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Everything posted by MaScout

  1. MaScout

    Recommend Trips?

    While it's a summer camp, Camp Buffalo Bill in Wyoming has a neat high-adventure program in place...it offers white water rafting, climbing, & some COPE stuff mixed together. There's another "way cool" place with rafting, canoeing, kayaking, etc., but I need to look up the name & location. Also, for something very different, what about travelling to Montana for the re-enactment of the Battle of Little Big Horn? A troop-designed trip... If you contact Mt. Rushmore, you could participate in a closing flag ceremony at the lighting of the faces...
  2. MaScout

    crossover ideas

    What about painting rocks with orange/red/yellow florescent paint, use black light, create a walkway of hot rocks? we often have OA do a ceremony. google it...you'll find SCADS of ideas!
  3. MaScout

    Requirements for Den Chief?

    I developed the following in response to a request from some local units. There is probably a lot of information you don't need or care about, and some I'm sure is from my personal bias and/or from the area viewpoint. However, this is how Den Chiefs are handled around here. In the end, Den Chiefs are appointed or approved in some manner at the troop level. A Pack can't "appoint" & if a Scout serves in this capacity without the approval of the troop, it is not official & shouldn't serve towards time in office, etc. You are welcome to cut & paste and use any of the following. Good Providence. Den Chief Guidelines An Overview for Cub Scout Leaders Den Chief Pledge I promise to help the Tiger cubs, Cub Scouts, or Webelos Scouts in my den to the best of my ability; to encourage, guide, and protect them in all den and pack activities. I will strive to be prompt and dependable, and to cooperate with the leaders in carrying out the den program. As they become eligible, I will encourage boys in the den to join a den of the next rank in Cub Scouting or to become Boy Scouts What is a Den Chief? A Den Chief is a Boy Scout, Varsity Scout, or Venturer assisting a Cub Scout or Webelos Scout den. How do boys become a Den Chief? Cubmasters request Den Chief help from Scoutmasters, Varsity coaches, and Crew Advisors. The Scoutmaster will appoint the Den Chiefs. Scouts cannot become a Den Chief without approval from the Scoutmaster. What if you have someone in mind for a Den Chief? A den leader may, through his/her Cubmaster, request a specific Scout for a Den Chief. This occurs sometimes with siblings or family friends. The procedure is very similarThe Cubmaster passes the request on to the Scoutmaster. In most instances, the match will be made. Why do boys want to be a Den Chief? Most older boys want to be a Den Chief because they enjoy working with the younger Scouts. This gives them an opportunity to demonstrate and practice their leadership skills with younger boys. Serving as a Den Chief is not a specific requirement for advancement, so they are not helping because they have to. Who provides supervision for a Den Chief? The Den Chief first looks to the Den Leader for guidance, then to the Scoutmaster. What happens if a Den Chief isnt working out? If you are having problems with a Den Chief, you need to explore the reason. Does the Den Chief not fulfill your expectations? Are your expectations realistic? Are you communicating them well? Does he know your expectations? Does he understand his job description? Talk to your Den Chief. Speak to his parents or his Scoutmaster. You may talk to your committee, also, but to be fair, be sure to include the Den Chief and his Scoutmaster in those discussions. This gives the youth a chance to offer his point of view with an adult leader present who is supporting him. If it simply is not working for some reason, the Cubmaster may ask the Scoutmaster to remove the Den Chief from that position. (Bear in mindyou requested a Den Chief from the Scoutmaster. The Scoutmaster selected the youth he/she thought would be a good fit. The Den Chief did not come to anyone asking for the job.) This should be done discreetly and politely. Remember, our purpose in Scouting is to build young men up, not to tear them down! What is the job description for a Den Chief? The Den Chief: Holds a leadership position in the troop, team, or crew. Leadership is a requirement for many steps in Boy Scout and Venturer advancement. Knows the purposes of Cub Scouting. Helps Cub Scouts advance through Cub Scout ranks. Facilitates and encourages the transition of Webelos Scouts into Boy Scouting. Assists with activities in the den meetings helps lead activities, games, and ceremonies. Is a friend to the boys in the den. Helps out at weekly den meetings and monthly pack meetings. Is a model for the boys in the den, as well as the entire pack sets an example, wears the uniform correctly, lives by the Scout Oath and Law, and shows Scout spirit. Promotes Scouting in general and the local troop in particular. The Den Chief IS NOT the primary planner, nor is he in charge of correcting behavior. How can you utilize a Den Chief in the different portions of a den meeting? Make sure you have reviewed the procedure for these before the den meeting begins! If you want the Den Chief to teach a skill, tell a story, or bring materials, you need to let him know at least a week in advance! Before the meeting: Review the meeting plans with him to be sure everything is ready, have him help set up the room. Gathering: The Den Chief can check achievements, lead game time, work on puzzles, conduct uniform inspections, teach boys skills, or collect paperwork. Opening: The Den Chief can assist Cub Scouts with the Pledge of Allegiance, flag ceremonies, reciting the Cub Scout Promise or Law of the Pack, recite the Boy Scout Oath or Scout Law (for Webelos), or teach or lead ceremonies. Activities: The Den Chief can assist the Den Leader with games, crafts, storytelling, tricks or stunts, skits or songs, or practice for the pack meeting. He can prepare the materials for the activities, or you may want to request him to work with some of the boys who are having difficulty. Perhaps a Cub Scout missed a meeting where you covered an advancement requirementyou could have the Den Chief work with that Scout. Business: Webelos Den Chiefs might help a den prepare for an outing by teaching them how to pack for a campout, make a list of things needed for a campout, or plan a menu. Den Chiefs might record advancement, update Cub Scout handbooks, or help plan for a special activity. Closing: The Den Leader is primarily responsible for the closing, but may ask the Den Chief to assist. He might have a closing thought, help with a flag ceremony, help recite the Cub Scout Promise of Law, or lead a closing activity. After the Meeting: Discuss how the meeting wentespecially the good points and any problems, discuss plans for the next meeting, assist with cleanup. You need to give him direction! Dont expect a boy to show up and just start doing things. If he is there, he wants to help. Let him know what he can do. As the Den Chief gains confidence, you can have him help you more and more. Eventually, you might ask him to plan to teach the rules for a belt loop you wish to work on, share his Scout skills, or more. Adult leaders need to make sure the job is seen as important and necessary. At first, you may have to work at this process, but before long, he will be a great help to you!
  4. We had an ASM who was a great prankster...(funny pranks, not detrimental). Monte was also the "early riser" of the group & often had the coffee going by 4:30 AM. As SM, (& gullible) I was often on the receiving end of his jokes. One weekend right after duck hunting season opened, we were camping close to home. Monte couldn't stay with us, but did come out to help with the program. Saturday morning, about 4:45, I heard a duck quacking & quacking near my tent. Finally I yelled, "Monte! Knock it off!", knowing he was practicing his duck calls nearby, like he had the prior day. The ruckus quit. Soon he was back at it. I hollered at him again. The quacking stopped. When he started in again at 5:15 AM, I unzipped my tent to come out & grouch him. A duck flew off from the stream beside my tent. However, Monte WAS sitting in camp getting a great chuckle. He said it was better than doing it himself! And...of course he shared the story in great detail with the troop.
  5. Our Scout office has embroidered fleece blankets...i think they are the same ones you are looking at in the catalog. They ARE fleece...not felt.
  6. MaScout

    Pack Trainer?

    That is the game plan. However, in my district, we can't get the PACKS on board. We were working for this BEFORE it was a position, and we simply can't get the volunteers to do it.
  7. MaScout

    Board of Review's

    Once upon a time, our troop held two BOR's in one night and the BOR failed to grant either boy their advancement. The ONLY reason given was that neither one had on a neckerchief. Well now...the troop has their own neckerchiefs. The committee has taken on the job of making sure there are plenty on hand. We were out. They hadn't ordered more in several months. These were fairly new scouts. Do you think THIS SM let that ride, or do you think I explained to the committee they couldn't add to the requirements? (Those of you familiar with my postings can answer that in a heartbeat! ) Biggest arguement came from...you guessed it...my husband. BOR cannot refuse to advance a Scout because they are not in uniform. It is encouraged and strongly recommended, but cannot be required. Ma
  8. MaScout

    Boy Scout Handbook Survey

    Library glue works quite well & lasts a long time. Ask at your local public or school library for a squirt...saves having to transfer all that information.
  9. MaScout

    Flag Ceremony "two"

    Those saluting are to quit saluting, but remain at attention.
  10. MaScout

    MSR miniworks filter

    Yes, their equipment is expensive, but well worth the extra $'s. Our troop has several of their items. Check directly with companies and see if they offer discounts to Boy Scous. For example, Eureka & several other tent companies (I can't recall their names right off the top of my head) offer a discount for tents & repair parts. Cabela's offers a discount for Troops. I would imagine REI & the like would also, if you spoke to the right person.
  11. MaScout

    August Cross Over, is this okay?

    Technically, a boy can "cross over" or join Boy Scouts anytime after he meets eligibility requirements by age, school grade, or AoL. If a Webelos wants to earn his AoL before he crosses over, he needs to stay a Cub until that is completed. Technically, he can earn his AoL before the rest of his Webelos den does, as long as he fulfills all the requirements. Technically, the Pack cannot withhold this award from him, even if he earns it before the rest of his den. So...IF a family was so inclined, a Webelos could earn his Arrow of Light early AND "cross over" early...and no-one could nay-say the process. SHOULD he? That is a totally different question. Should the entire den cross early? This needs to be determined by the local pack, considering all factors. Would I encourage it? Not generally, but occaisionally there are extenuating circumstances & I feel it should be allowed. One example: We had an LDS Scout with our Cubs through 4th grade. In 5th grade, he had to join the troop in his temple. He wanted to get his AoL with our Pack. He completed all requirements. We certainly had a ceremony for his AoL and cross over.
  12. MaScout

    Spicing up Pack Meetings

    Ours like "Cheers & Applauses" -- can be done for each den that gets awards. Also, they like audience participation stories -- make a certain noise whenever the reader says a certain word. Run-ons are fun too -- they never know when these will happen. We try to have a special activity at each Pack Meeting, too -- maybe donor awareness or a bicycle rodeo for example.
  13. Can you get ahold of a phone number for the company? We order aluminum poles direct from the company that makes our tents -- either replacement poles/parts or entire pole sets. For personal tents, my family calls the company and orders ultralight poles directly. You get what you want & they actually fit the tent. Also, many tent companies will offer a discount to BSA troops. Ma
  14. MaScout

    Dinning Hall vs Patrol Cooking

    To be quite honest, our troop selects the camp we want to go to, then "go with the flow". However, in most of the midwest (and many other parts of the country)we are in a total fire ban, so patrol cooking is out for many camps. Fire bans come in many degrees. Some just say "no 'open' fires", but we are often limited to no gas lanterns or cookstoves either. We have one council camp that doesn't have a dining hall...we had to develop an enclosed shelter area with a concrete pad. ALL troops have to go to that area to cook. It kinda' loses the "patrol cooking" flavor... Why this degree? The standing timber has a lower moisture content than most lumber at lumberyards.
  15. MaScout

    Hello Scouters

    Welcome! Boy Scouts is addictive! I've enjoyed it very much...as do most all the members in the forum. There's lots of wisdom to be gleaned from these pages, plenty of laughs, and always something to be learned. Enjoy! Ma Scout
  16. MaScout

    Qualifying to attend summer camp

    Our troop has a policy (in writing, that each Scout gets)in regards to this. A Scout has to be considered an "active" participant at routine meetings & outings in order to participate in the "fun" things. A Scout becomes inactive when he misses 4 meetings in a row. (We primarily have a problem with the meetings.) He regains his active status by participating in 4 consecutive meetings & having a BOR. Our PLC didn't think it was fair for the boys who didn't do the work to get the perks. (I agree.) They devised this plan.
  17. How do you promote the patrol method at summer camp? As Eamonn mentioned in another thread, summer camps tend to guide towards a "troop method" rather than patrol method. This is done in a number of ways. Some I can think of off the top: campsites only have one cooking area, campsites don't lend themselves to patrol divisions by tent set-up, use of dining halls, etc. Our camp has the food service contracted out for several years, so we are pretty much committed to this method of feeding the troops. The troops DO cook in their campsites once during the week. So...how do your troops promote & implement the patrol method in camps that are set up for the "troop method"?
  18. MaScout

    Uniform Example

    What about those Scouts (and Scouters) who put the sign up and keep talking?!?!
  19. MaScout

    Camping Merit Badge TOBAL

    Our troop generally has at least 20 nights per year, PLUS summer camp. It is not a problem for us getting the nights. Sometimes it is a problem getting arthritic bones off the ground in 20 below weather. Ma
  20. MaScout

    Eagle Dilemma

    NeilLup -- Actually, the SM signs the blue card TWICE -- in different places. The first time the SM signs a blue card is PRIOR to the Scout working on the badge. The Scout talks to the SM about earning the MB, then (in a nutshell) the SM recommends a counselor, and signs the blue card on the "front", on the section that is headed "Application for Merit Badge". When the Scout has FINISHED the MB, the counselor keeps his/her section and signs both other portions on the "back"...once on the flip side of the "Application" and once on the "Applicant's Record". BELOW that counselor signature is a place for the Scoutmaster to sign, indicating s/he has received the record. Without that signature, the Scout's record is incomplete. I presume the rest of your message wasn't to me directly. If it was, let me know, & I'll reply... Ma
  21. MaScout

    Finishing Merit Badges

    If I were your MB Counselor, I would want you to finish up everything you could, then visit with me. If you've done preparatory work with notes, the discussions should just go that more quickly. Kudos (that's a good thing) to you for going ahead with them, even though the counselors aren't immediately available.
  22. MaScout

    Need ideas for Tiger requirement

    Sprocket--number one & crucial to the success of a den program is enthusiasm! You can make most anything fun...it is what YOU make of it. Program ideas: check Tiger book, see if anybody has any old Tiger material (it has fun, age-appropriate ideas), internet, and don't forget to ask YOUR son & den members what they'd like to do! I'll try to remember some of the things we did with my last son (he's 12, oldest is 20 -long time since then to remember & program has changed a lot.) We went to a library, visited the newspaper office, a museum, a bank, and went to an afternoon high school football game. We made scrapbooks, then I took digital pictures of activities, & printed copies for the boys. We went for a hike & learned LNT principles. We did some crafts (I'm not a crafts person, but one of the other moms helped here.) We made a cottage cheese, strawberry, & blueberry flag -- then ate it. It's been quite a while, & my records are filed...if I find them, I'll send more ideas. Ma Scout
  23. MaScout

    Scout with a knife!

    Looking ahead at what can be done to help the troop deal with ADHD situations... Our troop has had many ADHD kids in our troop. For those with more severe control problems, we use a "magic word" that allows either side to notify the other that things are escalating out of control. Neither side is allowed to abuse or overuse it, and all must respect it. The word we use is "tilt" -- indicating the world is tilting out of control. If the ADHD boy says it, it means he has recognized things in himself that mean he is out of equilibrium (and there ARE signs -- they just need to learn to recognize them). He then takes a personal "time out" to regroup. If troop leadership or the other party feels the ADHD boy is out of equilibrium, he may say tilt. The same results. No arguing, no discussion. It allows a cooling off time. It must be monitored closely so it is not abused. While it sounds like this situation was handled well, keep in mind that not all knife situations are equal. Several years ago at summer camp, our SPL (who is ADHD) came over to talk to me (SM) while I was peeling potatoes for the adults. This was not a stressful talk, but for whatever unknown ADHD reason, he grabbed my wrist & stabbed my pocket knife into his chest! Whoa! Neither of us got sent home from camp , but I learned a LOT in a hurry! Fortunately, it was not a deep cut, but it could have been much worse! Ma Scout
  24. MaScout

    Temporary Patches on Merit Badge Sash?

    If any of you are interested in acquiring the "way cool" Fireman Chit & Totin' Chip patches, PM me, & I'll get you some. Our council has them. They are triangular with one forming the top half of a rectangle & the other forming the bottom half. Our council also carries the plastic badge protectors that fit them so you don't have to sew them on. Ma
  25. MaScout

    Camp Quality

    So...what qualities make a "good" camp? Which make a camp experience "bad"? Why? Maybe list your top 3 or so... Thanks! Ma (Yes, there's method to my madness. )