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Posts posted by MattR

  1. I have a lodge skillet and s glass top and have had no issues with scratches.

    There's a difference between the old and new cast iron pans in that the casting process of old was fairly crude and required sanding. The newer pans aren't sanded but are still a bit rough. The result is the old pans are much smoother. So, I borrowed an angle grinder and sanded my lodge skillet. I really like it. If you do this, be careful as an angle grinder can easily add divots. They eventually fill in from the seasoning 🤫

    We got our patrols steel skillets. You treat them the same as cast iron but they weigh less and aren't brittle.

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  2. Sounds like a chicken and egg scenario. We want good people more than documentation or metrics, but in order to create those good people we need a definition of a good unit. But in order to define a good unit we really need a concise description of the goals and how the big pile of methods support those goals. My guess is most everyone here has their own view of these things, mainly because it's very vague in any documentation.

    I'm honestly tired of trying to convince people that our main jobs, as scouters, is to work our way out of a job and have the scouts own it. Everyone says sure, that's obvious, until they see that the new scouts aren't advancing to some schedule. I could really use something, anything, that I can point to for these adults to go read. The trainers don't have it (they have trainer's edge!) The commissioners don't have it. The idea of levels of patrol method above is a great idea. But it will never become widely used . Someone could get it to work at their district and it would be great until that person left. The waves of new people would just slowly wash it away like a sandcastle on a beach. All we have is JTE, because that's what the BSA has backed. Any new scouter will be taught JTE, so it will continue.

    I'm not so sure it's documentation or good people. What we really need is leadership. Good, bottom up, support your people, leadership. Just like all these scouts are supposedly learning. We will never see it as long as the focus is on money and old crimes. This is just like a church or temple that has to pay for their expensive building and start worrying more about money than spirituality. We need a CSE that is more interested in the spirituality of scouting than anything else. The only way to get that is to get drastic and remove the massive debt load the BSA has. Another option is to find one council that has a strong CE and no money issues and see if they would take this on for, say, 5 years. Proof of concept. Could a district do this? I kind of doubt it. Mine is certainly too week. And my council, however, has got to be one of the worst in the nation with respect to money problems and leadership, so I'm out.

  3. 10 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    The human nature of youth 14 and older DON"T LIKE CHANGE"

    Part of that is having mush for brains, and I don't mean that in a bad way. Everything is changing and they have no idea how they fit in. At the same time, they also think they're the only ones going through this. My guess is the slovenly attitude is just their way of saving face. I was once one of them. ;)

  4. But let's assume there's some sort of commissioner that has the authority to make changes and the heart to help. Maybe like this neighborhood commissioner. That's a very different position than current commissioners and, with the right person, could help immensely. It gets back to leading as an example for the scouts to see. Instead, we have SMs with big egos because nobody is there to call them on mistakes. It's also a huge responsibility for the commissioner. I'd be up for it.

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  5. Ahhh, now that I'm over the turkey coma...

    I think what you're all saying is do what you can and don't even look at things that, well, we have no control over. And you're right, but deleting all the describe and discuss requirements is just ... something stuck in my bonnet.

    But, back to reality. What can a half dozen people do? Something to remember is that it's highly unlikely we could fix the BSA, and yet if we could help a few troops here and there it would be worth it.

    I think the idea of 20 to 30 minute discussions is a great format. Round table, any scout event where the adults should be out of sight, it's easy.

    I always thought a wiki would be a good idea.

    20 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:

    I suggest the following topics:  

    • Showing Your Community That They Need Scouts 

    Wow, this is really coming up with a message, the message, that national hasn't figured out. You have 5 seconds with a parent that's trying to find an activity for their kid, what are you going to say? It's like that video above, but you only have a few words. It could be backed up with a youtube video, or maybe the equivalent TedYoutube video but that initial hook is required first.

    20 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:


    • What Every New Scouts BSA Member Has A Right To Expect From The Troop

    I can read this too many ways. What problem is this going to help with? Scouts that go along with anything, get bored and drop out? Scouts and parents that think scouts is webelos 3? Adult led troops? As an aside, the phrase Right to Expect sounds a bit confrontational. I mean, there are expectations of the scout as well.

    How about a 20 minute quiz to measure how much the scouts are responsible for vs how much the adults are responsible for? Sort of a Patrol Method metric.

    21 hours ago, dkurtenbach said:

    What To Do If Your Unit Is Failing 

    This could be very wide and deep and bring up things like getting more volunteers to step up, finding more ideas, balancing the program for everyone, getting more scouts. Maybe it starts with the patrol method metric?


  6. Interesting discussion. I'm just curious, though, where else have people built statues to generals that have lost? I'm not talking about rewriting history, just who wants to recognize the guy that lost? I'm not sure I've ever seen this anywhere other in the US. I've seen plenty of memorials to those that have died, and those are worthy for everyone to learn from, but not to losing generals. I'm not saying there should be statues to winning generals, either. If anything, statues of winning generals is a bit close to glorifying the wrong thing, in my opinion. But statues of the losing generals seems way over the line. 

    Maybe I'm wrong. I'm open to different interpretations.

  7. On 11/28/2019 at 10:13 AM, SSScout said:

    Local FB page:   Mother opens with "Looking for local places/activities for middle schoolers to do and keep busy". 

    I respond with "Seek local Scout Troop, Cub Pack,  click on www.beascout.org."    She responds , "the kids aren't into scout stuff. We are looking for fun stuff like Jump Up, Kids Gym, etc. Otherwise all they do is hang out at the Micky Dees." 

    My response:  "depending on what your kids are "INTO",  Scouts can do that:  movies, bowling, the zoo, hikes, nature, trampolining, etc."   She responds,  (smileyface). 


    I sort of doubt that "middle schoolers" are interested in "Jump Up, Kids Gym, etc." They're interested in getting away from mom. That's why they're hanging out at "Mickey Dees."

  8. 3 hours ago, Eagledad said:

    I apologize that I must harp, again, but such a program requires great humble leadership. A leader strong enough to coach large egos, and humble enough to mentor growth. The program requires a Scoutmaster's Scoutmaster. I know of a few and they don't volunteer for such honors because they believe these kinds of positions deserve someone better. The position requires seeking out and recruiting the right person. Otherwise you have nothing more than another adult feel-good meeting that sucks away another hour.

    I certainly understand where you're coming from. No harping at all. And yet, a few points (while I wait on the potatoes).

    First, I just threw this out. I'm open to other ideas. My main point is that the BSA does not follow the model it professes. Consequently their training is hard to believe or get behind. It bothers me when companies don't use the products they sell. The BSA is selling servant leadership. They talk about it, yet they don't really mention how to teach it. They certainly don't model it, not at the national level, not at council (at least not mine), and while our district tries they have little guidance on how to do that.

    Next, @yknot is one person that could really benefit from this. He (I assume) is also new, inexperienced, and eager to help out. That's the volunteer the program should be set up for. You've also mentioned that there are fewer volunteers with outdoor skills and I agree, but the BSA has to adapt. The old model, since at least the 50's, of assuming volunteers come pre trained has to change.

    As for SM's with big egos, I agree with you. And yet, the worst of those people, that I know, have the worst programs.

    Finally, as for having yet one more meeting and wasting time, I agree with you. Anything done would have to be value added. Of course, current round tables are anything but value added, so shaking that up might help. Again, I'm not sure how, I just see a problem.


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  9. Or, find something close and never mention it to anyone. Nobody, and I mean nobody, will be looking for that. My guess is the uniform description manual, or whatever it's called, does not specify fonts. So anything is good. Use comic-sans, or something else fun. Great way to start a conversation.

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  10. 2 hours ago, walk in the woods said:

    Just wondering if they mortgaged the ranch for new debt or existing debt.  And if existing how much have they already drawn down?

    I really hate to be a cynic, but I don't know if the origin of the debt matters. They're losing money and in the red, and they used Philmont to get more money. If they're lucky membership will stop declining, but for now it won't go up. Eventually they will run out of money, file for bankruptcy, and then it gets interesting.

    I'm more curious about what happens after they file for bankruptcy. In particular, would a judge say "you guys are clueless, it's time for you to get better leadership?"

    The BSA keeps saying the problems are all external; membership, volunteers, society, whatever. Yet they've never said boo about the possibility that some of the problems are with them. The same thing holds for my council. I keep wondering if it would be so bad if the BSA just folded. Other scout organizations would benefit and there'd be more competition. Parents could also find what they're interested in. Christian, secular, Latvian, whatever you want. Maybe they'd even start having camporees together. Wipe the board clean and start over. I would be sad if scouting ended in the US. But if scouting kept going and it wasn't called the BSA, I think I could get behind it.


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  11. 1 hour ago, 5thGenTexan said:

    No doubt yall all know more about the Scouting world than I do, but this was on FB this evening...



    Just to verify, I went on facebook and looked for Stinnett's facebook page (he's a lawyer in Colorado Springs). He put up two posts on the 21st: he quit his Philmont position as Camping/Program chairman and his National Committee Member position. So, I guess there's no point in sending him any email.

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  12. 3 hours ago, mrkstvns said:

    I would hope that most scouts on a winter camping trip would dismantle their snow shelters when breaking camp.  Isn't this SOP for your guys?

    We ask the scouts to knock down the roofs so nobody gets hurt playing on the snow and it caving in. They get more and more solid so it's difficult to completely knock it down after a day.

    And think about it. We walk into an area with 3' of pristine snow and create tracks and caves and tent slots all over the place. There's no way we can leave it the way it was.

  13. 53 minutes ago, JoeBob said:

    If your axe becomes stuck in a log, turn it over and swing the combined axe/log down onto your stump, axehead first to get more penetration. 

    Not sure if this is related, but I have a really nice axe and they explicitly said don't use a sledge hammer to push the head in further as the sidewalls of the head could split. That's also my half axe, so not sure if their full axe is not built with thicker walls.

  14. If marching band is ever combined with scouting I will quietly exit. Sports, at a rec level could actually work. A patrol of soccer players could go look for other patrols in other troops for a pick up game. Or ultimate Frisbee. Or robotics. For those that enjoyed the activity but don't want to go full type A competitive, it could me more fun than a normal meeting. Lots of opportunities to learn useful side skills. How to have fun at a skill you suck at would be great.

  15. A couple of comments. The video shows the use of a splitting maul. Few scouts learning to use an axe can even control a full sized axe, much less a maul. There are different sizes of axes. The sizes are 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full. A 1/4 axe is a hatchet. A 3/4 axe is often sold as a "boy's axe" and is really good for younger scouts. I have a half axe (be careful how you say it) that I really like because I can hold it with one hand and, with a sharp blade, can split most of the wood I deal with.

    I didn't watch the whole video but something I noticed is that the guy is standing with his feet together. If he misses the wood with the axe then the blade will come down to where his feet are. That's a big no no. Keep your feet apart. The big stump really helps.

    When the axe hits the wood it should be traveling straight down. A tall stump helps or else the person has to bring their hands down to be even with the top of the wood.

    I didn't see any discussion on starting the swing. Especially for scouts, start with the main hand at the end of the handle and the other near the head. As the swing moves toward the wood the hand near the head slides down toward the end of the handle.

    Most people new to this stand too close to the wood, resulting in overshooting the wood and smacking the handle against the wood. This guy is splitting logs so that won't happen much, but when cutting the wood further down to make a fire, one needs a good aim.

    There there's all the safety issues. Axe yard. No branches to get caught on. The head is on tight. Assume the head will fly off (been there, done that).

    Also, learning how to really sharpen an axe. I use a fine, single cut file. I never see them at the big box hardware stores but I can get them online. Files are like sand paper, they come in different grits. Fine, single cut leaves the smoothest finish. Bastard double cut is the coarsest and likely not needed unless the axe is really chewed up.

    Once you get used to it, cutting wood is better than mediation. It takes a lot of power and also good control. The focus required will wash away any other issues you have.

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  16. 2 hours ago, mashmaster said:

    Frankly, this topic should be shut down.  People on each side are not going to change their opinion and it will just end up pissing everyone off in the end. 

    Well, I'm not there yet. The whole premise of this thread is a bit antagonistic and given that, y'all have been fairly good.

    I have to agree with the comments that the BSA and LDS just grew apart. I know several LDS members that are disappointed with the split. I'm also guessing that the outdoors will not be used much in the future LDS program. That will be a shame but I'm not trying to make a world wide program. Now that I mention it, I guess there already is a world wide outdoor youth program. I think it's called scouts or something and it's doing real well. Maybe the BSA should figure out what they're doing that works so well.

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  17. 1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

    Sadly they (BSA National) does not seem to look for outside talent.

    And hence, too much kool-aid drinking. I hope it's someone that can sell a lot of popcorn.

    1 hour ago, Jameson76 said:

    Likely some of the issues with finance and direction, currently impacting the organization, may have been lessened if leaders with some outside experience and different professional path had been in charge.

    I'm hoping Chapter 11 will force that change. Time to drain the kool-aid, so to speak.

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  18. @Onslow, my guess is you're getting a response you didn't expect. Hang in there, you're at least trying. It sounds like this culture you're seeing is new to you. Don't be so quick to judge. Keep listening and watching. There is goodness everywhere. If there's anyone that needs scouts it's these kids in the town you're describing. Nobody else is trying. So it would be great if you would.

    To those that see this as the usual tribalism in our country at the moment, all I can say is never waste a problem.


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  19. Once a year we hand deliver an addressed envelope and a flyer to a few thousand homes. We tell them if they put out their old x-mas tree on the curb we'll recycle it. In return we'd appreciate a donation. It's a good fundraiser, completely based on the honor system, and the scouts have a bunch of work to do.

  20. Thanks, @Saltface. I suspected it was something along those lines. There are aspects about it that I really like. Primarily, motivation from within, not some mythical award. Also, it's much simpler and easier to explain. No parents are going to get wrapped up in pushing there kids to get eagle. It's kind of like Venturing. Skills are nothing more than preparation for doing something you want to do. They aren't a check box to get an award.

    On the other hand, many people, teens especially, don't know what they don't know so how do they get some guidance? I could see adults causing just as much trouble running the show.  I'd rather see more outdoor activity but nobody asked me :).

    Maybe if it works the BSA will take notice. Competition would be good.