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Everything posted by MattR

  1. MattR

    Traditionally American camp fire dishes

    As long as nobody is hurt, we trust and encourage all scouts to try something new. I hate to tell you this but some of the best barbecue I've ever had was in Argentina. The only spice they used was salt. What made it so good was the fact that the meat was all grass fed and very slowly cooked. Every house in Argentina has a very simple brick barbecue in the back yard that consists of a U shaped brick wall on a concrete slab. That's it. They put a fire at the base in a corner, stretch the meat across an antenna looking thing, and just lean it over the coals. For several hours they drink beer and rotate the meat every hour. That and some salads and it was incredibly tasty.
  2. MattR

    Traditionally American camp fire dishes

    What the scouts would cook over a fire and what I would cook over a fire, on July 4th, are very different things. Barbecue. (Where are all the people from Texas?) Burgers with good stuff mixed into the meat will work but marinated something is my favorite. The least expensive is probably chicken thighs. They taste good and have enough fat in them that they're a little more forgiving if they get too much heat.
  3. @Randymck55, this is why I said it's going to be longer than a brochure. This is a really big topic and this forum has talked, and argued, about it for a long time. It gets down to the very core of what scouts is about. If you could make a good, engaging presentation about this that could run anywhere from 30 minutes at a round table to a weekend at a council camp and covered boy led and patrol method and all the methods and how they impact older scout interest it would be a fantastic resource that would fill in a lot of holes in the BSA training material.
  4. My wife was a girl scout as well as a counselor. She still has a fat 3 ring binder of songs and the guitar. It's sad to see the politics. That movie that @RememberSchiff posted from the 20s, if nothing else, was incredibly positive about developing independent, confident, helpful girls. I wish someone would replicate that message for today's youth. I think it would be a hit for parents.
  5. Welcome to the forum. I have a hunch this is a lot more than a pamphlet. Older scouts leave because scouts no longer gives them what they need. Challenge, growth, meaning, to name just a few.
  6. Thanks, @malraux. I found page 38. Talk about vague. I highlighted a couple of great quotes. "this may mean [something] should change." It would be clearer if they just said "we might just get really upset, but we don't know yet." Then there is: "[This] creates risks to Girl Scouts." But possibly not girl scouts. Remember when the GSUSA said the BSA wouldn't have a problem if they just did a better job of giving their scouts what they wanted? Karma sucks. I suppose everyone is getting what they deserve. Based on what I've learned about the hiring model in the BSA neither organization understands how to run a large volunteer organization. Girl Scout Participation in Activities with Other Scouting Organizations. The decision by Boy Scouts of America (BSA) to open the Boy Scout program to girls has fundamentally altered the nature of the relationship between BSA and Girl Scouts nationally and locally. Local relationships between BSA and Girl Scout councils that have led to partnerships and joint activities in the past will now expose our membership enrollment and brand to risks. This may mean that the relationship between a council and its BSA counterpart should fundamentally change. Marketplace Confusion. To protect the integrity of the Girl Scout brand and reinforce our programming as unique, girl only, and best in class, we must endure that we take care that the activities in which girls participate are exclusive to the Girl Scout program, are safe and girl led, and are conducted under the appropriate supervision of Girl Scouts. Participation of Girl Scouts in activities with other scouting organizations creates risks to Girl Scouts. Confusion is in the marketplace regarding the relationship between Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts by the expansion of Boy Scouts to include girls in their programs. Girl Scout participation in Boy Scout activities will increase that confusion and will contribute to the misperception that Girl Scouts has merged, or is somehow interchangeable, with Boy Scouts. Brand. Associating with organizations who do not have similar brand history, program portfolio, and track record for safety dilutes and tarnishes our brand, and allows Boy Scouts to leverage the reputation of Girl Scouts for their own purposes.
  7. This was not a GSUSA decision. Just that of some local council (or whatever the equivalent is). That said, the local GSUSA entity is likely about to lose some girl scouts.
  8. MattR

    knot-awards q

    I think you just need to talk to someone a bit more practical. As a scout, in 1975, I was an ordeal member of the OA. When my son, in about 2004, was an ordeal candidate I decided to get my brotherhood. There were no written records. I sent the council email just to make sure and they said "you're kidding, right? If you say you did your ordeal then you did your ordeal." My guess is the chain of command in a volunteer organization is a bit lax compared to what you might be used to in the army. BTW, I was in the Transatlantic Council and so most of the volunteers were in the army, and they still didn't worry about some lost documentation.
  9. MattR

    A scout learns...

    A Scout Learns ... ... Iteratively. For those that are familiar with computer science, the BSA uses a waterfall model of advancement. It's not: A scout learns A scout is tested A scout is recognized It's more like: A scout learns, a scout is tested, a scout forgets some of it, a scout might be recognized, a scout is challenged, a scout relearns, a scout fails at the challenge, a scout learns again, a scout forgets, a scout is asked to teach it, a scout panics and relearns it... All we really want is for a scout to understand, after 7 years, that if they don't make the loop the right way the rabbit will tear the hole and the tree apart.
  10. MattR

    Tenting: 2 years apart

    Use their school grade?
  11. It's always fun to read something that just flat out does not fit in to the usual ideas. I certainly don't know how many kids are confused about their sex but my guess is every kid is confused about how they fit in. And the beauty of scouts is everyone is welcome. The only expectation is to try.
  12. MattR

    Orieneering Course 4a First Class

    Google Earth is also a useful tool. Plot points and then use the ruler to get exact distance and bearings between points. Just verify the course. Little rock outcroppings, as seen on the computer, might be really steep and large to cross. Just sayin'. The scouts weren't so happy on that one. But we did talk about how to go around barriers.
  13. MattR

    Hello from Columbus

    Wow, that's a big challenge. Good for you. Words to an 11 year old aren't nearly as powerful as actions. Don't spend too much time talking. Rather, have an activity. Set up something in a park. Bring gear to look at. Have a slide show of trips you've been on. If they're enthused about adventure and camping then you have something much more important than merit badges. If they're having fun then they'll stick around and learn what we want to teach them. That's the goal. With that said, you can make the merit badges part of the fun and adventure. Do a bunch of fun stuff and then tell them what they've completed and what's left to do to get the MB. A few will take you up on the offer. Then, at the court of honor, award the merit badge to the scout in front of the entire troop and tell him he did a great job. That can be more motivational than you talking about how important a MB is. With regard to the wealthier families and the poorer families, it's important to treat all the scouts the same. In this case some scouts need to earn the money. So make all the scouts earn the money that's spent. It would be a great lesson for all. Best of luck and keep us informed.
  14. I had a scout wake up when he turned 16 and decided he wanted to get eagle. We talked. I explained to him all the tight time lines. Then I let him be. He worked his butt off. Alas, he didn;t pay attention to one of those time lines and he missed it by about a month. Had I the time and was a bit more organized I would have reminded him but I was quite busy as well. I felt bad. I know he felt bad. But he was also quite honorable about it. I was impressed. I told him if he ever needed a letter of recommendation I'd write him a glowing one. He took me up on that. I think he's in med school or something. Bright. Talented. A bit disorganized. But he'll make the world a better place. He was also one of the best SPL's we've ever had. Bottom line, give them some encouragement but let them be. They need to figure this out. They need to want it. They need to make it happen. But they don't need to get it. @Cburkhardt, I've seen plenty of people that try to solve every little problem for the scouts. Half my time spent at eagle projects was always grabbing parents aside and telling them the scouts need to find the problems and solve them because that's where the learning occurs. It's the learning that we're after. The rank is just a carrot for the scouts.
  15. Well, you got me there. My troop guide, or whoever signed off on my ticket items, didn't really care. He was actually the one staff member I wasn't too impressed with. In hindsight the ticket items could have been more related to what I was hoping to learn but, as the saying goes, we don't know what we don't know. I could see how the ticket could make the program. I have always been at the stage where 3 meals a day is appealing.
  16. MattR


    Isn't that the definition of a dress uniform? But I completely agree. Too much bling, not enough field.
  17. What is the advancement program/model you use? If it's just the written list of requirements in the handbook then it's easy for a new ASM to say just sign it off and move on. On the other hand, if the list of requirements is part of something larger then that's what the new ASM needs to read. In this case ensuring that the older scouts will be teaching the younger scouts the skills will end up solving a lot of these problems. If you have to teach other scouts how to tie a bowline or start a fire you really have to know it. Starting off there are no older scouts so the scouters have to prime that pump. They should explain to the scout getting signed off that they need to know the sill well enough to teach it to someone else. It's a lot different to say "show me how to tie a bowline" and "teach me how to tie a bowline." Unfortunately I feel your pain. All I can say is remember that scouts is a 2 steps forward 1 step back type of activity (hopefully with a lot of fun in there as well).
  18. Hi @SeanK. Welcome to the forum. The best thing I got out of WB was the enthusiasm of the staff. Unfortunately, the rest of it wasn't what I was looking for.
  19. MattR

    Wow! FAR beyond mere Eagle...

    Search "fatberg." Feed Me! Seymour!
  20. MattR

    ONE-POT DINNER: Chili Mac

    Sounds good and easy. I like mixing my own spices. If you do a search on chili spice recipe there are plenty of ideas. Here's the first one I found: INGREDIENTS 1 Tbsp chili powder 1 tsp ground cumin 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper 1/4 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp onion powder 1 tsp salt 1/4 tsp approximately freshly ground pepper It also said leave out the cayenne if you don't want it spicy.
  21. MattR

    Scouts in schools in the UK

    As usual, it probably depends more on the adults running it. If they read what you wrote and say "huh?" you've got a problem. If they say "we were scouts and we loved it and we're hoping to apply youth led to learning history and science" then I'd say give it a try. Who knows, maybe they'll come up with a fun way of learning way too many centuries of history. My teachers could take fascinating history and turn it into a bore because all they cared about was how much material they covered how efficiently.
  22. I can't imagine it would help. They would make it so convoluted and then we'd argue about what they meant. Maybe I'm naive but it sounds fairly simple. Make it fun. Competition is the ultimate in SMART goals. Make sure some scout skills are involved but not too much. Sounds like these other guys failed at making the competition measurable.
  23. We don't really know the details of how the patrols that Sablanck saw were brought up with the idea of scout led, what their parents were like, what the events were like, or how they were judged. So, lots of room for everyone's opinion. I can certainly see a perfect storm that ended up with a new troop winning the big prize. First of all, the older girls that joined in February are an unusual group. They're hungry for scouting and likely more driven on average than the current scouts. Next year there will likely be few older girls joining. This was a one time thing. Second, there may be hungry parents as well, that don't know about patrol method and are pushing more for winning the competition than anything else. Any new troop could have this problem. So, scouts hungry to show their ability and parents that only see competition and advancement. And it's just as likely that I have it all wrong. In the meantime, I had talked to my troop guides about having a program put together for the new scout patrol. Just have a bunch of plans for meetings and campouts in place that they could grab. Well, life has been busy lately and I didn't ask about how things were going. I figured they would forget about everything. Lo and behold, I showed up late to the meeting and the troop guides had pulled their patrol away from the main event and did their own thing. That was really cool to see. It was a 2 steps forward kind of day.
  24. MattR

    My new Scout's going to camp but freaking out

    I agree with small steps. Also, be okay if the small steps work but the final big step doesn't. Is he making friends in the troop? And maybe they live close by? Invite them over and do something fun. Have a sleep over at your house. Hopefully that will lead to a sleep over at the other boy's house. Go with him on weekend campouts. If you have to, go with him to summer camp (but don't tell him that now). You want to be firm with him and that's great, but maybe start with some little things to be firm with so you'll have a history to show him that he is getting better at this independence stuff. Is it possible that part of his pushing back has to do with your viewing him as "needing" this? Maybe he doesn't see the whole of you, including the part that wants to see him grow. Maybe he just sees the "mom is gonna make me do this and I have no idea why because I'm scared." Respect his fears. I'm not saying give in to them, just let him know you understand how hard this is for him. Ask him what the baby steps are. If he sees progress and you helping him with it then he'll listen to you, and that's all any parent wants. If you don't believe me wait until he's a teenager.
  25. MattR

    Handling THAT kid joining

    The problem won't be this scout (if he is a problem), the problem will be the other scouts not doing anything about an issue because they don't know how to deal with it. Then it festers and gets bad. Rather, there needs to be a way to bring up issues. Review, thorns and roses, whatever you want to call it. I'd say you need to keep a sharp eye on that process as well. Ask the leaders how the new scouts are doing. If you can catch any problems early it will be much easier to deal with. The goal isn't no problems, the goal is everyone learning from their problems.