use its money wisely- ask for what you need, use what you asked for. Also as a unit leader, there is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY ON EARTH I would EVER pose the issue as phrased in the original post. Oh- by the way... if they have $8,000 in the bank, WHY does each person need to kick in $10 to get started? That sounds like an 'address envelopes at home' scam!(This message has been edited by madkins007)
  8. Interesting situation! I doubt your Ship needs $20,000 a year from the three combined fundraisers, and I can see where the club might not be real hot on doing the thing for the District without you. I think I would offer up the golf bit to the District- 'suggesting' to them that the current club may no longer be able to host the program- that is really the club's decision to make, I would assume. Otherwise, I'd offer up my notes, planning chart, some of my contacts that would work well for them, etc. and focus on the needs of the Ship.
  9. Antelope- mostly via eBay... -Stuffed mini keychains- 3 animals in 2 designs (Wall Drug, SD and Jackalope Junction) -Stuffed animals- 6 different designs -Plastic 'toys'- 1 big Beyers model, 3 differnet small plastic versions from 'wild animal' assortments, another large one from an old Olympia beer ad thingie -Statues- 2 -Weirdest critter- 'Flatalope'- a Cabelas hunting decoy designed to camoflague a bow or something- it has a sculpted face and flat cloth body -Several patches, pins, keychains, 'spirit rocks', etc. -Some cool 'beads'/charms from an artist on eBay PLAN to get a 'clay' critter thing from Cimmeron Art Gallery soon, as well as another plush animal I've found on a few sites.
  10. www.campmor.com is also good and offers Scouts a discount. Eureka tents are usually a rock-solid value- the Timberline Outfitters 4-man is a perennial troop favorite for good reason.
  11. On a Cub pack-level overnighter, the parents are in charge of their own youth. If the outline in the Leader Book was followed, each family was taught the basics of YPT and other do's and don'ts beforehand- and that may have been the big missing step.
  12. I am not a fan of 'co-leaders'. Why are you not the den leader? Is she reluctant to give it up, are you reluctant to take it all on? I think my take would be to talk to her about how excited you are about the chance to run the den for a while, and that this is her big chance to follow her dream of (committee work, sitting back, fill-in-the-blank). I WOULD NOT make ANY noises about trying new things or changing stuff, just about trying to fulfill your life-long dream of den leadership.
  13. Yeah, what he said! As much as I am a BIG believer in making stuff yourself, these stoves are more of a novelty than a real tool. This version, however, is more robust and a fast cooker: http://www.hikingwebsite.com/gear/homemade/rrstove.htm I can't find it anymore, but somewhere I saw a 'make your own Sierra Stove' plan that used an old can, a 'toy' personal fan, and a few other parts. It ran on pine cones, twigs, etc. and generated heat by blowing the air just so. Several similar stoves are here: http://zenstoves.net/Wood.htm. The www.zenstoves.net site is pretty cool as well!
  14. We have always gone with the 'official field uniform' standard for Scout salutes. Admittedly, I cannot find anything in print, but the BSA 'activity' uniform is not really 'THE' BSA uniform, as described in the Insignia Guide and elsewhere.
  15. Our job as Scout leaders is to provide a quality Scout program to any and all boys we can. Sometimes, there is a boy or family that makes this job nearly impossible. In these cases, it is our DUTY to the unit to remove the family if other methods of intervention and correction do not work. I had to do this once, and the guidelines I came up with were: 1.) Every key unit leader (ESPECIALLY COR, CC, and CM) on the same page and in support of the decision. 2.) A 'heads-up' to the DE to let them know the situation, get their input, and to head off any complaints in that direction. 3.) Knowing what our situation is. We CANNOT kick a boy out of Scouting, just our unit. We had already processes a refund check for unused dues, but not for registration. In our case, just to make the cleanest possible break, we also refunded his registration fees from the treasury. 4.) We found a 'designated speaker' who we all thought could talk to the family the most effectively. 5.) A polite but firm, business-like registered letter sent with the check. It said something to the effect of "Because situations over the past year between your family and the pack have not changed, the pack committee has decided to not accept your application to this pack this year. You can contact [designated speaker] to discuss the matter if you wish. This is a private matter and will not affect his ability to join another unit or advance in Scouting. {Designated speaker] can help process a Unit Transfer Request if you are interested. Enclosed please find a refund check for the unused portion of the dues and registration to date. Yours, [signed by COR, CC, and CM]. 6.) Because of the nature of our family, we also gave our other leaders a heads-up, and let them know that if the family tried to contact them in an unwelcome way, they should try to refer them to one of us. Let us be the 'bad guys' (its why we get the 'big bucks', right?) In our case, the family cashed the check and literally vanished. We were afraid because they were somewhat close with another family that gave us some trouble, but also were closely related to the CM. It is not fun, so we aimed for making it as quick, clear, and bloodless as possible- hence the refund of registration fees even when against the pack's written policy and the registered letter.
  16. You really should not be doing a campfire anywhere but a fire ring or other designated fire place- and if you can do a campfire there, you should to be able to do charcoal there as well. (I think the bit with the foil was that they were either not using a designated fire ring or they wanted an easier clean-up.) If you DO use a campfire, get a good bed of coals and cook on those. You can rake some coals over to the side and have a fire in one part of the pit and coals on the other. Regular soft wood coals do not last long, though, so we always add some charcoal to the mix to help them last longer. A great starter foil recipe for beginners is 'Tin Foil Pizza'- in the foil, place a piece of pita bread. Spon on a bit of pizza sauce, then top with pepperoni (or pre-cooked meats), any veggies you like (onions, peppers, mushrooms, etc.), and mozzerella cheese. You can sprinkle on some parmesian as well if desired. Sprinkle lightly with oil (olive tastes best) and seal the package. (This works best if you build it on one half, fold the other half over, and seal the edges.) Poke the top with 1 or 2 small holes, lay in the coals for a few minutes to let it heat up and the cheese melt. The nice thing about this recipe is that if you over-cook it a little, the pita takes the damage and everything else is OK. If it is undercooked, no biggie- everything on it can be eaten cold.
  17. Heck, lets just make one up! THE RESCUE SONG Tune: Pop Goes The Weasel Emergencies can happen any old time, They can be quite a sca-are, Just remember the 'Action Plan' steps, Check, Call, and Ca-are! Check to be sure that you will be safe, Make sure there is no be-ar,, Check to see if they're awake or asleep, Check, Call and Ca-are! Call for help as soon as you can, There's no time to sp-are, 9-1-1's the number to call, Check, Call, and Ca-are! Look, listen and feel for bre-e-e-thing See if they're moving a-ir, If they are not give 2 Rescue Breaths, Check, Call and Ca-are! Choking means they can't talk, breathe or cough They are running out of a-ir, Do the Abdominal Thrust in their belly button, Check, Call, and Ca-are! ... OK, so I am no songwriter! But surely othes can help tune it up! OR end it with 'Stop, Drop, and Ro-oll!', or other safety tips!
  18. Just another thought, after your revelations... We need to pick our battles sometimes, and the battle over Cub rank details may not be worth fighting- it sounds like you have other, bigger issues. If a boy or two gets a rank or two he did not really earn at this stage of his career, it will not be the end of Earth or the BSA... but bad den leaders ARE a big issue. I think I'd be looking for a new ADL for the Bears and have the CM/CC 'suggest' that the ADL focus more on his troop duties- you know, to avoid burning him out (because you are just EVER so concerned about him!) "You've served us well... time to move on... better match of your skills and talents... Another father is interested in helping and this is the perfect time... here's your hat, what's your hurry?" If you think you can 'ease' him out without a big fuss, maybe the DL can be 'fixed' by getting a better ADL for him.
  19. Great point and timing! I did a Minute from the other side of the Motto once- "As we work to Be Prepared, I notice that most of our focus is on being prepared for bad things- fire safety, first aid, emergency preparedness, and so on. I just want to remind you to Be Prepared for good things as well! Be Prepared for unforeseen recognition at school. Be Prepared for a great opportunity when it happens. Be Prepared to take advantage of a chance to do something wonderful for someone else. Be Prepared for new friendships. be Prepared, in general, for all kinds of surprises!" (At this point, I gestured to an ice cream sundae bar that was set up behind the scenes. It was great!)
  20. No. it does not count. The year before, the boy was either a Wolf or not a Cub Scout. If not a Cub Scout, nothing he did counts. If a Wolf, it would have counted for soemthing towards Wolf or an Arrow but may not be carried over to Bear. Points of order: 1. The Cub program is age/grade specific. Cubs do not 'go back' to work on items from previous years. [Leader Book, p.20-6 "After the boy earns Bobcat, he then begins working on the rank for his age or grade."] 2. If we allowed items done before joining, then ANYONE could count ANYTHING and get all badges and arrows instantly. That is not what the program is designed for. [This seems implicitly implied in the above quote.]
  21. I am coming to believe that some CO's (or hosts, or locations, whatever) are just accursed for some reason. There is a local school that SHOULD be a good host for Scouting- decent class size, good income mix, most kids are locals, good community support, etc. but in the last 15+ years, our district has tried to get units going there with rarely any results beyond a few preliminary meetings. I worked with the place for a while. We would get several youth signing up as interested, but far too few showing up for a meeting. Follow-up phone calls showed no real pattern or reasons for the glitching. I think there is an internal dynamic that prevents this from happening- perhaps a subtle anti-Scouting culture, perhaps a certain resistance at some levels... I did not go to the school, so I wouldn't know. I know our pack had a HECK of a time working off some bad feelings in our own school- and the pack is still struggling there. Of course, some of the very best local units are from places that did not host a unit until just a few years ago, so we keep trying, right!?!
  22. Gee, ScoutNut- I wanna move to your council- someplace where the CO's actually do what they are supposed to do and forming troops already have CCs and stuff! My concern- being SM and being a pack leader are WORLDS apart from one another in how you do what you do. I am not sure you could remain sane and do them both right. again. Keep in mind- with a small, new troop, it is not uncommon for the SM and the boys to grow into their roles together! While it is still an important job, part of the difficulty in the job is in the logistics dealing with a larger group of boys. As you get more boys, you get more potential leaders- potential replacements or assistants for the developing SM. So- I think I'd let him be the SM, and you can be an acting ASM and help him out as needed.
  23. Isn't the new requirement about the same basic thought process as the Webelos requirement for visting troops, etc.? I don't have a big problem with this other than that I wish it was part fo the Quality Unit Award or a new Unit Growers Program or something rather than a rank thing. I'm trying to imagine how my own son would have felt about it. Probably mildly grumbly and then carry it out in a minimalistic way. With our pack's sister troop, there would have been a LOT of ex-Scouts to talk to!
  24. Our Catholic school/church has an annual fair with beer garden as well. Our pack and troop provide man-power, clean-up crews (not table busing, though), and run booths as requested. They are not in uniform, and the pack and troop earn a share of the profits. This has been approved by our Council- yet the boys are working in and around the beer booth (which is also the pop stand), and while the adult leaders do not partake whilst on the job, we have never had a guideline to control their behavior during other times at the fair when they are with friends and family but still in full view of the Cubs. We have also used the 'friend of the troop' gag to deal with a huge fundraiser for Pinewood in which the friends run a raffle and donate the proceeds to the unit. The raffle is run entirely by adults- the vast majority of whom are not registered leaders at all. I am not real sure what would have happened if we tried to tell them they could not do this! I think I would have suddenly have had a much smaller unit. I have to admit that I DO feel bad for you- you are obviously uncomfortable with the situation (and I think rightfully so), but if you suggest any changes that might result in the loss of income, they will quickly ask you for an alternative plan that works as well.
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